Tuesday, 27 April 2010

A busy weekend!

A busy weekend for me with Friday evening spent down at Glasgow Tiso working for Stuart Johnston's Climbmts scrambling workshop. After a night at my Mum's in Bo'ness, I headed up to to Aberfeldy to meet with Julie, Stephen, Ronnie and Caroline where we had a pleasant day in the shelter of Schiehallion looking at useful ropework for scrambling. The weather was kind, pleasantly warm and dry. No photos, I forgot the camera!

After another night at my Mum's, Sunday began with torrential rain as I headed back to Edinburgh and the Pentlands for a navigation skills day with the Bank of Scotland's Hillwalking Club. Shuna, Moira, Crawford, Steve, Clare and Catherine and I navigated our way above the Hillend ski area thinking about the shape of the land, timing, a bit of pacing and more and we even managed to get "lost" at one point so we could think about what to do in that type of situation too! A couple of photos from the day above.

I'm off to Skye next for some fun in the Cuillins so Ron and I are getting the Talisman Basecamp motorhome out of hibernation after the winter. This seems to involve climbing too as Ron inspects the roof!

Friday, 16 April 2010

Skiing again at Cairgorm

Another great day skiing at Cairngorm though it did take a while for the snow on the lower slopes to soften enough for enjoyable skiing!
We spent a lot of time on the upper runs enjoying the easy skiing and the sun before heading down the M1 for a rattly, knee-jarring descent. Up again on the tows to enjoy a pleasant run down the back of Cairngorm until I discovered the snow was rather soggier than I expected and my turns weren't working as they should! I had a rather a nice tumble which Ron has probably caught on camera! We skinned back up to the summit of Cairngorm after that and had a great run down Coronation Wall.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Skiing at Cairngorm and ski touring to Ben MacDui

For all the seven or more years I have been up here in Aviemore I have not really done any proper ski touring so spending the morning at the ski area waiting for the snow to soften before heading up over the summit of Cairngorm and on to Ben MacDui was just fantastic.
The ski area was quite busy with the Vans snowboarding competition but the queues on all the runs were short today. We had a fun run down the M1 right behind the piste machine on some really fun snow!
The sun shone all day, the snow was spring-like and we found some soft snd powdery slopes on our descent from Ben MacDui and despite a little detour to the top of the Goat Track which Ron tried to persuade me to ski without much luck this time, we had a great day which ended up with us coming back through a very quiet ski area this evening.
More from Ron on his blog here

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Another great day skiing at Cairngorm

Ron and I went up to Cairngorm today to ski, a bit wary of how busy it would be but all was good and the queues were small and we had a fun day especially the runs down Coronation Wall and Coire Laoigh Mor.
More about the skiing from Ron here.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Happy Easter!

Friday, 2 April 2010

East Linton - flat for sale

I have a lovely one bedroom flat for sale in East Linton, a quiet, conservation village in easy commuting distance to Edinburgh. The flat has all the basics - new oven, hob, fridge and washing machine, laminate floors in the main rooms and new carpets in the bedroom.
More details from my selling agent here

Thursday, 1 April 2010

The last week of adventurous training for this winter

I was back working for the last of Ron's Talisman Adventurous Training courses for the M.O.D. over the past few days.

The course started off with a pleasant day navigating around Castle Hill to familiarise everyone with kit, maps and compasses then we had a most glorious day on Cairngorm on Monday. Blue sky, sunshine as we practiced step kicking, cutting and ice axe braking before heading up the Cas ridge to point 1141 and on to Cairngorm summit. We finished off the day having a look at the snowholes in Ciste Mhearad before heading down the Aonach Ridge back to the car park.

Tuesday and Wednesday were the planned days for our expedition but it snowed and snowed and then snowed some more. We walked into the Lairig Ghru and up to the snowhole site at the bottom of the Sron na Lairige ridge that I had used before but the wind so strong that it was difficult to stand and the heavy expedition rucksacks were at risk of blowing away! Retreat was the only option so we quickly moved back down to a lower snowhole site just two kilometres away from Rothiemurchus Lodge. This was much lower and therefore much easier for us to get out from on Wednesday morning. Jamie and Will renovated one existing snowhole, I claimed another existing snowhole and Andy and Dan dug a new one very quickly. A comfortable night was had by all.

On Wednesday morning we woke to find heaps of snow had fallen and the wind was still strong so with an early start, we headed back to Rothiemurchus Lodge. We used snowshoes throughout the expedition and without them, we would have been floundering in deep snow. In the end I snowshoed back down the track from Rothiemurchus Lodge to my car which was parked at the gate. Lots of thanks to the guy from Sedburgh School who dug out my car from beneath its blanket of snow.