Thursday 25 February 2010

X-Country Skiing, Glen Banchor

Skied from the house to Glen Banchor. Had a couple of hours play in the fresh snow! Quite hard work on skinnys though!

Monday 22 February 2010

Skillforce Group

Today we ran Team Building, Archery and Indoor climbing at Glenmore Lodge for a group of youngsters on the Skillforce programme. It was another brilliant white day with warm sun and the group really made the most of it. We all had a lot of fun and we think they went away quite happy!

Sunday 21 February 2010

Beinn a'Ghlo

Another wonderful winter day of pristine whiteness, blue skies and little wind. This group makes for a brilliant day on the hill. Conditions underfoot are great for walking with a few centimeters of surface hoar on a firm base, crampons useful on the steeper slopes. Considering it is Sunday, we saw very few people, 2 skiers and 3 walkers in total.

Saturday 20 February 2010

Archery & Indoor Climbing

Yesterday we met Aileen and her 4 children at Glenmore Lodge to do some Archery and Indoor Climbing. We all had a great time. The youngsters enjoyed the activities and were eager to get things right! In the Archery it was not long before most of the arrows were hitting the target. They were quick to help each other tie knots and arrange the belaying on the wall. Even George who is only 9 was belaying with confidence!

Thursday 18 February 2010

Binnein Shuas & Binnein Shios

These two Grahams are in a superb location between Loch Laggan and Loch an Earba. On such a glorious winter day the views were fabulous. Deep, fresh snow made the walking harder but much more interesting, especially the descent from Binnein Shuas. The summits are about 5kms apart with a descent to the col of 370m.

The photos show Shios from Shuas and vice versa. On reaching the track beside Loch Laggan a Hercules flew down low and slow!

Monday 15 February 2010

Creag Ruadh, Laggan

Good one for a misty bimble yesterday when weather was a bit drab. Pleasant ridge to summit then rather than head straight down we made a horseshoe of it by taking in a couple of even lower hills. Views would be great on a clear day!

Friday 12 February 2010

Beinn a'Chlachair

Yesterday was Terrys last day with us and he liked the idea of this Munro. Pleasant walk in as once off the track, the ground was still quite frozen where it is usually very wet. Snow conditions underfoot still perfect for walking too. Terry had some serious navigation to do to get us to the summit as it was fairly misty from about 800 metres and almost whiteout at times. Hardly a breeze again though so another great day.

Back to the Hermitage for another evening of pampering and too much excellent food!

Admin day today!!

Wednesday 10 February 2010

Geal Charn & A'Mharconaich

Terry is keen to get on as many hills in this area as possible and this pair are superb to do in such good winter conditions. More decision making to do ie when to get the axe out, when to put crampons on. A bit of navigation necessary when the mist came in. Ground still quite frozen at the bottom of the ridge too so no bog-trotting!

Off to the Hermitage for a pot of Peters excellent tea!

Tuesday 9 February 2010

Creag Meagaidh

Pleasant walk in to Coire Ardair with Terry, lots of climbers about on the usual suspects, ie Last Post, Pumpkin, Staghorn etc. Variety of snow conditions from very soft to scoured, so Terry had opportunities to make decisions about when to have the ice-axe out, when to put crampons on etc. Topped out on plateau and off to the summit from where we descended the south ridge to the road. Stunning views all day!

Terry is staying at the Hermitage in Kingussie where Peter and Debbie offer a very warm welcome, comfortable rooms and lots of excellent food! Packed lunches too. We highly recommend them as they enjoy having outdoor people to stay.

Monday 8 February 2010

A'Chailleach, Monadliath

Terry is with us for a few days to brush up his winter skills and enjoy some of the hills around Newtonmore, he does not want to go anywhere near the Cairngorms! Today we went to A'Chailleach where we were able to spend time developing better footwork, step-cutting and avalanche awareness. We were also able to look at suitable sites for snow-holing as we headed down the SW ridge to Geal Charn and Creag na h-Iolaire where the riming on the wee cairn was worth a photo. An easy descent took us back to the bridge over the Allt a'Chaorainn.

Sunday 7 February 2010

Geal Charn, Monadliath

We wanted to find a slightly more interesting route to this Munro having previously done it from Garva Bridge which misses out on the Coire. Went up Glen Markie and followed the Piper Burn into the coire. Contoured round the south of the Lochan to a steep sided col between Beinn Sgiath and Geal Charn. There was a remote feeling once deep in this coire. At the col, there is the most perfect place for snow-holing, photo does not do it justice! Steep snow led up to the plateau where it was almost whiteout conditions so map and compass out to get to the big cairn and on round the ridge as for the normal route. Interesting round and no people!!

Saturday 6 February 2010

Indoor Climbing at Glenmore Lodge

Today we went Indoor Climbing at Glenmore Lodge with Liz, her sons and some friends. Most of the group had been before so we were refreshing skills and working on new ones. Pamela and Aimee were only going to spectate until they put on harnesses and rockboots! They proved to be excellent belayers. After climbing a few of the vertical routes, everyone was quick to try the overhangs and very successfully too! We need to get them on the real stuff now to practise their new skills.

Thursday 4 February 2010

Staghorn Gully Creag Meagaidh

On Wednesday we enjoyed the walk in to Coire Ardair along the well beaten path to the base of the long ramp to Staghorn Gully. Very deep snow led up the ramp with occasional nice bits of neve. Belayed at the foot of the Gully and enjoyed lovely climbing on ice. Nobody else around either! Near to the top it became quite windy and spindrift starting piling down on Ian as he belayed me. Topped out as it began to snow. Pleasant walk off down to the Window and back out along the path. A group were snow-holing in the Window.