Yearbook 2014 – 2015
Contents 2 3 4 6 8 9 11 14 16 19 21 22 33 35 37 39 43 45 47 48 49
Meet the Committee A Note from the President A Note from the Social Secretaries Tongue Arrochar Kinlochleven Loch Lochy Buttermere Braemar (Christmas trip) Islay (Hogmanay) Winter Skills Daytrips Cannich (Burns) Kingussie Glen Shiel Arran Achmelvich Glencoe Sock Wrestling Champions Photo Competition Winners End of Year Awards Quotes
Sep. 21st Oct. 3-5th Oct. 10-12th Nov. 7-9th Nov. 28-30th Jan. 18th Jan. 23-25th Feb. 13-15th Feb. 27th- Mar. 1st Mar. 13-15th Apr. 3-6th Apr. 24-26th
A note from the editor Here it is finally. You requested style and I have done my best to fulfil your wishes. I hope you are happy with the outcome! It’s been great fun putting together the yearbook and I want to thank all who wrote entries. You were all so creative, and wonderful; easy to persuade and delivered on time! There was no need for me to demonstrate how I kill fish… I hope you don’t mind me taking pictures without asking. There were so many great photos to pick from this year and I have tried to include pictures from a variety of people. This is my last year with the club and as always it has been fantastic. Although you might not get completely rid of me yet, I’d like to say thank you to everyone who made these three years so incredible for me. Keep bagging munros, singing on the hills, being silly and providing quotes, taking care of shy freshers, going on epic adventures and being the best club at the Edinburgh University!
Meet the Committee
President Alex Collins
Meets Secretary Ruth Ginty
Secretary Callum Girdwood
Training, Safety and Development Officer Owain Simpson
Treasurer Lucy Nunn
Vice president and Alumni Officer Jasmin Watt
Social Secretaries Gregor Boyne and Helen Main Gear
Publicity and Yearbook Officer Tonje Moen
Secretary Edward Tissiman
Webmaster Stuart North
Members Without Portfolio (aka ‘Random Bods’) Simon Coffey and Joy Edwards-Hicks
A note from the President Choose hills, Choose great company, Choose boots, waterproofs, axes, crampons, a wee dram, not a canoe, Choose fine weather, choose shit weather, choose cloud, rain, snow, hail, Choose hypothermia on a blizzard swept ridge in the arse end of nowhere. Choose an EPIC, choose a faff, Choose 3am for the “sunrise”, and choose at least 3000m ascent, Choose a pair of forks over an axe, a hillwalking skirt, fairy lights for your bag, Choose to work at Tiso for the staff discount, buy primaloft, merino, gore-tex, vibram, Choose pizza, choose jelly babies, brownies, Arnaud’s chocolate, that extra bowl of custard, Choose the Aonach Eagach, Stac Pollaidh, all the Mamores, the Ridge of Death, Choose a beach in the far North West, Choose to leap head first off a dune, Choose to light a bonfire, Choose a beard. Choose to come to the AGM to make up the numbers, Choose to deafen your secretary with an air horn, Choose to ceilidh violently, with a violin not a flute, Choose that glass of free wine not the water, Choose the Canadian Barn Dance, Flying Scotsman, Strip the Willow. Choose to floor your lassie. Choose an effective Committee, and a competent yearbook editor, Choose to vote at the AGM for a dictatorial Nunn, and Simon as Safety Officer for a bit of fun, Choose an army of freshers, just don’t choose to lead them up Arthurs’ seat, Choose to go on both freshers’ day trips, and wake up on time, Choose to organise trips, but avoid Easter and Glen Shiel, Choose to ignore the 50mph speed limit, or choose not to drive the bus. Choose to ignore Hollie. Don’t choose to stay in the Corrie Croft Bunkhouse on Arran, choose to camp outside instead, But do choose eccentric and fun hostels - we miss you Gerry :( Choose running into the fire, into cars, fire extinguishers, CHOOSE THE COLOUR GREEN, Choose the Clachaig, not the Hive, choose a good pint of ale, not a dog-piss glass of tenants, Choose spewing to save the Queen, a bowl for the port, choose to leave the cutlery at home, Choose to go to the pub, choose that extra pint and many types of whiskey. Choose not to remember. Choose a loony dook to sober up, and choose Ruth to make you some tea, Choose spectacular views, choose the best group of friends, and if you can - choose not to leave. It’s been an incredible 5 years, Thanks to everyone who has made it such amazing fun, And I wish you many adventures for next year and beyond!
Ah, it’s so nice when it slips in so easily. – Alex Collins
Alex Collins, EUHWC President 2014-2015
A Note from the Social Secretaries The year kicked off, as it always does, with the long snake of hungover freshers and even more hungover committee members winding their way to the top of Arthur’s Seat. As fun as being whipped in the face by a biting wind is, we were all relieved when we got to the pub to continue the copious drinking from the night previous.
Things only got messier from there. The Rubik’s cube pub crawl saw our members turn up to McSorleys in some of the most garish, block colours seen this side of the 80’s. There was some hurried changing of luminous orange boxers for blood red miniskirts as everyone tried to look as sexy as possible in full yellow dungarees and matching headband. By the time we descended on Hive, leap frogging down the Cowgate, there wasn’t a single person (including Edward) who hadn’t been ravaged by face paint. Special mention to Jack Gillespie who showed up half way through the crawl in “regular clothes” and ended the night resplendent, head to toe in red, complete with a rather conspicuous bulge in his new found tights. Our next event took a rather sombre turn. The hillwalking film night social never fails to move grown men to tears as the democratic vote inevitably yields the most harrowing in outdoor cinematic experience. This year’s light hearted titillation was “Into the Wild”, a romantic story of a man who needs to lose himself in order to find himself or, depending who you talk to, an idiot who doesn’t know how to read a map… Two words in conjunction that never fail to excite: hillwalking ceilidh! The absence of stalwart folk soc band member Alistair Mackie was made up for by the audacious enthusiasm of foolhardy ceilidhers trying to bring down the walls of Lauriston hall by throwing other people into them! The Christmas meal also happened.
The second semester kicked off in a slightly tamer manner with the planned raucous night in Hive turning into a rather more subdued night the old favourite haunt: the Royal Oak. The EUHWC pub quiz in the basement of Clerks bar was brimming with fun facts on mountains, history, beards, pornographic adaptations of popular Hollywood movies, geography, and the some of the least efficient but possibly most imaginative ways of maiming or killing Edward with the use of physics. The clubs annual general meeting (with free wine) saw the next years fresh faced committee get sworn in on the back of some excellent and inspirational speeches on what it means to be a hillwalker living at this pivotal moment in history. This orgy of voting and democracy was of course followed by another riotous round of raucous ceilidhing ending, as it always does, in severe internal injuries and at least eight cases of mild concussion. No sexy gaiters were worn this year. Gregor and Helen
I could drown a baby in my ball sweat right now. – Stuart
Social Secretaries 2014/15.
Tongue 'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot, But being too happy in thine happiness,— That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees In some melodious plot Of beechen green, and shadows numberless, Singest of summer in full-throated ease. -Keats, Ode to a Nightingale #whoelse #vagueandtenuouspoeticlinkstoreallifeexperiences #academic The melodious breaths of summer touched our south facing backs as we, the intrepid, took the club to a new frontier, the north coast. Our journey, so full of excitement and sexual innuendo, flew through Ardgay and Bonar Bridge to the tune of Ed and Owain’s giggles. The tone was set, heady -dizzy- giddy, Tongue was on the lips as we sang with full throated ease. Callum, seconded by Jasmin, led the walk to Ben Hope on Saturday 24th May for the pleasure of 16 other hillwalkers, a veritable riot that ended up on Achininver beach where a good bunch of folks braved the fresh ocean water for a swim while others were exercising their skills in bouldering or sculpting their friend Henri the turtle.
Owain, Alex C, Kyle, Steph, Andrew G, Ed and Simon under took a stupid walk, of idiotic proportions to get their summer into full swing, polishing off Ben Hope and Ben Loyal in one day and 30+km, including an elegantly posed for river crossing, an exquisite waterfall, some beaut torrs, a mis-judged descent route -and on one occasion, Edward’s unhappy face and ant-stung southern regions.
Saturday night gave us one of the best deserts of the year: a cake/pudding made with multiples layers of biscuit and blueberries. The screams of Ed still echo with the intransience of a nightingale’s trills. Simon, Nicole and Owain saw to it that each where bleeding (as well as Ed) in some sadomasochistic ritual that seems to worryingly be catching on with some popularity, although the kitchen weren’t impressed. We had a tea towel fight. We were also lead out to meet the angel of the true north a mystery no one ever seemed to grasp and an experience that has left us all deeply, metaphysically and existentially challenged. On Sunday night, we played sock wrestling with some tough fights between Gregor and Owain, Kyle and Simon, Lucy and Skirton, Gregor and Simon, Tatjana and Steph, Ollie and Simon. Victory fell to Gregor and Lucy after both seeing off competition from all quarters and Gregor sending Owain to Ruth’s emergency field hospital. It was the first time that Arnauld had driven a car in the UK, and a mistranslation at some point resulted in his making the assumption that British cars run on air –not that Kyle or Owain noticed coasting back to tongue, cuddling up in the back seat for a snooze after a second gruelling day on the uninspiring invisible lump Ben Klibreck as led by Jan the machine. The journey home was no sombre affair, many called it no end and were off travelling for weeks more, and some joined Mead for an extended baggers affair in the pass of Drumochter that offered several truly jaw dropping panoramas of the Ben Alder massif and also Owain a very embarrassing incident with a cornice and some late season skiers. Tongue was a massive start to our summer and an incredible milestone between two amazing years, with a fantastic group of people, spending time in the most connective and striking landscape. Owain Simpson
Arrochar – Freshers Day Trip The second freshers day trip to Arrochar took place on a glorious Sunday in late September. Despite the early start there were still smiles; admittedly they were of the nervous variety as freshers took part in the age old rituals: “So, what do you study?”, “Where are you from?”. Something was not quite right though, a slight nagging at the edge of awareness. Something was off. Something was…. Missing. As the bus was filled, this sense of foreboding slowly reached a crescendo, there was a distinct lack of colour and I couldn’t help but feel somewhat unsafe. And then it hit me…. I’d forgotten a first aid kit. I hastened to acquire one and upon depositing the red parcel into the confines of my rucksack, took my seat on the bus. In grand hillwalking tradition there was a transport problem, someone was missing. Looking down the aisle at all those new faces the horror of our situation was made apparent when the club’s David Bowie look-a-like was nowhere to be seen. Owain was
not there. The training and safety officer was at home, safely tucked up in bed, training himself to sleep through alarms. A phone call could not rouse him and so we had no choice but to leave. The sun made steady progress over the sky as we travelled to Arrochar and by the time we arrived there was no dispute that it would be a wonderful day. I thought to myself ‘Owain would love this’, but alas, Owain was not there. The bus of walkers split into groups and began their various walks. The near-cloudless sky made for perfect walking conditions (if only Owain had been there to enjoy them too) and steady progress was made by my group on our way up the Cobbler. The summit of the cobbler involves a small climb to reach. Nearly all in our group made it up the scramble and the view was spectacular. If only Owain was there, he loves to climb and who doesn’t love a nice view, but alas, he was not. Owain was not there. The walk back to the bus felt like it took no time at all. The other groups had similar experiences and a few freshers expressed their desire to come on future trips (maybe they would get to meet Owain?). Looking back on the day it couldn’t have gone much better; the weather was great; the mountains were interesting and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. If only Owain had been there, but alas, he was not. Owain was not there. Simon Coffey
Kinlochleven – Fresher’s weekend trip The first proper weekend trip of the year was the fresher’s trip to Kinlochleven. Lying between the beauties of Glen Coe (namely the Three Sisters) and the breathtaking Mamore range Kinlochleven offers plenty of exciting walks, being a perfect choice to introduce new people to hillwalking (of course not to the dull thing called Munro bagging) and the club itself. So, on a Friday evening a group of hill walkers headed up north, passing on the way Callander, where we had the mandatory fish and chips at the well-known Mhor Fish. The first cars arrived two hours later and by 10pm the hostel was full of hill walkers. More experienced member sat over maps, thinking how to bag as many Munros as possible while freshers tried to understand the definition of a Munro and the sense of Munro bagging. The weather forecast was not too bad, little wind and no rain. Plans have been made and walks included the two Buachaille Etive Mor Munros, two groups decided to make use of the location of the hostel and do between 2 and 4 of the Mamore Munros. Other groups tackled the Ring of Steall and the Aonachs with Carn Mor Dearg and Ben Nevis as a supplement – yes that was Ed! Finally, there was one single person who decided to do 7 of the Mamores, but running instead of walking - each according to his taste.... On the Saturday the freshers learned one thing: Scottish weather is unpredictable and can vary within a few kilometers. While some groups had almost no rain (yes, these days exist!) another fought themself through heavy rain. My walk included four of the Mamores. Therefore we had an early start and enjoyed the last bits of the sunrise! The day finished at the beautiful Grey Mares Waterfalls. The waterfalls was the main reason for some people to join walk, however they continued walking with Tonje’s group after the second Munro to avoid the last two Munros (or maybe me...).
Joy: “I study cancer research.” Nicole: “Do hamsters have tails?”
Back in the hostel, the cooking started and Tonje surprised us, as usual, with a delicious meal. This time it was mashed potatoes with beef stew – thank god for the meat! Satisfied with full stomachs and entertained by Steve performing some songs on his guitar the weather forecast for the next day was studied and decisions about walks been made. Scottish weather gave a good account of itself, the forecast varied between strong rain and little wind, strong wind and little rain or strong rain and strong wind. A large group 9
preferred the former and went further south to walk the beautiful and well known Tarmachan Ridge on Loch Tay. Those who preferred the middle did Beinn Dorain near Bridge of Orchy. I heard that someone in this group walked up the particular Munro the third time to enjoy the views. As the last two times, the entire walk was in clouds and rain. The last group decided to stay in the beautiful Glen Coe and to bag the two Buachaille Etive Beag Munros. It was wet, windy and a half of the group went down after the first one. Only the desperate ones made it to the second Munro and one very desperate person even went further to make sure to bag the right top. Mother, I just bagged my 100th munro. – Edward To sum it up, the weekend gave a very good impression of Scottish hills, from the beauty of the mountains to the unpredictable, wet and windy weather. But the company was as always great and made it a perfect hillwalking weekend. Jan Ditzen
The girls discussing Downton Abbey. Jane: “I like the house but I especially like the dog. Though there is something wrong about that dog. It never gets old.” Emily: “The dog has to die!”
Loch Lochy Creag Meagaidh A dense foggy start for a group of 18 was rewarded on breaking through an inversion on the ascent to Carn Liath, our first Munro of the day. A sea of clouds was pierced by the summits of the surrounding mountains stretching into the horizon. The ridge provided gentle walking and wonderful views. Halfway along the serenity was interrupted by sweeping clouds, which plunged us again into the mist. Some of our number took this as an opportunity for answering calls of nature. One girl returned alarmed with news that she’d heard sounds suggestive of someone dying in the vicinity. Universal trepidation was met with the realisation that the somewhat mournful sounds echoing up the slopes were the calls of distant red deer stags beginning their annual rutting season. We had lunch near Stob Poite a' Choire Ardair whilst appreciating an impressive view of Creag Meagaidh’s famed cliffs. A relatively short walk onwards took us onto the bulk of Creag Meagaidh itself. After reaching the cairn, a number of us could be seen wandering around the plateau, probably looking lost, but actually enraptured by the wild beauty of the landscape. Gathering to descend was a business of reluctant inevitability. The descent took us down ‘the window,’ a route considered intimidating by some of the newer members unaccustomed to their paths disappearing into boulders. Dinner was to be a well appreciated affair. On Sunday five of us headed to Glencoe’s much photographed Buachaille Etive Mor. The bulk of our ascent took place in Coire na Tulaich; the ridge was soon gained though a rapid ascent with the distractions of the gradient and rockiness underfoot. The views from this walk are beyond gorgeous. There are mountains on all sides, save for the spread of Rannoch Moor to the east, while the dome of Ben Nevis crowns the hills to the north west. At the top of Stob Dearg we were greeted by a raven whose photogenic nature earned a not unsubstantial proportion of my sandwiches.
We then nipped along the ridge to our second Munro, Stob na Brioge. (It feels further than it looks on the map). The route down into the Lairig Gartain provided a few interesting scramble sections. As a joint walk leader with an enjoyment of problem solving and proven durability, I felt responsible for trialling the easiest ways down. The stags were again roaring, their calls thankfully giving proof to the ‘tiny brown dots’ of my failed endeavours to describe their micro locations on the surrounding hillsides. The vision of Glencoe bathed in sunset was a fitting conclusion to a fantastic weekend of inspiring mountains and great company. Rose Norman
I rubbed my nipples and it worked! – Steph
Ben a’Ghlo Day Drip As the clock had just gone past 6 it was somewhat earlier than we might have liked that we gathered outside the CSE building to get in the minibus and head off for Pitlochry. Once the summit of Carn Liath was looming ahead of us, and we reached the starting point by Loch Moraig, all dark thoughts about the early start were vanquished. The route included 3 munros, so it was with the knowledge of a long walk ahead of us that we set off down the track to the south of Carn Liath. Once you leave the stalkers path it’s a treacherous peaty mire that lies ahead. The traditional route is to follow the valley behind Beinn Bheag up onto the beilach before cutting up to the first Munro Carn na Gabhar, but having waded through enough bog for one day we elected to take a shortcut: up and over Airgoid Bheinn. It felt virtually vertical, but the ground underfoot was at last solid again! Edward took charge of navigation as we made our way along the ridge to Carn na Gabhar, and at the cairn we stopped for lunch. At this point we watched another party march confidently on past us and we began to wonder if we were actually at the summit… Had we passed a trig point? Was this the first or second cairn? No. First. Oops. And so having settled down to lunch on the so called “summit” we had to trapse on a further 500m to the true summit. On the way to the second munro we met the other half of our group, with Rose leading, who were doing the route in reverse. (In the end we would finish the best part of an hour ahead of them. Not that it’s a competition!) Why are there so many ravens? They’re having a rave. – Tonje Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhlagain was sadly in the cloud, but as we headed along the ridge to Carn Liath we were treated to the occasional cloud break and view. It was as we began to descend from Carn Liath that we were finally treated to some sun, and Ed was quick to break out the camera! Sadly not quite the breath taking sunset he had been hoping for, but some lovely cloud bursts none the less. And so it was that we walked out with the sun hinting at a glorious evening, but never quite getting there, back to the carpark. Struan Ducker
Lake District Trip to Buttermere It was in early November, on a damp Friday night That the club once again hit the road, driving by moonlight But instead of heading up north or to the West coast We did the one thing that all Scots dread the most And headed south of the border to pastures all brand new With a round of “Flower of Scotland” to see us safely through On arrival in the Lakes, the Buttermere hostel we stayed And for this accommodation, well our Meet Sec had paid So after unpacking and a dozen cups of tea Walk sign up commenced and then for the evening we were free And as some of the group did not go swiftly to bed Mead decided to start a game of table mountaineering instead But the tables were large and the skill level lacking Very few succeeded, and the bruises left were cracking The following morning we rose to find the skies rather grey But still into the hills we went, determined to enjoy the dreich day Dale Head, Hindscarth and Robinson were the Wainwrights my group climbed But unfortunately amongst all the cloud, any view was hard to find It was rather windy and RedPike ridge one group didn’t succeed But we battled through the rain, swiftly lead on by Mead On arrival back at the hostel, all were truly soaked through So we made good use of the drying room, before having a hot shower and another cup of tea (or two) Then on to dinner, where the boys were on hand Dissecting four chickens while Ruth was in charge of the pans Following a fantastic paella, a local delicacy was served Sticky toffee pudding made by yours truly, and my helpings weren’t reserved! With bellies full and people beginning to get sleepy, We walked in the dark to the village, although it was a little bit creepy And into the pub where we tried various ales Whilst laughing with the locals and telling our hill walking tales The next morning we rose with the sky a bit brighter And packed up the cars, our bags a little bit lighter After cleaning the hostel, we drove through the pass Only to find the rest of our group already half-way up the path So on up the road we decided to drive And park further up, so the first ascent we could skive! And as karma should have it, we were punished for our hill walking sin As on arrival at the slate mine, the Ford Ka’s wheels started to spin It was clear from this point, we were really quite stuck With lots of loud revving and throwing up lots of muck
My two passengers tried to help, but couldn’t do so for laughter Yet I couldn’t see the funny side until quite some time after! But thankfully friendly the locals of Buttermere are As one nice gent came over and single handedly pushed out the car We caught the rest of the group at the top of Fleetworth Pike Where the sun started to shine, it was such a glorious sight And as photos were taken, and landmarks pointed out Finally, we could see what it was the lakes were really all about Then from Fleetworth, up Haystacks we next did ascend With one or two river crossings and a random stone house round a bend Again from the summit, some splendid views we could see And even the bonnie homeland was visible, rising up out the sea It was late afternoon when from the group, our trio did depart Wondering if we even going to make it out the sodden carpark Then back on the road, we headed on the motorway north But not til after stopping for a cup of tea in Kessock, of course And as darkness descended we again passed through the border And this time a bit of”500 Miles” by the Proclaimers was in order Overall a brilliant weekend was had by all members of the club With many tales the next week being shared in the pub On personal reflection, although a true hardy Scot I really did enjoyed my time with the auld enemy lot And I must admit, although it pains me to say That there are parts of England which are actually okay! Suzannah Neish
Braemar Christmas Trip Jack, I want you to know how kinky I am. – Edward I can’t believe you just bit me in the balls! – Owain
The ever so festive annual hill walkers trip went somewhere in the northern part of Scotland, complete with lochs mountains and snow! Everyone was very ready for much merriment, drinking, eating, more drinking and having a cheeky night cap just to get the festive juices flowing! I managed to secure a place in the car with a certain rock bagpipe enthusiast in the club, this inspired some particularly unchristian feelings within me towards said enthusiast. After this ordeal we arrived at a hostel in afore mentioned northern part of Scotland, from what I can remember it had all the typical accruements of a hostel including beds, a kitchen, several bathrooms and a humid drying room that held a deliciously pungent smell of festering s weat.
Many Yuley feelings were flying rampantly, now I don’t want to cast any aspersions, but I’m pretty sure I saw Alex Collins and Julia having a sneaky kiss under the mistletoe. I say sneaky kiss it was more like a starved husky interacting with a fallen deer. Anyway everyone decided upon the sort of experience they wanted for the next day, the options involved walking in the rain for a long time or walking in the rain for a very long time. The pretty high calibre of hillwalker chat then commenced which usually revolved around how life would be greatly improved if we were actually the kayaking society. With Jan’s chat in particular we were plunged into the never regions of cutting banality. Most people then retired for a restless sleep either listening to their roommates snore, fart or canoodle (consort with Stewart’s roommates for accounts of the latter). After a restless night many bleary faces emerged hopeful for a day of blissful ambling through majestic mountains, however as it was Scotland in the middle of winter this was fanciful caprice on their behalf and the amble of hillwalkers were greeted with a backdrop of sullen grey. As the sagacious hillwalker I am, I decided that the bleak mid-winter with frosty winds making moan would be the perfect opportunity to join an epic trudge up and then down several hills, luckily I had my trusty five year old Mountain Warehouse raincoat which has absolutely no waterproof qualities to keep me nice and wet for the duration of the day. I am not entirely sure which specific Monroe(s)/Corbet(s) were climbed by us or anyone else on the trip but I can defiantly say the experience would have been identical on all of them, complete with the howling winds and that icy tundra feel that is so prevalent in Scottish winters. While an exact topographical analysis of the day may have escaped me I do vividly remember Gregor falling into a particularly deep snow drift floundering like an injured platypus trying to escape the clutches of feral sea goat. Luckily Owain was at hand (who as we all know is kind of a big deal in the club) with an extra-long piece of rope, it almost matched the 16
magnanimous size of his ego just to give you a rough idea of length, which he heroically used to lasso the flailing Scotsman. This episode infused me with enough comic energy to continue on our arduous bagging mission. As we all know is the only possible pleasure that can be found in hill walking, the process of ticking a hill of the list arouses me in a way no Casanova could (even one as experienced as Stewart). After our triumphant completion of our pleasant ramble we hence-forth returned to the hostel for an evening of merrymaking. Compared to previous years when tables have been set on fire and mass human pealing has been threatened by a certain red Hun food preparation was somewhat uneventful. Having tiered of peeling potatoes I decided to accompany Owain on an epic mission to procure more alcoholic beverages, we frequented a particularly fine Scotmid with a rather genial checkout girl. Owain having eating his body
weight in sugar was having a particularly hyperactive turn and attempted to pilfer several crates of the Scots elixir of life, or Buckfast as it is commonly known, from the shop. My memory is slightly hazy regarding the exact details but I’m pretty sure he pulled out red Crayola and threatened to write the parable of Noddy the Christmas Nazi on the very kind checkout ladies face unless she handed over her entire supply precious Buckfast. Unfortunately this strategy backfired dramatically and Owain was tackled to the floor by the checkout girl who surprisingly had the power of an Ox on heat, anyway with Owains plans scuppered we returned to the hostel with only one bottle of Buckfast but more importantly a refreshed supply of gin. As we all know, gin in the drink of the gods and is the only certain way to ensure fun is had, I have even heard that there is a mistranslation in the bible and Casper’s gift to the baby Jesus was actually the ‘juice of the juniper berry’ not any of that frankincense nonsense. Back at the hostel dinner was commencing and once everyone had sufficiently gorged themselves on seasonal treats we adjourned to the living room all excitedly awaiting a visit from old St Nick. It transpired that said Nick was going through a bit of a hard time what with the nasty allegations made by one of the junior elves about Santa’s penchant for water sports parties and had thus decided he would not be gracing us with his brandy infused presence (or presents). Luckily Stewart was at hand to step into the oversized breeches and save Christmas, Tenants in hand he merrily distributed the Poundland tat, bringing great joy to every girl and boy. By this point Jack had drunk half a beer enhancing his libido significantly and was casting disturbing looks at some innocent first years, apparently his gaze was meant to communicate he was DTF unfortunately the acronym NTS (needs to shit) would have been more appropriate. With the formalities out of the way the true fun could begin with a couple of rounds of sock-wrestling, this entirely erotic display involving rampant competitors violently trashing around on the floor desperately trying to disrobe the other of their sock is always a joy to witness and truly demonstrates the lofty heights of human evolution. What with all the forceful rounds of sock wrestling and all of that walking malarkey people seemed to be getting pretty tiered luckily there was ample quantities of gin at hand to reinvigorate the fatiguing walkers. In a very sensible and entirely thought through plan I decided the best and most effective way to transmit gin to the blood stream is though the eye ball and hence proceeded to pour large quantities of G and not so much T in to the eyes of
myself and several fated walkers. I maintain that this was a brilliant idea as I certainly don’t remember what happened afterwards and managed to add new meaning to the term blind drunk. That is pretty much a summation of the Christmas trip as I remember it which is almost certainly entirely accurate. Claire Lyons
Hogmanay on Islay The New Year’s trip this year took place on the lovely island Islay. On the 30th we all left the city and headed for the west coast of Scotland. Anton was touring Europe and took the chance to join us for one more trip. On the way up Steve entertained his passengers with a very random selection of CD’s. His accent also changed every forty-five minutes and whilst talking to one of the ferrymen he put on a very heavy Scottish accent. When I asked him why he explained that he felt it was more polite to address the scots in their own accent…I’m not sure if they agree. The sun was starting to set on our journey with the ferry from Kennacraig to Port Askaig. The weather was sunny and we enjoyed views of Jura and Islay. Edward was getting ever more excited about the possibility of getting some stunning shots of the sunset. After getting off the ferry we drove across the island to Port Charlotte were we would stay for the celebrations. We put our things in the hostel, rushed back into the cars and drove towards the west. After ten minutes or so we stopped and ran up a hill get a good vantage point. When we reached the top we sadly found another big hill blocking the entire view of the sunset. I have never seen so many disappointed people with cameras around their necks.
On the morning of the 31st the whiskey enthusiasts went on a tour to visit Islay’s many distilleries. The rest of the group decided to go for a walk. Just before we headed out I went back to my room to get my jacket. But there I found that the door was locked. It seemed the two lovebirds inside did not have the patience to wait until people had actually left the hostel. Gregor solved the problem by banging on the door and shouting various things, killing any romantic mood on the other side.
The first obstacle on our walk was a stream 20 meters from the hostel. The boys and Lucy made it over fine, but a clumsy me slipped on the run-up and ended up jumping into the stream and not over it. My jeans were soaked and covered in sand but I couldn’t go back to change because the door to my room would definitely be locked again. Later in the day everyone headed out in different directions to explore the island, except Callum. He had been feeling feverish and ill the whole day. When you looked him there was also something different about his head. At the doctor’s he was told that he had mumps. He spent the day in bed so that he could take part in the celebrations later (a decision which would later have severe consequences for Lucy). The mumps didn’t stop Callum from cooking up a delicious beef stew. The dessert was eaten without hands and cutlery, and port was served in bowls. A new drinking game was also invented when shots of a Scandinavian liqueur was passed around to everyone. If you want to know what we got up to after midnight, the burns speech sums up the New Year’s Eve antics pretty well. 19
The day after, a full Scottish breakfast was served and the bravest in the group went for a swim despite the heavy rain and winds. In the evening, Jim entertained us with a quiz on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, historic generals and other topics which we had disappointingly little knowledge about. The points per round averaged around 2/10. The next morning we packed our bags and headed back to Edinburgh. As always, the trip had been full of great food, beer, whisky and people. No hills were climbed but we still had a fantastic time discovering Islay’s beaches and breweries. Looking back, I’m very grateful for being a heavy sleeper. I think some dubious nighttime activities went on in my room; I one time heard Callum exclaim: “I can’t swallow when Gregor’s stroking my nipples!” Tonje Moen
Winter Skills The day stated as many days in EUHWC do – a dark trudge to a dark carpark, and a dark drive out of a dark Edinburgh. However, this was a special one – following week of dreich weather, the hills beckoned with beaming sun and plenty of fresh snow to practice our winter skills. After a wee spit stop at the Bridge of Cally Hotel, we were hillward bound. Unfortunately, it seems most of Scotland had similar plans, and the route to our desired hills by Glenshee were thwarted by a full ski centre, a closed road, and an overflowing Spittal. Fear not! We battled onward, and found ourselves on the slopes of Creag Na Cuinneige. At 400m it’s not the highest thing EUHWC’s been seen on, but deep snow and ample ground to practice new tricks. Jack and Tonje took one group, Ed, Callum and Stuart took the other, with the ever knowledgeable Mehmet providing additional skills to both groups.
Walking, sliding, digging, sliding, ice axe arrests, sliding, and some sliding were practiced – unfortunately the fresh snow fall didn’t leave much in the way of ice to get the crampons out! Digging and sliding found common ground when a small ‘bothy bag luge’ was established, demonstrating that EUHWC have what it takes to keep morale high and bodies warm on the hill. A fantastic day out, many essential skills learnt and practiced on what was for many their first Scottish hillwalking winter experience. Jack Gillespie
Cannich (Burns) Drunken pipers, offensive haiku’s and a golden ice axe…of course could only ever be found together on the EUHWC burn’s trip. Once again EUHWC descended on Cannich en masse for a weekend of food, drink, poetry and perhaps just a little walking. Before setting off we were already one (wo-)man down, with poor Lucy stuck in bed with mumps, leaving me as first sufferer of said disease with a heavy dose of guilt. This incident perfectly illustrated the importance of a full stop, when Jim exclaimed: “Lucy’s got mumps. Fucking Callum!” Moving on though…. In homage to the occasion I thought I’d compose a wee ditty, I really do hope it isn’t awful and shitty. You see poems in the yearbook I’ve done before, And I’m starting to fear I’m becoming a bore. History has shown Burn’s isn’t a weekend for walking, Instead plenty of beer, whiskey and talking. Once again the forecast looked bleak Yet off everyone set in search of a peak. However, when quickly the snow started falling, Gregor’s poor wee car found the weather appalling. Whilst following Mead up a rather steep hill, His clutch the slush did endeavour to kill. Off raced Mead in one of his stupid hats, He really is a rather big prat. Stuck at the bottom our plans in tatters, We remembered it’s not the summit that matters. A lump of 500 became our aim, A small wee thing without even a name. First there was sun, followed by snow, Then the wind really gave one hell of a blow. Walking at times became little bit tricky, All left wanting a wee dram of whiskey. With the weather so bad no walk went to plan, Despite all the hope when the day had began. Our lump it seemed was the day’s highest summit, Bringing much joy to all who had done it. In the kitchen chaos began, 22
Neeps and tatties filling every pan. Cream needed whisking, Or Tonje’s wrath we were risking. Soon off all ran to fetch their tartan, As outside the night did darken. Kilt, scarf, even a daft jimmy hat. Faux pa Struan you should know that. In came Donald piping the haggis, Then up stepped Jim to making the address. His trusty gold ice axe held in one hand, With his speech a night of poetry began. All was ready, the fun could begin. So up stepped El President to do his thing. Lucy was watching from the phone, To hear Alex’s speech before hearing her own. In place of poor wee Lucy, Who’d written a speech oh so juicy. Pascale read the lasses reply, And with much delight, the speech she let fly. Owain in charge demanded a Haiku, Then everything went a little bit cuckoo. Without coordination or even conferring, Simon and Gregor’s brains started whirring. Both proudly stood to say their teams’ piece, And afterward the laughter ne’er did cease. For both had decided, that, Owain is a twat. Then mountaineering of the table variety, Not a hint in the room of any sobriety. Then the reels Donald struck up, To start up a dance, all put down their cup.
The piper we saw then started swaying, I’ve really no idea how he continued playing. Donald it seemed drank all that’d he wished, And now was left frightfully pished. Waking in the morning with many a sore head, Many just wanting to go back to bed. Off we went for a bit of a faff, 23
Around a loch on a nice gentle path. Arriving home the weekend a success, At Burn’s the club really is at its best. I hope you all enjoyed the weekend as much as me, and if you weren’t there that you can experience the delights of a EUHWC Burn’s weekend next year. Callum Girdwood
There’s nothing wrong with anal. – Jack Let’s look at some tits. – Stuart
Toast to the Lassies Welcome one and all to my speech this evening, hopefully this won’t result in any of you leaving, As in these next couple of minutes I hope you’ll agree, I’ve done my best to honour the lassies of EUHWC.
And she couldn’t be here tonight as she’s ill and recovering in bed, maybe you should stop kissing everything that moves and has a head.
Oh where do I start, errrr yes it has to be Lucy, I’ve got lots on her, it’s incredibly juicy. One of the lassies from Yorkshire, she’s obsessed with the perfect brew, and mad enough about Doctor Who that she dyed her hair blue.
For a while we were wondering about Luce and Boyne’s cuddles, which really annoyed Stuart who “... hates couples who aren’t couples!”, It confused us on the Western Isles when she emerged from bed, having had Gregor make her bleed with a punch to the head.
When it comes to the sexes her persuasion’s unclear, as she enjoys a bit of lesbian snogging after some beer, It started with her flatmate Rachel, Pascale, then wee Lucy, but it didn’t stop there it gets even more saucy. As she then pounced upon Jaz, with that irresistible nutcase pizzazz, And never one to miss out, with regards to making out, Julia got in on the action to sample the cuisine, it’s such a shame you had to leave for Aberdeen! Lucy has a colourful history with disease, it doesn’t usually phase her, for example she got dengue fever on her trip to South Asia,
She’s a hillwalker whose body is horrifically broke, but that doesn’t stop her walking up hills with us folk, She usually has to fix her back with an audible crack, worrying now you’ve FINALLY got violent man Boyne in the sack! I think that’s enough about Lucy now onto Jaz, our resident nutter and a well travelled lass, At the start of this year she enjoyed to boast, about the tickets to Hawaii that had arrived in the post, You’d be fooled to think there’s a man tempting her to travel over, instead she’s got her heart set on a Yorkshireman south of the border. When she’s not galavanting around Canada or wrestling a bear, 25
she’ll be climbing a mountain and flaunting her gorgeous orange hair, When she’s walking with Skirton they make a raucous pair, but we’re still waiting for the naked calendar so we can put it up and stare. Many of our lassies are great cooks, a trait that will get you into any guys good books, But Pascale bucks the trend by eating al fresco, from the bins outside the back at Tesco, Claire is more upmarket with food that’s begun to decompose, preferring instead a meal from the bins at Waitrose.
no doubt to stay near her master, and trained to make breakfast in bed. When she’s not hiding in the granny flat, you’ll probably find Ruth sat on a guys lap, It all starts off with making some tea, and before you know it she’s sat herself on your knee. Ruth’s in charge of booking buses for the club, and finding potential drivers for them at the pub, not a strange coincidence then, that all our bus drivers are men. It’s hard to decipher who she’s really after, but some recent observations might provide an answer, There’re these two medics who always claim they’re working, a statement that is always followed by smirking, I’m told by a highly reliable source, that Struan is the new dark horse. Tonje’s always giving out her mobile number, I’m sure it being the quote phone is just a cover, After a sudden change of plans, the reason’s unclear, the wee Viking jumped ship to join us at New Year,
When it comes to drink Claire really likes her Gin, that magical liquid gives her such a big grin, In Braemar on Owain’s shoulders with a jug, she was getting herself ready to chug, But didn’t do it quite right and as her prize, missed her mouth and poured it all in her eyes, New Year’s Eve for Claire was also a Gin soaked mess, and I didn’t fare too well either with the Whisky, I confess. Now moving swiftly onto Ruth who usually cries, when she’s the subject of a speech given by us guys. Ruth’s incredibly bossy it has to be said, and she’s figured out how to get into Suzannah’s head, When wee Lucy is in Inverness Suzannah sleeps at the flat in her stead,
But on New Year’s eve she got more than she bargained for, walking in on Steph and Simon who forgot to lock the door, Katia and Roy were just as discrete, also neglecting that lock whilst busy generating heat. When it comes to outdoor sports Jude is totally insane, she’s always climbing - there must be something wrong with her brain, Recently when bouldering up high on some ridiculous crack, she fell and broke both ankles with an audible thwack, The doctors they told her to rest up in bed, but she decided to train for a half-marathon instead. Briony’s equally mad when it comes to outdoor pursuits, 26
be it camping, slacklining or anything with boots, When she’s not studying geology by staring at a rock, she likes nothing more than riding a … mountain bike. Joy is another lassie who loves getting out into the hills, but when discussing bodily functions she usually giggles, As when giving a talk she struggles to concentrate, as her PhD focus is cancer of the male prostate. When it comes to flirting some of the lassies aren’t very subtle, some of them clearly can’t wait to be part of a couple. Rose has little concept of personal space, I think all she wants to do is embrace, She took this to extremes at the Big Cheese, grinding Ed and Gregor who did not feel at ease. Rachel’s advances go without being ignored, not surprising as she’s holder of a “flirt of the year” award, Now she’s back in Edinburgh she’s turned her affection, in tall dark and handsome Justin’s direction. There’s been a big influx of new lassies this year, and one of them quickly caught Edwards ear, He was quick to make a move for this lady, wasting no time he asked her out at the Ceilidh. He immediately regretted asking the question, due to an understandable fear of rejection, But to his surprise she replied with a yes, what a terrible taste in men, she couldn’t have gone for less. The rest of us guys are really bemused that, Monika has fallen for such an annoying twat, I bet it’s part of her devious plan - wouldn’t that be a pity, she’s probably just manipulating her way onto the committee. The highlands are usually a peaceful and tranquil place, but not when a high-pitched screech erupts from Katy’s face, And when she’s joined on the hill by Steph, you’re almost certainly going to go deaf, But balance is restored when Lucy appears, with her low husky voice to pleasure your ears. Freyja listens to music on the hill to drown out their squawking, or maybe she just finds the guys chat really boring, And when the batteries run out you might hear her singing, or attempting to do accents - it’s really annoying. Where would our club be, without all of thee, A far duller place, we’d be left staring into space, 27
If you haven’t been mentioned tonight please don’t be upset, you probably just haven’t revealed your antics just yet. So guys - please be upstanding, and join me in a toast, To our wonderful lassies, about whom we do love to boast, TO THE LASSIES!
The Lassies’ Reply Getting his panoramic view of everyone’s rear Now let’s move onto the guys in the club Though they’re the minority they create quite a fuss
Though rumor has it he’s had his eyes on our girls And is getting close to a lady with red headed curls
Generally their conversations are poor Constantly comparing their munro score Passing grunts from bloke to bloke Or Edward giggling at some immature joke We want more women, they pleaded and pleaded, And let’s be honest, our presence is needed Now there aren’t many female walk leaders about and I was wondering why and I’ve figured it out! We’ve taken Nav courses but after our third or our forth We hillwalking women seem to get attracted to North Once Stu’s arms around a girl you just can’t compete He’s always prepped and groomed for some new fresh meat On nights out when we’re all dancing and unwinding, It’s no surprise to turn around to find Stuie grinding Though there are many baggers among us tonight For Stuie, two large peaks is just right… He’s such a smooth talker with style and class, And when he walks away you stand there stunned by his sass. For a true scot like Stu this is an important night, We need to get burns supper just right For such a trim fella haggis is a wee bit fatty, But he’s fond a neep and just loves a good tattie Though Justin is known for walking epic slogs, He’s becoming an expert at the downward dog, Is it to improve his balance that he moves so slow, or is it so that from his mat he can enjoy the show? In the back of the room you’ll find our Mountaineer,
Some of our trips Arnaud cannot resist, Flying all the way over to walk in the mist Or spend a whole night dancing and shaking those hips Sweetening us with chocolate to get on our trips Now of course I need to mention El Presidente, He keeps his gossip quiet, though I’m sure there’s plenty, His history is squeaky clean we wonder what goes on behind that screen? When facebook hacking his face lights up with glee as Edward Tissiman just liked the SNP Did Alex go to university too young? It seems like Cambridge sucked out all the fun. And he didn’t fully get to be an unruly teen so with one drop of alcohol he’ll cause quite a scene In Knoydart after a few bowls of port Alex began to feel out of sort So of course he then downed a glass of ale 29
And quickly became a bit dizzy and pale he made the cheekiest grin, and couldn’t take anymore and then projectile vomited over the entire kitchen floor. I have to say we were all quite impressed He definitely won the distance contest Alex is getting quite famous for his social drinking I can’t count the tally of pints he’s been sinking And Hogmanay is becoming a bit of a tradition To beat last year’s hangover seems to be the new mission He certainly gave it his all in Islay this year When he woke up next morning with a head filled with beer
Getting himself stranded at sea on a rock Triggering Steph to scream out in shock Siiiiiiiiiiimon has become a classic cry He loves making Steph’s worries amplify These two have been given a love potion dose As you’ll often find them inseparably close On Islay we went for a walk down by the shore Coming back to find Tonje couldn’t open her door Simon and Steph had gone for a private *ahem* “snooze” Leaving Tonje in the corridor without any shoes Jim, You’re still here. Though Jack is still quite new to the clan He’s been trying to fit in as fast as he can Turning up to each party on time And then passing out from just one glass of wine With his well styled hair and cool music taste He found our nice niche arty crowd with haste Getting that perfect hipster look is one of his hardest struggles He’s resorted to knitwear tips from our Douggles
The locals started to show concern When during the firework display he screeched LET IT ALL BURN For hours Islay was filled with a high pitched scream And serious conversations about the colour green You’d think, for the club, Alex wouldn’t be so great When meeting new fresher’s in his slurring state But we still have new members; at first it was weird, Then it suddenly made sense, it’s all down to the beard. After not shaving for a week away Everyone was begging for the beard to stay The beard has been around ever since then Explaining the sixty forty ratio of women to men
Doug is becoming an annoying flatmate With all these lady’s staying over late They’re all lovely lasses, though after a tipple They keep saying something about a third nipple? Moving on from Chug with his heart filled with joy, To the man that we're all warned not to annoy Why is Gregor social sec, he really should quit His attempt at people skills is really quite shit. Dark twisted humor and eyes filled with hate At the pub crawl he'll black list anybody who’s late He’s ginger cunt and not known for his glamour Grumpy, obnoxious and obsessed with his grammar He’s sulky rude and never much fun He’s got 99 problems, but he’s dating a Nunn
With winter walking there’s always a danger, And to some, the adrenaline rush is no stranger Diving through cornices and sliding down slopes Climbing grade three scrambles with no sign of a rope 30
With his heart on a different woman each day And his tinder range set to all of the UK We thought ol’ Tissiman would be alone forever, As he was getting nowhere with his desperate endeavor
Struan in this club you will go far, If only because you have a car His secret keeping skills are really quite pathetic We’ve all seen him getting chummy with our other medic Now Cullum has been doing his best to delay me In writing this speech I’ve been working on daily He tried to be a lady and have a snoop At the hillwalking women’s gossip group Then he went too far, did our sugar lumps, When he went and gave me fricken mumps!!! He had a hamster face and his glands did swell But he's got such a massive head that no one could tell, So at midnight he went round giving everyone a lick Spreading the virus, the idiotic prick When Jan’s heading for a summit there’s no time to dally He just wants to increase his muro tally And his knowledge of English profanities ain’t that shabby When he’s discussing his hatred for Downtown Abbey Now let’s move on to the special case of Ed Who’s used to having all the girls in his bed But his patience was starting to wear very thin As they’d always get out if he ever got in!
Then along comes a smart, pretty, American chick Who we can only assume took pity, and acted quick Monicas influence has been rather dramatic He can now speak to us lassies without having a panic Ed’s girlfriend only has one thing to fear And that’s his unwavering love for hillwalking gear Eds relationship status leaves a vacancy in our clan The woman obsessed, slightly desperate man
Karl’s now back in the burgh full time And his chat up lines are in their prime He was so close to taking a girl to the next stage Till it was over when Karl refused share his age Dates with Peter Pan are a bit of a risk, But we keep him around, who else has fisk!? Mead’s now a Doctor, have you not heard? He’s just so modest, and never uttered a word His jokes are slowly becoming less x rated Is it possible Meady’s becoming domesticated? Owain Simpson’s a fucking nutcase But he moves around with such style and grace
Shaking that booty in yellow dungarees Singing “Boxers are for losers I need to feel free!” Charming the ladies with all his sweet talk Like 'have a feel, I’m as hard as a rock' His arse that is, he's proud that it’s pert, And imagines himself on some perfume advert 31
As our safety man, on him we're relying So we feel so at ease when he keeps talking about dying He's organized, responsible and runs a tight ship Then lets us all down when he sleeps through a trip. So there we have it, the clubs poor excuse for guys, Grumpy, drunk, in need of exercise, But do you know what? We love them, It was quite hard to find their flaws for this poem They make us laugh, they make us cry and most of the time they really do try Max, Donald, and all men new You’ve got quite a bit to live up to, So let’s all raise our glasses, after that fantastic grub, To the wonderful men of the Hillwalking Club
My passion for you burns. In places in shouldn’t.
Valentines in Kingussie
I want your mountains. You want my glen.
Valentines fell on the same weekend as the club’s trip to Kingussie. The ratio of women to men on this trip was slightly lower than usual; 3 women only and 22 men. Were they planning to hide out in the highlands until the pink and romantic pressures had passed? Well, Lucy and I managed to sabotage their plans pretty well. After spotting some beautiful heart shaped decorations in Pitlochry, Lucy decided the budged could be stretched to allow this trip to be turned into the most romantic in
I’ll be your body, if you’ll be my ice axe.
I’ve got the brains, you’ve got the looks. Let’s never speak.
Arrest me! the club’s history. On separate walks, Lucy, Rose and I had very lovely dates in the mountains. Lucy and I enjoyed the attention from more than half a dozen boys each and Rose had one man’s unwavering attention. Throughout the day, Alex Adler and Jan walked closely together. It seemed innocent at first but after a while their flirting became less and less subtle. Speaking in German, Alex and Jan kept complementing each other’s eyes and beauty. Back at the hostel they were seen sharing sausages. Lucy cooked a wonderful curry and upside-down pineapple cake which was served in a candle lit room filled with heart shaped balloons. The romantic atmosphere was incredibly strong and with the help of a few pints the boys started to relax and hillwalking inspired love declarations were passed across tables (some were collected for the yearbook). On the Sunday, high winds made walking difficult. The major part of the day was spent eating chocolate in the minibus, looking a crampons in Aviemore and eating pancakes in Pitlochry. Jan sat himself behind Alex who was driving the minibus. Through the mirror their eyes where frequently locked in intense passion.
I want to put you in a little dress and hurt you.
Something was definitely in the air. I want to explore your hidden glen.
I’m a ten, you’re a one.
Damn, you’re a sexy fish!
Let’s make average babies.
My love for you is eternal, like the sun chasing the moon
I’m going to duct tape my whole ass. – Tonje The pee can be a bit of an issue if you take friends in your car. – Rose
Glen Shiel This Glen is made famous for the battle of Glen Shiel in 1719 where British government forces squared off against the Jacobites and the Spanish. For hillwalkers and outdoorsy nuts alike it’s more well known for its beautiful ridges and its isolated and reasonably priced pub; the Cluanie Inn. As usual we stayed in Ratagan youth hostel where this year we got welcomed by a cute collie dog.
This had to be one of the most exciting club meets due to the kayaking club’s attempt to infiltrate and destabilize. The top secret agent Pascal was sent in to fight for women’s right to kayak on the lovely Loch Duich. The organisers became worried that Pascal’s passion would start a riot among the trip participants and they decided the best way to avoid trouble would be to tie Pascale to the roof rack on the way to Glen Shiel. However sport union regulations wouldn’t allow it. In the end no one kayaked but we did do some awesome walks. There were many daring walks on offer; one group attempted to tackle all the brothers and the sisters together, but despite their daring efforts they ran out of daylight and weather! This trip will go down in history as the one with the best faff walk. After recruiting Stuart and Struan, Callum took a strong group of fellow faffers to see the “Jesus towers”, lumps of ancient stone piled up by men long dead. Callum got rather hot under the collar with excitement. There was still plenty of winter fun to be had with plenty of chances to play in snow on the descents off the Munros. I started a bet with Jasmin on how many times we’d fall over, graceful as always on the slopes. Sadly I lost and had to buy her a pint.
Lucy, our treasurer, was struck down by illness but bravely stayed in to cook us an awesome meal, serving a strange twist on Yorkshire pudding as dessert. They were cooked with fruit and, in spite of sounding very gross at the time, were just amazing. Our club’s very own Arnaud finished his last Munro in the Glen, as ever in a good mood there was a whole heap of chocolate to enjoy!
This year’s visit was pulled off by Lucy and Edward who struggled against the odds after Tiso decided it wouldn’t loan boots. They worked their hardest to get hold of Tiso Fort William and successfully saved the trip for our many shoeless. This trip had it all, snow, hills, espionage and a banter bus load of passion. Siônyn Ford
‘Arran Trip’ Recipe Ingredients: 23 Hillwalkers 1 Island 2 ferry crossings 1 log fire 20 or more sticky toffee puddings 5 Corbett’s 1 Fish and Chip Shop Method: 1. Mix your flavourful bunch of hillwalkers together and then sift them into various vehicles heading towards the Isle of Arran. 2. Toss your fruity hillwalkers onto the ferry and allow them to marinate in the view of the delectable sunset. 3. Once your hillwalkers have thoroughly stewed on their crossing you can whip then back into a frenzy to skim them along to their zesty youth hostel. 4. After your hillwalkers and some of their cars have battered their way up to the hostel, you can let them simmer in the atmosphere of the evening; with log fire sing-alongs, monopoly games and copious bottles of wine on the menu. (With some early risers ahead, this is just what your hillwalkers knead.) 5. Some of the keen beans may choose to rise at the premature hour of 3am; they will be severely underdone at this point. 6. Let your keen beans lead by the tasty Alex Collins get flakily boiled up to try and see the sunrise on the top of Goatfell only to find themselves stuck in a heavy dusting of fog. 7. As the day goes on allow your hillwalkers to get steamed up by the increasingly delicious views of the island but make sure your hillwalkers are not chopped to pieces as they scramble across the rising peaks of the Corbett’s. 8. After your hillwalkers have cooked up a mouth-watering day of hillwalking, permit them to thoroughly ferment and enjoy a superb feast with heartfelt thanks to the chefs, just hope that all your hillwalkers don’t get too poached! 9. Now that your hillwalkers have simmered the night away it is now time for them to sift the Island all having a scrumptious time exploring the coast, caves and beaches. 10. When your hillwalkers have diced the island for all its worth with numerous tea room trips and a yummy frolicking in the playground your jaunt is just about done, just dust it off with a stop at the chippy and then it is time for your hillwalkers to dissolve their various ways. This recipe makes for a delicious trip; thanks to all those who helped cook it up! Freyja Hedinsson
Achmelvich Attractive and single women (in this club) don’t seem to stay attractive or single very long. – Steve That’s why tears are so tasty. – Daniel I just tell Suzannah what to do and she does it. – Ruth Ed doesn’t have a girlfriend, does he? Yes, Monika. But she’s a nice girl! – Kirsty
It’s been a very long time since I wrote an article for the EUHWC yearbook (13 years fact fans!), and a pretty long time since I’ve been up to Achmevich. The last time I was there was five years ago for a very wintry New Year’s trip with some ex EUHWC members. It was so snowy one person skied to Lochinver on the beach, and we were snowed in (at sea level) for 3 days and had to grit the road to get out. Given the number of dramatic things that occurred (went tits up) on my previous trip, I was hopeful for a slightly smoother and less eventful trip this time round, although possibly replicating the ceilidh on the beach! Over the years when packing for a trip I have gone from bringing one bag when I first joined the club, to (many years later) a car boot full of kit. I’m not sure how this inability to pack efficiently anymore has happened. This must be what it’s like when one has children. Things that used to require very little apart from putting your shoes on and leaving the house seem to suddenly require six months’ notice, a risk assessment and a logistics co-ordinator.
A trip to the hills these days seems to require the following “essentials”:
All the usual hillwalking kit Spare clothes (probably enough to last about a week). Guitar. Banjo. Fiddle. Wetsuit, wet-boots, gloves, hat (if going to a coastal location) Heavy duty wetsuit (in case going to a very cold coastal location) Bodyboard (if going to a location with good surf) Skis (in case of good snow) Climbing skins (see above) Avalanche probe (see skis) Avalanche shovel (see skis) Avalanche transceiver (see skis) Pans for club meals (because hostels never have enough) Knives to cook club meals (see above)
Of course to throw a slight spanner in the works I was ill on the Friday when we left, so we didn’t get away until gone 16:30 when our planned departure was 13:30. This lateness was a developing trend of the weekend. The drive up was spectacularly uneventful and fairly quick, with a stop in Ullapool for fish and chips from the Seaforth (the best option if you’re in Ullapool and want fish and chips). We were only slightly delayed by a badger jumping in front of my car (and running away un-flattened) and arrived in the hostel in good time to wait for several hours for the rest of the trip members to turn up, faff around, put up tents where applicable, decide to plan walks, plan walks, get round to announcing the walks and then eventually sign everyone up onto one.
No distracting me Tonje, I’m planning death. – Callum Unfortunately the weather for the Saturday was looking decidedly unpleasant in Assynt so I took the executive decision to drive 85 miles further north to avoid the bad weather, and in no way because I was looking to bag the most northerly hill in the country over 3000 feet.
After a slightly later than planned departure from the hostel, our drive to Ben Hope started out wet and dried out as the drive went on, and a mere two hours later we were at the bottom of the walk. Ben Hope turned out to be a rather pleasant if short walk. Our group was glad to carry their superfluous ice axes all the way to the summit. We even got the chance to sunbathe on the way down, before a much more pleasant drive back via the caves at Durness. As we headed back to Assynt we were once again enveloped in cloud and rain. The news of our sunbathing exploits was gladly received by all when we returned to the dryingroomless Achmelvich hostel slightly over filled with additional EUHWC members who had elected to camp and also full of everyone else, all of whom seemed to have spent most of the day soaking up the best atmospheric conditions that an occluded front bringing a low pressure from the Atlantic can provide. As the fresh paint ran down the walls mixed in with the condensation, and we breathed in the heady aroma of damp hillwalking gear, some of us decided to strike up a tune, and by the middle of the evening, something of a hoedown or ceilidh as one may call it in these parts, was in full swing. Special mention should be given to Abby Westover and Steph Ward for their amazing ukelele playing, and Daniel Hanrahan for his great guitar playing. An even more special mention should go to Callum Girdwood for his drunken rendition of “seven days and seven drunken nights”, including the seventh verse.
The following day was something of a complete change. The day dawned bright and cloud free and my group headed up Ben More Coigach. This turned out to be a good choice as although the walk in was rough, the views across Loch Broom and over to Harris and Lewis beyond the summer isles were amazing. We even managed to get a cloud inversion over the sea which was somewhat out of the ordinary. Joy needed to get back in time in order to make dinner for the ravenous hordes, so we hot footed it back to the hostel and sat outside enjoying the peaceful atmosphere while indoors, cake and curry was prepared. I even managed to hang up the remaining wet gear festooning the hostel living room on the new fangled washing line outside. I then went for a swim, partly to justify the fact I’d actually brought 2 wetsuits with me in the car, and partly because frankly, unlike other members of the trip, I didn’t feel like I’d gotten wet enough…. After an amazing meal cooked as always by the committee, we headed to the beach for a campfire and marshmallow toasting session. You don’t have to be a stripper to be loved. – Abby It’s a little less dry if you put a sausage in it. – Steve
The following day, (after a later than planned start), we drove to the Cairngorms and I took my skis for a walk. The skis rather enjoyed the walk more than I did (because I was carrying the skis). On the plus side, I did spend about 60% of my time actually on the skis, and managed to (just) beat Joy’s group back to my car., down a thin ribbon of snow. On the whole I spent most of the day wishing I’d not bothered to take them, but it was as always, worth it for the decent. I did manage to leave Joy looking after the group I was nominally in charge of all day which was good for me, and great for Joy’s navigation practice! On the whole, this was a great weekend. One of my best with the club, but that was greatly helped by the fantastic bunch who came along, and all the hard work of the meet organisers who made the trip run smoothly! Steve Deslandes
Glencoe: A Collection of Haikus Saturday was spring, The Sunday a fierce blizzard: Bipolar highlands. Mehmet brought chocolate— Arnaud's competition for Fattening the club. Aonach Eagach Ridge, Callums 1 and 2 and friends Roped up behind us. Training trip was there, Working hard for both the days: They played with play-doh. Meanwhile the baggers Made us wait for dinner time And did five Munros. Jaz the cooking whiz Made up a lovely chilli. Alex botched brownies.
To the Clachaig Inn— Some pints with the stag party And shirtless bikers. Spring water to drink Does not always bode well, brings Earwigs, stomach aches. Skiiers on Sunday Cursed our bum-sliding efforts, Wished for sweet revenge. Jaz was heard to say, “Owain is like a pet dog.” Or teletubby.
Drama afterwards— Mead blamed his crabs on Glencoe: “I itch all over.” Overall success, With fantastic company And breathtaking hills.
I have had a period before. – Owain
EUHWC Sock Wrestling Champions
Men Jack Gregor Simon Owain Callum
1 2 3 4 10
1 2 3 4 5
(Disqualified due to foul play)
Women Lucy Skirton Claire Julia Lucy Wormald
The Unbeaten EUHW Sock Wrestling Champion
Photo Competition Winners Landscape – Alex Collins
On the hill – Kirsty Liggat
Off the hill – Kirsty Liggat
Looking good – Edward Tissiman
Extreme – Callum Girdwood
End of Year Awards Golden Boot Award: Which fresher has shown the most enthusiasm this year? Donald Anderson
All the gear and no idea (Edward Tissiman award): Who has the best, shiny new gear but no idea what to do with it? Freyja Hedinsson & Callum Girdwood
Bagger of the year: Who goes out of their way to get that extra Munro? Monika O’Shea
Epic award: Which walk this year was the most ridiculously long, gruelling and painful? Alex Collins and his ‘Arran Sunrise’ walk
Faffer of the year (Callum Girdwood award): Who pisses around on walks and holds everybody up by changing their water proof trousers five minutes after everyone else? Callum Girdwood & Edward Tissiman
Quotes I play the trombone. So I have a talented tongue and quick fingers…and I blow hard. – Callum I’m an exhausted elephant being attacked by lions. – Edward It’s more painful with woman on woman than woman on man. – Lucy N It’s damp…Jasmin damp. – Jasmin Can you wait just a minute? I’m not capable of doing more than one person at once. – Lucy N
You guys would not approve of the contents of my hard drive. – Rose People wank all over the world, Doug. – Pascale I’ve enjoyed you as a president. Lucy N It’s no fun if it’s gentle. – Jude The sweatier the better. – Nicole
I don’t understand Jan. He’s quite an attractive guy but he seems to prefer mountains over girls. – Steve