Update from our meets secretary – March 2022

Hello Folks,

How are you all doing? I hope you’re all keeping well and able to get out and about to enjoy the lovely weather we’re having just now. All this lovely spring weather might have our thoughts turning to the thought of Ancrum Weekend Meets, it does mine at least. I have a lot of information for this email, so make yourself a cuppa or pour yourself a wee refreshment and settle down for a wee read. (Scotty- please read to the end!).

After the happy resumption of weekend meets, with precautions, in November and December (Santa did find us!) and a short Omicron induced hiatus in February and March, I am happy to announce that the first Ancrum weekend meet of 2022 is to The Cabin, the Edinburgh JMCS’s Hut, at Laggan. This is a good central spot for the Creag Meagaidh Group, Beinn a’Chlachair, The Eassians, The Grey Corries, The Ben, The Dalwhinnie/ Drumochter Hills, The Monadhliadh and the Cairngorms, to name but a few and to ski-ing at Nevis Range and Cairngorm of course. It’s also close to Laggan Wolftrax, for Mountain Biking . A good spot with something for everyone.

Here’s the gen:

When: April 1st-3rd 2022

Where: The Cabin, Laggan.

Location:  Balgowan, Inverness-shire, 7 miles SW of Newtonmore and 1 mile E of Laggan, on a single track road just north of the A86 Newtonmore to Spean Bridge road.

Grid Ref:    Hut:   NN 63898 94391            Car park:   NN 63812 94355        

Lat/Long:   Hut:   57.0205 N, 4.2440 W     Car park:   57.0201 N, 4.2449 W

Postcode:   PH20 1BS (for satnav).

Access:   From the south:  turn off the A9 through Dalwhinnie onto the A889 then, after 8.5 miles, turn right onto the A86 at the T-junction just after the (closed) Monarch hotel, then follow the A86 through Laggan. About 1 mile after Laggan take the second turning on the left into Balgowan (just before the west gate of Cluny Castle), and follow this single track road to the car park. This is on the right, about 300m from the A86, soon after the Tigh an Each B&B. There is space for 6 (carefully parked) cars. There is a short walk in, approx. 5-10 minutes- you will need your head torch. The access path is on the left of the car park, facing into it. Follow the track up the hillside and round to the right behind the trees, to reach the hut in about 100m (I’ll say it again, don’t forget your head torch!).

From the west:  follow the A86 through Laggan, and continue as above.

From the north:  turn off the A9 through Newtonmore onto the A86 and follow this for 7 miles to a turning on the right signposted Balgowan, just to the west of the west gate of Cluny Castle. This is the single track road mentioned above – follow this to the car park.

Accommodation:   Ten people: eight on two alpine-style sleeping platforms, and two on bunk beds in an adjoining small room, all with mattresses  (bring your own sleeping bag and pillow). We have exclusive use of the hut. No camping is allowed in the vicinity of the hut.

Facilities: All the usual refinements-  Electric lighting/heating/ cooking / hot water ( all on coin meter), wood and coal burning stove (we need to bring our own wood or peat, or buy it at the Filling Station in Newtonmore or Dalwhinnie), H&C water, WC, shower, drying room, kettle,  microwave, 2 fridges, and crockery and kitchen utensils are supplied. There is also a hifi system with CD player apparently (sing along time or a wee dance perhaps?).

We will need Sleeping Bags and a pillow if you want one, £1 coins for the Electricity Meter as all the kitchen appliances, heaters, drying room, hot water and lighting are on the coin meter, and a Tea Towel, as there might not be clean ones in the hut. We have up to 10 spaces, i.e. the whole hut. The cost: £12 pp/pn accommodation, Petrol will in the region of £20 for passengers, you will also need a supply of £1 coins for the electricity meter, and there will a nominal charge for fuel for the fire, possibly £2-£3. It’s quite likely we will use the stove, given the weather forecast is for cooler weather next week.

Phone in:  Tuesday 29th March, to Ian , 8pm  to 9pm only.

Coronavirus update: the guidance for Scotland has now changed, with most restrictions now lifted. For Club huts: There are no restrictions on the number of people/households that can meet indoors or share sleeping accommodation- but obviously clubs may have additional rules in place. Hut users should be advised to take a lateral flow test before visiting a hut and ensure adequate ventilation when indoors. Face coverings are not mandatory where there is no public access, however may be advisable in enclosed or crowded spaces. At present, I’ve not been notified of additional requirements from the JMCS. If there is an update, I will pass that on asap.

Current recommendations from the Scottish Government include:

    Open windows when meeting indoors

    Wash your hands regularly, and cover your nose and mouth if coughing or sneezing

    If you don’t have symptoms take regular lateral flow tests – especially before mixing with other people – get LFD tests.

    If you have symptoms, follow the guidance on NHS Inform on self-isolating and booking a test.

    Wear a face covering where required (most public indoor spaces and public transport).

2022 Meets List update:

I have dates for 2022!

  • April 29th– 2nd May- Ronnan Cottage, Aultbea.
  • May 13th – 15th – Camping, area tbc
  • June 24th – 26th – Naismith Hut, Elphin
  • August 12th – 14th – Inver Croft, Achnasheen
  • September 9th – 11th – possibly Ling Hut, Torridon- tbc
  • October 7th – 9th – Blackrock Cottage, Glencoe
  • November 4th-6th -Raeburn Hut, Dalwhinnie- tbc
  • December 2nd – 4th – Milehouse, Kincraig.

Membership fees are now due for this year (2022). The cost is held at £25. This gives you club membership with the MCofS, sorry, Mountaineering Scotland and their magazine and the ability to book the national huts on an individual basis and it helps us fund club activities.Liz can tell you more 😊

Skye Weekend Meet news: As you know we were booked to go to Glen Brittle in May 2020, then transferred to May 2021. Unfortunately, our bookings had to be cancelled. 8 members had paid to go on the 2020 meet and we still have that credit with GBMH bookings. I would like to rebook for the May 2023 long weekend (28th April – May 1st 2023)- there are 20 spaces currently available and I’d like to book while I can. In order to book a sensible number of spaces for the club, I’d like to know who would be interested in going- this is not a commitment, but an indication. With that in mind, if you’re interested in going to Skye next May could you email me by Thursday 31st March. If you paid for 2020, your payment (£15pp/pn) will count towards the cost of your 2023 Skye trip (currently £20pp/pn). Also, if you’re thinking of arranging a guide, it would be helpful to know- we might need extra spaces.

Phew, a bumper edition from me! If you have got this far, well done!

Don’t forget to phone Ian on Tuesday, 29th March for the weekend meet to the Cabin, at Laggan April 1st -3rd. Start hoarding £1 coins for the meter in the hut and let me know if you fancy going to Glen Brittle for the May 2023 long weekend.

I hope you can come along next weekend in Laggan. It’ll be nice to see you.


Your, spring like  Meets Secretary.

Next Meet- May long weekend meet  April 29th– May 2nd, Ronnan Cottage, Aultbea. 8 spaces.


3 thoughts on “Update from our meets secretary – March 2022

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