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.

Local Running and Training

Over the past few days Euan and I have been training locally for when we can go further afield. Today we were out for a beautiful run in a snowy Pentlands with David. Good to see plenty of people out enjoying the conditions. It reminded us that a lot of walkers and runners may be new to winter conditions this year. If you decide you need a Winter Skills Course for walking or running, a Winter Navigation Course or an Avalanche Awareness Course these are all things we can provide. There’s more information on the ClimbNow website.

A snowy Pentlands with the Forth behind.
Heading up this morning.
David on one of the steeper sections.
Maintaining a jog on the uphill.
Looking west.
Frosty morning training yesterday.

Seven Reservoirs Night Run

Andy, Euan and I had a great time last night running the Pentland Seven Reservoirs route in the dark. It’s a half marathon route through the hills on paths, tracks and tarmac. It’s pretty muddy underfoot in places at the moment and care is required. An excellent way to spend an evening with some good views to Edinburgh at times.

Andy and Euan below Bonaly Reservoir with the city lights behind and the Forth Bridges to the left.
Euan and Andy with The Howe Christmas tree behind.
Torduff Reservoir with the glow of Edinburgh beyond.
The Seven Reservoirs route.

Navigation Course

The last two days I’ve been working for Falkirk Outdoors delivering a navigation course for the Ramblers. Given current restrictions it was delivered completely outdoors and within the City of Edinburgh Council area. On Thursday we used the Dalmeny and Cammo Estates. Today we were in The Pentlands starting from Harlaw. The weather was windy today, but generally kind for the time of year, and the participant’s enthusiasm made for a very enjoyable course.

Using orienteering maps to look at bearings in Cammo.
Navigation on pathless terrain in the Pentlands.
Planning the next leg with the Forth Bridges in the background.
The summit of Capelaw.

Training

Up until Thursday it was a week of training to keep fit for when we are able to get further afield. Local running, home gym sessions and Alien Bloc and EICA Ratho have all featured.

Euan doing circuits at Alien Bloc.
Ivor moving off an undercut on a problem at Alien Bloc.
Ivor making the move.

Alien Bloc and EICA Ratho

Over the last few days I’ve had some good training sessions at both Alien Bloc and EICA Ratho.

Ivor on steep ground at Alien Bloc.
Euan on the campus board at Alien Bloc.
Euan hanging around.

Snowy Pentlands, Training and Kit Checks

I’ve been busy this week. Training at EICA Ratho, Alien Bloc and doing the winter equipment checks for Falkirk Outdoors. Today I headed up in to the snowy Pentlands for a couple of hours of running. It was delightful with fresh snow and no wind. For what it’s worth the turf wasn’t frozen and it was boggy/muddy below the snow on paths. Due to rain most of tomorrow in the Pentlands, so unfortunately it’s unlikely to last long.

Allermuir from the south-west.
Selfie at the summit of Capelaw Hill.
Allermuir view finder.
Winter kit checks.
Looking towards Scald Law and the Kips.

The Pentlands

Ivor and I headed in to the Pentlands today to try and keep some hill miles in the legs. Starting from Harlaw we took in Harbour Hill, Capelaw and Allermuir. This also gave me the opportunity to pick up a large bag of rubbish I’d seen behind a wall during last week’s navigation course, but hadn’t the rucksack capacity to carry out at the time. Not as sunny today as forecast, however there were good views with cloud below us in the Forth valley.

Looking towards Corstorphine Hill and the Lomonds with cloud along the line of the Forth.
The view towards The Kips.
Edinburgh and Arthur’s Seat from Allermuir.

Blackford Quarry

After training with Ivor at Ratho on Monday we decided to make the most of a sunny November day and headed to Blackford Quarry today. It was cool in the breeze this morning, but all the routes were dry. It’s effectively an inner city venue, so be careful of broken glass on holds.

Ivor top roping on the main slab, which has nice climbing but with friable holds and minimal gear.
Ivor leading on the Little Slab.