Member Events are held throughout the year. Look out for exciting activities to get involved in – suitable for the active and not so active! For details of upcoming events you can follow us on Facebook or subscribe to our mailing list..
Previous events have included days at Coldingham Beach featuring surfing and kayaking, walks in the Borders, celebratory balls, a winter weekend near Aberfeldy featuring skiing and walking, BBQs, climbing Ben Nevis, trips to the Banff Mountain Film Festival in Edinburgh, Christmas meals and a weekend in the Lake District. Reports of past events can be found in the blog.
If you have ideas of activities you'd like to do or if you have the skills to lead a particular activity then please get in touch. It would be great to hear your suggestions and ideas.
Please come along to events even if you are not yet a member - we'd love to meet you!
August 2014 - Beach Day
With dark clouds, strong winds and miserable showers of rain forecast on a Sunday afternoon in August, a small but intrepid group met on Coldingham Sands, at the mouth of the Buskin Burn, to hold the annual BEG beach day.
The beautiful bay, protected by the headlands was windswept but dry and with the sun shining, the group were soon tucking into sand-specked sandwiches.
The explorers decided that the North Sea looked so warm, that four of them did what explorers do best and ventured out into the surf, where they found that they had been mistaken and returned to the beach.
A treasure hunt full of challenges formed the main activity of the day and soon the group had built sandcastles with flags, made sand angels, taken part in quite a competitive long jump competition, and explored the rock pools for living creatures.
The group rewarded themselves with cake for a job well done and are looking forward to hitting the beach next year!
September 2014 - Ben Nevis
In September, eighteen hardy souls travelled up to Fort William to scale our nation's highest peak – Ben Nevis. The group arrived the night before the hike to enjoy some social time together before retiring to our various Hostels, campsites and B n B's to rest up for the challenge ahead. After a good night's sleep and a hearty breakfast, we gathered at the foot of the mountain for a group photo before setting off on the trek. The mountain's formidable reputation didn't faze us and Ben Nevis soon turned in to "BEG" Nevis as we made excellent time on our ascent. The beautiful clear weather meant magnificent views which diverted attention away from any sore feet and it wasn't long before we were enjoying our lunch at the summit. The fog was the enemy on top and after a chilly packed lunch it was time to descend again and before long the incredible panoramic vistas returned. The group made it safely back down to the bottom before heading to the Ben Nevis Bar in town for a well-earned refreshment. We were joined on the hike by our friend from India and cameraman Divvy. Having spoken to him weeks after the trek, he informed us that he had thought about his adventure "every day since". A day to cherish indeed.
November 2014 - The John Buchan Way
On Sunday 30th November 2015 a large group of 13 BEG Members and friends and two dogs assembled at the large carpark on the side of the River Tweed in Peebles to be transported to the beginning of our hike along the John Buchan Way, which runs for about 13 miles from the little village of Broughton back to Peebles. Instead of the very inclement weather of the last time BEG did the walk the weather was that of glorious sunshine. The weather could not have been better and that made the views excellent and the walk very enjoyable. The underfoot conditions were also not too bad except for the areas around gates where the stock have poached the soil there. Leaving the village a steady gradient took the group up the valley of the Hollows Burn with Clover Law to the west and Trahenna Hill and Grey Yade to the east. They look very inviting hills to climb sometime in the future. We reached the col at Cowiemuir Hass and descended to Stobo Hopehead where we picked up a good track leading down the valley along the Hopehead Burn. Too good a track! We passed the lovely cottage and carried on down the valley until we reached a large very well built sheep stell. This stell was unusual in that in the middle of it was a circular wall which has a light coloured leylandi conifer growing in it. We decided that this was a good location for a short coffee break. Les soon had his map out to see where we were and had to break the bad news that we were off the route of the JBW. Thankfully we were only a hundred metres or so from the proper route ans so once our break was finished we crossed the burn and back onto the path. Now it was downhill all the way along the Easton Burn past Harrowhope a now ruined cottage to Stobo where the burn joins the Tweed.
At this point the JBW crosses the river and heads up the hill towards the Glack, but before the climb we decided it was lunchtime. This was enjoyed in the sunshine while Ron set off in search of some salmon in the river which was fruitless. After lunch we set off on a meandering course through the fields uphill to the high point where we picked up the Glack Burn along which we experienced our worst underfoot conditions, very muddy. At the foot of the hill we entered the Manor Water valley where Cademuir hill presented itself to be circumnavigated. The JBW tracks up the Manor first the turns eastwards following a minor road with Cademuir to the north. A couple of kilometres along Eleanor ( a Malawi venturer) left the group to return home as she stays along the little road. She provided Geraldine with her mobile number so that she could say when she reached home. After Les had investigated a strange plant growing among the scree of Cademuir we set off up and over it, our last ascent. All of us were struck by the great views over Peebles when we reached the top of the hill, as the sun was almost set to the west, highlighting the red and white of the Hydro on the opposite side of the valley. The last leg wandered down through the upmarket housing area of Frankscroft and the High School grounds. Soon we were back at the carpark a little bit dirtier and wearier than at the beginning but having experienced an excellent day out in glorious Borders countryside. Ron then took Les and Ross back to Broughton for the cars while the st of the group set off home or went for a well-earned coffee in the town.
February 2015 - Winter Sports Weekend
27th February – 1st March 2015
This weekend was decided upon by the Events group some time in 2014 and therefore was a long looked forward to event.
Nancy Anderson was the arranger of the “bothy” and the coordinator of people who signed up for it. At the end of the day thirteen members signed up and arrived at the location which is Glassie Bunkhouse, high up on the hill above Aberfeldy. The group comprised of Nancy & Les Anderson, Andrew & Frances Norman, Lisa Norman, Christine Anderson, Ruth Longmuir, Charles Hutchinson, David & Trish Hunter, Michael Haywood and Pat & Ron Sutherland.
An aside from myself.
We came via Comrie. We therefore had to come to Aberfeldy through the Sma Glen but on our way our Satnav, backed up by reports on the radio suggested an alternative route. We accepted the new route and we were routed up Glen Quaich. It is a minor road with passing places but we pressed on up the glen, admiring the scenery of snow clad hills. As we progressed the snow began to encroach closer and closer to the road. Eventually we had to start the climb out of the glen and as we approached the pass over into the Tay valley the road cutting was filled with snow and there was no chance of getting any further. So, we had to turn back and admire the scenery again as we retraced our steps back down the valley.
We decided that we would just have to go on to Aberfeldy via the route with the traffic problem on it. And there was no problem getting into Aberfeldy. No traffic problem and no snow drifts. We now just had to negotiate Aberfeldy and get up to Glassie. Once through the town and into the turn off we thought that we were almost there but, as we drove up the forestry track it seemed to go on for a long way and steeply uphill. Eventually though we gained the dizzy heights and parked up next to Les and Nancy's Discovery. Hooray, we had arrived. We thought that everyone would have been there already but as we pushed the door open it was just Nancy and Les eating their spaghetti Bolognese. Our immediate reaction to the bothy was that it was not quite what we had expected. Bothies are not centrally heated with great kitchen facilities and a spacious social space, are they? The accommodation was truly first class and it was clear that we were going to have a very comfortable weekend while in the confines of the accommodation.
As the evening progressed we got our luggage into the rooms and had a general chat and welcomed all the others as they arrived. David and Trish were not going to arrive until Saturday morning. Some preparation had to be made for the following day: such as fitting crampons to boots and transferring wet weather gear and packed lunches to day sacks. We also had to decide where the walk was to take place and eventually plumped for the two Munroes to the north of Ben Lawers: Meall Corranaich 1069m and Meall a' hoire Leith 926m. Ruth,Christine and Michael were going skiing and they decided to go to Glenshee rather than Glencoe. Andrew, Frances and Lisa opted for some local walks including the Birks of Aberfeldy.
We had been listening to the weather forecast and it did not seem to suggest that it would be the best for winter hillwalking or skiing: heavy snow, windy and rain at lower levels. So to bed, probably later than was best for us.
We were all up and about just after 7am, breakfasted and prepared to do battle with the elements, which were raging outside. It had indeed been very windy during the night and the gale was now peppered with sleet and hail at times. Rucksacks were filled with hot drinks and sandwiches for lunch and added to the bag were crampons that added to the weight that was to be humphed up the mountain. Well, if you are to go out into the mountains in winter you should be well prepared. Chuck was our leader for the day and he had us well warned that he was going to practice on us for his Winter Mountain Leader course which he is doing. We bade our farewells to the other walkers and the skiers and set off in the Landrover for the Ben Lawers car park, or further along the road if possible. As it turned out there was deep wet snow on the road and in the car park it would have been unwise to attempt to go any further. Our stopping point is shown on the map below.
As can be seen from the map above we followed the snow covered road for a short distance looking for a suitable place to jump the ditch and take to the hill. Once over the ditch it was onwards and upwards but thankfully with the wind ion our backs which helped a little, I think. We were snaking our way between crags and sometimes through deep soft snow which does not make progress very easy. At one point we stopped and Chuck did a short brief on how to walk safely across a steep snow slope with use of the ice axe that we had strapped to our rucksacks. He was an excellent and very patient teacher, considering the quality of his two apprentices. He also showed us how to arrest ourselves using the ice axe if necessary. We hoped this skill would not have to be called upon on this occasion.
Progress was slow, but sure. The wind was now whipping the snow into our faces and near the top it was time for goggles, which made a fantastic difference to comfort and visibility. We teetered close to the eastern edge of the ridge at times and tried our best to get a view of Ben Lawers and Beinn Ghlass but these were hazy at best. We made good time to arrive on the first top, which is Meall Corranaich. Here the weather was very windy and snow and hail were intermittently stinging our exposed skin. We discussed whether to carry on to the next top or to head back down. We decided to go for the second Munro and it was a bit of a relief to now be heading downhill gently. The underfoot conditions were now much harder and as we crossed a flattish area of frozen snow Nancy decided that les was taking steps that she could not follow, so we strapped on our crampons, which made footholds much more secure and added a great degree of reassurance to us as the incline of the slope became steeper. There was some discussion at this point about walking like cowboys and Pat lowered the tone by suggesting we should walk as if we had wet our pants!
On our way to top two we got a good view into the corrie to the east and Chuck pointed out an avalanche that had happened all the way from the top to the bottom of the sheer back wall. It was interesting also at a point in the procedure, as we were in a complete whiteout which Chuck and Les consulted on and found our way safely to the destination intended. It was easy to see however, how easy it would be to go over the edge and through a cornice if your navigation skills were not up to scratch. Well done the leaders. On the top we decided that it would be better to descend some distance to get out of the wind and sleet before having something to eat. The conditions had precluded that joy earlier, as they were just too severe and wind chill would have soon made us very cold, if we had stopped long enough to eat properly. On the journey we had to be satisfied with a sugary bite of jelly babies and for me, my favourite, a Bounty.
The downward and homeward journey involved a diagonal and quite steep descent, into the wind, and across deep soft snow which made it a bit of a trudge at times. However, we managed to find fairly sheltered spot to sit for a while to have our coffee and sandwiches.
By this time we were all very wet though still warm. I could make a grip with my hand and squeeze the water out of my “waterproof” gloves. Once on our way again we passed through the Shielings marked on the map, but it was not easy to see any evidence of these, except what we assumed was a small hydro dam on the small stream.
At last we made it onto the road that runs along the eastern edge of Loch Lairige. As it had been when we started, it was covered in some feet of snow in places, so what I had thought would be easy, turned out to be a wriggly path on and off the road, walking where the snow had been blown off making progress easier. Arriving back at our transport we discovered that we were the last to return. The cross country skiers and the other walkers had all been and gone. It was only at this point that other parts of our clothing started to feel wet, I suppose due to cooling as we struggled to divest ourselves of waterproof trousers and boots. It was with some relief that we got into the warmth of the Discovery and headed back to the bothy.
Three of us headed to Glenshee to ski and were rewarded with a typical day's skiing in Scotland: wind, rain, above freezing temperatures and patchy runs! A sign at the foot of one of the tows summed it up, "It can only get better!" We thought of the others, halfway up a Munro somewhere to the west, and we all agreed we were much happier being on skis in this weather because, despite the rain, we had a great day! A return trip the following day afforded much better snow conditions and even some sunshine at points. Scotland has a lot to offer in terms of snow sports and it just goes to show that the conditions don't need to be perfect to have fun!
Back at the Bothy
Back in the central heating we all got rid of our wet clothes and got showered as soon as we could. It was only really after the walk, in the warmth that we really felt wet. But, after a shower we were all glowing from the change in temperature. Everyone had brought something with them to have for our meal on the Saturday night so we had an excellent menu to look forward to and it really was all very delicious.
After the food we sat down to chat over the events of the day and we did a quiz towards the end of the evening, but I could see that many of us were flagging from our efforts during the day. It was not long before our small groups drifted away to our rooms to get a well-earned rest.
The Sunday was a much more leisurely day for all. We went our separate ways with intentions of walking again, but perhaps tackling something less strenuous. Chuck and Michael however were bound for Schiehallion. Ruth and Christine returned for more fun on the slopes as indicated in their contribution above.
I am sure that everyone enjoyed the physical activities and the fellowship in the bothy, so I am sure that it is an event that could easily be repeated next year.
August 2015 - Beach Day
A great day was had on Coldingham beach with the BEG crew. The sun was out, picnics were enjoyed, with a fun game of rounders (destroying 2 of my bats!), followed by a dip in the sea. Attempting some surfing and bodyboarding on the waves, great fun was had by all! And a day on the beach just wouldn't be right without fish and chips to finish off. Thanks to everyone who made the effort to come along!
August 2017 - Manor Valley Walk & BBQ
Graham Little reports:
Having promised good, if windy, weather for Saturday 19th August, the weather forecast belatedly announced heavy rain showers. Undeterred, 12 B.E.G. members and guests (youngest 8 years old) plus two dogs set off from the car park at the end of the Manor Valley road, south of Peebles, determined to make the best of the day. Following the grassy track that runs up the east flank of the glen (and eventually leads to the Megget Reservoir), much of the conversation was about the recent B.E.G. trip to Bolivia and the future of the organisation. Passing above the meltwater channel of Bitch Cleuch, we came to the small cairn at the highest point of the track (567m) and turned west onto rough ground and into the full blast of the westerly wind. Passing over Greenside Law (643m), in a heavy rain shower, we descended to Water Head. The original plan was to follow the Thief's Road up onto the main ridge and to the summit of Dollar Law but, given the strength of the wind and the threatening cloud, we decided to implement ‘plan B’. The descent of the upper Manor Valley, with its steep, sculptured flanks, was even favoured by a brief glimmer of sunshine! Returning to the cars there was a general feeling that we’d had a good walk and that it was time to return to Peebles for tea and tray bakes (courtesy of Sophie). This was soon followed up by a BBQ (delivered by Graham from a wet and windy garden). Numbers swelled to 15 with a straggler arriving early evening just in time to finish the last glass of Prosecco! Although the day hadn’t gone entirely to plan, all agreed that it had been great fun. Hopefully there will be others to come.