Tuesday, 27 December 2011

the little hills

As the ski's and tools gather dust on rack, the mountain bike is in its element once again.

Think I can have a guilt free dinner tonight.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

biking christmas

Merry Christmas blogee's

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

make hay when the sun shines

Last tour for the year?

Sunday, 18 December 2011

misinterpreting books

I very nearly lost Donald on the walk into the corrie of the people.  Hard to believe I know....

Happily reunited (another chapter for the book) we tinkled in, up and around the corrie looking at 'stuff'.

Donald is learning that mountaineering in not really about soloing grade hard, tunnelling through massive cornices and practising ice axe arrests down mega death slopes.

Really, books are over rated...

Saturday, 17 December 2011

the view today

Ok, Fiona was actually wearing blue but I could only find green, but apart from that, its pretty close.

I really would quite like to see where I am going tomorrow.

Friday, 16 December 2011

plums and tangerines

I was dressed as a plum today.

I was on purple ski's.

I had on purple ski pants.

I had on a purple jacket.

I had on a purple hat.

After 1000m of skinning, my cheeks were most definitely purple, and that was before the mulled wine - which was also purple.

Derek was dressed as a tangerine.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

found it!

The snow had to be somewhere, since its obviously been blown off the high hills.

So, turning down the opportunity to climb - mad isn't it - I went on search for the missing snow.

Found it!  

So this morning with only the mountain hares, the grouse and shadows for company, I stayed low sniffing out the best line for optimum "whee's".

Only stuck my head into the wind once to discover that trying to put away skins in more than a breeze is slightly problematic - bet our continental friends don't have that issue.

Oh, lets have a little bit of a reality check - there was a bit of heather on the lower slopes, but isn't that just part of the game?

Saturday, 10 December 2011

avoiding the crowds

Another minging day on the hill today.

Didn't want to be anywhere near the crowds today but it was nice to see the ski tourers out in force.

Donald is discovering that crampons are much more effective on his boots than in his rucksack.

Hadn't realised that it was acceptable for skidoo's to leave the ski area.  Might try and drive my Peugeot 207 up the land rover track tomorrow....

Thursday, 8 December 2011

the white stuff

Its always good at the start of the season to go out with professional professionals.  Yesterday, this came in the form of Mark from the Scottish Avalanche Information Service.

The service has loads of interesting things happening this season which can be found on their website.

The Northern Cairngorms and Lochaber areas will be publishing their first reports for the season this weekend with the full service starting on Wednesday.

The latest reading (1048) from the Cairngorm Weather station show that the mean windspeed is 74mph with a gust windspeed of 102mph.

Slightly grateful to be indoors....

Monday, 5 December 2011

the first route of the season

... is never pretty and today was no exception.

You would think that after a few years practice that I would learn.

I wrapped myself up in my leashes, I dropped my flask lid down the hill, I had forgotten how to use my crampons and we probably chose the wrong route as a warm up.  

I was going to say that I had forgotten how to swing my tools, but this wasn't really appropriate today.  

Instead of wearing my posh OR kit, I should have wrapped myself in a hessian sack so that I could stick to the ice in the chimney.

To sum up Di & Richards adventure: The Stirling Bomber 55m V,7 ** - bloomin' desperate.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

a video blog

Promise, this was today ...

I have told Rich, to pack ski's and tools for tomorrow :)

Thursday, 1 December 2011

the north west

The little people of the world worked hard to gain our access rights, and its important that the little people of the world exercise their right before this becomes a sign of things to come.

No sorry, I won't be replacing a very good land rover track for a death defying river crossing and a non existent hill path over some outrageous bog terrain.

A little bit surprised how much snow their actually was and wasn't really expecting to do any trail breaking.

The £1million question:  was it in nick?  ha, now that would be telling.....

Monday, 28 November 2011

things to do when its too windy for the hill

1. pay the entry fee for the PDG

2. plot on maps (most definitely plural) the route of the PDG

3. panic

4. get some fresh air, go to monster trails in moray and have a flabby day out

It's not until you have to carry out a proper 'boy' clean on the bike you start to question your cleaning abilities.  Strangely enough, I have never thought about tumble drying, ironing or eating a bike - until today.

5. start praying to the weather Gods for some snow so I can start skinning.

Monday, 21 November 2011

things to do when you have 2 very sore ankles ...

I must have been able to swim at some stage, because I have badges.

That was about 25 years ago.

The good thing about swimming pools is that you don't think you are going to drown, you won't stand on a jelly fish and you won't get eaten by sharks.

My first visit to the pool, I splashed around for 20 lengths.  I had to spent more time resting and I probably drunk my own weight in water.

My second visit to the pool, I splashed around for 24 lengths.  I discovered that it really isn't a good idea to swim with the wave machine on.  Really, what is that all about?

My third visit to the pool, I went with Thea.

Thea: "I normally swim for a mile Di, but if you want to stay longer that is fine"

Di: *splutter*

One hour later, I swam my first mile - it wasn't pretty but I managed.

On Saturday, I took part on the MCofS's Mountain bike course for hillwalkers.  Fabby course and highly recommended.

On Sunday, Di hoped that their would be a mountain bike technical failure so that she could put her skills to practice - there wasn't.

More importantly, after the cycle, Di dragged Derek to the pool (who also had badges at some stage) and swam a mile with very few rests.

Derek is now going to become a professional fish.

If we could have only gone for a run, I could have completed my first triathlon.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

the lycra suit

We applied for the PDG 2010 but never got a place.

This was probably a blessing in disguise, knowing what I know now.

We applied for the PDG 2012 and got a place.

Holy poo .....

What's she talking about?

Right, so the snow can arrive now please so that I can start skinning :)

Monday, 14 November 2011

enforced rest

When I got my appendix removed, it took me 2 days before I was doing a winter traverse of Liathach.

When I got my knee operated on, it took me 4 weeks before I was brave enough to ice climb on it.

When I hit a deer and broke my ankle when on the motorbike, it took me about 2 weeks before I was back climbing.

When I bust my knee, for the second time, I had 12 hours rest before climbing the North Face of the Jorrasses.

Derek & Di spent all weekend clipping bolts on home turf and its slightly ironic that on the easiest route of the 2 days - the "warm down" - Di missed the clip and lobbed rather impressively onto a ledge.

Had to properly pull up the man suit to get off the hill - and here's me thinking that clip sticks are used for clipping bolts.....

After 4 hours at A&E getting 2 suspected fractured ankles x-rayed, I was given the all clear.

Give me a week max .....

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

turkish delight

Poop - time to go home......

The latest news on the main website will be done in the next couple of days if you are wanting some more beta.

Monday, 7 November 2011


You know you have gone to the right crag, when all the locals are there.

And just incase, we had missed any locals at crag #1, we found them at crag #2.

And then I asked Derek to walk back along the rickety little walkway for a photo and he said "No, and you can't make me!"


Sunday, 6 November 2011


The down side about having a climbing trip with only one other person, is that you rarely get any good climbing pictures.

All climbers bums look big when photoing from below - even those who survive on one celery stick a week. And trust me, there are a few of them around this mini break. So, what chance have we got - I felt guilty eating a tiny haribo sweet at the crag today.

Along with Mr & Mrs celery Stick, one of the other main climbing group around this week, is Mr & Mrs Beautiful - perfectly honed bodies with muscles on muscles and perfect tans.  Once again, what chance have we got, being pastie white from the North of Scotland where we only expose our legs to the sun about 2 days a year?

I might just stick to putting pathetic chameleons on my blog.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

today ...

routes climbed = 0

successul hitch hike rides = 3

missed buses = 1

cool gecko things seen = lots

turkish delight eaten = too much

steps walked = bloody miles

diet coke drunk = 3 litres

new friends made = 6

wine drunk = 2 bottles

recovered fingers = hopefully them all

Friday, 4 November 2011

today, we were mainly upside down

This is a very, very little section of Geyikbryiri.  Infact, this is just one sector of 35. To say that there is quite alot of climbing would be a slight understatement.

The routes are remarkable well bolted and you never actually think you are going to die, shatter a limb and deck out onto a nasty ledge.

If you enjoy climbing over space, you will love this venue.

As a result of this upside down climbing, today we mainly dangled alot.

I think this might be the theme for the trip.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

one day...

... and my fingers are absolutely trashed - somehow brain hadn't acknowlegded that recently bolted venue's will be sharp on the fingers.

Can you see it ...

... someone needs to tell it that it isn't very good - no matter how still he remains.

Oh, and the cliffs are held together with little bits of wood .....

And there's big spiders, snakes, holly trees that are "on steriods" and, get this, its colder here in the evening than in Scotland!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

the middle east

Until about 10 minutes ago, if I am perfectly honest, I had absolutely no idea where Turkey was.

I have absolutely no idea how to pronounce Geyikbayiri.

10 years ago, there were only 30 routes.

There are now 35 sectors with 618 routes.

I don't think we will get them all done in 7 days.