Saturday, 30 May 2015

Drastic measures 4 drastic times

Today the Highlanders decided that they really were sick of the never ending winter so wrapped up in wooly hats, winter thermals and full battle gear we got in the car.

Derek:  "I don't want to stop until it is at least 17 degrees".

Di: "OK".

2 hours later the car thermometer finally reached the optimum temperature and we could stop driving.

To finally have the sun on our backs, to squint in the sun and to enjoy some cragging without having to wear full winter clothes is well overdue.

It's the simple things in life that sometimes provide the best days.

It has obviously remained arctic up North since the fresh snow was still lying on the hills as we drove North, the roads were wet and it's another day of not having to water the hanging baskets.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Enough was enough

I am unfortunately not destined to become a yachter.

Not only did I drop something very important in the harbour (kind of equivalent to throwing all your clothes down the crag in winter) but for 2 days I was horizontal in a near hypothermic state.

We made it as far as Stromness before admitting that some things just aren't meant to be.  Fingers crossed that summer will arrive for July.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

More wintery than winter

Andy & Brian want to do a Cuillin Traverse, but first I insist that they endure some fantastic Scottish scrambling conditions on the mainland.

The monk of doom had forecasted a horrendous weather forecast today and despite trying to put them off, the guys fully embraced the forecast.  Couldn't believe our luck to climb Curved Ridge in the sun.  

My heart sank when I saw how much snow was still left on the exit slopes around Crowberry Tower but a bit of exploration work, soon found us on the summit - just in time for a wintery squall.

I honestly can't remember the last time I even contemplated taking goggles with me in May, but every day is a school day.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Glen Feshie

I really enjoy taking photo's in the hills, even if they aren't very good.  So, for the past 2 days I've been on DofE duty with Gold Expeditions and have found myself with more time than usual to whittle away.

Not that I'm saying that I'm slacking in my duties, but when it takes 1.5 hours for a group to strike camp and have a 30 minute lunch break you have to do something.

Without doubt the best thing about being on DofE watch is that you don't actually have to go out night navigating - now that really is a bonus with 10 hours of undisturbed sleep.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Blue is the new pink?

We females are very shallow.  I have a new rope (Edelweiss obviously) and it's blue.  I also have a new pair of rock shoes (Scarpa obviously) and they are also blue.  They both co-ordinated perfectly with my blue jacket (Outdoor Research obviously) and the sky (Mother Nature obviously).

Today the sky was grey and there was 'stuff' coming out of it.  For those in the know, I have been slowly ticking away at the Allisons and there was one route that I wasn't really looking forward to.  Not because of the length but of it's location.

It's run number 33 and is called 'Glen Tilt'.  If you are a mountain lover, you will head up the famous glen, normally on a mountain bike as part of a bigger day on numerous occasions.  So, the thought of actually going for a run up to Gilberts Bridge (no relation) and back didn't fill me with love.

However, as soon as I left the car park the route took me not on my original route but weaved amongst the trees, the paths and the routes often ignored.  So Susie, hats off to you once again for another stunning run through a part of the country that I know very well but saw her in a completely different light.  Pity I left the camera in the car.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Summer MLing

That's the start of Summer ML season.  Feels somewhat bizarre when you could potentially still be running Winter ML's on the Cairngorm Plateau.

2 days ago I nearly stood on a nesting grouse and 1 day ago I stood next to a baby Mountain Hare (before it decided to take its chances and bolt).  Steve's gang went one better and found a dead rat (yes, a rat) deep in the Southern Cairngorms.

That's what makes the mountains so special - you just never know what you're going to see.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Winning Trophies

I am once again overwhelmed at the generosity of the University of Strathclyde.  It was very kind of them to organise a very posh dinner with our very own quartet playing in the background; a private audience with Lord Smith of Kelvin and some fantastic company for Derek's birthday.  The only thing that they forgot, was for the entire room to stand up and sing Happy Birthday.

We outdoor people, don't normally win trophies as such so I was blown away when I was presented with one.  [Note to my mum:  mum - I still don't want the display cabinet that you have been trying to pass onto me!]  So, to Niall Sturrock (the man behind the plan) I say a very public "Thank you" for organising something that I will never forget.

Back to normality again ...