Monday, 30 November 2015

Nordic Blast

Definitely winter just now. Temperatures struggling to make it much above freezing during the day and snow to all levels. I had a quick snowshoe today over the hills near Lochindorb, just north of the Cairngorms National Park. These Uplands of Moray (Braigh Moireibh) may lack the dramatic cliffs and scenery of the main Cairngorms but as Adam Watson says in his fantastic SMC guidebook to the Cairngorms:

"...It is a complex tract of country, difficult to get to know, apparently featureless and uniform at first sight, but really all different and full of interest on closer acquaintance..."

The snow is well drifted onto the estate tracks, which with some route planning would allow some great circuits on Nordic ski just now.......

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Winter has arrived in the Cairngorms

After a very mild Autumn winter has arrived. Temperatures were below freezing last night, and the first real snow has arrived. More please! The picture is taken today looking south to the main Cairngorms---Bynack More, Cairngorm etc visible.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Last dose of of a (virtual) summer....

Winter is on its way for us in the Highlands, with more snow forecast for the end of this week. For those still reluctant to let go of Summer take a look at this fabulous film from Kirk Watson at Perfect View Productions......fantastic scenes of the Cairngorms and the Highlands. As the man says, turn on High Definition for the best effect. Well worth five minutes of your time. You can find it linked on our Facebook page:

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

2016 Programme

Our 2016 programme of scheduled walks, courses and backpacking is now available on our website. This is addition to the existing private/bespoke guiding that I usually run. Take a look and get in touch.

Across the Lairig Ghru


Sunday, 8 November 2015

Mountaineering Council of Scotland Student Safety weekend

I have spent the last two days with other volunteer instructors and leaders at Glenmore Lodge for the Mountaineering Council of Scotland's Student Safety weekend. This is a great opportunity for members of hillwalking/climbing/mountaineering university clubs to get a weekend of heavily subsidised mountain skills and instruction.  I took students out to cover general mountain knowledge such as navigation, equipment choice and emergency procedures, whilst there were also teams out each day for both beginner and improver rock climbing sessions. Yesterday we coped with persistent damp and dreich, but were rewarded with some close up reindeer (see the photos!), whilst today was dry to start but very windy, and soon deteriorated into heavy rain. All great character building stuff for the students!

Monday, 2 November 2015

Sunny cragging in November

Some pictures from a recent day out cragging in beautiful Strathconon. We were at Glenmarksie crag, which is a great, south facing venue. Our first route Wild Mint S 4b started well, but the rest of the route could really have done with a good clean, and I suspect was graded for a time when the protection was more accessible? However, the VS 4b next to it was much better, as was the delectable rock of the 4b slab at the Short Wall. An underrated crag I think, that could do with more traffic to keep the moss down!