Sunday, 26 July 2020

The Freedom of the Hills--Lockdown Lifts

Since lockdown has eased here in Scotland it has been a real treat to get out and enjoy our wonderful hills. One unexpected benefit of the lockdown has, I suppose, been a reappreciation it seems to have given us all, myself included, of what a wonderful part of the world we live in. A real privilege. Even if we were never allowed to leave Scotland or the UK again I don't think I would ever exhaust the supply of scenic views, great mountains and fantastic climbs. I've posted a selection of photos from the last few weeks to give you an idea of what I have been up to. Despite the obvious hammer-blow to tourism generally, visitors are returning gradually to the Highlands, and I am looking forward to guiding folk up our hills, scrambles and climbs once again, and passing on knowledge to those keen to be able to undertake independent adventures of their own in the future. Much thought, discussion and practical planning has gone into how to return to the mountains with clients in a COVID-secure way---it's a new experience for all of us, but we're in it together, and the mountain adventures are feeling even better after the enforced absence!

The wonderful mini-mountain Stac Pollaidh, NW Highlands

Me seconding Vlad the Impaler, Stac Pollaidh. HVS 5a ***

Bill enjoying freedom
Coiling the ropes on the summit of Stac Pollaidh
A stunning day on East Buttress, Beinn Eighe, Torridon. Diff ***

Myself and Sandy, Beinn Eighe

Atmospheric but easy climbing, Beinn Eighe
Heading for the Munro of Ruadh Stac Mor, Beinn Eighe

Staff training with Scotch on the Rocks Guiding--looking at adaptations to make activities COVID secure

Observing a Scotch on the Rocks Guiding Summer Mountain Leader Preparation Weekend

The hills are full of life right now 
Cragging in the sunshine at Logie Head on the Moray Coast

Afterthought Arete, the classic scramble/easy climb, on a cold day in the Cairngorms

Cioch Nose, one of Scotland's most classic mountain climbs. Applecross, NW Highlands

Lots of air on the Cioch Nose

Enjoying the last of the pitched climbing on the Cioch Nose