Trip report courtesy of Alasdair Stark.
Killin Highland Lodges was a new venue for the 23/24 season. Perfectly located between Killin and the Ben Lawers access road, the lodges gave great access to the surrounding hills. 21 club members were split between 3 toasty lodges, one of which even had a wood-burner.
With moderate winds and possible low clouds forecast for Saturday, many club members optimistically made plans to play in the corrie between Beinn Ghlas and Ben Lawers. Good conditions had been reported earlier in the week so we were hopeful for some complete (if firm) descents.
Waking early on Saturday morning, there was a beautiful sunrise and low winds outside the lodges with less cloud cover than anticipated. This was not to last, however, as several groups discovered when they started ascending towards Beinn Ghlas. The wind was far stronger higher up than forecast! A couple of groups opted to skin along the track to the bealach between Beinn Ghlass and Meall Corranaich, while another had a go at Beinn Ghlas but ended up retreating and also making their way towards the bealach.
The bealach was more sheltered from the high winds, allowing for some sliding to be done on the stiff snow of the NW aspect of Beinn Ghlas. In the afternoon there were good conditions to be found on the south aspect of Meall Corranaich, where the snow had softened in the sun and there were some steeper, more complete descents available.
After a combat-ski back down the track, we all retreated to the comfort of the lodges. We enjoyed the usual high-standard of food prepared by club members while considering plans for Sunday. The forecast was for even colder temperatures and more wind so some conservative plans were made.
The forecast for Sunday ended up being more accurate and some peaks also had clouds rolling through them, making visibility a challenge. A couple of groups followed the landy track that skirts SW/W below Meall nan Tarmachan to the disused quarry below Coire Fionn-Lairige. There were some more sheltered aspects to be found here, with a little wind-transported fresh snow on top of a firm, consolidated base.
Another group skinned up Meall Corranaich from the top of Lochan na Lairige – letting them get a day out without having to carry their skis.
We left Killin satisfied that we had made the most of challenging conditions. The venue was excellent and we look forward to future trips there in the future!