Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Navigation Course

Out today with Brian and Nicole, who have taken up proper hillwalking recently and were keen to get to grips with the basics of navigation.  We started with a short session indoors looking at different map types, scales, grid references and basic use of the compass, before heading out to put it into action. We started in the Rothiemurchus forest, looking at following paths, contours, tick off features and handrails. We then moved up onto the hill and looked at taking a bearing from the map and using it for short sections in pathless terrain. They both coped admirably with lots of new information, as well as the strong winds, and went away with things to practice and improve on.  Well done to both of them for putting themselves out of their comfort zone and challenging themselves.  Thank you both for the fun day.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Autumn Gold

A real feeling of Autumn in the hills and woods just now. The trees are golden and the hills are turning russet brown. This can be a lovely time of year......crisp dry weather, not too cold but the prospect of a crackling log fire to end the day. And no midges! Some photos from today. Make the most of Autumn before winter descends, whether that be climbing a classic Cairngorms peak or preparing your hill skills and navigation ready for the challenge of winter.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

The other side of Cairngorm

Out with Alex today to do some navigation training. I set him a mixture of legs on the quieter side of Cairngorm, which he accomplished well.  We looked at some techniques and little things that can help a lot.  As an interval we visited the El Alamein Refuge. This is tucked well away and not marked on any maps, and although in disrepair still has a great atmosphere. It is one of two huts (the other being the now dismantled St Valery) built in the Cairngorms to commemorate the 51st Highland Division. Weather was overcast and drizzly, but not much wind. Burns all in spate after the recent heavy rains, glad no river crossings required today.