Pentlands DofE

This week I’ve been delivering DofE training for The City of Edinburgh Council for a good group from Trinity School. This culminated in a practice expedition in the Pentlands. I was particularly impressed with the ambitious cooking options of the group, as some of the photos on The ClimbNow Facebook page show. Wet earlier in the week, but thankfully dry on Thursday and Friday for the practice expedition.

The group in the Pentlands.

Deeside and Glen Esk

This week I’ve been working with Mark for the City of Edinburgh Council supervising/assessing two excellent groups doing their DofE Gold Expedition. After a night in the excellent Ballater Hostel the groups started near Aboyne on Tuesday and finished near Edzell on Friday. They traversed some varied and beautiful parts of Aberdeenshire and Angus. The route over the high ground followed the Fungle Road down in to Glen Esk and then the North Esk before finishing not far from the Caterhun Hill Forts.


The last week I’ve been delivering a Gold DofE Training for the City of Edinburgh Council, which included a practice expedition in the Atholl area making a circuit of Beinn a’Ghlo. This made for a beautiful circuit with some very remote feeling campsites. The group did a great job including dealing with incessant light rain on Wednesday. The hills are generally still very dry so care is required with stoves if camping.

Remote campsite near Loch Loch.

Edinburgh and the Cairngorms

This week I’ve been working with Peter and Tommy delivering a Gold DofE training for The City of Edinburgh Council based out of their outdoor centres at Bangholm and Lagganlia.

One of the groups walking towards Meall a’Buachaille.

Tuesday to Thursday was a practice expedition in the Cairngorms, where we changed the planned route to a lower one to avoid the very high winds forecast for Wednesday & Thursday. This worked well and we missed the worst of the wind and rain.

Edinburgh and the Pentlands

I’ve spent the last week delivering a DofE training and practice expedition for The City of Edinburgh Council based out of their Bangholm Outdoor Centre. Monday to Tuesday was training including a navigation day in the Dalmeny Estate and Thursday and Firday was the practice expedition in The Pentland Hills.

Sunshine and showers in The Pentlands on Thursday.

Sunshine and showers all week with fairly strong winds made for generally good drying conditions for the ground and crags.


The last couple of days I’ve been out in the Pentland Hills near Edinburgh with a DofE group for The City of Edinburgh Council. The weather was excellent with sunshine and relatively low winds. There’s a good forecast for the next few days, so crags in the area will be drying out nicely.

Blue skies in the Pentlands on Friday.

Wester Ross

The last five days Cliff and I have been assessing/supervising an excellent Gold DofE Group from Trinity Academy for The City of Edinburgh Council.

After an acclimatisation night at the Big Sand campsite the group’s route travelled through some very rugged, remote and scenic country between Gairloch and Killilan over four days with three nights wild camping.

Sunset on Beinn Dearg from Beinn a’Chearcaill.

The weather was generally pretty kind with sunshine and showers until today when the group finished in steady rain. The hills are pretty wet and walking off tracks is currently quite boggy. Localised heavy rain is affecting river crossings e.g. the stepping stones on the way to Coire Mhic Fearchair were impassible on Tuesday evening.

The group did a great job and coped with the conditions well. I’ll post some more photos from the trip on the ClimbNow Facebook page.

The Lammermuirs

The last three days I’ve been working for The City of Edinburgh Council supervising a Silver DofE Qualifying Expedition for a group from Trinity Academy. Their route traversed the Lammermuirs from Lauder on the west to near Stenton on the northern edge with a high point of Twin Law. It took in some beautiful moorland and two secluded wild camps.

Trig point and standing stone on Dabshead Hill.

The weather was a mix of sunshine and heavy showers and the group dealt with the conditions well.

East Lothian

The last three days I’ve been supervising a Silver DofE Qualifying Expedition for The City of Edinburgh Council for a group from Trinity Academy. The group had specifically wanted a flatish route, so had planned their expedition in the coastal region of East Lothian. This still allowed for some good walking, wild camping and some possibly more tricky navigation than in a hillier area.

The group walking along an East Lothian beach in the rain.

Tuesday was dry, Wednesday was definitely wet and windy during the day with plenty of rain until the evening and the group finished in the dry on Thursday.

Bangholm and the Tweed Hills

I’ve been doing a second week working for The City of Edinburgh Council delivering Silver DofE Training for a different group from Trinity Academy. On Monday and Tuesday we were based out of Bangholm Outdoor Centre and the last three days we’ve been out in the Tweed Hills for a practice expedition.

The view from Craig Head up Glensax. This makes a great horseshoe walk.

We started from Peebles and finished at Yair Bridge taking in Kirkhope Law, Brown Knowe and The Three Brethren along the way as well as two nights wild camping. This area is probably better known for it’s mountain biking, but offers some delightful walking on rolling moorland hills, through forestry and along river valleys. Some rain over Thursday night, but the hills are still pretty dry.