Pentlands Post Thaw

Continuing the catch up. I was out in the Pentlands a couple of times after the thaw in mid February. There we significant drifts and snow patches around initially.

Ivor on an old drift on Hare Hill.

These had reduced a lot by the 23rd when I was out on a Hare Hill and Black Hill on a very windy day with Pamela.

Pamela and rainbow in the wind.

Local Ski Touring

A few catch up posts. Back in February it was cold and snowy enough for some local ski touring in the Edinburgh area. On the 9th of February I managed a morning tour with Pamela in Dalmeny including the novelty of skiing to the beach for a paddle.

Pamela skiing on to the beach near Hound Point.

On the 14th of February Euan and I had good long tour in the Pentlands just as the thaw was arriving.

Euan happy to be getting some skiing in this odd year.
Me descending from Carnethy Hill.

Pentlands Running and Snow Wading

Nettle and I were out for a “run” in the snow in the Pentlands today. We were breaking trail for most of the way and post holing for long sections. Skis or snowshoes would have been very useful. The weather was kind with sunshine most of the time we were out and strong winds only on exposed ridges. There’s been a lot of wind movement of the snow. An avalanche was reported on Turnhouse Hill yesterday and it was easy to see why today with significant drifting, wind slab and some areas of underlying old neve in high sheltered locations. Think about route choice if you are out and about in the Pentlands in these conditions.

On the way in. Photo credit: J. Foden.
There’s a path under here somewhere.
Plenty of evidence of wind movement of snow.
Summit shot.
Happy to be out. Photo credit: J. Foden.
Nettle running from the summit.

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.

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 delivering a navigation course for a small group from The Ramblers for Falkirk Outdoors. The course was delivered completely outdoors within the City of Edinburgh Council area. On Thursday we used the Dalmeny and Cammo areas. On Friday we started from Harlaw and used the west side of Harbour Hill and around Capelaw to get on to some unpathed terrain. Thanks to the group who were enthusiastic throughout, which made for a great course.

Some great pathless terrain for working on bearings, pacing and contour recognition on the west side of Harbour Hill.
One of the highlights today was this great view of a common lizard in the Pentlands.

Pentlands Navigation

I was out today in the Pentland Hills delivering a navigation course for The City of Edinburgh Council Adult Education.

The group planning a navigation leg in the shelter of a wood.

There were patches of residual snow in sheltered areas at height in the northern Pentlands. The ground is very wet at the moment and paths in the area are muddy. We stayed low to avoid a cold south-east to south-west wind. Wilf.

Pentlands Navigation

A soggy team towards the end of the day.

On Saturday I was delivering a Navigation Course for The City Of Edinburgh Council Adult Education. It was a cool dry morning, but the rain arrived in the early afternoon a little before it was forecast.

Pentlands Navigation

I was out in the Pentland Hills today delivering a Hill Walking Navigation course for The City of Edinburgh Council Adult Education. Thanks to all the group for their enthusiasm, which made the course work well.

The group with Arthur’s Seat in the distance.

It was dry throughout the day with sunshine and a strong, cold, south-westerly wind, which decreased through the day. Despite yesterday’s rain the ground was very dry underfoot for this time of year and the paths were dry.

Pentlands

I was out today running a hill walking navigation course for The City of Edinburgh Council Adult Education. We started from Hillend and used the northern Pentlands. Winds were strong with a bit more rain than forecast, so we stayed lower than I normally would for this course to make use of available shelter.

Some of the group dealing with the weather on one of the lower hill tracks.