Monday, 30 May 2011

an unforgettable day

To find out more click here

Thursday, 26 May 2011

worth every penny

Haven spoken to Karl on Tuesday evening, we were fully prepared for the 7 mile walk along the Loch.

You can imagine our faces as we drove up to Loch Mullardoch and there was a lull in the wind.

First fell An Socach ...

Then there was An Riabhachan - not sure how you pronouce that one, so it got called "the second one".

Then there was the mighty Sgurr na Lapaich.

Before the final one of Carn nan Gobhar.

Off to buy bunting, plonk and balloons now.

Also going to start praying to the weather gods (just one last time) for some stellar weather on Saturday.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

waterfalls defying nature i.e. waterstands

I am having my Last Munro Party on Saturday.

Only thing is, I haven't actually finished them yet.

I had specifically planned to get the remaining stragglers done in May.

The weather God obviously knows this and has been making my life miserable for the past 3 weeks.

There is absolutely no way that we could get to Shenavail and Lochivroan was booked out "exclusively to a school group" which left only one option.

A very long day in truly miserable conditions.

10 hours later, having travelled 40km and over 2000m ascent, Di & Derek returned to the car very wet, soggy but with very big grins having climbed the remaining 4 Fisherfields's.

Derek deserves a medal for today - well and truely above and beyond the call of duty.

Derek is also very happy that for Di's last day before the Last One, she will be having a girlie day.  It's not a great forecast, but compared to today, anything will be an improvement!

Monday, 23 May 2011

a challenging weekend

Do not let the photo fool you....

I can honestly say that instead of having to work on an SPA training this weekend, I would have probably preferred to have been in a health SPA.

Where it would have been warm, dry and not blowing a gale...

It goes without say that I am not out on the hill today because even I would probably struggle to make upward progress in hurricane strength winds - sad smiley face.

Friday, 20 May 2011

it's all in the equipment ...

 ... and after nearly 20 years in the mountains I can well and truely say that I got it very wrong today.

I have never, ever, been as cold as I was today.

I was very warm when I left the car.

I got very wet from above, the side and below on the bike in.

I got quite warm on the walk to the col until I hit the snow line.

I got cold as a cold thing as I waded up to my calfs in snow.

I got even colder as I came back down the hill.

I got a little bit warm as I run down the hill.

I got very wet from above, the side and below on the bike out.

I never felt my feet for at least 3 hours.

Perhaps running equipment wasn't the smartest decision I have made but, lets be honest, I wasn't quite expecting THAT MUCH SNOW!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

the mighty Glen Etive

The mission yesterday was to get the outlying straggling munro ticked before the ming weather came in.

I succeeded :)


Today, wet feet were the least of my concerns...

I have now done 96% of the hilly things - or 272 in real money.  More importantly, this leaves me only 3 hill days (ok, they are rather long days but hey ho) to do before the Last Munro Party.

Oh, I can safety say that the Etive slabs, Glen Coe and generally anything on the West Coast is rather wet...

Sunday, 15 May 2011

what happened to the good weather in may?

Nearly got hypothermia yesterday [again] whilst working for the Mountaineering Council of Scotland.

So, today I was fully prepared wearing my winter woolies to do battle with the weather.

Needless to say, I was wearing too much and got too hot.

Having checked the weather forecast for the next week, it looks like oil skins, wellie boots and an umberella (that can withstand 60 mph winds) should be the weapons of choice.

Friday, 13 May 2011

you have got to be kidding ....

I'm not going to blog about today which involved snow and the grey corries, but instead I'm going to talk about last night.

I have never geocached before - not really my cup of tea - but I thought that since GPS's are becoming more common with clients and I do speak about geocaching, I had better find out what all the fuss is about.

So, armed with 2 geocache co-ordinates and needing any excuse to stop as we drove west, we went to geocache number one.

Imagine the situation:

Di & Derek roaming around the woods trying to find the geocache.  Derek finds it first but quickly puts its back.  Di gets excited and asks what it is.

Derek: "I want to make this very clear.  This was your game."

Di: "oh."

Di looks a geocache and was rather shocked by her finding - just one piece of paper with a very, very graphic porn picture.

So is geocaching just a polite and acceptable way to find porn in the hills?

Needless to say, Derek was quite keen to find geocache number 2.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

the weather

The weather is doing evil things.

We have specifically not gone away on a mini break because Mr Weatherman has been forecasting doom and gloom across the country.

However, my last 2 days on the hills have actually been rather pleasant.

Perhaps not idea for climbing, but great for trampling over yonder hills.

If someone could have a conversation with the Big 'Yun upstairs can I put a request in for some stellar climbing conditions next week please?

Tuesday, 10 May 2011


If you never go out in minging conditions, you miss the explosion of colours.

Only 8 more hill days before they are finally ticked off *yippee*

Sunday, 8 May 2011

boys v girls

Claire decided that she really never required 3 trangia's, one pocket rocket and one trango stove to boil enough water to make a cup of tea.

Kay thought Claire was being somewhat over cautious.

Tiffany thought that she would provide a real casulty as she smacks her head off the entrance to the shelter whilst the group discussed emergency procedures.

Kerri-with-an-i really did miss a great opportunity to show off her cup cakes.

Karen thought that Di was being rude when Di suggested they go for a furtle through the heather - its a doric word honestly!

Di thought that "big black slug" (official name in identification book) really was possibly the best name possible before Alison stood on "big black slug" and thought that it should be renamed "big squashed black slug".

So, as the boys, with Nancy (obviously not a boy) done boy things and wrote perhaps the funniest route card I have ever seen, the girls done girls things. 

Heaven help the little people of Nansen, Golspie and Invergordon ....

Thursday, 5 May 2011

sandbagged - in the best possible taste

There are some routes that have been on my hit list for years, but sometimes there just never seems to be enough days in the week.  However, with a fantastic forecast Heather & Di made the trek up North West to finally put a big fat tick against The Nose of the Fhidhleir.
Armed with 2 different guide books and someone (i.e. not me) who had already climbed the route, it was a recipe for success.

We hadn't taken into account the utterly cr*p route descriptions and the fact the Heather had climbed the route over 10 years ago.

Needless to say, we started in the wrong position, took the wrong traverse line, took the wrong line up a blunt arete and more importantly climbed in the shade.

And then the wind came.

Within a short space of time, we were both near hypothermic and decided to bail.

I made some comment about "failure" whilst Heather seemed to be ecstatic still to be alive to tell another tale :)

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

the weather be a changin'

I don't think I had realised how much the winter climbing season had taken out of me this season so a change has been as good as a rest.

Today, something changed.

I went for a run up Cairngorm but instead found myself standing at the rescue box in Sneachda.

Legs felt good and the rock looked warm and appealing.

Floppy running shoes did not excel very well on the snow approach up Aladin's Mirror which saw a hasty retreat onto the rocks, before finally hitting the scratched rock of Pigmy Ridge.

Floppy running shoes did not excel very well on rock either now I come to think about it.

A few wobbles later, I was on the plateau with not a sole to be seen.

Pictures?  Don't be daft ... I only went for a run up the hill ...

Monday, 2 May 2011

it's all relative you know

Whoever said that knoydart is Scotland's last great wilderness needs shot.
There is absolutely no denying that the views are out of this world but hadn't quite prepared myself for so many people.

Now, I would say that I spend more than the average amount of time, than the normal layman, in yonder hills but I can safely say that I have never experienced so many people in one small area before.
Oh, hang on a minute......

maybe this had something to do with it....

For more on Scotland's 'last great wilderness' click here.