Thursday, 26 April 2012

Better weather at last! Mountain Biking up Glen Kinglass today.

Today I was out with Gill off road cycling along Loch Etive and up into Glen Kinglass. She was looking for a much less of a weather battle and some fine landscapes. A very fine day and a fantastic trip into a remote and beautiful glen. I had looked down into it over the years from various Munros but to be cycling through it was wonderful. A cold northerly wind blew but it stayed dry and a very pleasant contrast from yesterday on the hill! Snow remains on Ben Cruachan but is rapidly retreating.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Winter returns to Ben Nevis and the Aonach's.

Spring was halted today by a cold northerly wind with considerable snow being driven by it.
I was out with Gill on Carn Dearg Meadhonach. We had a short time slot so we headed over to have a look at what snow is left high up. The snow is patchy but still lots in north facing corries and gullies, but it is soft. The freezing level was higher than forecast.

It was bitterly cold and damp today, not the nicest day to be outside.

Friday, 20 April 2012

OIC staff Training day 4. SLSGB Coasteering Rescue Award.

Day 4, glorious on the west coast again!
Rescues, swimming, first aid and coasteering scenarios today.
A great working week and thanks to the guys from Orkney for being so sponge like in their learning.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Summer Hill navigation training day for OIC Outdoor staff.

Ben Nevis.

Today, was Day 3 of training for The outdoor staff from Orkney. We headed out onto the hill to look at Navigation and leading groups in the hills. We headed up a fine Corbett across from the Corron ferry. Stob Ciore a' Chearcaill is not seen from many angles but it proved to be a fine hill with a large crag and huge cairn crowning it's summit rim. The weather held up well for us and the view across to Ben Nevis were spectacular, there is allot of snow on the peaks still. What a country, summer or winter hill walking the choice is yours!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

OIC Staff Training Day 2. Coasteering and steep rock.

Ace conditions today for the OIC Staff training course, big tides and swell meant for concentration on exposed sections of cliff.
Great fun was had by all.
The mountains tomorrow!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Staff Training for Orkney Isles Outdoor Staff in Oban this week.

Throwline practice..
Barry deep water soloing.
Jumping off at Ganavan.

This week we are running staff training for the Outdoor Staff from Orkney Isles Council Centres.
Four days of coasteering and mountain walking should be fun!
Day 1 Coasteering skills training.

Friday, 13 April 2012

The Duke of Edinburgh's Gold Aawrd Coasteering Expedition Training.

The first ever Duke of Edinburgh's Award Gold Training expedition has just finished. Hebridean Pursuits Ltd suggested this new approach to travelling along the coastline and journeying through some amazing environments a few years ago and Mark Nichols from Glenalmond College jumped on the idea and has made it happen for his school. I was asked to provide the technical training and safety support for the trips.
Five young adventurers and three staff have been put through their paces this week. A theory day, a guided coasteering trip at Seil Island and three days journeying on Kerrera.
The last three days have been over on the Island of Kerrera near Oban, camping and Coasteering journeying, practicing to see how far we would travel and how we will cope in the coasteering environment for four days and camping for three nights. The qualifying Expedition will take place on the Ross of Mull in September.
We have been so lucky with the weather, it's been cold but dry the whole week. The photos say it all. It has been an exciting week and I am so pleased that Coasteering will be recognised as a fantastic means of gaining the Gold Award.
HPL offer Training and assessment expeditions for the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme both in Scotland and abroad.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

First ever Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award Coasteering Expedition Day 1.

Today Hebridean Pursuits made history. We have finally after much planing started the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Gold Expedition in Coasteering!
5 pupils and three teaching staff form Glenalmond College are in Oban on a weeks training course towards their expedition in September.
Day 1. Was awesome down at Seil Island. We coasteered right round the long trip looking at various skills as we journeyed such as swimming, jumping, rock traversing entry and exiting form the sea and much more.
A big swell made life exciting and real for all involved.
Tomorrow we head off to Kererra to coasteer / camp for three days should be challenging and great fun.
Hebridean Pursuits Ltd offer a range of D of E training and expedition at all levels or call us on 01631 720002.

Oban Adventure go Coasteering today.

Smiles after the big jump!
Today our senior Coasteering Guide Mikey was guiding for Oban Adventure Activities. He took two young people [11 and 14 ] on a full on Coasteer at Seil Island. Conditions were brilliant for some really big adventures. Unfortunately Mikey's camera was dead so Andy Spink who was out with another group from Hebridean Pursuits took the photo. Check out Andy's shots in the next blog post.
For more information about exciting outdoor activities in the Oban area or call 01631 720002 to book.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Sea Kayaking, Loch Spelve, Mull

Dave and Harry were sea kayaking in Loch Spelve today. They booked a day kayaking whilst on holiday on Mull. They wanted to try sea kayaking and spot some wildlife.
We did all that. We spotted six sea eagles, two golden eagles and a pair of otters approx 20 feet away from us. Not bad for one day out!
For sea kayaking and much more

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Technical Advice work in the Strathconon area.

Spot the bod? Fun times, if a little cold!
Lovely setting for some cragging.
It's certainly been changeable over the last two days. I woke up in my van this morning near Contin to about a foot of snow. What a contrast to last weeks 23 degrees!
Yesterday I was in the Highlands doing some technical advice work for a local company.. We spent the morning at Duntelchaig crag and the afternoon running the very fine Meig gorge.
This morning I had a very early start and beat some of the high winds and headed up a Corbett in Strathconon. By the the time I was down it was howling form the NE and the snow was falling again.
By the the time I got home to Oban the sun was shining and only the high tops had a dusting of the white stuff.
To Mull tomorrow to run a sea kayaking course, looks like it's calming down a little.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Neil Passes his 2 star award!

On day 3 of his three days kayaking course with us Neil took his 2 star award test and flew it! Well done Neil and thanks for a great three days at sea and on the surf.
He also wrote some kind words on our Face Book page. Check it out and become friends
on Hebridean Pursuits page.
Neil wrote on Face Book.
'A really big thank you to AndySpink for the great 3 days of kayaking, helping me get my 2 star and progressing with my surf kayaking.
Day one was spent in a sea
kayak (my first time) paddling around kerrera in 23deg temps learning
about the skeg and how to use the edge to turn without sweeps,
getting in and out of tight places etc.
Day two we travelled
down to Machrihanish for some more surf co...aching in the Mega
Bullit XS I had bought. First impressions were how the hell am i
going to stay upright let alone paddle out and surf back. But thanks
to Andys patience and excellent tuition by the end of the day I was
managed some small runs into shore.
Final day was spent doing
my assessment for my 2 star certificate, trying to prove to Andy that
all he had taught me had sunk in. Thankfully it had and I manage to
pass.Have a few things to practice including sculling for
support and using the surf kayak, but well pleased.
Highlight of the trip was paddling with the seals around Kerrera.
Once again a big thank you to Andy Spink you have the patience of a saint.
Looking forward to my next session in the surf.'