Saturday, 29 March 2014

Technical Advice work in Northumberland and The Lake District.

Last week I was working down in Northumberland and The Lake District for Silverdale School. Their staff and I visited a variety of venues concentrating mainly on gorge scrambling and canyoning techniques. Linhope Beck, Ash Gill and Stoney Croft were the main events, all really enjoyable and ideal for looking at specific skills. Working in new venues is always challenging,fascinating and certainly keeps one on my toes. I head to Alnwick next week to run a coasteering skills course in another new venue I haven't worked at or coasteered on. I also ran staff training out at Tavool House Outdoor Centre on Friday, so a new season begins.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Winter Walking Skills, Mountaineering Techniques, Leadership Training and Climbing Guiding over last few days with Hebridean Pursuits.

A very busy few days out on the hills for Hebridean Pursuits. We have been running a mixture of courses. The weather has settled down at last and we have had some glorious days of sunshine and cooler temperatures. Our clients have have been out bagging Munros, Corbetts and Grahams. Others have been climbing routes and mountaineering and of course learning about the techniques required to do the above safely. Heavy snow fall has made tough going on the Dragons Tooth, School House Ridge, the Hill of fury, Stob Coire an Lochan and in The Mamores. But it does mean the season will extend nicely into late spring and for skiing perhaps beyond. We are open for winter courses and spring climbing snow and ice courses.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Storm Force Winds on Fiarach today.

Today was pretty wild even at modest altitudes. A plan to stay low made a huge difference to the enjoyment of summit bagging today. Often heading for Grahams or Corbetts make for a much more pleasant experience as the tops are normally just below the weather and cloud line. This proved to be the case. At a modest 652m the Grassy pasture hill was a fine choice. It's craggy summit being defined and giving excellent views of The Crianlarich Hills.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

A busy four days working on the hills. Winter Mountaineering, Simplifying Winter Rope Work and Corbett bagging.

Friday. Simplifying Winter rope work for hill walking in the snow course for Jamie. Saturday and Sunday. Winter Climbing Course with 14 of George Heriot's School pupils and staff. Monday. Hill walking guiding on a 'Graham' in Perthshire with Graham. All courses were organised by Hebridean Pursuits. We shall run winter skills and mountaineering courses all the way through to the late spring or until the snow runs out. There is so much snow that we maybe running courses in June so why not get in touch and have a chat about your personal ambitions in the Scottish Hills.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Coasteering Skills Training Course.

Here at Hebridean Pursuits we have had a change of scene over the last few days on the east coast of Scotland being based at sea level. We have been facilitating a Coasteering
skills training course for the outdoor staff of Fairbridge / Prince's Trust Edinburgh. It has been a beautiful two days near North Berwick. We offer technical advice and skills training courses in a variety of disciplines so if you are keen to know more please have a look at

Friday, 7 March 2014

3 days. Rock Climbing SPA training and winter expeditioning work.

A contrasting 3 days at work on the rock and snow, at sea level and on the summits. Wild conditions continue and some very large avalanches have been triggered and witnessed. The snow is consolidating and the recent warm front has cleared a little of the depth. It is shaping up to be a brilliant spring for climbing and mountaineering.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Review of the excellent Salomon Fury 0201-104 Sunglasses. Symbio PRO cat 3.

It was with excitement I received these funky looking sunglasses from Salomon to wear and review. Being designed for both summer and winter use I was keen to grab a day wearing them in both the sun and snow. On opening the esthetic minimal box the glasses looked very slick. The come with a cleaning bag, but no hard case, which for their price is a little disappointing. However often hard cases are bulky and take allot of room up in backpacks.
White frames have been in vogue for sometime now and continue to be so. The contrasting black lines on the arms break up the lines of the curved arms but also double up as a rubber backing to hold the glasses on your face. This works well as much as I tried to dislodge them from my head they never slipped off. A good design as the rubber runs the entire length of the arms, not just at the end like so many other manufacturers. The glasses are very light indeed and very comfortable to wear. They are reasonably wide across the face, If you have a very small or narrow face they would be a little large and possibly let some sun in around the sides. The nose piece is positive and doesn't slip. The lens and I say lens as it runs the entire length of the glasses is remarkably clear and gives a very natural view on the landscape. This design in itself makes the glasses look a little wider, but this is cosmetic and I like the design as it is different and challenges more normal glasses designs. Wearing them in the sun whilst mountaineering in the snow I felt they coped well with intense glare and the definition of the snow in lower light was good. They kept the wind rush off my eyes and they don't steam up whilst climbing, walking and skiing in them. They are cat 3 so not too dark for driving either and therefore offer a brilliant all round design and protection for general use as well as specific outdoor sports. They are not the darkest lens I have worn and therefore perhaps they may not suit all mountain goers especially on extended glacier expeditions, but for Alpine walking, kayaking, skiing and sailing I will be taking them with me. Well done Salomon as with their other products these sun glasses have well designed and it appears that those whom have designed them actually have been outside to test them and develop them. I love them. For more Salomon products check out pretavoir in Glasgow for a huge range of Salomon products.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Solitude is best and Scotland offers it by the bucket load.

It was probably the best day of the winter on the west coast on Saturday. It was dry, relatively cold and very beautiful in the mountains. Finding quiet places is the key I feel to enhancing the experience of winter mountaineering. As I write this blog I am conscious of the many blogs offering easy and quick solutions to the dylema of where to go the next day. I am as guilty as charged but looking back before all the instant information, we had to decide and plan based on experience and local knowledge. This is the essence of the quest of the unique experience, I adore searching out esoteric places, historic routes and the quieter corners. There is of course the flip side that meeting up with others confirms your route choice was perhaps sensible?