OK, it wasn't exactly the Ritz, but was absolutely perfect for 23 folks wanting to let their hair down without worry - It even had a bar with a pool table etc. We made ample use of this, and there were some bleary eyes at 07:30 as we mustered for a walk on New Year's Eve.
Carn Dearg in the Monadhliath was to be the objective, predominantly as Dolly (Hayley) wanted it for her munro tally, and who were we to argue? ;) As several of us had done it before, we knew to take the track up the glen, as although less aesthetic than the ascent of Carn Macoul, it would be much less boggy, and not involve any burn crossings, advisable after this rain. In fact, the day dawned crisp and frosty, so very welcome, and the ground was transformed. That said, it still involved a good deal of off-piste peat hag bashing, and it's fair to say everyone found it tough going.
We were rewarded at the summit by easier walking on the neve and frosted grass, as well as brooding winter vistas, complete with a silvery-blue hue that was quite beautiful. It made all the trudge worthwhile, and we took a brief lunch in the sunshine, overlooking Loch Dubh.
The descent was down easy grassy slopes, before some more bog-trotting and a river crossing made tricky by the verglas on the rocks ('use the ones just under the water, they're less slippery....*splash*... oh, and don't bring both feet together on one rock.....') Once back at the track, it was just a case of greet the festive dog walkers, of which there were many, and back to the cars in a respectable 6hrs, given the conditions.
......then back to base, shower, change, eat, and then a torch-lit procession, ceilidh, the bells, and an appearance by the Aurora Borealis....but that's another story!
Happy New Year!