Small Goals

During the lockdowns I’ve found it really useful to set myself some goals. Having a target, even a small one, definitely makes me more likely to get out and invariably I feel better for doing so.

Over the last few weeks I set myself the goal of visiting/revisiting all the trig points within the City of Edinburgh Council boundary that you are legally able to.

Cliff at the summit of Allermuir Hill after winter climbing on the day the seeds of the challenge were sown.

To stick to the spirit of the restrictions I tried to do this by not making special journeys, but by visiting them after a bouldering/climbing session, as part of a walk with a friend or as a run from home.

On a windy run to an obscure trig point.

If you decide to do something similar many trig points will be on farm land or golf courses. Please do make sure you access land responsibly and don’t disturb livestock, damage crops or interfere with games in progress. Access legislation is different in England and Wales to Scotland and this should also be considered.

The summit of Dalmahoy Hill with Ivor.

Restrictions are hopefully easing up. In Scotland we’re now able to travel from our council area for outdoor work and things should ease further on the 26th April. If you have any climbing or mountaineering goals ClimbNow could help with do get in touch.

Mick on the summit of Arthur’s Seat as I completed the challenge in sunshine on Tuesday.

Avalanche Sites and Snowy Runs in the Pentlands

Last week as well as training at home to keep climbing & hill fitness I also managed to get out with Ivor to visit a significant avalanche site in the Pentlands and with Nettle for a snowy hill run. The avalanche site was from the previous week and a good reminder that avalanches can occur in local relatively low hills.

Me at the avalanche site on the east side of Caerketton Hill. Photo credit: I. McCourt.
Ivor and me at the summit of Allermuir.
Heading across the Torduff reservoir. Photo credit: J. Foden.
Nettle on Harbour Hill.
Traversing around Harbour Hill. Photo credit: J. Foden.

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.