Sunday, 28 February 2010

Sunday 28th Feb, another glourious day in Glencoe.

Another fine day in the Coe!
Ed abseiling.

Nina on her first time abseiling!

Amy, practising using the rope only for belaying.

Counting paces is always interesting in a variety of conditions.

The hills are starting to settle down a little, the cold over night temperatures have helped. However there is still a huge amount of unstable windslab out there so be carefull and plan your days sensibly!
Today Andy was out again with Amy, Ed and Nina and Guy, they were concentrating on winter navigation skills, simple rope only belaying skills and back low down more complex use of the rope and climbing equipment, including abseiling, short roping and scrambling techniques.
The two day course has been a really good fun mix of skills and theory, thanks to the guy's for being so understanding given the conditions and their amazing lust for information.
Andy, heads over to the Laggan area on Monday to run a course for of two days of ski touring and snow holing skills, should be about the only way of getting around out there!

Saturday, 27 February 2010

sunhine on saturday in glencoe, winter mountaineeering course.

A typical situation at the mo up there, and only at 300m!

The largest snow bollard in Scotland at 30m round!
pile up!

T axe belay construction.

Loch Leven behind.

Andy was out again working for 'the ice factor' today. The conditions remained similar to Friday, the wind dropped some what but the snow is still yet to consolidate!
We headed to the the south west ridge of Mam na Gualainn to use the amazing snow slopes and wind scoops that cover the hill.
Nina, Amy and Ed were looking for revision and new mountaineering skills so we looked at avalanche avoidance, safe route choice, snow profiles, rutsch blocks, snow belays, shelters and much more, a beautiful day, warm in the sunshine and fairly sheltered from the ne winds.

deep snow in glencoe for winter skills course!

hard going out there!

always something to climb up.

the classic !

Andy was out with Dave on friday.

The new heavy dump of snow really challenged our decision making of where to work and instruct. So much new snow has fallen that wading waist deep is the order of the day!
We chose the windward corie of the ne face of Sgorr Bhan and its ne ridge, it was still loaded with fresh powder and unconsolidated damp snow.
We looked at everything from snow shelters , pacing, snow belays to descent methods and had a really constructive day despite the difficult conditions.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Ski tour on Carn Mor Dearg 1220m and more sunshine!

the power of the sun! Andy and Mike enjoying the backcountry.

Fresh tracks!

Mike and the dogs heading towards the summit.

Mike and miles of snow.

Loch Eil and beyond.

Another amazing day in Scotland, blue skies and so cold the Hoar frost is 7 inches long in places.
Andy and Mike ski toured over from Anoch Mor to Carn Beag Dearg and up the north ridge to the summit of Carn Mor Dearg. Just incredible conditions with fresh powder and a Cruise of 3 k run back to the glen and yomp back to the ski station.

The Ben was looking covered with fresh snow and the highlands look the whitest i have seen them for years!

Considering we were due to be working and a client cancellation came in, we had a lucky and one off day today!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Humpback Gully in Glencoe.

Mark and Graeme at the top of humpback gully.
Mark finds the sun!

Mark on thin ice!

Graeme on the second pitch.

Humpback gully follows the obvious left hand gully line where the shade meets sunshine.

Andy , Mark and Graeme headed to seek quiet places in Glencoe, and we found it on Humpback Gully. At grade two it is an easy esoteric route tucked away on Creag Bhan, On Meall Lighiche a Corbett just before Sgor Na H-Ulaidh.

The snow level fell this week so we took the chance that there would be enough snow and ice to ascend this 300m route. There was, the ice was thin and running water and higher up only a thin cover of snow remained but enough to make a good mountaineering route, steep at the finish and a finish in the sunshine and warmth.
It will need good snow cover to completely cover the deep gully bed, but its worth exploring these less known and popular routes, Scotland offers so many opportunities to escape the crowds and hustle of following the pack!.
An amazing period of weather and conditions continues and long may it last!

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Amazing sunny day in Glencoe.

The summit views today were just fantastic, looking towards the southern highlands!

Gill with Glencoe behind on the Etive glades!

Andy and Gill headed back to Glencoe on their skis and the sun shone all day, what a contrast from yesterday and the fresh powder just rocked!
The views from the summit towards Ben Cruachan and the southern highlands was the best of the winter! Looking up to Ben Nevis the cloud was closing in by 4pm, light snow showers met us in Oban on getting home.
On days like this the runs might not be the longest in Europe, the powder not the deepest, but its the finest any where and Glencoe rules for off piste adventures, ski scotlandoutside when you can because its amazing!

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Touring skis in Glencoe

Andy and Gill headed to Glencoe today for a spot of touring and down hill.
Snow fell consistently all day right down to road level, creating amazing fresh cover!
All very unexpected! Not as sunny as forecast but who's complaining, another powder Wednesday!

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Meall a'Phubuill

Ben Cruachan this morning before i left...

Andy was out above Gleann Suileag today, the forecast promised dry-ish conditions but it snowed the whole way up from Glensulaig Bothy and back to the car! Pretty soggy and no viz for two hours! The good thing is it's put a nice new fresh dump high up!

the Hill was hidden high above the bothy, for a small Corbett it felt bigger and because its in a really remote feeling glen the solitude was emphasised considering its not to far from Loch Eil.
That's Corbett number 122 so getting there with them!

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Coasteering Skills workshops on Jersey.

Interesting escape routes up quality rock, lots of rock climbing on Jersey!

Le Beau Port from the finish of coasteering route.

Got to get wet!

The pinnacle offers a big jump, the crag offers fine hand jamming routes!

This week I have been over on Jersey running sessions looking at skills required and workshoped the activity with the educational and commercial providers of this amazing adventure activity from the Island.
I had been promised the tropics and we got strong northerly winds and 6 degrees of water temp, just like home, but the sun shone and the pink granite made the island feel warm and welcoming.
We coasteered at the beautiful ' le beau port' and explored a variety of other venues. Much chat was had on the skills involved and the way forward for formalised skills training and accreditation for safe practice.
It was so well recieved, I will be going back in May to run two BRAWA courses, it should be more tropical then?

Thanks to all who were so hospitable, I really enjoyed the whole experience, the island is so lovely and with so much potential for adventures, but watch the tides they are huge!

winter mountaineering course for Manchester University students.

Stomper belays.
remote and quiet area can be found, a refreshing change from the Northern Corries! for the last few years have been working with a variety of university climbing clubs, offering skills and climbing courses, so this weekend Andy was out working with Mike from , running a winter skills and mountaineering course in The Cairngorms.
A warm weekend with no real sign of freezing levels descending, however there was plenty of snow to work with in the corries we chose.

Heading to Jersey to run a coasteering course this week, should be warmer?

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Three Hungry Boys! Channel Four Sat 4pm


Scotland lends itself so well to adventure on it's coastline!

Tavool House available for self catering rent and for courses.

On Saturday at 4pm Tavool House, Andy and Hebridean Pursuits Ltd will be featured on Channel Four! Don't miss it, it could be a laugh?? The boys arrived out of the blue in the summer and the couple of days they spent with us was great fun!

I am off to work in the Cairngorms over next three days with the Manchester University Mountaineering Club and then heading to Jersey to run a coasteering course, which i hope will be a real adventure, and some where i have not been, let alone Coasteered!
Tavool House is rapidly filling up with groups this summer, but we have a few weeks in May , June and October left, why not bring a load of friends and families over to Mull? It is a unique place!

Monday, 1 February 2010

Photos of recent winter days outside in Scotland

Road closed!
Clear skies and cold just the best conditions!

High pressure days rule in Scotland, no where in the world is as good, on days like this!

The walk off is often a mellow affair....

The silence of the solo day!

Winter is still here and there are still plenty of days left to enjoy over the next three months or so!