Tuesday, 19 May 2015

More wintery than winter

Andy & Brian want to do a Cuillin Traverse, but first I insist that they endure some fantastic Scottish scrambling conditions on the mainland.

The monk of doom had forecasted a horrendous weather forecast today and despite trying to put them off, the guys fully embraced the forecast.  Couldn't believe our luck to climb Curved Ridge in the sun.  

My heart sank when I saw how much snow was still left on the exit slopes around Crowberry Tower but a bit of exploration work, soon found us on the summit - just in time for a wintery squall.

I honestly can't remember the last time I even contemplated taking goggles with me in May, but every day is a school day.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Glen Feshie

I really enjoy taking photo's in the hills, even if they aren't very good.  So, for the past 2 days I've been on DofE duty with Gold Expeditions and have found myself with more time than usual to whittle away.

Not that I'm saying that I'm slacking in my duties, but when it takes 1.5 hours for a group to strike camp and have a 30 minute lunch break you have to do something.

Without doubt the best thing about being on DofE watch is that you don't actually have to go out night navigating - now that really is a bonus with 10 hours of undisturbed sleep.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Blue is the new pink?

We females are very shallow.  I have a new rope (Edelweiss obviously) and it's blue.  I also have a new pair of rock shoes (Scarpa obviously) and they are also blue.  They both co-ordinated perfectly with my blue jacket (Outdoor Research obviously) and the sky (Mother Nature obviously).

Today the sky was grey and there was 'stuff' coming out of it.  For those in the know, I have been slowly ticking away at the Allisons and there was one route that I wasn't really looking forward to.  Not because of the length but of it's location.

It's run number 33 and is called 'Glen Tilt'.  If you are a mountain lover, you will head up the famous glen, normally on a mountain bike as part of a bigger day on numerous occasions.  So, the thought of actually going for a run up to Gilberts Bridge (no relation) and back didn't fill me with love.

However, as soon as I left the car park the route took me not on my original route but weaved amongst the trees, the paths and the routes often ignored.  So Susie, hats off to you once again for another stunning run through a part of the country that I know very well but saw her in a completely different light.  Pity I left the camera in the car.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Summer MLing

That's the start of Summer ML season.  Feels somewhat bizarre when you could potentially still be running Winter ML's on the Cairngorm Plateau.

2 days ago I nearly stood on a nesting grouse and 1 day ago I stood next to a baby Mountain Hare (before it decided to take its chances and bolt).  Steve's gang went one better and found a dead rat (yes, a rat) deep in the Southern Cairngorms.

That's what makes the mountains so special - you just never know what you're going to see.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Winning Trophies

I am once again overwhelmed at the generosity of the University of Strathclyde.  It was very kind of them to organise a very posh dinner with our very own quartet playing in the background; a private audience with Lord Smith of Kelvin and some fantastic company for Derek's birthday.  The only thing that they forgot, was for the entire room to stand up and sing Happy Birthday.

We outdoor people, don't normally win trophies as such so I was blown away when I was presented with one.  [Note to my mum:  mum - I still don't want the display cabinet that you have been trying to pass onto me!]  So, to Niall Sturrock (the man behind the plan) I say a very public "Thank you" for organising something that I will never forget.

Back to normality again ...

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

The big picture

It seems somewhat frivolous talking about the last 3 days when looking at the bigger picture.

I have been watching and reading about the situation in Nepal with a heavy heart.  It upsets me when Nepal is called a poor country - in the 20 years I have been travelling there, it is anything but poor.  The environment is rich, the culture is rich and the people that live there are rich with smiles, with laughter and friendship.  So, when you see the environment get ripped apart; the culture being destroyed and the smiles, laugher and friendship disappearing, it is only then that I will agree by saying that Nepal is poor.

Dave Hahn has just published this on the Mount Rainier Mountaineering website.  I challenge anybody to smile after reading it.

Please read this if you are thinking about donating.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Spring has certainly sprung

It's hard to think that it's still April - any climb for me at this stage is a climb in the bag.

The only thing about climbing 3 afternoons in a row is that my feet have had a very rude awakening to rock shoes and my fingers are smarting.  The joys or early season climbing when you don't have time to train over the winter.

Please be aware of the restriction at Moy at the moment.