Pentlands Running and Snow Wading

Nettle and I were out for a “run” in the snow in the Pentlands today. We were breaking trail for most of the way and post holing for long sections. Skis or snowshoes would have been very useful. The weather was kind with sunshine most of the time we were out and strong winds only on exposed ridges. There’s been a lot of wind movement of the snow. An avalanche was reported on Turnhouse Hill yesterday and it was easy to see why today with significant drifting, wind slab and some areas of underlying old neve in high sheltered locations. Think about route choice if you are out and about in the Pentlands in these conditions.

On the way in. Photo credit: J. Foden.
There’s a path under here somewhere.
Plenty of evidence of wind movement of snow.
Summit shot.
Happy to be out. Photo credit: J. Foden.
Nettle running from the summit.

Winter Walking and Ski Touring

This week I’ve been lucky enough to get out in the Pentlands again in winter conditions. On Tuesday Ivor and I were out for a walk in glorious sunny weather with a dusting of fresh snow. On Friday Pamela and I managed an opportunistic ski tour. The snow cover was good on paths and tracks where it had a base and had drifted in on top overnight. Away from these there was no real base except in small sheltered locations and care was required. A great fun day, which helped to keep our winter skills ticking over as best we can currently.

Looking to Caerketton Hill on Tuesday.
Pamela near the ski centre on Friday morning.
Quick break and about to remove skins near the summit of Allermuir Hill.
Obligatory selfie.
Looking back to Allermuir. Thin cover away from tracks.
Quite “Scottish” ski touring traversing around the north side of Allermuir Hill.

Winter Walking and Climbing in the Pentlands

Last week saw some good wintery conditions in the Pentland Hills. This meant I was able to get out locally for some winter walking and climbing. The climbing was only in the Grade I to III range and not classics. However, it was great to get out and practice skills I’ll hopefully need later in the season.

Me and Ivor enjoying an easy gully in the Pentlands.
Looking down Right Cleuch (Right Fork) to Ivor belaying from the pinnacle.
Stunning views from Caerketton Hill.
Jen at the summit of Allermuir Hill on a day with less visibility.

Wintery Pentlands and Local Outdoor Training

Well the past couple of days have seen me figuring out how to stay fit and not let skills fade within the new restrictions, so that when I can get out and work again in the bigger hills I’m able to do so confidently. Yesterday Euan and I trained outdoors in a local park. Today I was out in the Pentlands with Ivor. The hard packed snow and ice on paths had refrozen and crampons were very useful for movement with the added benefit of allowing us to practice crampon work. #armadillomerino #usedbyproslovedbyall

Euan working hard.
Ivor, crampons very useful on the compacted and refrozen snow.
View south-west along the Pentlands.
Me happy to be out.
Rime ice on fences indicating precipitation on a north-west wind.

Snowy Pentlands Run

I managed to meet up with Nettle in the Pentlands on the 30th December for an excellent snowy run. It was clear while we were on the hill, but snowing steadily by late afternoon.

Always great to get out with Nettle.
Sun over West Cairn Hill.
View to The Kips and Scald Law.
Low light looking south-west from one of the tops of East Cairn Hill.