Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Hills, bikes & horses

I have a mountain bike.

It hasn't got a name but if it were, it would probably be something like Bill - as in Sam's trusty steed in Lord of the Rings.  You know the sort; reliable, steady, plump, ploddy ...

Well, Bill is in bits so Derek kindly lent me his bike.

Unlike Bill, Derek's bike would go by the name of Shadowfax.  A magnificent beast that shouldn't be tamed.

Only problem with riding Shadowfax, is that I never ever felt in control.  To say that I bounced, wobbled and jiggled all the way into the hills would be an understatement.  Never have I been so grateful for walking in thigh deep heather tussocks, relentlessly for hours (well, not quite but you get the drift).

Never a dull day ...

Monday, 25 August 2014

Mountaineering 4 Skiers

Yes I know, a bit early, but we had the first frost last night.

So, having kept quiet about this for some time now, its time to spread the joy - no, I am not pregnant!

This winter season, Di Gilbert Mountaineering is joining forces with Mike Austin from Avalanche Geeks to offer a very special ski mountaineering course - especially designed for skiers.

These courses are specifically aimed at recreational ski mountaineers who wish to take their sport to the next level but lack the technical knowledge to match their ski ability.  We spend both days in the mountain environment sniffing out the best snow and the best descents with a focus on exploring steep terrain.

Why have we chosen to work with Mike?  Well, lets be honest, anybody who says "If you'd like to ski with Mike in North America then ideally you rock 120 underfoot and have your hair tied in bunches, but if not you can still get in touch and discuss your tolerance for tall stories, deep powder and tequila" is a winner with me.

For more information on these courses, check out the website.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Gruinard Bay

Yes, it has been so long even Derek was confused on what to do with the metal bits.

We left the East.  It was 10 degrees.

We drove West.  It was 18 degrees.

We drove East.  It was 10 degrees.

Slightly overdressed to say the least ...

Friday, 22 August 2014

Aonach Eagach

Every now and then you just have a really cool day on the hill.

Today was one of those days.

A lot has to do with the company and as soon as I met them at the car park, I knew it would be a great day in the office.

This is Jean:

If I am half as fit as Jean at her age I will be delighted.

This is Peter:

Despite getting lost prior to the climb, he didn't get lost again.

And this is Jo:

Having heard about Di Gilbert, made the special trip from Canada just to do the ridge :)  What is perhaps more impressive about Jo is her ability to churn out Boshi hats.  Kindly modelled by Peter and Jo below.  Jo can make one an hour so in theory, she should have churned out 7 today but was probably too busy in not falling off the ridge to worry about dropping a stitch (do crochet folk drop stitches?).

Not a bad day in the office really.  Thanks for a fab day guys :)

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The Killin Hills

 Yesterday, we really did drive for longer than we were on the hill.

Today we tried and failed to find the path.

Today, we also climbed possibly the easiest Corbett there is.  Sub one hour from the car and that was blethering all the way.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Things to do when its wet ...

... fully embrace it.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Achnashellach adventures

Most of my climbing partners are either knackered (i.e. injured), in foreign places or working.

So once again I find myself pouring over the corbett book.  Corbetts are normally singletons so to get 2 done in a day was a complete bonus. 

I met Martin yesterday, a lone walker who was out to enjoy the solitude that the hills provide - that is until an excitable Di comes along.  As much as I enjoy my own company on the hills, sometimes it's nice to put the world to right with somebody that you don't know.

I couldn't do 2 days of bagging hills, so this morning I opted for the Coulin Pass & Coire Lair Allison - as Susie puts it an "unbeatable combination of stalker paths and mountain scenery".

Sure is a lot easier in trainers and not pushing a bike or carrying a winter climbing sack.