Avalanche Sites and Snowy Runs in the Pentlands

Last week as well as training at home to keep climbing & hill fitness I also managed to get out with Ivor to visit a significant avalanche site in the Pentlands and with Nettle for a snowy hill run. The avalanche site was from the previous week and a good reminder that avalanches can occur in local relatively low hills.

Me at the avalanche site on the east side of Caerketton Hill. Photo credit: I. McCourt.
Ivor and me at the summit of Allermuir.
Heading across the Torduff reservoir. Photo credit: J. Foden.
Nettle on Harbour Hill.
Traversing around Harbour Hill. Photo credit: J. Foden.

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.

The Pentlands

Fiona, Joe and I were out today in the Pentland Hills with an excellent group from Grangemouth High School.

Joe and one of the group high on the screes underneath Caerketton Hill with Edinburgh in the background.

Joe and one of the group high on the screes underneath Caerketton Hill with Edinburgh in the background.

It was cool to start with after an overnight frost, but was warm in the sun later on with light variable winds. The Pentlands are dry underfoot at the moment after the recent weather.

Pentlands Navigation

I was out yesterday in the Pentlands running a Navigation Course for Ramblers Scotland. The group were enthusiastic and asked lots of questions, which made for a great course.

The group on top of Caerketton Hill

The team on top of Caerketton Hill

The winds were Easterly and cool, but there was no rain and the hills were drier away from the paths than I’d expected.

Pentlands Navigation

Yesterday Glenn & I were out in the Pentlands with a group from the Quickdraw Club looking at navigation and orienteering. We made use of the orienteering course at Hillend before taking in Caerketton and Allermuir Hills.

A view of Arthur's Seat from the Pentlands

A view of Arthur’s Seat from the Pentlands

The weather remained fine all day with light Westerly winds and great views. The group were excellent and put in to practice the skills learnt in a classroom session with Glenn on Friday.

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.


Euan, Craig and I were out in the Pentlands today with an excellent group of young people from Falkirk and their leaders. We were looking at the navigation the group will need for their Duke of Edinburgh Award expedition.

Diane with the very green Caerketton Hill behind

Diane with the very green Caerketton Hill behind

The weather us kind to us and we avoided the heavy showers that were around whilst we were out on the hill. The ground was pretty dry underfoot, given the recent downpours, with just the odd muddy section on paths and tracks.

Fittingly, great views to Edinburgh today

Fittingly, great views to Edinburgh today