Friday, 17 April 2015

Clocking up the miles

Not quite sure where to start.  Somebody once said that you always make time for the things that you enjoy doing so I really don't have any excuse for not posting recently.  However, in defence ....

The Scottish winter season proper finished with the postponed last Skimo Scotland race of the season.    It would normally take me a few days to get things tidied up, but with time already eating into the (very) quick Alpine hit, everything was done a mach 5 speed.  Yup, probably a few things slipped through the net but hey ho :)

© Mr Drew Photography

So, in 11 days we:

  • drove 2700 miles

  • skinned over 5000m ascent

  • descended over 5000m + the rest

  • spent one day in a very confused state trying to figure out where we actually were (if you have ever used Italian maps you will completely relate to this)

  • and didn't have time for one stick-you-spoon-upright-hot-chocolate stop.
And that was that.  I would write more but with over 200 emails in the inbox, I am once again playing catch up.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Another bluebird day on the West

Considering that it is 2nd April, there is still loads of snow to be found.  You just need to know where to look.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

And that was that ...

"April comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb".

Plan A involved some steep, exposed terrain - well that wasn't going to happen today.

Plan B involved another big hill day - well that also wasn't going to happen today.

Plan C involved buying a new map (could have got away with my sheet 36 but would have felt a bit of a plum calling the cavalry out to somebody who had walked off the edge) and bagging a corbett.

For the past 2 days Divyesh has pretty much followed me around the hills.  Conversation has been slightly lacking (yup, hard to believe I know) due to the mingness.  

Over the last 2 days we've walked nearly 30 km and a wee bit of ascent and descent.  We've seen 2 people in the hills, lots of grouse and some gorgeous mountain hares.

And that was that, I'm pretty gutted to finish my winter work this season - it really has been the season that keeps giving.  Ok, I'm sure that there will be some excellent spring adventures on the Ben but in terms of winter, that's me hanging up my goggles.

Yeh right, have you seen how much snow there is?  You must be having a laugh if you thought for one minute my winter was over.  Whoopdy whoop!  Roll on tomorrow #blackcrows

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Brutal on Bynack

I have a small Outdoor Research dry bag that has all my important things:

  • spare small gloves
  • goggles
  • neck gaiter
  • head torch 
  • big gloves
This is not the bag to leave behind.

This is certainly not the bag to leave behind on a very spindrifty day.

It feels like somebody has been sticking needles in the eyes all day.

When Divyesh said he wanted a minging day, he certainly got it.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

AAA Level 1

The winter is far from over.

Aberdeen MR Team have been out with Mike from the Avalanche Geeks this weekend on a AAA Level 1 course.

So not only am I happy that they can navigate and build good anchors, today they proved that they know all about the white stuff and can happily dig for Scotland.

The next mission is to reduce the size of their rucksacks :)

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Happy days

Over the past few years, Captain Willie has shown me parts of Scotland that I would otherwise never have seen.

So today, it was my turn to return the experience.  Now, Captain Willie & Ron are both pure Grantownions who learnt to ski on really really long straight skis.  In my books, if you can ski really really long straight skis you must be a good skier. 

With another stellar forecast for the West and the recent snow fall at Nevis Range, there was only one venue today...

... once again it was over the back.

Since it was a day off and I never had to drive home, it was the first time that I have sat on the veranda and drank a shandy.  Happy days.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Into Strath Nethy

Back to school today for Alec & James on the second day of the Mountaineering 4 Skiers course.

Despite the rumours that there isn't any snow in the Cairngorms we managed to enjoy a big descent into Strath Nethy.

The only thing about a big descent is that there is a big ascent to follow.

Tonight, I am going to have a hot date with a chocolate bar and a bottle of home brew.