Sunday, 28 February 2010

Avalanche Post Script

A quick post script on yesterday's post regarding the avalanche on Meall a Bhuiridh. I've just had a quick look at the SAIS Glencoe blog and they've been for a quick look at the crown wall of the avlanche. Check out the photo and join me in saying that there's 2 very lucky skiers out there.

Glencoe Mountain Rescue were not the only ones trying to get to these guys either. Glencoe Ski Patrol were also nearby, but their attempts to get to the avalanched skiers were faced with certain safety issues. See Davy Gunn's Crankitup Gear's blog for another interesting photo relative to this avalanche.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Take care out there

A gorgeous day in Glencoe today. Bursts of sunshine now adding to the spectacular snowy mountains. But barely had the day started before Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team were again called out to another avalanche incident, this time at Glencoe Ski Centre. I don't think the off piste is recommended at the moment.

Drivers on the A82 found obstacles other than snow on the road today.

Enjoy the mountains, but take care out there. The avalanche risk is particularly high just now, and extreme caution is required. At the very least, check the Scottish Avalanche Information Service web site before contemplating a trip into the hills.

At Glen Etive road end, looking towards Glencoe Ski Area and the avalanche site

Closer inspection reveals 2 huge avalanche trails going nearly the full length of the mountain side

With the forecast looking like more cold but relatively settled weather, chances are the conditions on the mountains won't be changing very quickly. However, no problems on the roads (unless you want to drive down the old Kingshouse road).

Last night of FebruaryFest at Clachaig tonight. But not the last night of winter looking at all the snow out there!

Read the report on the BBC News web site.

Friday, 26 February 2010

The most snow in all the world!

A wry smile appeared on my face last night as I caught the end of the Scottish regional news following the BBC's News at Ten. Apparently, Glencoe has had the most snow in the world in the last 24 hours. No word of a lie, that's what they said, and they said it again on BBC Radio Scotland when the alarm clock radio told me it was time to get out of my pit again. It was on the BBC, so it's true and it's official!

2pm today. Thawing low down. Some of the hillsides are bare,
but others, particularly leeward hollows and gullies are absolutely full.

As Chairman of the Glencoe & Loch Leven Marketing Association (brand new web site coming soon to!), I was wondering who our inside man at the Beeb might be. After all, with media coverage like this I need to say thanks. All is now revealed as the BBC's News web site runs with the story too.

No doubt about it, there's certainly been a lot of snow. I have again spent most of the morning digging out cars, chalets and paths, and from the ache in the base of my back I can tell you that it's deep. But it's also thawing at Clachaig level and very wet. Traffic seems to be flowing freely on the A82, all the way south, and the roads are clear.

The hills however,..! Skiing this weekend should be awesome, though the wind needs to ease. And anyone heading out to walk or climb needs to be super cautious about the snow conditions. Not only are slopes loaded, the new snow is lying on a layer of hoar frost, and that's going to significantly increase the chances of avalanches, even on lower slopes. Check the reports and do your route planning carefully!

So, with an improving forecast and the last days of FebruaryFest, it looks like a cracking weekend ahead.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Winter Continues - Part 2

A quick post script on yesterday's blog entry, in view of the fact that we're experiencing some rather exceptional winter weather just now.

Check the depth at Kinghouse on their web cam!

The horizontal blizzard at Clachaig is still raging, some 30 hours on, with no sign of letting up. I've spent most of this morning digging out our back road to the A82 to get staff into work, and then digging out our back road to get our residents out again. There's a bout 6 inches of slushy heavy snow between Clachaig and the A82. Fortunately, my trusty (should that be rusty!) Vito is in for some warranty work just now and the garage were kind enough to give me a 4WD Subarua Imprezza for the week (Oh, yes!)

The snow gates are now shut, keeping the road over Rannoch Moor closed for the time being. It seems that the Tyndrum to Oban road is open in the meantime, as towards sea level its mild enough for the snow to be melting.

I was up on the moor last night as again Glencoe Mountain Rescue were involved in another tragic mountain accident, involving an avlanche on Buachaille Etive Mor. Rescues apart, it has to be said that it was a wild night up there. And if now's a good time to remind you that you can raise funds for the team while doing your online shopping at stores like Amazon then click this link for further details of EasyFundraising.

So all in all, quite exceptional. Checkout the various links referred to yesterday, look at some of the blog links on this site or just email us at Clachaig or contact us through Facebook if you're looking for any more information about travelling to Glencoe at the moment.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Winter continues

After 7 days of silly minus temperatures, lying snow, big sunshine and quite simply stunning weather, there's been a bit of a change today. Now, being Glencoe in February, you're expecting me to say that it's pouring aren't you!? for web cams and road info

No, we've had horizontal snow to sea level since dawn and if anything, as the evening draws in it's getting worse! Some winter! Last we saw of AonachDubh it was looking spectaularly wintry, but that was a while ago. All we can see now is snow!

If you fancy coming to play in the snow remember there's plenty of online resources available to help with your planning. Everything from serviced and self catered accommodation, to the state of the roads over Rannoch Moor, the Mountain Weather Information Service, to the Avalanche Information Service.

Friday, 19 February 2010

And the winner is...

Amidst shouts of boo, fix, con, etc... we announced the winner of our Name the Ale competition at last night's Beer Tasting Session led by the Isle of Skye Brewery.

And the winning name for our special ale brewed just for Clachaig's FebruaryFest is... Buach Ale, as submitted by Bar Manager, Jack, the man who set the competiton. Boo, fix, etc... All we can say is you had to be in it to win it!

We can't put our hands on the tasting notes at the moment but we think that there's strong overtone's of cheese in it. In fact, I think the exact words were, "see that name BuachAle, that's really cheesey that is!"

We have to agree, but it ust had to be done!

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Turned Out Nice Again

Ho, ho! What a bunch of comedians you are! Hands up everyone who's come up with a comedy caption for yesterday's post. My favourite so far is 'Bitter & Twisted', despite the fact that there was actually more lager on the truck than bitter.

A stunning morning at Riverbank Holiday Cottages, Glencoe

Anyway, today the roads are clear, the sun is shining and it's quite simply the most stunning day. Not bad for a half term!

Even the local horses dress in gore-tex jackets

If you fancy waking up to a view like this get further details of our 4 & 5 star self catering cottages on the Carefree Self Catering Holidays, Glencoe web site.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

What! No beer?

A wintry scene greeted us this morning when we pulled back the curtains. Snow showers through the course of the afternoon yesterday should have been sufficient warning, but we're so used to not having snow settle, plus we've already had more than our quota this year. So, a good couple of inches of the fresh white stuff came as a bit of surprise.

Beer, beer everywhere but not a drop to drink!

And, as is the British way, it caused its usual share of havoc. Our weekly beer delivery made it as far as the car park, and then things went horribly wrong!

Fortunately, we managed to blag some grit to keep in reserve (in lieu of the fact that it takes 3 days after a snowfall to see a gritter on the Clachaig road - yes, they do the village and the A82, but not the bit in the middle!) After much digging and thawing, the driver seemed so relieved to be back in a straight line again that he cleared off without delivering anything.

Cup of tea any one? Beer's off the menu! Fear not. There's plenty in the cellar.

A snowy Argentiere (Chamonix Valley) main street last week

The way we seem to come unstuck at the first sign of a bit of wintry weather is in stark contrast to places such as the Chamonix Valley. The snowfall last week was measured in feet rather than inches, well metres actually, but it was another big one. And there's already several feet of lying snow already. Add to the that a temperature well into the minus teens (-14 degrees at Le Tour car park on Saturday morning) and yet we were still able to drive everywhere without any bother. That's winter tyres for you!

Anyway, it looks like there's been a bit of a thaw today, the road is clear and it looks great out there. Time to go!

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Last Post

Hopefully, this will be the last post on this particular subject! Fully restored and reinstated at last!Good for another 25 years, I hope!

Monday, 8 February 2010

Ceilidh at the Festival

Our winter beer festival, Februaryfest kicked off last Friday and Clachaig was graced with hoards of intrepid walkers, climbers and skiers enjoying the recent spell of settled weather. Of course there's nothing better than cosying up by the fire with a well-earned pint after a day on the hill and we were on hand with the logs and a great selection of cask ales from Cairngorm, Houston and Williams Bros Breweries.

Flint, complete with new drummer, opened our festival on Friday night and were fantastic as usual. Saturday it was the turn of Pure Malt to wow the masses with their mesmerising harmonies and ballads, it was an excellent night and everyone went away very happy, none more so than the lucky winners of our raffle who walked away with an array of goodies worthy of the Generation game.....'Didn't he do well!'

Our open session on Sunday evening, although a less raucous affair - well Flint and Pure Malt are a hard act to follow folks - was well attended and many thanks to the guys who gave us a tune or two.

Ale of the weekend was Ceilidh, a Premium cask conditioned Lager from Williams bros.
At 4.7% it is refreshing and flavoursome!

Plenty more fun & frolics to come over the next couple of weeks as Februaryfest continues with Mountain safety lectures, Whisky & Ale tasting master-classes, great live music and an unrivaled selection of cask ales including.........wait for it.......the judges decision in our 'name the beer' competition - you have to be in it to win it folks!

Don't just read about it....come and join us!

Friday, 5 February 2010

Ready and Waiting

Jack gets full marks for ensuring that the cellar was clear at the beginning of the week so that we could give it a good clean down and a sort out ready for FebruaryFest. Either excellent planning or seat of the pants stock management! We won't ask which.

FebruaryFest starts tonight!

The new Festival Banners are now braving a fresh easterly and tempting weary climbers into the Boots Bar. And the iconic yet missing sign is..., well, lets just say that Rome wasn't built in a day, and that when it was finally completed some considerable months overdue it was probably significantly over budget too!

Suffice to say, its progress.

So, apart from one of the banners that hasn't yet arrived (Monday morning, promise!) and perhaps an iconic sign, we'd say we were pretty much ready for FebruaryFest to get under way. Just as well really, as it starts in a couple of hours!

Monday morning. Minimal range of ales on Monday night!

Friday afternoon. Ready & Waiting

Hope to see you at FebruaryFest!

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Name the Beer

Okay folks, here’s something a bit different. Especially for our FebruaryFest Beer Festival, we have commissioned the Isle of Skye Brewery to brew a special ale, exclusive to Clachaig.

The beer is great, as you would of course expect. It’s a lovely sessionable deep amber coloured beer, 4.2% combining lovely smooth malty flavours with a light hopping to make a perfect pint for those cold February evenings at Clachaig.

The problem is, we need is a name for this new brew, and that’s where you folks come in.

We have a few ideas ourselves but if anybody can come up with a suitable name, preferably something funny (in good taste of course) and/or specific to the area then we will award them an amazing prize of a £10 Clachaig Inn Gift Voucher. Quite literally, beer vouchers! Get thinking!!

Monday, 1 February 2010

A Tribute to the Bard

A great weekend of cold settled weather and excellent wintry conditions brought a bigger than average January weekend crowd to Glencoe. And a wonderful evening was had by all on Saturday night as Clachaig paid homage to the Bard, Robert Burns.

While it wasn't intended to be an official 'Burns Night', the boys from White Rose performed various Burns poems and songs, such as Tam-o-Shanter, A Mans a Man for a' That and of course the famous Ode to a Haggis. We even piped in the Haggis with a bagpiper leading in the Wee Beastie which was carried on a silver platter by Chef Davy. Dougie from White Rose who is a president of a Burns society performed the famous poem with great gusto and got a roudy cheer when he finished and cut the Haggis open.

As the boys then led onto another song the bar staff made themselves busy handing out free Haggis Neeps and Tatties to the customers which went down an absolute treat!

Beer of the weekend? It had to be the Skyelight, from the Isle of Skye Brewery, at 3.8% a nice lightly hopped session ale with some fruity tones; lovely! However, it seems that all the beers went down well this weekend, as come Monday morning the cellar is empty! Perfect timing for bringing in the FebruaryFest stock.