Wednesday, 26 November 2014

A' Chailleach

Today was my last day working with the ATMs from WHC on their Mountain Skills module and the ratios came down so we could go steep. Rich and I headed with a pair each to the South Ridge of A' Chailleach which neither of us had done before.
The initial crags were broken and damp (occupational hazard in november, rock never seems to dry properly) but gave lots of opportunity to introduce Kag and Rebecca to mountaineering ropework. higher up it got a little more interesting and I took over to lead us up the final exciting steps.
Stunning weather, this november has really been too kind to us. We need some snow!!!
 Heading to work
 A short walk to the start of the scrambling
 Kag in control
 Glencoe looking fine!
 Chilly sandwich stop
 Direct belay
 the steep bit
 No problem
 A82 now far below
 Rich's team going direct
 Top out… rope off
 Pretty good day out!
All 4 ATMs admiring Glencoe at its best
Cycle home not too shabby either!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Lowland Leader Award Training Day 2

 That's a big one!
 The Pike, part of the Loch Ard Sculpture Trail
 Woodpecker's nest
 We're right there!
 Learning about the Highland Boundary Fault
Day 2 of the EDC LLA Training and we were based around Aberfoyle with the team leading the walks they planned yesterday, dealing with scenarios I threw at them and learning about the local natural and cultural history.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Lowland Leader Award Training day 1

Today was the first day of a Mountain Training Scotland Lowland Leader Award training I'm Directing for East Dunbartonshire Council. We were at Mugdock Country Park where I introduced the scope of the Award and did some short presentations on kit, weather and legal responsibilities for the group before we headed outside. We compared using orienteering maps with 1:50000 OS maps and looked at navigating using both. We ended the day with some planning of routes for tomorrow and then a little nav in the dark.
 Team Nav
 Getting to grips with the orienteering maps
 Jen and her dodgey beard

Friday, 21 November 2014

Amazing autumn sunset

Yesterday and today I was supervising a party of ATM students from UHI WHC on an overnight exped. We walked in the watery sunlight from the west end of Loch Arkaig to Kinbreak Bothy. After lunch and crossing the river we pressed on. I'd exerted some gentle persuasion as I was expecting a good sunset and the group agreed to camp high on Gairich Beag. It was well worth it. These pics have only been altered to tone down the amazing orange light. We got up for a quick breakfast before summiting Gairich and enjoying a sunny return.
The main right of way to Kinbreak from near the car park is a horrid boggy ATV track but the next pass to the west has a great old stalkers path over it- much nicer, a little lower, a little further but worth the detour.
 The locals
 Scott and his team below on the boggy track
 Nathan lifting his skirts to cross the river
 Light fading on Gairich Beag

 The group appear

 Bromance… Connor, where is your right hand!
 Kag enjoying the sunset
 Time to get the tents up
 Packing up in the morning
 A quick morning jaunt to the summit- cold ears Crunch?
 Gairich summit
 Team photo
Back to the bags 
Scott happy to be on a decent path!