Saturday, 30 October 2010

Ben Cruachan by Andy Spink

It has been so wet here in Oban, Ben Cruachan has not been seen for days!

The sun came out this morning and the Big Hill is back!

This short film celebrates this massif in all its seasons.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Warmer, Wetter and Muddier! Mountain Biking Loch Etive side.

Donald King on the Etive Slabs. A slighly damp ascent of Spartan Slab.
'Cove', make a great hard tail frame!

Mud and more Mud today!

Sea Kayaking up Loch Etive, during a guided trip in the spring.

Mike, fulfilling an ambition to paddle the Loch during a gudied trip earlier in the year and he got some great shots!

Still no news on our second Babies arrival! can't be long now, getting very excited!
I had planed a mountain day with Danny, but the impending doom of 'upland gales' sent me to sea level.
Loch Etive is a beautiful location, stretching up towards Glencoe from Oban it is surrounded by Munros and smaller hills, long remote glens and fine rivers and burns.
I mountain biked into Barrs forest and onto the muddy path towards the amazing and slightly scary slabs of Trilleachan. The weather broke as I got home in Oban, the heavy drizzle is now washing my bike off nicely!

Loch Etive offers great adventure and exploration from sea kayaking, bothying, rock climbing hill walking and mountain biking. It changes with the seasons making it a photographers and painters favorite spot to.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Andy Mason passess his ML, well done!

Great news.
I was out in the Cairngorms with Andy Mason recently running over some ML skills and refreshing his navigation practice and I am really pleased to say I just heard he passed his assessment at Glenmore Lodge.
Its a great feeling passing these awards especially when you have put so much effort into it, well done Andy.
For Highland Based, ML summer and winter refreshers courses and days and Summer Mountain Leader Training Courses based on Mull

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Mountain Biking Near Oban.

Graeme exploring Sandpit.
Winter shadows.

Heading towards Ben Laura. Hamish out in front.

Head for the sun, it was warmer!

The Oban area offers great single track and forest mountain bike trails for all abilities.
I am on stand by for the birth of our second baby, so any day now, so not venturing too far from home. It was such a beautiful day, Myself and Graeme had a swift hurl around the forest above Sandpit in glorious sunshine, although it was very cold in the trees!
Folk were out sea kayaking, [winter climbing, Cairngorms], rock climbing and all manner of outdoor activities today, just amazing conditions for everything in Argyll. Long may it last?

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Winter Courses at Great Prices for clubs and groups!

Winter has arrived on the East for a short period anyway. We are taking bookings for Winter Courses. In our 21st season, we are offering 'special rates' on Winter Walking and Mountaineering Courses for College groups, Walking clubs and University Clubs and students.

All the leaves are brown in Argyll and Tavool House is available for Christmas and New Year.

Tavool House on Mull.
Open fire and cosy lounge at Tavool.

Damp morning on Cruachan but fun scrambling around on wet grass and rock!

Will it be a cold winter? Hope so!

All the leaves are brown.

An early start to search for a scattering of snow high up [optimistic?] resulted in a damp romp on Ben Cruachan and an impromptu GPS practice session. I have a new Memory-Map GPS and its amazing! It's simple and easy to use and for folk like me, ideal to just switch on and go!
All the leaves are turning brown here in Argyll and the berries are huge and plentiful, might it be another cold winter? For now it is raining hard and I am sheltering in my office watching it all happen across Oban harbour.
We have had a school group in at Tavool House on Mull this week.
Tavool is available for Christmas and New Year if anyone needs a great place for a gathering of friends?

Monday, 18 October 2010

BCU North East Surf Kayak Festival.

Richard enjoying his assessment.
Sunday at Tynemouth beach, ideal conditions!

Chris and the gang!

A variety of craft.

This weekend I was coaching and observing on a four star surf assessment on the Tyneside coastline.

We had a great weekend, the weather was very kind to us and the surf conditions were fine.
Sunday gave us lovely peaky waves with some punch and good shoulders. Tynemouth 'long sands', offers some thing for everyone from beach break to occasional points.
Thanks to those that attended and well done to those who passed their three and four star surf assessment.
Hebridean Pursuits Ltd will be offering surf kayaking coaching, 3 star training and assessment and 4 star courses and assessment over the next year. so please contact, Andy Spink level 5 surf coach on 07721778821 if you would like to take part and know anyone whom might be interested in the above courses, thanks.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Yacht for Sale. 39' Moody S38 yacht

'Nanuq of Lorne' is up for sale.
I spent many happy trips sailing on her, we are looking for a good home for her anyone interested?
If you any one out there is interested or you pass onto those might be, please Call Steve on 01631710317 for more details

More photos from the weekend in the Cairngorms.

Perfect conditions, ice cream weather.
So dry on the summits, and it seemed odd not walking in snow up there!

Fords of Avon Camp.

Adrian Henderson, Adventure Centre for Education, wakes to a cold crisp sunrise from The Fords of Avon Refuge.

Adrian, Dougal and Hamish. 'Mountain Dogs' and Hamish is still sleeping!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Cairngorms in October 2010.

Adrian Henderson in the Laririg Ghru on day one.
Looking up towards the Cairn Toul massif, early morning day 2.

Andy and Hamish in Fords of Avon refuge, a chilly third night out!

Heading over to Loch Etchachan from the Hutchinson Hut.

On Derry Cairngorm summit ridge on day 3.
Some more photos from a wonderful expedition.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Duke of Edinburgh Expedition in The Cairngorms.

Over the last four days I have been out in the Cairngorms with a great bunch of young people doing their Gold D of E practice. The expedition was fantastic, we had amazing weather, the young people were very capable, covering a variety of Glens and Mountains.
They started at Glen More Youth Hostel, walked through the Lairig Ghru and camped at Corrour Bothy, they then they walked around to The Hutchinson Hut for the second camp. From there via Beinn Mheadhoin to the Fords of Avon refuge, were we camped and the last day walked out over Bynack More to Glemore.
The group were so happy to have achieved the expedition and their personal ambitions of ascending some mountains and all under their own skills and navigation.

The weather was absolutely perfect, sunny, cold, clear and not a spot of rain.
Myself and Adrian covered some tops too whilst keeping an eye on the expedition, Derry Cairngorm and Ben Macdui were knocked off along the way.
The Group are getting together for a winter skills course in March and I am looking forward to joining them in the Altas Mountains for their assessment expedition next June.