Wednesday, 4 March 2015

What, no wind?

What a difference a day makes - no goggles for a change.

Great day out with Mike & Doug as they took me up Crotched Gully -  their first winter lead.

I love my job :)

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

A quick hit

The weather forecast was certainly better for this morning so we thought it was better to get in, get a route done and get out. 

It's not often I carry ice screws into the corrie but today we only had one route in mind - Aladdins Mirror Direct.  Fantastic condition with bomber placements.

No photo's of the climb but the ptarmigan was certainly worth trying to capture on film.  Looked pretty ming as we headed out, feeling smug after Sunday's battering.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

A proper kickin'

Yup, got a proper kicking' today in the corrie.

Somebody forgot to tell the winds that they were supposed to ease during the day.  So, only managed one pitch before bailing :(

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Another stupid plan

It's been quite challenging the past few days knowing what/where to go.  So, for some bizarre reason we thought we would ski the length of Catrin.

Planning a trip is always going to throw up problems and the latest plan was no exception.  In true Di & Catrin fashion, this was completely last minute and for a whole day we flustered around setting up all the logistics and getting into place.

Our plan was to ski from Corrour to Braemar and was completely condition dependant.  Thankfully as soon as we stepped off the platform at Corrour, the skis were on.  It would have been a sorry state of affairs if we had to get the first train out the following morning due to lack of snow.

The weather Gods looked down on us on Saturday and with a strong Westerly wind blowing up our arses we made good progress along Loch Ossian.

From the East end of the Loch we encountered near perfect conditions - both over head and underfoot and we whizzed along the glen towards Bealach Dubh.

As Catrin put it "she skied like a hero" descending into Ben Alder Forest.  This actually translates as: "I actually am a skier although you wouldn't think it looking at the way I have come down."

We stupidly decided not to come out via The Fara and had 8 km of black concrete track to contend with from Ben Alder Lodge.  9 hours later and very smug we arrived at Dalwhinnie.

However, it was mother nature who had the last laugh this morning as she decided that we had too good a time yesterday and decided to strip off any last slivers of snow.  So, today we spent the whole morning recovering cars :(  Instead of skiing the length of Catrin, we only skied to her tummy ....

Skies now packed away (for a few days anyway) and the tools are poised.

Huge shout out to Braemar Mountain Sports for sorting Catrin out with a set of skis so that she could actually enjoy the ski.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

A small weather window

There was a small weather window this morning before the ming arrived (again).  Thankfully Plan A didn't work out given the fact that we couldn't get the car parked off the A9 without it getting wiped out by the snowplough.

So, instead we saw this and thought, not bad for a Plan B.

Lets be honest, when it's good in Scotland it is really good.

For anybody that has skied with me recently know that I normally ski on a pair of matchsticks.  However, with the recall of the Scarpa F1 Evo boots it left me only one option.  A rather fat (all relative) pair of Black Crows and a proper pair of boots.

Felt like I had a couple of bags of sugar strapped onto my feet on the ascent, but boy was the descent good :)  So, both the Boar and the Sow East faces skied today with the girls.  I will say that as soon as we were ready for the *whoops* the cloud moved in and we lost the light.

Crossing the burn was potentially the most hazardous part of the whole day but the Mountain Safety Advisor kept us right on that one.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015


Lordy, is it really a week since I blogged last?

Last week, Thomas and I were out in the white room - to be perfectly honest there wasn't much to see which is probably a good thing since we were needing some poor visibility to learn how to operate safely in it.  The bright ? in Braemar made up for the lack of views on the hills.

Then it was full steam ahead for a whole weekend of SkiMo.

© Mr Drew Photography

The great news now, is that I have about 3 weeks ahead of me with very few commitments; I have a Catrin in situ; it has been chuckin it down since Sunday and I have enough motivation for everybody in the Strath.  Climbing, skiing or mountaineering - not particularly fussed to be honest, the conditions will dictate as always.  Oh, and new camera will arrive tommorrow - happy days ....

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

The hills were smokin'

It's not often that I climb with goggles on but yesterday they were probably the most useful thing in my rucksack.

Yesterday Bob, George & Di had a rematch with the mountains and both managed to redeem themselves perfectly - there was no throwing helmets down mountains and no exploding crampons.

Pretty brutal on the hill to be honest - by the time I got home my nose had finally de-thawed and my face had returned to semi normality.

Huge thanks to George for taking the photos - I did remember my one, its just a shame that I forgot to put the memory card in.