The Club walk on Sunday 27th January was again well attended when there were 27 members and visitors out on a cold wintry walk. This number included three visitors on their first outing with BDHC. There were two main groups who tackled different sections of the Catteran Trail from the North and South, with both groups ending up in Kirkmichael.
The "A" group started at the Spittal of Glenshee, where once again it was noted that Tayside Police Search and Rescue members were out in numbers, on a training exercise. These guys deserve credit for the amount of training and practice they employ in readiness in the event they are called out for a real recue in the worst of conditions. As the "A" group departed from the Spittal there was a good covering of snow and a strong, bitterly cold, North, Northwest wind blowing. The chosen route saw the group steadily rise through Coire Lairig to An Lairig reaching the Bothy near Elrig for the morning break. From here the route descended through Calamanach Wood and Dirnanean to Enochdhu. The Trail then crossed the River Ardle and continued South to the finish point at Kirkmichael.
The "B" group started their chosen section of the Catteran Trail at the Bridge of Cally in quite different conditions to the "A" group. Here the ground was clear of snow and only remote icy patches underfoot. Part of the track was wet and muddy while other areas were hard and frozen. This route winds it's way through a variety of landscapes, some evergreen forest, some natural regenerating birch and some open hillside all giving a different feel to the walk. This route passes through Blackcraig forest and more or less follows the valley of the River Ardle without ever coming into contact with the river until the bridge is crossed in Kirkmichael at the finishing point.
Wildlife was rarely spotted on the walks with most creatures taking shelter from the strong winds and driving snow on the higher ground with only the screeching of Jays in Blackcraig Forrest being of any note. Both groups arrived in Kirkmichael earlier than anticipated which gave time for a refreshment in the Kirkmichael Inn, where the staff were very welcoming and tended to our needs of liquid replenishment.
The attached image is the small burn crossed by the "B" group near Pitcarmick.