Friday, 30 December 2011

The thaw is on, again! Last day on the hill this year.

Sometimes plans change and today was one of those days! An elusive Corbett can wait.
So the weather forecast was spot on, dry in the morning, raw and wet by late lunchtime. And how wet? Very wet!
A few folk were walking on the ridges but generally a quite day in Glen Nevis and on Stob Ban. Patience is required at this time of year, the last two years have spoilt us, now we wait for the winter to develop over the next few weeks.
Happy New Year everyone. Have an adventurous and safe time out there! Thanks to everyone who has booked or has been on our courses over the last year, its certainly has been varied and exciting and of course fun!
It will be a challenging new year for Hebridean Pursuits Ltd in 2012. We sadley see Steve Thomas co founder and my business partner of 22 years retire at the age of 74! Jane Sayer is taking over as our General Manager. We are launching in January and we have a full and busy winter programme ahead of an already hectic programme out at our Centre Tavool House on Mull, running Roses Project residenatials for young people and organising technical courses at sea and in the hills. Exciting times.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Glencoe clear but mild.

Am Bodach
Looking towards Stob Dudh.

A brief conditions report from Glencoe today.
A crisp cold day with hail flurries. The snow under foot above 700m was firm- ish!
Gully lines I could see were complete and a re freeze would make conditions in the easy gullies very sweet. Most exposed ridges are clear of snow.
Enjoy the festive holidays.
HPL winter courses start up again during the second week of January. We look forward to being out in the mountains with everyone who has booked so far. Happy Christmas and an adventurous New Year.
Check out worth a look the site is still underdevelopment but
OAA will bring some more adventures to Oban in the New Year.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The Thaw has started on Ben Cruachan.

Today I was up on Ben Cruachan, I haven't been up there for a while and it was lovely to be back up on this fantastic mountain range.
Not that I could see anything today, clagged right in and raining persistently.
The considerable snow under foot from 3oom onwards was soggy and heavy going!
If we get a good freeze it will be brilliant up there, but that is not looking likely with the westerly air streams over the next few days!
So one day left working on the hill before Christmas and then time for some chill out time before a very busy and well booked up winter season. Must rest my little legs! For winter courses

Thursday, 15 December 2011

First Ski Tracks of the season today in Glencoe.

Mike freeing the heal.
One of the finest skylines in the world!

I was out today with Dan Goodwin and Mike Clifford.
Glencoe has some fine snow cover. The snow line is low approx 300m but thin below 500m.
The mountains have allot of new wind blown snow in their gullies and scarp slopes, some of which I am sure will be unstable. Ice was forming at 600m on exposed rocks.
If the temperatures remain cold with a freeze thaw cycle the climbing will be good.
The skiing was great fun on a firm base. The weekend has potential.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Sky Scapes Today.

Ben Buie, Mull.

Today I was working in the fine low hills above Loch Melford, south of Oban.
A really atmospheric day during which the sky scapes dominated everything.
Snow covers the higher peaks of Mull and Ben Cruachan.
Just a fantastic days walking with the young people from The North Argyll Young Carers Adventure Project.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Winter arrives on the Ardnish Peninsula.

200m above sea level.
The gang.
Winter is here for a while, I guess?
Over the last couple of days the season has changed to winter on the west coast.
I was working with the students from West Highland College again. The two days were concentrating on navigation and leadership on expeditions. We headed into the low but perfectly formed Ardnish area to camp at Peanmeanch Bothy. After an intensive day of navigation we camped up above the beach and then headed out for some night navigation. Back in the bothy we had two fires ragging and some fine food to enjoy after a blustery few hours in the dark.
This morning new snow lay at sea level creating a wonderful atmosphere and fresh feel to the countryside. Views over to Rum and Eigg were wonderful.
Driving home to Oban the snow was falling heavily and Ben Nevis is starting to look plastered. Oban however is now wet and windy and not so white.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Day one of a BRAWA Coasteering Skills Course.

Wild old day on the Oban coastline. We stayed locally as it was exciting enough here on the coast of Ganavan. Severe Gale force 9, hail and snow and some sunshine all mixed in made for a fun day! Even managed to flood my waterproof camera!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Dry Spell of weather today above Fort William.

Today I was out with the students again from UHI, West Highland College. We were having an in depth look at navigation before their expedition next week into the mountains above Glendessarry. It was a lovely day after a horrendous start and wild night. Some snow lay at 300m or so and 'the Ben' is looking white, but will it last?
I hope so, as it is going to be a busy winter HPL's courses are booking up and we have two two special offers on for winter courses, please see previous blog posting.