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.

Glen Lyon

Today I was out with a Falkirk High Tops Team of Craig, Alan, Billy, Colin,Craig, Edith, Lorn, Ros, Sue, Willie and Vic on Stuchd an Lochain. The drive down Glen Lyon and up to the Loch an Daimh damn required care due to hard packed snow and black ice in places. There were patches of soft old snow from road level and this increased to almost full cover with height and firmed up to the point where kicking steps was quite hard work. There was icing on paths from road level and the turf was firm above about 700m.

The team approaching the summit

Careful route choice meant we didn’t need to put crampons on, but axes were required.

Alan on the summit

Some very light snow flurries during the day on a strong West then North-West wind. Cloud on and off with some patches of sunshine. Freezing level was around 700m.