Information and photos of my mountaineering trips in Scotland,England and Wales:
Including hillwalking,scrambling and easy rock climbing.Also via ferrata, skiing and alpine trips in Europe.

Like this blog!

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Raichle All Degree Lite GTX

Once again the forecast for the weekend, more so Sunday, is rain, gales and more rain!
Is it me, or does the weather seem to be crap most weekends, at least this year anyway. Still, there's talk from the mountain guide types of colder weather on it's way and hopefully some snow too.
Looking forward to some "free training" at Glenmore Lodge next February, just after my birthday. Take note anybody that knows me, ahem!
Hopefully I'll get out before then to brush up on some grade II stuff and then with a bit of pursausion, we can get some grade III practice with the MIC trainees at Glenmore.
As for this weekend; well unless I bite the bullet and nip up the Pentlands with Lorna to help try out her new boots, it could be an hour or so skiing at Hillend or a trip to EICA at Ratho.

Raichle All Degree Lite GTX's, a bargain at £80 from Peglars! :)
However, they are on older, ie last years model and difficult to find, especially as Marmot has now taken over the company. On the plus side, some Raichle named models of boots are still available from outdoor stores such as Tiso.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Holiday home to rent in Bulgaria

Just a quick post to show you a good friend of ours, holiday home for rent in Bansko, Bulgaria.
Why not enjoy a week in this beautifully restored village house situated only 15 km (approx 15mins drive) from the resort of Bansko. There are numerous local shops in the village for all your basic supplies which are all in walking distance or a supermarket in Bansko which covers most things you'll require. There are a few local Mehanas (restaurants/tavernas) situated in the village, plus there are over 100 in Bansko itself, which all offer an excellent range of food. Winter or summer Eleshnitsa is an excellent base for seeing the local places of interest. The rescue centre for Dancing bears, through the village of Belitza (approx 10km) has spectacular views of the Pirin mountains, and is great to see how the bears are adapting to their natural habitat. Walking, skiing, snowboarding,swimming,white water rafting,horse riding,paragliding,mountain biking, whatever you decide to do the whole area will give you a stress free break.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Meall Garbh, An Stuc and Ben Lawers (with special guest appearances?), 11th October 2009

With a half decent forecast, and the chance of the strong winds easing (ha ha), we headed for the Lawers Hotel on the NW side of Loch Tay. We parked the car and set off for Machuim Farm and the track that leads NW up towards Lochan nan Cat via the Lawers Burn. Once at the dam works on the burn, we struck off N-NW to the bealach between Meall Greigh and Meall Garbh, and into the wind! It was here that Lorna decided she'd had enough and turned back whilst I battled with the wind up to Meall Garbh at 1118m.
After a couple of near horizontal moments at the summit, I managed to get this pic of the North side of Ben Lawers, with (half of) An Stuc on the right - it was windy!

At the foot of An Stuc (above), soon realised it wasn't the "beast" it has been made out to be. Of course winter or maybe heavy rain would make the scrambly path more interesting, but today it was just a scrambly path!

At the summit of An Stuc, 1118m, the wind eased (a little) and the cloud finally cleared. Just after this photo, I got talking to three Dutch guys, here on holiday - Munro bagging. One had just ticked off 50 on Lawers summit, that's more than I've done and he lives in Holland!

And then five minutes later, I bumped into two old (as in time not age, ahem) friends as they were on their way up to An Stuc. Stuart and Sheena are two of the Kilimanjaro crew from 2006, just proving what a small world we live in. It was great to see them, and no doubt we will catch up with them again on a distant hill somewhere...

After that pleasant surprise and a quick photo of Lochan nan Cat to my left, it was head down for the final windy slog up the North side of Ben Lawers to it's summit at 1214m, followed by a quick sandwich and a cup of tea, before descending the East ridge and cross country for about 4km to get back to the Lawers Burn and out of the wind. I didn't take anymore photos as keeping upright on the rocky descent took up all my concentration, and looking back West for some good shots of my route was a waste of time as my eyeballs were almost blown out of their sockets. It was a relief to finally find shelter in the lower slopes, and form there back to the Lawers Hotel for a well earned pint!