Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Not falling off ridges

Yesterday was all about not walking off the ridge.

Oh, and trail breaking.

Great day out on the Forcan Ridge with Gemma & James.

Thanks Matt Stygall for putting them my way :)

Officially, that was the last hill of the year.

Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year - may it bring you lots of adventures and fun.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

SkiMo season kicked off in Scotland

Wow - who would have thought that you could so much fun at the Lecht Ski Centre.

A whopping 42 racers including telemarkers, nordic and split boarders.

Check out the Skimo Scotland site for more details.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Christmas day traditions

We didn't let the closed road stop us yesterday :)

After the battering on Christmas Day, it was nice to enjoy some sun this morning at the Lecht.  Fingers crossed since the Skimo Scotland race series kicks off on Saturday.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

For one day only ...

These are the best places to be at present i.e. in, out of the wind.

More important I received a very good text today about tomorrows adventure.

To quote the Mountaineering Council of Scotland's Safety Advisor: "Tinsle + baubles essential kit"

Merry Christmas bloggee's.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

A windy Cairngorm

Goggles were activated today, which means that it was windy.

We're not speaking about an annoying breeze here.  We're speaking about the wind that is filled with needles who's job is to destroy your retinas.

I was joined by a great team who never lost anything in the hill today - that's good for group of 7 trust me :)

It wasn't a day to be hanging around and it wasn't a day to be high.  It doesn't mean that you can't enjoy the mountains though ... 

Friday, 20 December 2013


Today was all about the bobbles.

Skimo bobble

versus Skully bobble

No contest really :)

I am now fully preparing myself to get blown off the hill tomorrow - again :)

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Mixed emotions

For those of you that like the Di Gilbert Mountaineering Facebook page, this news won't be new.

Back in 2012, Alison Culshaw (Off Piste Performance) and Catrin Thomas (long suffering ski buddy, climbing buddy and drinking buddy for the past 17 years) took it upon us to try and complete the famous Patrouille Des Glaciers.

Now, if it wasn't for the fact the race was halted at the Col de Reiderman due to the snow conditions, we would have completed it.  We had always said that we would race again and having just heard a couple of days ago that our entry has been accepted into the 2014 race, I don't know whether to cry or laugh.

So Mr Winter, sort yourself out because this girl needs to get the skinning in.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Little adventures

Sometimes little windows require little adventures.

Two sessions later, I have bits that I never knew could get sore.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Perfect timing from Odlo

There is frost in the garden today and we are braced for the first big winter storm.

Therefore, I am so excited about joining the Odlo family.

Odlo's roots began when they produced training tights for ice-skating athletes, then moved onto cross-country skiers and speed skaters.   In 2002,  they designed the first underwear made with odour reducing silver ions and in 2006 they designed the cubic fabric which has a 3 dimensional structure that ensured optimal body temperatures. 

Basically kids, it is uber good thermals!

Obviously I am not an ice skater, cross-country skier (I don't call schlepping around Grantown Golf Course cross country skiing) or a speed skater.

Thankfully Odlo have grown over the years and now produce over 550 different products for all types of athletes.

So, irrespective on how ridiculous I might look on the outside, I will be wearing some very cool thermals underneath :)


Sunday, 1 December 2013

The wonderful world of the white stuff

So, if you think the mountaineering industry is confusing with its WGL, MLS, MLW, MIA, MIC, IML, BMG, AMI, CWL & SPA, let me introduce the ski world.

Yesterday, Nevis Range hosted the very first pre-season Backcountry Gathering.  A very informative day with lots of people doing lots of cool things.  However, it got me thinking about the ski industry.

I am a skier and I have skied (not very gracefully for 35 years).  

However, skiing can now be classified as:

Side Country
Back Country
Off Piste
All Mountain
Ski Touring
Ski Mountaineering

Confusing eh?

So, here's Di's descriptions:

Freestyle & Freeride:  basically this is 'twirly jumps'.  I might leave this department to those who bounce and don't break since my mind would write cheques that my body can't cash.  These guys bounce.

Side Country & Off Piste:  ideal when you really can't be arsed to skin anywhere.  Uplift required and then loads of 'whoops' and 'yeeeee haaaaaarrrrrrsssss' compulsory.  Deep powder the pre-requisite and off the groomed runs.

Back Country/All Mountain/Ski Touring/Ski Mountaineering:  basically these are all exactly the same thing.  A journey involving skinning, fresh tracks, good banter, great views in a mountain environment.  Mountaineering skills essential.

SkiMo: for those who enjoy breathing through their backside - i.e. ski mountaineering with a sense of urgency.

Steeps:  best left to the Gods of the ski world (in my humble opinion) - you only have to look at the pictures in Bauds guidebook to Mont Blanc and the Aiguille Rouge to see what I'm speaking about here.  [WHAT - I could sell my second hand book for £1,499.00!)  Or, you could just check out Ross :)

Now, I am sure that I will offend some people with my crude description, but somebody has to make sense of it all for mere mortals!

If it gets people out, thats the main thing :)

Monday, 25 November 2013


We left the Loch Muick car park with heavy hearts yesterday since we couldn't see a snowflake, let alone a snow patch.  However, sometimes you just have to follow your gut instinct.

Much to our amazement we were rewarded with this as we popped over the col:


It really doesn't matter what we climbed, since the day was all about the company and the situations - something that Lochnagar is famous for.

And why is Lochnagar, called 'Lochnagar' when it should be called Cac Carn Beag?

It was another classic early season day, with Heather leaving her sandwiches in the fridge;  Derek not getting enough time to eat any of this sandwiches and Di very nearly leaving 2 ice screws behind when I repacked my sack.

I think I will no longer be able to use the 'early season/first winter route' excuse for being a dork on the hill :)

Friday, 22 November 2013

Creagan Cho-no

I don't know Creagan Cha-no very well and it's not really a crag to shout out about.

But, when it's early season and you only have a short window to play with, beggars can't be choosers.

Interesting though, there was quite a lot of beggars out today :)

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Last of the summer work

Yup, this about sums up the last 5 days.

Bring on winter ...

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Sharp things activated

My day went something like this:

Belay jacket on; big gloves on.  Cold feet - no really cold feet.

Belay jacket off; climbing gloves on.  Failed miserably to climb in a 3D manner.

Hot - no really hot.

Cold -  no really cold.

Belay jacket on; big gloves on.  Looked very unglamorous trying to straddle rock.

Rip in belay jacket *bugger* - oo, might take belay jacket off for this bit.

God, where are the foot holds?  God, where are the pick placements?


Ah, might just use that in situ rock as a pick placement.

Oo, I'm liking the tight tope.

Oh God, I've got to lead something!

[Rich & Robin probably discuss everything there is to discuss, eat everything in their rucksacks and get hypothermic]

Take hours trying to clip a rope into a krab.  Get rope twisted.  Wrap leashes around rope.  Put rip in new pants.

Is it tomorrow yet?

A huge thank to Richard and Robin who made my first climb of the season another great one to remember :)

Friday, 8 November 2013

Not bad for the start of November

I wasn't very productive last night and as a result the inbox got quite full.

Never got too stressed about it since I thought that today would be a day off the hill.

However, I really do have the will power of a gnat and couldn't quite face a day inside when the skies were clear.

So, wrapping up warm - it was chilly in the wind - we embarked on a little tour around the Northern Corries.

It will be a late one tonight :)