Wednesday, 16 April 2014

It's all about the ascent

As 2/3 of the Skimo Scotland Patrouille des Glaciers team are ripping it up in the Alps - well, if I am honest there actually doesn't seem to be that much ripping to be done due to the conditions - the remaining 1/3 is trying to do her best to get as much ascent/descent done as possible.

That translates to walking (with a sense of urgency) in my books.

Oh, for the astute amongst you, you may have noticed a format change in the blog thing - why?  Simply preparing for the launch of the new website :)

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Winter is over ...

... well apart for a little thing later this month.

However, the winter climbing equipment is packed away; the big skis are packed away and the winter woolies are packed away.

Having spent the past few days up North West, I was slightly regretting packing the winter woolies away however.

It's certainly a bit too chilly (for me) for any series rock climbing but it is nice to pull the rock shoes out of the cupboard and wake the spiders up.

It's amazing how productive you can be when you get up at 0630 eager for a hill day but then it goes wrong with the gale force winds blowing in the garden.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Over West

I am supposed to be in the Alps training for the Patrouille des Glaciers, but instead I am far too busy taking photo's of voles.  Derek was very concerned that we would frighten him, but it was Louella who got the fright when the little mite crawled under her rucksack lid.  Note:  no harm done to said vole.

Louella has very nearly completed her Munro's but like most people, has to spend a few days ticking off the ones that somehow slipped under the radar.  First on the list were Aonach Mor and Aonach Beag - as soon as she mentioned approaching from Glen Nevis, there was a moment of grumble from the Gilbert, and a subtle (in true fashion obviously) nudge towards the Gondola.

Obviously the conditions were perfect:

No really, they were:

Thought it was really kind of Nevis Range to provide us with our very own private ski resort for the ski down.

Today, we walked rather a long way ticking off Stob Coire Sgriodain and Chno Dearg - according to McNeish they make "a marvellous ski touring outing".  

Obviously we were 4 weeks too late.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Below the snow line

For the past 3 days I have been trying desperately not to break, snap or twist an knee/ankle.

Tomorrow, we say 'goodbye' to the Mountain Leader Training Walking Group Leader Award and 'hello' to the Hill and Moorland Leader Award.

I am not sure who actually decides on the name, but if it were up to me, I would be renaming the award the Bog and Heather Award.

Having spent 21 years working in the mountains, on Saturday night, I can safety say that it is the first time that I have ever been met off the hill by 2 Game Keepers and 2 Bobbies.

Apparently our poor weather navigation practice/night navigation was deemed 'suspicious', and despite informing the local farmer who's ground we were on that we would be trundling around the hills in the evening, apparently this wasn't good enough.  Really ....

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Monday, 24 March 2014

A proper mini adventure

Well that's it for another SkiMo season - time to get back to normality.

Photo © Morrocco Media

Do not let this photo fool you, today was pure survival tactics.

The first sign was George's helmet getting whipped away with the wind.

The second sign was George's crampon self destructing at the very top of the Fiacaill Couloir.

Even if I had the biggest and best crampon repair kit in my rucksack - speaking a bit more than some metal cable ties, screws etc - there was absolutely no way that it was getting fixed en route.

For Bob & George, I think today will be one to be remembered.

[Struggling to see computer screen tonight since even though I have very good googles, today they never cut the mustard].

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Where is my mojo?

I wouldn't say that I have lost my mojo - I think it has probably remained in Italy.

The hills are full the frogs, the spring bulbs are in full blaze and today I saw my first lamb of the season.

I still have another 6 weeks of winter and it would be really nice to get back on the hill without the fear of getting my head blown off.