Friday, 31 December 2010

The Viewpoint on Bleaberry Fell - Christmas Day 2010

We just want to wish all of you the very best for 2011 and many happy hours on the hills.
From all of us at Keswick Rambles, have a good one. Lyn, Pete, Bella, Halle, Alison, Cathy and Skye.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Merry Christmas and don't forget to stay safe on the mountains

As it's that time of year again we just want to wish you all Seasons Greetings and thanks for coming out with us last year. This is also a time to remember others and by that we mean the excellent Mountain Rescue Team we have in Keswick.  We just want to thank them all for their devoted service which is completely voluntary and keeps people safe on the fells.

Pete and I have just made a donation to them as we know that all contributions help keep them going.  If you want to make a donation please follow this link and thanks from us if you do.

I also wanted to remind you that we have a series of walks scheduled over the period between Christmas and New Year click the Christmas Walks label above for details.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Snowed again in Keswick

Yes it snowed again on Saturday morning, but only about an inch this time, but it has been very cold at night, about minus 8 last night... Tonight it feels about the same.  Many people have taken to wearing their crampons around the town and even in the parks. Some have tried to enter the local shops in them, so signs are up saying take them off, I should think so too.

Meanwhile, Bella, Pete and I went for a stroll delivering our Christmas cards today and we thought no crampons were needed but did put Bella's warm coat on, that's after Pete caught her of course....She sulked and ran away, and hid under the kitchen table, then ran into my den and tried to get under my coffee table.  Pete is used to these games and does not let her get away with it, the coat went on.  Next she had to wait tied up to the gate whilst I took a photo in the garden, so I thought why not take one of Bella too. I think her expression is saying 'come on - hurry up'.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Latrigg last Sunday

The snow kept coming last weekend so we made the most of it and went out on Saturday and Sunday. The weather was at it's best on Sunday though and we took some splendid photographs on route to the top of Latrigg. This first one was a view of Skiddaw with a brilliant blue sky shining against the snow and ice.

We took our crampons with us and once on the top put them on because we wanted to descend quickly down the steep woods towards Spooney Green Lane, so the crampons were essential for a good grip. Quite a few of these Kahtoola's have been sold by Needle Sports this year because they claimed to have run out of them within days of the snow arriving and they had ordered 100 pairs.......

The trees on the side of Latrigg were completely devoid of leaves because it does not take long for them to disappear once an early winter sets in. We did not see any people on this descent because most had stuck to the tourist paths and did not know the way down through the woods like us locals do, so it was good to have them to ourselves!

We eventually walked down towards the town through the park and as we crossed by the Cricket Pavilion we had a very low lying mist all around us, it was very pretty and atmospheric. Then we went into town to the noise and bustle of the Traditional Christmas Fair which was just about staggering to a halt...... We didn't stay long as it wasn't really our scene after the tranquility of the hills it all seemed rather contrived.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Derwentwater today with gently falling snowflakes

 This was the scene down by the lake as we passed by the boat house and you can see that already parts of Derwentwater are frozen, not as badly as last winter but even so it is starting again.  We had planned to go off on a jolly tomorrow until we saw the updated MWIS forcast which gives a bleak outlook. Somehow our day out was not supposed to take in 'upland gales' and hail and snow. So we will sit it out and do some work instead. This next shot shows Pete and Bella strolling along the icy path by the boat landings and gives an idea of conditions in town at the moment. It looks like Keswick is in for more snow tomorrow too.

 Lastly, a shot of distant Catbells from the Launch booking office. What a change from the scene in the summer? Not many ducks and geese to be seen either, I think they have all taken off somewhere out of sight because its probably not a good idea to be a goose in December......

I think the weather might be a little kinder on Sunday if the forecasts are correct, so we may be out on the hills then.  I have plenty to do at home anyway and Pete's new crampons can wait for their first ice trials.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Crampons weather

If you are thinking of venturing onto the hills then you should take crampons with you at the moment as the snow is laying ontop of ice. We went up onto Scafell Pike on Saturday and the ice was on the footpath going up the Corridor Route so we needed to use our Kahtoola's.  These, by the way are very good walkers crampons which are quick to fit and stay snugly in place. You can find them in most of the Keswick outdoors shops. They are ok for walking on the fells and if you are not contemplating any ice climbing then they are adequate. We even used ours in town last winter as our road had a thick sheet of ice on the pavements where the snow quickly compacted into a skating area. Don't forget a head torch too as we passed a group going up towards the top at a time of day when we were coming down knowing we had left ourselves plenty of time before dusk. They would almost certainly have to use head torches on their descent and it really is the case that getting onto the hills early rather than later is what you should plan for. Mind you on Saturday our biggest problem was getting the car to Seathwaite and then hoping we would be able to get back again! No photos on this trip folks as we did not have time to indulge given the goal and the conditions.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Christmas Walks Programme - Bookings Essential

Please book them either by email or telephone if you want to participate. Note you do not have to pay until the day of the walk and all walks are £15 & half price for children under 16. Transport to be arranged.

Monday 27th December Blencathra (10am start at the Moot Hall) P & L

Tuesday 28th December Grisedale Pike (10am start at Braithwaite) CC

Wednesday 29th December Skiddaw & Ullock Pike (10am start at the Moot Hall) A & H

Thursday 30th December Helvellyn (10am start at the Moot Hall) P & L

Friday 31st December Catbells, Maiden Moor & High Spy (10.15 start at the Theatre By the Lake) CC

Monday, 8 November 2010

Keswick Guided Walks - The Moot Hall Rambles

Just joking, coz no, we are not changing our name, it's too famous; when you need a Keswick walking guide it has to be Keswick Rambles.  Shall I tell you why? Well actually, I don't have to because you do that for us, you our clients keep telling us that we are the best guides. So I want to thank you all for being such sports and coming out with us this past season.  Our walkers were sometimes singles and some of you were couples and many of you were groups but we all mixed well together and the chatter flowed.  Yes that is the secret of a good walk, not just the scenery but the conversations and the friendships to be made.  We love talking to you all and it shows.   I also need to remind you that our Christmas guided walks from Keswick Moot Hall will be appearing soon, so keep a watch out but meanwhile, if the weather is getting you down, here is a shot of me and Bella on Scafell Pike in blissful sun,      bye for now.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Stone Arthur to Fairfield - 25th October

Anne sent Pete and Bella a big thank you for this walk and included some photos of it on her website.

She says "Back at my hotel tonight, my limbs are tingling, my head is full of beautiful lake images and I keep laughing about some of the things that you said, the "hats with fruit salads atop", "I would have drunk my tea out of a brown mug..." brilliant, local, anecdotal superb........I hope to visit again soon, well perhaps not too soon but when the snowy winter is behind us."

"See not a great site and no magical words but a reflection of a great day had thanks to you."


Take a look at her link if you want a flavour of what Keswick Rambles can offer you!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

12 October 2010. Above Glen Kingie... NW Highlands.

We did climb out of the mist which you saw in my last post photo and came across a really good man made stalker's path which took us up onto a ridge towards Sgurr Beag and then down again a few hundred feet to a coll before rising once more towards the Munro Sgurr Mor. It was quite a slog up the second time!

Lyn descending from Sgurr Beag 890m, a minor top, with the Munro Sgurr Mor 1003m beyond, and in the distance the Corbett Sgurr an Fhuarain 901m.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Remote Scotland

Once again our Munro Bashing intrepid trio from Keswick Rambles (Pete, Lyn n Bella) ventured forth to conquer another one. But where? Ah you might well wonder, not many are left........Well I am not one for verbosity ah  hmm, so without further ado......and just to keep you in is a clue.

I am sure you will recognise many features which will be familiar...

Grass perhaps?  A stream, or could it be a Scottish bog? The odd rock to fall over..Ah but what is that on the skyline? Scotch Mist. No it is not the name of a whisky, at least I do not think so. But look further, there is blue sky....Yes could it be a temperature inversion? All might be revealed soon.

Meanwhile, we have posted up a programme of walks on the Keswick Mountain Festival site and you might like to go there and see what we are offering in May 2011. Not all of our leaders have finalised the walks yet so keep returning, you might find more walks to your liking soon. Bookings are starting to come in so don't be the last to make your mind up. I have a feeling that 2011 KMF is going to be a scorcher! Here's the link.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

What a windy day

We went up Robinson, Hindscarth and Dale Head today in awful driving rain and wind. The rain did become sporadic later, so much so that my overtrousers were on and off all day....But the wind never gave up; anyway it is good for the complexion to have that stinging effect and red rosy cheeks. We noted that the weather had put off many a would be hero on the fells. Only passed about 3 men all day, no other women to be seen at all except me...

Back in the cosy environs of the cafe at Honister, Robert bought me a very welcome cuppa, so thank you Robert, you are a gentleman. Pete and Bella came on the walk too because she always wants 'walkies' and he was trying out a new pair of Aku Vertigo boots he had just bought to replace his old Vertigo's which had not really been in fine fettle since leaving Skye in June.  Anyway, it was not a photography day but I did receive a wonderful photo of Bella from Judith recently which is the real reason for this post: ok I admit it, I just want to share a photo of my doggie again.....

But she is cute and turns heads all the time.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Walla Crag yesterday

This is the cairn on the top of Walla Crag with a view looking towards Bassenthwaite Lake and just the tip of Derwentwater showing.  It is one of my favourite places to go and have a quick walk with Bella and then stay awhile on the top and admire the view whilst maybe having a spot of lunch. Yesterday though my group of walkers and I were on our way up Bleaberry Fell as well so we only had time to take a few shots with our cameras. It was windy on top as it usually is and so we did not stay very long. We had a good walk though and Hazel brought along her camcorder and took a video which she said she would post on her Youtube account. So when that happens I will give you a link and you can share our day out too.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Keswick Mountain Festival 2011 - 18th to 22nd May

Yes they are already getting ready for this festival and we are thinking about the walks we will offer next year. So I thought it might be a good idea to ask you if you have any requests for particular walks during the festival. I can't promise we will incorporate them, but if you don't tell us what you want we all lose out. So if you would like to comment on the bottom of this posting you never know you may get your heart's desire!

Remember we always try to use public transport or local taxi firms (8 to a minibus) so that the costs are kept well down. But we can be flexible too and sometimes arrange car transport providing we don't clog up the car parking spaces near well known hills. It is usually our policy to try and give walks which appeal to people trying to tick off a few Wainwrights too. So there you are, but you will need to be fairly quick because we don't intend to hang about waiting for too long before we decide.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Our Leaders like to be complemented

Well it stands to reason after all we are only human and when we make your day out a truly memorable experience many of you tell us. Infact this morning Judith who is one of our regulars even sent us a postcard all the way from Montana. So thank you Judith that was very kind. She had bad weather, sleet and snow, well it has not been wonderful here for the last few days. Blowing a gale and pouring down on Monday I seem to remember. She climbed 2500 feet and did 5 miles on her way up towards Crypt Lake, Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada. She said it had all the "ingredients", well yes so it seems because the last walk I did with Judith was Esk Pike and I remember her feet got wet crossing the stream at the top of Langstrath. She was going to drive south to Idaho next and then on to Wyoming, what a gad about Judith, I hope you remember to bring the photo album next time your in Keswick.

Meanwhile, I have received some photos from Gaz and Nay who came up Haystacks with me, here they are clearly looking pleased on the top.
Wonderful views that day despite it being a bit murky. We saw hardly any other walkers until we descended Scarth Gap then they all seemed to be coming up that way. We arrived in Buttermere just in time for a quick slurp (tea) before the bus came to pick us up

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Publishing the October walks programme

I am in the process of putting the finishing touches to the October programme before I post it here and on the website. So it is imminent and I know some of you have been waiting patiently to see it. Remember you can also pick up a printed copy of the programme from the Tourist Information Centre at the Moot Hall when you are in Keswick.  These will be up to date inclusive of the October walks and available from the Moot Hall sometime this weekend.

Because I usually put things on this blog first (it is the quickest method of communicating), I advise looking here if you are in a hurry.  I update the website next and lastly print the programmes. So now you know....

Meanwhile, the sun has been beaming on us for the last few days, and we have had many satisfied customers and returning clients on our walks this week. We also bought a new camera which has been taken out on a couple of walks but has proved to be more difficult to master than the previous one. However, we did manage to take a few shots on a recent Catbells foray and I include a shot or 2 for your amusement.

The idyllic scene as we disembark from the Keswick Launch at Hawse End.

The walk underway and ensuring we go up by the old mine workings so I can give my Beatrix Potter patter about Mrs Tiggy Winkle. (You must have read the tale of the hedgehog.)

A summit shot, all of us being blown to kingdom come by the wind......and just before we descended and saw the Keswick Mountain Rescue Team and the Air Ambulance in action that day 29th August.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Stob na Broige

Last Sunday was a warm sunny day, a summers day in fact and we've not had many of these this summer. We were camping in Glencoe for the weekend and started off down the Lairig Gartain just after 9am, heading for Stob na Broige 956m, which you can just see peeping out behind the conical peak of Stob Coire Altruim, one of the tops of Buchaille Etive Mor in the distance. The path up the Lairig Gartain used to be a very boggy but the NTS have recently improved it so we made good progress towards the Coire Altruim where the ascent began.

Phew! It was warm work toiling up the steep path up the Coire Altruim, there was no respite as to stop was to invite the attention of the midges, they were out in force and voracious.

Here's Lyn on the ridge leading from Stob Coire Altruim to Stob na Broige beyond, we semed to have left the midges behind, there were non on Stob na Broige

Pete and Lyn on the top of Stob na Broige, Bella doesn't seem much interested in posing. Behind us are the tops of Buchaille Etive Mor, the most prominent one is Stob na Doire, and just glimpsed behind is Stob Dearg 1022m, the Munro at the northern end of Buchaille Etive Mor and the highest point on the ridge.

Stob Dearg again here behind Pete who's heading back towards the cairn on Stob Coire Altruim, returning the same way as we came.

The view from the cairn on Stob Coire Altruim looking west over the hills on the south side of Glencoe; nearest is the ridge of Buchaille Etive Beag beyond which rises Bidean nam Bian and the peaks of Beinn a Bheithir above Ballachulish.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Comments Moderation

We love to receive your comments but someone sent some spam recently so I have been forced to set up comment moderation. So in future please still send them in and I will just read them first to make sure no one tries to take advantage of the blog. Meanwhile I have had to repost the last posting to get rid of the spam so Tess if you are out there, sorry I lost your valid comments.

We will post again soon but I just wanted to say what a good company Blacks are because I recently had trouble with my new SatMap GPS and they had it repaired in a flash and were extremely courteous, so well done Blacks and thanks to SatMap for fixing the problem too.

More interesting transport last week

The peaceful scene at Loch Mullardoch where the locals leave their transport.  Our conveyance last Thursday up the loch to the start of a long hard day climbing 3 Munros was the white boat on the top left.  This is the end of the day when the sun came out and we returned to our car after 9 hours on the hills.

When we arrived at our venue in the morning at 9am, our skipper was there along with his young aid all ready to launch the boat, and this next photo shows how it was done.

Yes Karl used a large red tractor to move the boat into position and then once it was afloat the wheels at the back retracted onto the decking at the back of the boat.  Even cleverer was the way the lid hinged up so that I did not have to get my feet wet as I boarded. Once on board though the motor refused to engage into gear, it started ok and ticked over but as soon as Karl tried to use the throttle it would not go. So we all jumped off again and just as Pete and I were looking at the map for another route up the hillside, Karl managed to meddle with some wires and got it going. Well that was lucky and so we boarded again and set off up the loch. 
It took nearly an hour to reach the beginning of the walk but on the way Karl gave us loads of information about his days hunting the red deer and the local goats. He and his companion had a pair of powerful rifles with them and they were going to drop us off and then try and bag a deer or a goat for the freezer. The goats had apparently swum ashore from the stricken Spanish vessels of the Armada in Elizabeth 1's reign and they had taken up residence on the hills one of which was our last Munro of the day called Carn nan Gobhar (Hill of the Goats) at 992 metres. I will not go into detail about the day here as Pete will be posting about our excursion soon.
I will show you one last photo though as this was our first trial of a new tent we purchased at Ultimate Outdoors in Keswick. We had bought the tent so that when we camped for longer than a couple of days we could do so with more room for our kit etc. It's all very well camping wild with small tents but when you want to stay longer it does mean you soon become exasperated with the lack of space for all the clothes and food you need to take. Hence the need to admit that our camping was a little too uncomfortable sometimes and that Bella needed more space and a play area for when it was wet. She is two and a half years old now but still insists on playing ball games and tug of war whenever she can enlist one of us to comply with her wishes ;-)   Of course the funniest thing about the new tent was the way she stuck her head out of the side door and kept a watch for anything which moved......Well she was in luck because at Tyndrum there were rabbits.......We had to make sure she was well tied up or there would have been a heck of a disruption on site if she set off after them.....She did watch one for quite a long time whilst we broke camp and lay there quivering with excitement to be at the chase.
This last photo shows Bella at the side door looking for trouble. Note I have her on a tight lead.

The photo was taken at Cannich where we stayed for the first 3 nights and then we had 2 at Tyndrum.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Bella loves to chase

This photo on Blencathra shows Bella and 'handler' Jane with Liz and a chap clearly enjoying his butty just after Bella (who looks very furtive) hurtled across the fellside with Pete's rucksack as an anchor!
This incident happened way back during the mountain festival when Bella decided to chase a sheep or two.  Her lead was attached with a karabiner to Pete's rucksack and she sped off with it in tow, closely followed by Pete who was trying to save the rucksack's contents from scattering to the four winds..... Well tonight in the garden I was reminded how naughty she can be because our resident hedgehog has appeared again and she is trying everything she knows to get out and chase it.

In the middle of last night Bella barked her head off in protest at this intruder to her domain and woke us both up. Tonight we have a sulky dog at the back door mewing to be out.....The beastie does not seem perturbed which is ok for it but not for us. We are sure it is the same one which we evicted long ago up to a local farm on Springs Road but it keeps coming back (attracted by my slugs and snails perhaps?) and setting up residence under the shed at the top of the garden. Does anyone know how to re home a hedgehog? All ideas will be treated in confidence........ 

Meanwhile we have received a rather amusing photo of a motorhome from Michael and this is it; a sort of elevated mobile chicken shed on a Land Rover. I prefer to 'wild camp' on the ground myself because you can't fall out of bed........

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Judith's photos

Well it has been a busy summer so far and I thought it was high time I posted some photos here. Usually I use photos of hills relevant to the actual walks, but today is different, I thought I would use dogs and transport as a sort of theme to give you a flavour of how Keswick Rambles operates. Afterall, we do try very hard to make sure we are environmentally friendly which means we avoid asking everyone to come in their own car as this only adds to traffic congestion etc. Also, we are very dog friendly both on the walks and in the town pubs and guest houses and our canine friends love it here. So thanks to our star photographer, Judith, I shall attempt to enlighten you in all these matters.

We are fortunate in having a number of regular customers who come every year on the guided walks and this year we welcomed back a couple of these in the shape of Hamish and Angus, who I mentioned in the last post if you remember. Well here they are with their owner.

Next we have a photo of Hamish (black Tibetan terrier) and angelic Angus (golden) in action crossing a stile in style   ha ha!

Our next doggy delicious photo shows our dear little Bella stepping out smartly and demonstrating the fine art of crossing a beck with Pete who also shows how it should be done.....

Of course we not only cross becks and climb over stiles but we also jump onto the Keswick Launch when we set off on our rambles. Here is yours truly boarding the boaty.....
Easy does it and don't fall off the step or there might be a loud splosh.....

We also use the open topped bus when we return from Seatoller and this shows the view as it goes down the Borrowdale valley, note it is a good idea to sit well in from the side or you end up festooned with leaves etc in your hair.......

We had to use the cars a couple of times because we needed to start in more remote areas so just look at this for transport......very stylish ha

We don't have a set of wheels quite like that  :-)  but this little number does help us to wiz clients from Seathwaite to Seatoller for the bus sometimes, and it does save a 25 minute walk....

Judith stayed with Pat and Linda Dent in their lovely guest house called Rivendell on Helvellyn Street and of course it is dog friendly..

Her guide for these particular walks was Pete Armstrong.

It only remains to thank Judith very much for sending in so many photos on a cd, they were all wonderful.
Now you know how we organise a typical day out with Keswick Rambles. Of course there were loads of fells climbed too!

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Fairfield Horseshoe

We went up Fairfield via the Horseshoe route today in the awful soggy rain. Everything was wet through by the time we landed back home, but we had good company and enjoyed it. So our thanks to all the lovely people who came with us and sorry not a single photo opportunity and I don't think anyone had more than 2 bites of their sandwich either it was so windy and wet.

The three doggies who came too were entertaining to say the least; Bella was very naughty and kept barking at any sheep she saw looming out of the mist, Hamish, who noted Bella's antics decided to pull and would have liked to join in, but, 'angelic' Angus just strolled along without a care in the world and no sound at all.

On arriving home I emptied out my rucksack and discovered a partly dissolved 'gravy bone' biscuit stuck to my compass........and a very wet £10 note which luckily escaped the gravy bone. I think it's time I looked for a rucksack cover, don't you?

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Pete's Broadcast on 'Little Cumbria'

For those of you who want to hear this you need to either tune into the Ian Timms show at 5pm Wed to Fri and if you want to hear the two already broadcast then go to iplayer and use this link for Monday  and this one for Tuesday
The actual bit with them speaking is on at about 5.40pm so if you move the slider to approx on the left shoulder of the piccie of Ian Timms that should be about the right amount into the proggy.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Radio Broadcast next week

The Radio Cumbria broadcast featuring Pete will be on the Ian Timms show and is called 'Little Cumbria' if you remember.  It is usually featured on the show at approximately 5.45pm. So next week Pete will be on at about that time for all 5 days.  I feature the following week. I will put links onto the sidebar of this blog so you can click on them if you want to listen to BBC iplayer after the live broadcast.

Rest in Peace my old boots..............

Meanwhile, I could not resist putting on a shot of my boots after the Skye trip and just prior to placing them in the dustbin.............I was in two minds to keep them, Tom our Skye guide said "hang onto them for your next Skye excursion": Alan an expert in the retail of outdoor gear said "throw them across the carpark" this was at the National Trust Carpark at the Old Dungeon Ghyll. Sadly fellas I decided the dustbin it had to be.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Me enjoying a cuppa on Skye

This was a photograph of me on the Skye ridge leaning against the summit cairn of Sgurr nan Eag our first Munro. The rather bewildered guy behind me kept popping up out of nowhere and asking our guide for directions. He was told the way but seemed either not to move very fast or to be taking in the scenery and just ambling along. I am partaking of a well earned cuppa from my flask because we had been scrambling along some pretty rough stuff for about 4 hours by then and still had 2 more summits to do that day.

The weather was simply glorious and it stayed like this for the entire day with no wind and wall to wall sunshine; it was magic. Pete and I will be putting some more photos of the Skye adventures on the blog in the future as soon as we have sufficient spare time to make a good job of it.

We were back in the Keswick recording studio today as we had both been asked to write and record another 5 day diary for 'Little Cumbria'.  Some of you may recall that we did a similar recording back in November. Anyway, all went well and Pete's is being broadcast next week with mine the week after. As before I will place a link to each session once it is broadcast on this blog. So if you want to hear us talking about our recent forays into the wilds of Scotland, then watch this blog for the links. Failing that you could tune into Radio Cumbria and listen to the live show, again I will give you details as soon as I have them.
They must like us on Radio Cumbria because they have asked us if we will both be willing to do another one soon, and of course we said yes.

I have also put Alison and Halle's walks all on this blog now under the relevant months so they should be up to date. David Ferguson has said he wants to offer some more walks too in some of the gap days, so as soon as I have updated the main website and had feedback from David I will put them on the blog too.

Meanwhile, Hamish and Angus (Tibetan terriers) are here for a fortnight so Bella is very pleased. She was out with them yesterday and came back very tired indeed. Pete came back with 2 magnificent trout from John so thanks so much we had one for dinner tonight and it was superb.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

A plug for Janis

Yes this is a recommendation for Janis Whyte and her business at

For our Skye trip she provided us with a first class service and wonderful guide (Tom Colquhoun) and if you too want to be in a safe pair of hands then we can only say, don't hesitate, use Janis. 

The thing is that you will go further and do much more if you use a guide, this is something which I constantly tell our own clients for a trusted guide always makes it a better experience and is well worth the money.

Monday, 14 June 2010

CPD or Continual Professional Development

Well it was time to dust off the harness and do some climbing again and what better place than Sgurr Dearg on Skye? The exposure was tremendous and although the climb was about a Mod/Diff it was thrilling all the same because there is a long way down if you care to look....I decided it was best to concentrate on the holds and they were there in plenty. There was a heart stopping moment though when my harness velcro decided to rip apart on the crux move but luckily this is not what keeps it together as it has a webbing strap too. None the less it did give me a fright hearing that tearing sound on the one place I needed to feel safe!

Ok the piccie does not do the climb justice I know because we did not have a camera with us, but this is after I have abseiled off the short end and come back down to the beginning for a nice rewarding cuppa. The guy in green is just setting off on the climb and I am standing with Tom the leader.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

A brief glimpse at Keswick Mountain Festival 2010

It was certainly a festival to remember. The mist was well down for the first day and the walk was undertaken with great care by our leaders. The first photo shows us on Haystacks when the misty conditions all the way to the top suddenly dispersed to give good views and visibility so the cameras could come out at last.

Day 2 and the mist was worse so I gave out instructions that no one was to drop out for 'comfort stops' without telling us and with good reason especially on the Helvellyn massif. You can judge for yourself if you would have felt comfortable in the mist on your own by looking at the photo.

Day 4 was brilliant sunshine all the way from Grasmere to Keswick, infact we had to take along the suncream and plenty of liquids because it was so hot on Heron Crag. Once we dropped over Greenup Edge to join the path down past Lining Crag the breeze kicked in and it was a huge relief.

The last day was Haystacks again and it was a complete contrast to the Wednesday when we did not see a thing on the way up because this time the views were outstanding. The photo shows us approaching Haystacks after passing the Brandreth fence corner: in the distance is Scafell with it's distinctive nodged ridge whilst in the left middle distance is Great Gable.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

A Scottish Adventure

Monday May 10 at o900, the Fort William bound sleeper drops Pete, Lyn and Bella at Corrour Halt on Rannock Moor. The railway provides the only access to the station, which stands about a kilometer from the West end of Loch Ossian; there's no motor's a lonely spot.

It was a seven kilometre walk along the track beside Loch Ossian to Corrour Lodge at the far end of the loch. In the far distance on the right, still patched with snow, you can see the hills towards which we're bound. The walk out and back over the two Munros to the south of the loch was twenty kilometres in all and we knew we had to be back at the station for the return train before half past six...It was a cold crisp morning and there was no time for dawdling, it was a good track so we stepped out and reached the foot of the far hills in an hour and a half.
Six hundred metres above Loch Ossian; Lyn approaches the crest of the ridge of Meall Nathrach Mor which means "hill of the big adder"; she didn't dawdle when I told her that!
From the cairn on Meall Nathrach Mor the ground rises towards Sgor Choinnich 929, in the background, this is a top rather than the Munro itself which lies beyond.

Looking SW towards Carn Dearg 941m from the upper slopes of Sgor Choinnich.
View from the summit cairn of Sgor Choinnich with Schiehallion in the distance to the SE, beyond Loch Ericht.

From Sgor Choinnich we descended to the 800m Bealach nan Sgor before climbing to the summit of the first Munro of the day...Sgor Ghaibhre 955m "Peak of the goats".

View NE from the upper slopes of Carn Dearg with Ben Alder seen beyond between the twin peaks of Sgor Choinnich and Sgor Gaibhre.

We descend the W ridge of Carn Dearg through the snow flurries towards Loch Ossian far below.

We're in plenty of time for the train and the sun has returned to warm us as we stroll along the old track that leads west towards Corrour beyond the head of the loch in the distance.
The "Corbett" Leum Uilleim 906m forms a backdrop to the last mile of the walk...Corrour station is just out of sight round the last bend in the road.
Corrour Station 5pm. The Scottish Youth Hostel Association have recently re opened the Station House at Corrour; this is on the left out of the picture but don't expect a cup of tea there on a Monday, as we did, it will be closed all afternoon!