Mid November was my last blog, so I thought I better do a quick update. Being off now for Xmas I can look back on the last 5 or 6 weeks and say I’ve had a lot of fun in the outdoors!!
After two Bike n Hikes, one in Ardgour and one in Lochaber I saddled up again for a quick blast up my local hill, Ben Chonzie. The forecast was good for the morning so I left early and cycled the shores of Loch Turret before reaching the summit relatively early. It was towards the end of November and the snows had not properly arrived, although the views were stunning as always. Chonzie is my local Munro and I have been up it lots, but I think this is the first time I haven’t encountered any mountain hares!!!! Some piccies below……
Next up was my “other” local hill, a Corbett this time and possibly one of my favourite hills. If time is short, or if weather and driving condition as are marginally, this hill allows my mountain fix to be fed. Ben Vrackie is a magnificent hill – more about this later…. But a spinkling of snow on this visit gave a slight indication of what was to come!!
A wild and wet weekend was forecast at the start of December so we decided to get the kayaks out and stay low. Loch Lubnaig (N-S) was the chosen location. A nice paddle in the rain but in relative shelter (still windy tho~!!!) was had, before my friend (literally) unravelled his new toy. Experienced in SUP boarding in the Mediterranean this was his first shot in Scotland and my first shot ever!!! Video says it all really - a misadventure indeed J
Next up and after the sprinkling of snow on Vrackie a week earlier, a big dump hit the highlands. I had an afternoon free and was desperate to get to the snow – the solution – Ben Vrackie – again. A late start saw me leaving about 13.45 ish, reaching the summit after 15.00. A beautiful sunset ensued and I was a happy man, getting back to the car just as darkness enveloped the mountainside! Some piccies below….
Next up was erm – Ben Vrackie – again.. This time it was the Sunrise I was chasing. Only having a few hours to spare I was super super early and wading through thy deep snow in the dark! However it was a magical trip. I caught the sunrise form near the summit and was first on the hill on a busy day – given the number of people I met on the way down (and that was before 10am!!! I was home supping my cup of tea by 11 oclock!)
Short film and piccies below…
Finally we headed out to try and christen my new ice tools. A quick look through the binos suggested nothing was in at Bridge of Orchy s we headed down to the North facing Coire Daimh where the binos showed some ice forming. On closer inspection – not too much was yet in condition but we di find a short cleft with ice enough for a short pitch of climbing in the upper Coire. Fun indeed…. Now all we need is a good dump of snow and a good freeze …. Bring on 2015 J
Some thoughts and reports from my outdoors activties...