Tuesday, 27 January 2015

The growing world of lycra

I think we've come a long way from our very first Skimo race 3 years ago when 18 racers lined up on the starting line.

© Mr Drew Photography

This past Saturday, we had 48 including the GB Skimo Captain and the GB Female Champion.  I'm not quite sure what is funnier, watching the non lycra clad ninjas looking at the lycra clad ninjas or the bystanders who gaze in amazement at a group of people who are about to embark on running around a ski centre.

© Mr Drew Photography

Not impressed that my climbing tools have been gathering dust and I'm genuinely missing hearing the scratching of metal on rock and the swish and thunk as the tools bite into perfect neve.

© Mr Drew Photography

As Scotland starts to embark on the big freeze/thaw cycles, I'm pretty confident that the skis will be pushed to the back of the cupboard and the tools will be activated once again.

© Mr Drew Photography

Once again, why do I do it?  Well, I obviously enjoy myself and moments like these stay with you for a long time.

© Morrocco Media

Thursday, 22 January 2015

A change in the weather

Well, it couldn't last forever which is a shame since it's been quite nice chumming around the hills without having to look at a map.  We saw a confused cornice - instead of forming on the lee side of the hill, it had obviously formed and then formed again on the opposite aspect.

Needless to say that the views were far from perfect - great for navigation practice.

The skiing wasn't fab to be honest - survival tactics deployed in the zero visibility with the odd break in the weather allowing a few turns to be had.

Milly dog found the soft snow problematic and despite the best attempts to get her into a rucksack - obviously not impressed with that - she seemed pretty happy getting carried along.  Must try that tactic when I'm feeling tired on the hill.

Looks like normal service is going to resume tomorrow.

Monday, 19 January 2015

A very special day

This morning didn't get off to a great start.  The car gear box objected to the -8 degree start and then an accident on the road meant that I was late.

Nonetheless, today was one of those very rare days.  Not only was there Heather to play with, but Duncan was kicking around and then we also had Manny.

Not only was their people to play with, the weather was perfect and the conditions couldn't really get any better.  I'll just let the photo's describe the day.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Skiing in the sun

This was the second day of our Mountaineering 4 Skiers course.

It is always hard finding a venue - especially with the weather that we had -  to look at the many skills required to be a good ski mountaineer,  However, I think we succeeded.

Susan & Janet are particularly interested in getting stuck into the steeper lines that Scotland has to offer.  However, the first challenge is accessing the line so today we spent a lot of time sharpening up their navigation and route finding skills.

The great thing about getting to the top of a mountain is that you get to descend the whole thing.  So, for a second day there was numerous *whoops* as we enjoyed Scotland at its best.

Back to school with some more technical steep ground training before numerous *whoops* finally took us back to the cars.

Di & the Avalanche Geeks have one more Mountaineering 4 Skiers course in March - come and learn cool stuff.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Mountaineering 4 Skiers

I'm not quite sure who laughed more today: Janet, Susan, Mike or Di.

This is the first time that Mike from Avalanche Geeks and I have worked together.   It took our combined experience and knowledge (aka Luck) to ensure that the sun was shining (which we managed to avoid all day and froze our bits off) and that the lush snow was found.

We successfully avoided the crowds and tried desperately (failed) to suppress the *whoops* crying out from inside.

More importantly I'm loving my new Scarpa F1 Evo booties.  Bring on more of the same tomorrow.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Making the most of the conditions

If you didn't know better, we could have been in some Arctic country today:

And then the reality check - yup, still in Scotland: