Tuesday 30 March 2010

Team Building

Yesterday evening we ran a Team Building session for another group from Forth Valley College. Most of these people are on LifeStart and WorkStart courses. Some had never met before this trip so this was the ideal activity to help them get to know each other. They worked in teams of 5 and all communicated very well. There were some tenacious characters amongst them too! If one team achieved a task before the others they were quick to offer help and support. It was a great evening for all of us and dark by the time we had finished.

Sunday 28 March 2010

Weaselling & Abseiling at Duntelchaig

Yesterday we took a lovely group from Forth Valley College to Loch Duntelchaig to introduce them to the joys of Weaselling and Abseiling. Some were quite challenged either because of a fear of heights, enclosed tight spaces or just that fear of trying something totally different. Thankfully the weather was reasonable and the rock quite dry. They went back smiling anyway!

Today we spent a very rainy few hours checking out the walking potential near Loch Duntelchaig for a future group. An interesting area when you have time for exploring!

Wednesday 24 March 2010

Team Building & Abseiling

Ian was working with a group of primary children at Alltnacreiche today while I ran Team Building and Abseiling with a group of young ladies on a Movin4ward project. They were brilliant, they were great at working together to accomplish the tasks they were set even though it was quite cold! We used the Towers at Glenmore Lodge for the Abseiling and this was a little more challenging than they thought it would be! Great day had by all.

Tuesday 23 March 2010

Biking Loch an Earba

This is one of our favourite easy rides as it takes you into wonderful country which has a remote feel to it. From Moy Bridge, a good track goes to the Loch and runs alongside it giving great views of Arverikie Wall. The track eventually comes out at Ardverikie House and then a track can be followed on the south side of Loch Laggan and back to the starting point. Unfortunately there were forestry operations so we had to take the road back! Had our lunch on the beach at Loch Laggan though. We have never seen anyone on this ride even though there are some nice technical options.

Saturday 20 March 2010

Snow belays

Ian took his group for a journey to do some navigation (this was for real as the cloud base was low for a while). They had the opportunity to wear crampons for real too! My group wanted to learn a bit about snow belaying so we looked at various techniques such as bucket seats, horizontal axe, bollards etc along with body-belaying. Another brilliant day and much lower wind speeds.

Friday 19 March 2010

Windy in Coire an t-Sneachda

After all these wonderful weeks, this lovely group from Belfast had to choose this weekend for doing wintry things! With winds of 50 - 60 mph and gusts heading towards 75mph it was a difficult day. Even on the walk in the gusts were quite violent. We headed for the Fiacaill Buttress area and played on the slopes below the col. It was not so bad here and we went through all the basic stuff such as step kicking, Avalanche awareness and ice-axe arresting. The group excelled themselves! The walk out was even more entertaining as the gusts became even more violent and capable of blowing people over. They were still smiling though and said what a great day they had had. Hoping for better things tomorrow!

Sunday 14 March 2010

Indoor Climbing & Team Building

We ran a session of Indoor Climbing and Team Building for a group of youngsters from Farr High School. On the wall we had them working in groups of 3 and 4 and they did extremely well. One or two were keener to belay than climb which was great for those who just wanted to keep putting up the routes. A few of them could not wait to get on the overhangs and all succeeded!

The Team Building went well too, some great characters in the group!! Did not like giving up before giving the challenges their best shot.

Thursday 11 March 2010

Indoor Climbing Glenmore Lodge

Nabeel came for a couple of sessions with us last year and he is back for more punishment! His wife Elizabeth joined in on Monday to try belaying but just wanted to watch today. He is very determined and likes the challenge, so much so that he has bought his own harness and rockboots. Seeing them again on Saturday when we hope to persuade Elizabeth to have a go!

Wednesday 10 March 2010

Monadliath Heatwave

Yesterday we did the round of the 3 Munros behind Newtonmore. It is wonderful to be able to enjoy bimbling on a high plateau without being buffeted by the wind. Blue skies and warm sunshine again being the order of the day. Not one other person did we see in this land of whiteness. Surface hoar building up nicely again!

Thursday 4 March 2010

North West Scotland

On Monday 1st March we headed North with the intention of climbing on Meall Gorm (Bealach na Ba), unfortunately there was not enough of the white stuff but as it was such a lovely day we parked at the top of the pass and walked out to the summit of Sgurr a'Chaorachain. Frozen snow and ice made for easy walking with crampons.

Tuesday was another glorious day so we did the A'Chioch ridge of Beinn Bhan. A superb classic winter mountaineering route in a splendid location. The first part is a fine grade 1 ridge which leads to the foot of about 150m of fairly steep, continuous grade 2 climbing up short walls, gullies and grooves. Runners and belays can be found where you want them and all good nut and sling placements. After topping out from this onto a flat top there followed a delightful snowy, airy arete to the plateau. A pleasant finish to a fabulous route!

We walked the Graham of Beinn a' Chlachain on Wednesday by its long SW Ridge, knolly and with lots of frozen lochains. Would be quite boggy in summer!

Today it is back to the desk as well as sorting kit!