Saturday, 29 May 2010

Blackbird nest in my holly tree - 29th May

Over the past few days a couple of blackbirds have been constructing their nest in the holly tree in my front garden. The female has now taken up residence so we wait and watch to see what happens next. My cat, Moppet, is now confined to the house!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

A bit of Central Gully and Pygmy Ridge - 26th May

The weather forecast looked promising, sunny intervals and cold, so Ron and I walked in to Coire an t-Sneachda to see what gullies would be fun to climb. Central Gully gave us some great snow and then we traversed across to Pygmy Ridge looking for warm, dry rock.
Crampons and axe stowed away and I started up the first pitch grumbling somewhat about numb hands and hot aches. As I began to climb the sun was shining then the showers came in and we had a mix of hail, gusty wind and sun. It felt a wee bit like an early winter season route as the rime was forming on the rocks and dribbles of ice were appearing.
And this is late May?
For more pictures and Ron's video clip, click here
Off to Skye at the weekend and hoping for warm weather and dry rock!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Finger's Ridge, Coire an t-Sneachda - 23rd May

Today was a day for lots of activities at Cairngorm, perhaps something for everyone?
The ski area was open for all snowsports, the birdwatchers were out with cameras and telescopes, folk were out walking around the Northern Corries and on to the summit of Cairngorm, off-piste skiers were enjoying the skiing in the gullies and scramblers and climbers were out on Fiacaill Ridge, Pygmy Ridge and we were out having a great day on Finger's Ridge.
Our approach to the start of the route was on old snow, a bit alpine and nice to have an ice axe to hand. Once we reached the rock, it was dry though I'm sure a lot of the blocks were looser than I remember! Caution advised especially if there are other climbers below!
For Ron's pictures and video clip, click here

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Aladdin's Couloir skiing - 20th May

Back to Cairngorm today with the skis, boots and a pair of trainers! We walked up through the ski area and on up the Cas ridge to the plateau for lunch and views then down towards Aladdin's Couloir which we planned to ski down.
After changing into the ski boots (trainers probably not a good idea!) we had a look at the top of the gully. The top of the gully was steep and icy in places so Ron climbed down, cutting steps and dug out a huge ski length platform at the little col so we would have somewhere to put on the skis.
We went back up, picked up the packs and skis and back down into the gully. Ron was first to ski down and then I followed. After the first turn which took me a bit of time to feel right about, it was all good fun though it narrowed a bit in the middle with some rocks showing through. Skiing out the bottom of the gully and just letting the skis fly over the snow was fantastic and another ambition achieved!
The skis are going back in the attic until next winter and the rockboots and chalk bags are now going to be put to good use on hopefully some nice, dry rock!
Lots of video clips taken so Ron has put together a video of our descent.
For more info and pictures from Ron click here and for the video click here

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Cairngorm, Goat Track and Half a Gully - Tuesday 18th May

Today the ski area was closed for skiiers but with such a good weather forecast, it seemed a waste of a day not to be up there skiing. Ron and I walked in to the mid-station then stuck the skins on the skis and made our way up to the plateau. After a bit of a walk, we were able to follow the snow around the top of Coire an t-Sneachda on what was probably the old cornices!
We bumped into Kim and Jim who were off on a skiing and camping trip over towards Ben MacDui. Great to catch up with friends.
After we stopped for lunch, we had a look at the Goat Track as a fun way down. Now steep slopes and skis for me are a bit of a scary thing so it was with some trepidation that I followed Ron down. He made the skiing look just too easy. I took a bit longer to make my way down the slope!
As half a gully was so close by, we climbed up to the rocks just below the top and put the skis back on. Skiing down half a gully has been a bit of an ambition for me for a while so it was great to be poised at the top, ready to go. The skiing was great and easier than skiing down the Goat Track!
Photos and more from Ron, click here

Cairngorm skiing - Sunday 16th May

For pictures and more info from Ron, click here

Edinburgh, Aberfeldy and micro nav

More to follow.

Skye - Friday 30th April to Monday 10th May

For pictures and stories from Ron, click here
Carron joined us for the first three days and had an enjoyable time developing her hill leader skills and providing lots of good chat along the way.
More from me to follow...