The first of this year's two compleation attempts aimed at Ciste Dhubh took place on the 21st May, as Jeff became Dickens became Munroist No. 5948. (Chris will be treading the same path in July).
A number of DHCers (Bob and Jane, Robert & Linda) joined Jeff, Althea and family and a crowd of fellow walking and climbing friends garnered from the full range of uni through topre-retirement work chums for a fun if rather damp weekend based at the Cluanie Inn in Glen Shiel.
With the date generally fixed well in advance, your last Munro knows you're coming; no picking the ideal good weather window here. It's pay back time for all the nice days. So we assembled our party of a couple of dozen outside the Cluanie on the Saturday morning in damp conditions though not immediately subject to rain.
This held for a little while, the occasional T-shirt even being seen!
.......but soon the clag descended, though the increasing wetness failed to depress the party atmosphere.
We did have to address one incident when one of our old friends, in the face of the conditions, turned out half way up to not be feeling as hill-fit as she expected and usually is. Robert very kindly and gallantly undertook to escort her down - a big thank you for that Robert!
The remainder of the party pressed on, negotiating the final ridge section with the mist swirling round.
The summit was made, with accompanying cornet fanfares...
....though warming things up properly was apparently a bit of a challenge! The obligatory fizz was broken out and passed round, though given the conditions, consumed rather hastily.
When Jeff retired, with the expectation of finishing the Munros soonish, he was presented with a cake of his last Munro summit, complete with icing Mini-Jeff, who was taken to the summit of Ciste Dhubh for the photos!
On the descent, the rain relented somewhat, though it stayed rather grey. There were a couple of forays by some of the party onto the adjacent Corbett. By the time we returned to the Cluanie, it was still grey, but the cloud had lifted enough for a last glimpse of the summit,.....
...before we gathered for celebratory beers, food and a bit of a music sessionand some good craic in the bar afterwards.
Thanks to everyone who attended for making it a great weekend, and the Cluanie Inn for taking good care of us. Also, given the weather, I think there are many of us with a limited number of photos, often blearily peering through raindrops and misted lenses, so thanks to everyone who shared their best shots, from which this selection is taken; especially Graeme & Cathy, John and Tim.