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.

Bangholm and the Lammermuirs

This week I’ve been working for The City of Edinburgh Council delivering Silver DofE Training for a 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 Lammermuir Hills for a practice expedition.

Wild camping in the Lammermuirs.

The Lammermuirs are beautiful rolling moorland hills south east of Edinburgh and ideal for this sort of expedition.

Peebles and the Yarrow Valley

Last weekend Kris and I were out in the hills around Peebles and the Yarrow Valley supervising a Silver DofE group for the City of Edinburgh Council.

The summit of Minch Moor with mountain bikers up from Innerleithen and the Cheviot behind.

The summit of Minch Moor with mountain bikers up from Innerleithen and the Cheviot behind.

Starting at Peebles and finishing at the Bowhill Estate and taking in Minch Moor with two wild camps made for a very pleasant route. With just a little rain on Saturday and improving weather to a sunny Monday the hills were drying out well.

Pentlands

On Monday and Tuesday I was out in the Pentlands again with a Bronze DofE Group, who were traversing the Pentland Jills from Garvald to Easter Kinleith over two days with a wild camp.

The view from my tent door.

The view from my tent door.

The group were excellent and the weather was generally kind making for a pleasant two days in the hills.

Pentlands

The last two days I’ve been working for The City of Edinburgh Council supervising a Bronze DofE group who were traversing the Pentland Hills from Garvald to The Flotterstone.

My tent at a the wild camp near North Esk Reservoir.

My tent at a the wild camp near North Esk Reservoir.

The group did a great job and we were treated to some fine weather with only a light shower late this afternoon.

 

Pentlands and Lammermuirs

This week I’ve been running a Silver DofE training for The City of Edinburgh Council. This included navigation in the Pentland Hills on Tuesday and a three day practice expedition in the Lammermuirs.

The group approaching the Meikle Says Law trig point.

The group approaching the Meikle Says Law trig point.

The expedition took in Meikle Says Law and some delightful and, at times, tough walking terrain with a couple of beautiful camping spots. The group coped very well with some very mixed weather, which changed from heavy rain to bright sunshine on a fairly regular basis.

Pentlands and the Trossachs

I’ve spent quite a lot of the last two weeks supervising Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE) qualifying expeditions for the City of Edinburgh Council Outdoor Education.

Evening light on Stuc a'Chroin

Evening light on Stuc a’Chroin

The expeditions included traverses through the Pentlands and the Trossachs. The weather was generally very kind, but a couple of the Silver Groups did particularly well to keep good spirits through a day and night of fairly incessant rain in the Trossachs.

Wild camping above Callander.

Wild camping above Callander.

DofE Expeditions, Lowland Leader Award and Introduction to Sport Climbing

The last three weeks I’ve spent a lot of time out and about with groups training for their Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme Expeditions with the City of Edinburgh Council. I’ve been working with Robin and Paul and making use of excellent areas close to Edinburgh, such as the Pentlands and Lammermuirs.

Typical Pentlands terrain.

Typical Pentlands terrain.

I also spent a day working on a Lowland Leader Award Training Course for Falkirk Community Trust Outdoors. This is an excellent qualification for those looking to lead walking groups in Lowland terrain and ideal for those supervising Bronze DofE groups.

Last Wednesday evening Alex, Andrew and I spent a few hours looking at sport climbing outdoors. They already lead climb indoors and were wanting an introduction to leading outdoors. We looked at equipment; placing/clipping and stripping quickdraws and in particular at rethreading at the top of a route. The weather was mixed with a few showers, but we used one of the routes outside at Ratho which worked well.

Ratho Quarry and Falkirk DofE

A busy day today. Ivor and I spent a few hours climbing in Ratho Quarry. We warmed up on a newly bolted, but as yet unnamed, line on the back wall of the quarry at about 4+. Thanks go again to Neil Busby for putting in the effort to clean and bolt the line. We also climbed a left hand start to the newly bolted line, which joins it at about the third bolt. We left the bottom three bolts clipped to protect the moves as it’s effectively a boulder problem start at about 6b with a poor landing. I’ll try and clean up the landing if I get a chance.

Ivor leading the new line

Ivor leading the new line

This evening I was working with Craig and Neil for Falkirk Community Trust delivering First Aid/Emergency scenarios for an engaged Bronze DofE group.