Monday, 15 September 2014

One hell of an adventure

We had such an adventure planned this weekend up in the Fisherfields.  It involved running, walking, biking, swimming and climbing - that was until it became very obvious that none of this would be happening due to Dereks back going :(

The great thing about Derek is that he obviously went to the same school as I when it comes to recovery.  So, as much as the temptation was to lie horizontal he loaded himself into the van and joined in as much as possible.

It was with a (slightly) heavy heart that I set off up some corbett knowing that we really should be climbing until I realised that this was one of the very few times where an injured Derek has prevented Di doing anything.

I love the hills.  I love the remoteness.  I love the quiet time that it presents.  I love the way it gives you time to think about things - so I got thinking ....

Di:  "I think I might try the Poolewe to Corrie Hallie Allison tomorrow"
Derek:  "How far is that?"
Di: "43km"
Derek: "That's a marathon.  Have you been training for a marathon?"
Di: "No."
Di: "I'll just think about it as a long day on the hill"

So, the following afternoon I set off on what become my long day on the hill.

The Poolewe to Corrie Hallie Allison is described as "An epic one way run through the heart of Fisherfield".

Heading deep into the hills, the first welcome sight is Carnmore, which in my head was about one third of the way.

Leaving Carnmore, the rising traverse takes you high onto the moor before the long descent towards Shenavall. 

I found the unrelenting deep grass, churned up paths soul destroying and was too frightening to take my eyes off the path in fear of tripping myself up.

The views of the south side of An Teallach provided a welcome sight - not the side that I am familiar with and if it wasn't for the huge detour required to wade across the stream at the head of Loch na Sealga I would have potentially enjoyed it more than I did.

My heart lifted when I got to Shenavall - my 2/3rd mark and nearly back on familiar territory.  With one more climb to do never have I been so glad to see a smiley Derek.

It was great to have some company for the last section, who just pulled up the man suit and got on with it.

Who needs bananas and protein gels when a can of Diet Coke and some moral encouragement will do.  I thoroughly enjoyed putting a very big fat tick against Allison #60.

Today, was all about recovery.  This takes form of the new sport called "floating".  The aim of this is to float in the sea watching the underworld go by, annoying the odd crab, getting spooked by the shoals of fish and getting freaked out by seals.  Who needs to go abroad?

Thursday, 11 September 2014

The Drumochter hills

Many people take a couple of days to do the Munros to the west of the A9.

Not Elizabeth, despite recovering from a broken wrist.

Another 4 off the list.

Sometimes I have to pinch myself that this is the life I choose to lead.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Aesthetic sheep

In my humble opinion, Scotland doesn't have pretty sheep.

It was therefore refreshing to have a sheep that is actually was pleasing on the eye.

It must have stood and watched me for about 3 minutes before it gave the warning cry - that funny snort that sheep do - before nimbly moving over the rocky terrain.

This really is the best photo from the last few days - interpret that as you will ...

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Hills, bikes & horses

I have a mountain bike.

It hasn't got a name but if it were, it would probably be something like Bill - as in Sam's trusty steed in Lord of the Rings.  You know the sort; reliable, steady, plump, ploddy ...

Well, Bill is in bits so Derek kindly lent me his bike.

Unlike Bill, Derek's bike would go by the name of Shadowfax.  A magnificent beast that shouldn't be tamed.

Only problem with riding Shadowfax, is that I never ever felt in control.  To say that I bounced, wobbled and jiggled all the way into the hills would be an understatement.  Never have I been so grateful for walking in thigh deep heather tussocks, relentlessly for hours (well, not quite but you get the drift).

Never a dull day ...

Monday, 25 August 2014

Mountaineering 4 Skiers

Yes I know, a bit early, but we had the first frost last night.

So, having kept quiet about this for some time now, its time to spread the joy - no, I am not pregnant!

This winter season, Di Gilbert Mountaineering is joining forces with Mike Austin from Avalanche Geeks to offer a very special ski mountaineering course - especially designed for skiers.

These courses are specifically aimed at recreational ski mountaineers who wish to take their sport to the next level but lack the technical knowledge to match their ski ability.  We spend both days in the mountain environment sniffing out the best snow and the best descents with a focus on exploring steep terrain.

Why have we chosen to work with Mike?  Well, lets be honest, anybody who says "If you'd like to ski with Mike in North America then ideally you rock 120 underfoot and have your hair tied in bunches, but if not you can still get in touch and discuss your tolerance for tall stories, deep powder and tequila" is a winner with me.

For more information on these courses, check out the website.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Gruinard Bay

Yes, it has been so long even Derek was confused on what to do with the metal bits.

We left the East.  It was 10 degrees.

We drove West.  It was 18 degrees.

We drove East.  It was 10 degrees.

Slightly overdressed to say the least ...

Friday, 22 August 2014

Aonach Eagach

Every now and then you just have a really cool day on the hill.

Today was one of those days.

A lot has to do with the company and as soon as I met them at the car park, I knew it would be a great day in the office.

This is Jean:

If I am half as fit as Jean at her age I will be delighted.

This is Peter:

Despite getting lost prior to the climb, he didn't get lost again.

And this is Jo:

Having heard about Di Gilbert, made the special trip from Canada just to do the ridge :)  What is perhaps more impressive about Jo is her ability to churn out Boshi hats.  Kindly modelled by Peter and Jo below.  Jo can make one an hour so in theory, she should have churned out 7 today but was probably too busy in not falling off the ridge to worry about dropping a stitch (do crochet folk drop stitches?).

Not a bad day in the office really.  Thanks for a fab day guys :)