Thursday, 19 May 2016

The Owl and the Pussycat

It wasn't quite The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea but it wasn't far off!

Sometimes you look at a map and just know that it is going to be a very, very, very long day on the hill.  That is, until somebody suggests that you knock the birds nest off the canoe and launch the Super Tanker.

What a complete giggle bagging some very remote Corbetts and a Munro (why not since she's there).

No midgies, only a few tiny ticks, dry waterproofs, a camp fire and great company.  What more does a girl need?

Friday, 13 May 2016

The joys of the Jura

It all starts with a tent really. 

For us, it was then an old Ford BT van with a DIY conversation.

Finally, you make it big and upgrade to a VW T5 Transporter.

And then you get old [that obviously only applies to Derek since I refuse to get any older] and learn about a brand new world of Motorhomes/Camping Cars.

Oh my goodness, no longer is their a requirement to have a pee outside and learn where the nearest public shower is and by far the most important thing, there is no longer a need to ration the toys to play with.

Since Derek is in training again for another swim/bike/run and Di is in training for a big peak there was no better place to head than the Jura Alps.  I cannot recommend this place highly enough, especially early season when the big mountains are still snow capped and trying to work out what season it is.

Discovering and sampling the yellow wine was obviously a low point, but it was very important to stay hydrated :)

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Summer is here

Oh yeh baby [in the best Austin Powers accent].

This means that my skis have been waxed, serviced and are now resting for the summer.  Ice axes have been sharpened and ice screws have been oiled (yup) and are now in storage.  Crampons and mountaineering axe will be activated soon so no rest for them.

The website has now been updated to summer mode, which actually seems quite futile since this year I will mainly be working for these guys.  In short kids, if you want to be awesome this summer you need to come early (pre 9th June) or late (September).  You can absolutely be awesome out with these dates and tell me all about it when I return to the UK :)

I am now going to be not so awesome as I splash around the water (yes, they are indeed a set of hand paddles), get my legs strong, and become a climbing ninja on a micro adventure.

Monday, 18 April 2016

This weekend past

I have discovered Instagram (di.gilbert - it's not brain science really!) - which I am learning means more time doing the things that I want to do and less time behind the computer.  I love looking at inspiring pictures when I can't be part of them for various reasons and looking for inspiration for the next adventure.

The only thing about using Instagram is that my camera doesn't get to play as much as it is used to.  However, I did manage to click a few pictures whilst working for the MCofS this weekend in the Ochils.

The summer work has started but this season my summer work is going to be very limited - now that is 2 references to this summer is as many blogs so something must be happening :)  I was going to make some smug comment about warm temperatures and small rucksacks but having been out in a snow storm in nothing but running kit on Friday and getting pretty cold I was taking no chances as the cold Northerly winds continued over the weekend.  #snugasabug

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Farewell Scottish winter workeepoos

We were all expecting another white room today but the sun shone between the squalls of hailstones and snow.  Divyesh and Kate discovered that crampons are also useful on slippery snow as we went onto slightly steeper terrain today.

Kate took us to the bottom of the route, Di took us up the route and Divyesh took us home.  From the top of the route, there is something very satisfying when you say to a team: "Take me home please" and they do so [sometimes you have to look beyond the terror in the eyes].

So, as Divyesh and Kate took me home, I plodded at the back, took some photo's and thought what another awesome Scottish winter season we have had.

My Scottish winter work has now sadly come to an end and this is where I normally pack away my winter working gear for a well earned rest.  Not this year however, I'll let them have a couple of months of rest and then they will most certainly be coming out to play for a very big badass mountain. A mountain so badass that it hasn't even got a name, just one letter and one number. #catoutofthebag

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Big peak training

I often get asked how to train for big mountains.  Simply put, the best training for big mountains is big mountains but since we don't have big mountains here, little mountains will have to do.

Divyesh and Kate are both planning big mountains in the future and no better training place than Scotland.  Lets be honest, if you can still be smiling after spending the day in soggy snow, absolutely no visibility, walking on a bearing all day and snow/rain (depending on the altitude) a big mountain with pretty views and lots of excitement will be a piece of cake.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Southern Cairngorms

Having spent the past 2 days in the Northern Cairngorms seeking out the snow, we decided to have a change of scenery.  One look at the SAIS Southern Cairngorms blog last night and one picture provided the inspiration for todays adventure.

With the Cairnwell side being closed, we had the pistes to ourselves for skinning, had the mountain hares, ptarmigan, grouse and (possibly) the dottrel for company as we skinned over to Carn a'Gheoidh, and the pistes to ourselves as we whizzed our way back to the car.

And that will be my last winter work for this season on the planks.  The crows will be cleaned, serviced and packed away for the next few months.