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Showing posts from December, 2009

Seasons Greetings

Work has got in the way of being able to fully appreciate this lovely white stuff but that will hopefully soon be rectified. What has been nice is catching up with family and friends as well as re-connecting with those that I've lost touch with. There was also the small matter of a 600 mile round trip to Hull so that Steve could take Craig to see the Tigers against Man U - boys and their football!

Salomon Mission GTX Boot

I've had these on a few times now and so far they are just what I've been after to get me through the winter for most of my days out. Salomon describe them as being perfect for "light hiking" - take that whatever way you want ;-) They come in at 1210g for the pair and feel fairly easy on the feet. They've handled saturated grassy stuff without me applying the famous arse plant (so far!!). They even seemed to be OK on rocky stuff too. Where I have been really impressed with them is how they handled the snow on Na Gruagaichan. It was hard enough that we were kicking steps. This was easy enough for Steve in his Scarpa SL's and Iain in his La Sportiva Nepals. Initially I followed their steps then decided to give it a go myself. I occasionally had to kick a couple of times on some of the really hard stuff, probably more down to my poor technique than the boot, but they managed well on the cover we had for the ascent. As my balance is rubbish I decided to apply

Na Gruagaichan, the hill that had it all

We had been joined for the weekend by our friends Iain Gallagher of Kendal Mountaineering Services and his partner Kirsten. A sort of plan was made over drinks the night before to get Iain onto some of the Mamores that he hadn't yet managed to bag. Mamore Lodge was the start point where the resident dug was patiently waiting for us to throw stones for him. There has never been a visit to Mamore Lodge where the dug hasn't been there. The landrover track made easy work of the first few km and then it was onto the open hill up the SW ridge of Na Gruagaichain. It was great, the sun was shining, there was no wind and we knew that there was snow on top :-D Iain and I had already been threatening each other about snowball fights. The views were stunning. Then we noticed some really interesting cloud formations going on over Buaichaille Etive Mor. Onwards and upwards we went only to start going into some cloud ourselves and spotting our first brocken spectre of the day. Oh the jo


Who'd have thought it. For the first time in I don't know how long, we had three days in a row on the hill  and the weather behaved :-D The Pap Na Gruagaichean    Brocken spectre below Binnein Mor  The Pap  Buachaille Etive Beag  Please can I have some more............................


It was Steve's birthday during the week, I wont mention how hold ;-), so as part of his birthday present I'm taking him to Glencoe for a few days. We're never normally stuck for accommodation options round that area as we've managed to find some cracking B&B's that suit our needs very well. This time however, we are going to be trying out the newly re-opened Glencoe Hotel . I'd always said if I won the lottery I'd buy this place and open it as a hill friendly establishment. It looks like the new owners have had the same idea as you can see from their website. We shall report back....................

Beinn Dubh

I really haven't been out on the hills enough recently for one reason or another. Not a good situation when you need decent hill fitness for winter days. The weather people promised a break from the dirge for a few hours so kit assembled as it was going to be an early start to make the most of this weather window. Luss 8am, still dark and raining!!! This wasn't what they had forecasted. Not to worry, it'll clear, the cloud will lift or at worst I'll climb above it. Oh how wrong I was. I was out, which was the main thing. I was assessing my fitness - not very, and I was getting in some much needed nav practice. I really must book a proper course sometime........ All the way round I kept thinking that these hills are so accessible from Glasgow, only 40 minutes for me on the bus that morning. They'd also be fantastic on a clear winter's day with snow. There's another three hills to add to this route that could turn it into quite an interesting horseshoe.

Wee hills

The end of November weekend is usually a good hill weekend for us and this time round we were joining the Scottish Hills crowd at the Corran Bunkhouse . Steve and I have had our eye on doing Sgurr na h-Eanchainne for a long while and doing it on the Saturday suited me well as I quite fancied joining Seona to watch the rugby with Scotland kicking off at 230pm. On the Friday night, Seona decided she would join us on our adventure even though she was well warned that the potential for this to turn into an epic was fairly high. The weather was not as blue sky as promised but that didn't bother us. I had already commented that this hill was perfect Steve terrain, rough ground and nae paths and we were not disappointed. So off we trotted leaving from just beside the old burial grounds, enjoying the views that were opening up before us. When we got to the summit the views were playing hide and seek and there was teasing going on with a broken spectre which didn't follow throu


I like bright colours and I like hats. So when a friend alerted me to Grannies, Inc  I just couldn't resist the temptation of designing my own wee bunnet. Thank you Granny Helen for my colour explosion. I'm off to design another...................