Cairngorms in Winter Condition

The Falkirk High Tops Team and I were out in the Cairngorms today. We ascended Twin Ribs before continuing along the ridge and dropping back into Coire an t-Sneachda.

The conditions were wintry requiring crampons and ice axe. I don’t know however how well the turf is frozen.

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I was out today in the Dalmeny Estate delivering the second day of a navigation course for The City of Edinburgh Council Adult Education. This course runs for one session a week for four weeks, which works well giving plenty of time for consolidation of skills.

The group navigating on one of the good tracks within the Dalmeny Estate.


Euan and I were out in Arrochar with a Falkirk Community Trust Outdoors scrambling team of Ali, Kostas, Louise, May and Steve. We traversed The Cobbler starting from Loch Long and taking in the South Peak via it’s South-East Ridge and an abseil to descend before climbing the Central Peak via Doorway Route. Euan then returned to Loch Long to fetch the mini bus, whilst the rest of us headed down to Glen Croe.

Me, May, Steve and Louise on the summit of The Central Peak of The Cobbler.

It was raining and windy this morning with the mica-schist on the route requiring care in the wet. It cheered up as we summited and was dry for most of the walk out. The ground is saturated at the moment and any crags with seepage will take a while to dry.

Loch Quoich

What a difference a day makes. Having stayed in Fort William on Saturday night I took the opportunity of a much better forecast to go a bit further north and head up Gleouraich, Creag Coire na Fiar Bhealaich and Spidean Mialach on the north side of Loch Quoich.

Looking across Loch Quoich towards Sgurr na Ciche from Gleouraich.

There was a cool wind today with a dusting of snow on the higher Lochaber hills this morning. It didn’t rain at all whilst I was walking and a there were good periods of sunshine and broken cloud above the summits. Very different to yesterday’s weather.

Ben Nevis

On Saturday I was on Ben Nevis with a team from Breast Cancer Care helping 26 sponsored participants looking to climb Britain’s highest mountain. I’ve been involved with this event a number of times and it’s always well organised and inspirational, particularly as many of those taking part have very personal reasons for supporting the charity.

Some of the team at the summit of Ben Nevis.

This year was no exception. Although the weather was better than it might have been given recent forecasts the groups did amazingly well dealing with persistent rain for much of the day. Many thanks to all the participants and to the staff of Rachel, Neil, Niall, Martin, Ian and Robin for making it a very enjoyable day despite the weather.


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.


Intro to lead climbing and intro to rock climbing today at Blackford with Falkirk Outdoors.