Varied Start to the Week

It’s been a varied start to the week with climbing at Ratho Quarry on Monday morning; a night run by headtorch in the Pentlands on Monday evening with Euan, Andrew and David; bouldering at Agassiz Rock with Pamela on Tuesday and at Treverlen Park on Wednesday. All good for keeping skills and fitness going.

Euan leading The Plums of Ratho on Monday.
Pamela bouldering in Treverlen Park.

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.

Local Running and Training

Over the past few days Euan and I have been training locally for when we can go further afield. Today we were out for a beautiful run in a snowy Pentlands with David. Good to see plenty of people out enjoying the conditions. It reminded us that a lot of walkers and runners may be new to winter conditions this year. If you decide you need a Winter Skills Course for walking or running, a Winter Navigation Course or an Avalanche Awareness Course these are all things we can provide. There’s more information on the ClimbNow website.

A snowy Pentlands with the Forth behind.
Heading up this morning.
David on one of the steeper sections.
Maintaining a jog on the uphill.
Looking west.
Frosty morning training yesterday.

Navigation Course

The last two days I’ve been working for Falkirk Outdoors delivering a navigation course for the Ramblers. Given current restrictions it was delivered completely outdoors and within the City of Edinburgh Council area. On Thursday we used the Dalmeny and Cammo Estates. Today we were in The Pentlands starting from Harlaw. The weather was windy today, but generally kind for the time of year, and the participant’s enthusiasm made for a very enjoyable course.

Using orienteering maps to look at bearings in Cammo.
Navigation on pathless terrain in the Pentlands.
Planning the next leg with the Forth Bridges in the background.
The summit of Capelaw.

Snowy Pentlands, Training and Kit Checks

I’ve been busy this week. Training at EICA Ratho, Alien Bloc and doing the winter equipment checks for Falkirk Outdoors. Today I headed up in to the snowy Pentlands for a couple of hours of running. It was delightful with fresh snow and no wind. For what it’s worth the turf wasn’t frozen and it was boggy/muddy below the snow on paths. Due to rain most of tomorrow in the Pentlands, so unfortunately it’s unlikely to last long.

Allermuir from the south-west.
Selfie at the summit of Capelaw Hill.
Allermuir view finder.
Winter kit checks.
Looking towards Scald Law and the Kips.

The Pentlands

Ivor and I headed in to the Pentlands today to try and keep some hill miles in the legs. Starting from Harlaw we took in Harbour Hill, Capelaw and Allermuir. This also gave me the opportunity to pick up a large bag of rubbish I’d seen behind a wall during last week’s navigation course, but hadn’t the rucksack capacity to carry out at the time. Not as sunny today as forecast, however there were good views with cloud below us in the Forth valley.

Looking towards Corstorphine Hill and the Lomonds with cloud along the line of the Forth.
The view towards The Kips.
Edinburgh and Arthur’s Seat from Allermuir.

More Pentlands Navigation

I was in the Pentlands again today delivering a navigation course for U3A (University of the Third Age). The wind was a cold south-westerly and paths were icy in the morning and very muddy as the day progressed.

The group heading back to the Snowsportscentre.

We made use of the cafe at the Snowsports Centre at the start and finish of the day to talk about things in the warmth and shelter. Thanks to the group for keeping the enthusiasm going in the cold conditions.

Pentlands Navigation

After a few days down in Derbyshire I was out today in the Pentland Hills running a navigation course for The City of Edinburgh Council Adult Education. The weather was relatively kind to us staying largely dry with just the odd wintry shower, but with a fresh south-west to southerly wind.

The team getting to grips with bearings in a sheltered location.

There was a dusting of snow high on the hills this morning and it was snowing at the ski centre when we finished the course. Thanks to all on the course for keeping enthusiastic in the cold.

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.