The Pentlands

On Saturday and Sunday I was delivering navigation courses for The City of Edinburgh Council Adult Education. Both days were well attended with the participants being keen to get to grips with navigation or refresh existing knowledge, which made for two great days.

Arthur's Seat from the Pentlands (note this photo isn't from the weekend as I forgot to take pictures).

Arthur’s Seat from the Pentlands (note this photo isn’t from the weekend as I forgot to take pictures).

The weather was kind with only the odd very light shower on Saturday and cool winds on both days. The hills in this part of Scotland are still very dry for the time of year, which made for very pleasant walking both on and off paths.

Cairngorms and Glencoe

Yesterday the team and I travelled from Ballachulish to the Cairngorms in search of dry weather. We were rewarded with a beautiful day and evening. Throughout the day we visited; Coire an-t Sneachda, the Goat Track, Coire Domhain, Feith Buidhe and Cairn Lochan.

Wherever we encountered snow it was firm and crampons were required on all steeper sections.

Today the rain was torrential on the west coast. We visited Glencoe ski centre and spent the day doing avalanche rescue techniques. The snow was disappearing fast.

The team in Coire Domhain.

The team in Coire Domhain.

Aonach Mor

The team and I were out today on Aonach Mor. After completing a micro navigation session on the plateau we descended the Nid Ridge. At a safe point we built snow bollards and practised abseiling.

The snow on the surface was soft and heavy. However, there is an icy layer underneath and crampons were essential. Cornices were visible at points on the ridge.

Abseiling on a snow bollard reinforced with shovels.

Abseiling off a snow bollard reinforced with shovels.

Pentlands Navigation

I was out in the Pentlands this evening with Alan, Lorn and Paul looking at hill navigation. We started from the Ranger Centre near the Flotterstone and headed around the Castle Law and Fala Knowe area with a fair bit of time off the paths looking at bearings and pacing.

Turnhouse Hill at dusk this evening.

Carnethy and Turnhouse Hills at dusk this evening.

It was a beautiful evening with a cool breeze. The Pentland Hills are pretty dry at the moment, but there are still some boggy spots off the paths.

Navigation Course in the Pentlands

Today I was delivering a hill walking navigation course in the Pentlands for The City of Edinburgh Council Adult Education. The course went well with lots of new skills being acquired.

Typical Pentland conditions. Photo not from today as I forgot my camera.

Typical Pentland conditions. Photo not from today as I forgot my camera.

The Pentlands are relatively dry for the time of year with underfoot conditions being pretty good both on and off paths. It was warm in the sunshine, but cool in the shade or the wind, with the odd flake of snow falling at times.

Pentlands Navigation

I’ve been in the Pentland Hills today running a navigation course for The City of Edinburgh Council Community Learning. We were lucky enough to have excellent dry and sunny weather. The group was well motivated to get to grips with navigation skills, which made for a very enjoyable day.

The Pentlands are pretty dry for the time of year with generally good underfoot conditions both on and off paths.

Four Days and a One Night Exped

For the past four days I have been based in Ballachulish. On Monday the team and I completed a winter skills session at the Glencoe ski centre. The cover for skiing is currently excellent.

We went to Aonach Mor on Tuesday to complete a micro navigation session on the plateau in winds gusting up to 60mph and whiteout conditions. These conditions were perfect for what we wanted to achieve. The snow cover in the ski area was good although the plateau was mostly bare nice.

For the past two days we have been snowholing in the Creag Meagaidh massif climbing Na Cnapanan, Meall an t-Snaim and Carn Liath. The cover on the ridges of the massif is currently excellent for ski touring. There was two large avalanches in Coire Ardair either during last night or early this morning.

The Buachaille on Monday.

The Buachaille on Monday.

Nearing the summit of Carn Liath.

Nearing the summit of Carn Liath.

Pentlands Navigation

On Saturday and Sunday I was out in the Pentland Hills delivering navigation courses for Edinburgh Council Adult Education. The weather was relatively kind with just the odd shower and some fairly strong winds on the tops on Sunday.

The Saturday Group enjoying a lunch break in the Pentlands

The Saturday Group enjoying a lunch break in the Pentlands

The participants were keen to learn, which made for a very good and enjoyable two days.

Devilla Forest

I was out teaching navigation for Falkirk Community Trust with Steve today in Devilla Forest. There were snow showers down to sea level and these contained periods where the majority of snow falling was graupel. The wind was Westerly and the Ochils had a light covering of snow with West facing slopes looking scoured and sheltered areas appearing to have a deeper cover developing.

Pentlands Navigation Course

I was out today in the Pentlands with a group from the Edinburgh Council Adult Education Programme. We were looking Navigation for Hillwalking. We used the area just South and West of the ski area, which has some excellent featured ground for looking at contour interpretation and managed to take in the tops of Caerketton and Allermuir Hills as well.

Descending at dusk with Arthur's Seat in the distance

Descending from the Pentlands with Arthur’s Seat in the distance

No rain during the day, broken cloud above the summits and only light winds. The ground is saturated, but paths and tracks weren’t too muddy.