Sunday, 27 December 2015

Roly poly christmas puddings

I was going to start off by making some smart comment about eating too many Christmas Puddings but it is far worse than that.  Today, I felt like a Christmas Pudding.

Spectacular morning trying to work out where to push racers for the first Skimo race of the season.  No doubt, tomorrows pictures will be no where near as stunning as todays.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Paddling Royalty

I live in a world with some of some of the most highly motivated people there is.  However, nothing was to prepare me for the Paddling Royalty of British Canoeing.

Was an absolute privilege to be involved in one of the coolest conferences around today where there are only 3 colours that matter - Gold, Silver and Bronze.  All I can say is the I will be making a big effort to watch the Rio Olympic Games this coming summer.  Go Team GB.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

The Patrollers

Absolute pleasure to be working on the BASP Annual Ski Patrol Course today.

Despite the rapidly thawing snow pack fun is still to be had if you know where to look.

Very excited to be departing Scottie for a few days to mingle with the best of the best in the world of British Canoeing.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Time in tignes

For nearly 7 months my birds hang on the wall collecting dust.  With 2 knee operations already under my belt I have learnt my lesson.  I need to break into the ski season and wake my ski legs up.

As much as I love the up, I also love the down so packed with minimal gear and amazing company, we bailed to the Alps.

Clare is the most excitable person I have ever had the pleasure to meet (yes, I know a pretty big statement) and despite blowing her knee at the end of day one, the smile continued non stop as I whooped the fluff.

Clare is now an expert on hot chocolate.

Once again my timing is exemplary as I return to Scotland just in time for the turbo thaw.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Lets get out of here

I used to get quite stressed out about not getting out on the hills early season.  Not anymore.

I enjoy the social banter at the wall; the smug feeling as the rain and wind batter the sides of the house; the running aimlessly through the woods with a head torch on and trying drastically to improve my swimming.

There are some days that just aren't hill days.  Fact.

So, what does one do?

Obviously one buys a flight ticket and packs a kitbag.


Thursday, 26 November 2015

Emile Sande rocks

Emeli Sande and I don't really have too much in common if I am honest.  She has 1.23 million followers on Twitter, nearly 2 million followers on Facebook, 3 number one hits, had the best selling album in 2012 and belted out her tunes at the London Olympics.

It is at the point when I would say something cynical like "Yeh, but I bet she's not happy" or something along that ilk.

However, one thing that Emeli Sande and I do have in common is that we are both ex pupils of Alford Academy.  With a 37 million pound complete refurb and development of what is now called Alford Community Campus, we both happened to have been invited to it's official opening yesterday - I will be honest and say that Emeli had a slightly bigger role to play than myself :)

So, to go back to my cynical comment above, I will happy say that I have been proved wrong and not only is this chick awesome, it seems that she is actually a very very nice genuine person.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015


The great thing about these early season short winter days, it breaks you in slowly for the harshness of mid weather.

When do you stop to put on that extra layer?  When do you stop to put on the bigger gloves.  When do you stop to put on the goggles?  When do you stop to eat?

Yesterday, the answer was easy - never.  More practice needed.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Another Award!

I think I had a pretty good reason to let Rich down this weekend by not playing:

Sunday, 15 November 2015

The first walk into the corrie for the season

As storm A Big Gail did\did not (delete as appropriate) hit the country this weekend, there was only one thing to do.  Three days of Allison trots.

With very nearly half the Allisons ticked and half the Corbetts ticked, Derek asked the question: "What will I do when I have finished them?"

Mmm.  Not quite sure but it did get me asking the question on why on earth I do tick lists.  Simple really, for somebody who organises things for a living and makes the majority of decisions, ticking lists is like somebody else suggesting what to do.  So, if you have many adventures stored in the memory, when you find yourself at a loose end you have the reserve to fall back on.

Today was a perfect example.  Did have a plan but it fell through so a quick phone call to a friend to see what they were doing saw us walk into the corrie of the people for the first time of the season.

Will add quickly at this point, summer hill walking boots were worn and sharpies were left at home.  Anybody who says that things were frozen today in the Northern Corries are telling porkies.  Couldn't find my winter woolies, socks, head torch and despite boiling the kettle 3 times, I successfully left the unfilled flask in the kitchen.  Time to winterise me thinks.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Strathclyde People

Sometimes I forget what I've done.

Ages ago I had a phone interview with a very nice chap from Strathclyde University for their online magazine 'Strathclyde People'.

This was pointed out to me recently:

Needless to say that I can't remember saying any of it :)

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

South Loch Ness Trail

I had completely buried my head in the sand recently trying to finish this seasons Skimo Scotland brochure.  24 pages later we are finally ready to head to the printers.

It was Nick who mentioned the South Loch Ness Trail, so with a play buddy and some amazing weather, we decided to give it a whirl before the weather breaks.

Lessons to be learnt:

  • Perhaps getting the 1115 bus from Inverness was a little bit late
  • Bin liners and duck tape do classify as a bag for transporting a bike with Citylink
  • Remember to take into account the bike from Fort Augustus to Loch Tarff
  • It gets dark at 1645
  • Remember bike lights 

Overall, highly recommended mini adventure.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Colby's Camp

When we headed to Ardgour the other day, none of us had really heard about the camp.

Just off the summit of Creach Bheinn there remains the obvious evidence of a camp, so a quick tinterweb check was certainly required.   We discovered that it was constructed by soldiers of the Ordnance Survey early in the 19th century as part of the first triangulation of Scotland.

Who said Corbetts were boring ...

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Autumnal days

As much as I love the big mountains I always look forward to returning to my native hills.

Hill #1:

Hill #2:

If you never knew better you would think that they were the same hill.  Unfortunately not and with c.600m drop between the 2, I was grateful for the spectacular views to make up for the sweaty ascents.

I look forward to the ankle wrecking grass tussocks, the knee wrenching peat hags, the up-to-your-armpits-bracken, getting spooked by the mountain hares and hoping that the rutting stags won't look at me as a threat.

Wouldn't swop it for the world.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Climbing in Catalonya

It was never intended to be a climbing holiday but it would have been rude to head to perhaps one of Europe's finest sport climbing area's without lobbing in the rock shoes.

I am ashamed to say that I've been visiting Spain for over 20 years cragging and have never climbed in Catalonya before.  I was blown away by the rock, the scenery and the pure beauty of the area.

It wasn't really a climbing holiday but more of a recharge from India and in preparation for the busy season.  Would I go back?  Oh yeh baby ...

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Adventure Peaks Sudarshan Parbet Expedition

Another random God:

The magnificent Shivling:

Camp 2:

Glacier travel:

Looking down on the girls:

Our amazing Sherpa's Phurbu and Lakpa working hard:

Ropes and water, sometimes there is a time and a place:

Tuesday, 15 September 2015


Pigs - hey what the hell, just an everyday sight in Rishikesh.

No more internet now, so updates via the Adventure Peaks news page :)

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Adventure Peaks mini break

Delhi, it's like Kathmandu but not so smoggy and on steroids.  Feet haven't touch the ground in the last 2 days because we've been rather busy.

I could post some pictures of the beggars, the falling apart rickshaws, the dodgy electrics, or the kids playing in the dirt, but being a girl I'm going to post this one:

Yes, today we found the hypermarket.  It made the Eastgate Shopping Centre (sorry, non Invernessians that will make no sense to you) seem like a corner shop.   Absolutely ridiculous.  We have just loaded 50 kit bags into a bus for tomorrow so we are once again travelling nice and light.  In fact we bought so much food at said hypermarket we got 6 bottles of 2L Pepsi for free so for the next few days we will all be as high as kites.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Sudarshan Parbet

I am certainly not going high, fast and light.  I am weighing in at a hefty 23kg x 3.

I am armed with a map, 4 weeks of pants and an empty memory card in the camera.  The iPod is full of ridiculously tacky music, I have packed a book (a touchy feely one, none of that techy crap) and I have blown the cobwebs off my sharp things.  It's that time of year once again, when I fly the Adventure Peaks flag as I prepare to depart for India.

It's been many years since I've spent any time in India and have absolutely no idea what to expect now.  Looking forward massively to another adventure but certainly not looking forward to eating spicy food for the next 4 weeks.

Serious updates will be posted on the Adventure Peaks website when I'm not sitting on the loo laa howling in pain and have tinter web.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

The mighty Liathach

No matter how good the photo's are, they are never as good as the day itself.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

50 Lashings

Yes, that is a blue sky. Enough said.

Oh, 50 lashings?  Well, that's what it felt like when we whizzed through the over-the-head bracken constantly hoping that it was just bracken and not nettles or brambles.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Meteorologically Autumn

Meteorologically speaking, we are now in Autumn.  Thank God.  In my head, Autumn is the training season for winter and I am fully prepared for the first Autumnal storms, the shorter days and the Northerly winds.  Therefore, when I head to the hills now, if it's not all the above it's a bonus.

I normally don't hesitate what shoes to wear on the hill - it has to have a Scarpa logo - but because the hill was 80% track and 20% moor I opted (for the first time) to wear my mountain bike shoes.  What a stupid idea that was.  I had soaking wet feet within the first 2 seconds and having to teeter over slippy schist with a pair of protruding SPD's is not a great image for somebody who is supposed to be fairly proficient in the hills.  Don't get me started on any kind of incline.

On a very positive note, I did breath a very big sigh when I returned to the bike to find it still in it's place.  Losing the bike would be a complete disaster but having to miss out on the fastest descend off any hill would have been unthinkable.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Blowing in the wind

To say it was windy today would have been an understatement.  We couldn't even cycle side by side in fear of getting blown into each other.  Which is probably a good thing, because today we done probably the world's most boring hill and if we never had the fear of killing ourselves on the bikes, it would have been quite a boring day.  Well, actually that's not true but it sounds better than - cycled in, walked up a hill, cycled back.

I do think we found one of the countries biggest cairns today and we're not speaking about just a random pile of thrown-on-top-of-each-other-stones.  Which was probably a good thing since it did provide some kind of shelter from the blowy air.