Monday, 1 December 2014

November Sun

Overall it's been a pretty mild and dry November. Snow has come and gone on the mountains but we're still feeling like Winter has yet to take hold.
Still, it's been a great few weeks. At the start of the month I was out with Eilid and the the Skills for Work group at West Highland College. This was most of the groups' first ever hillwalk and so with a smashing forecast, we headed to Glencoe and onto Buachaille Etive Beag to bag the groups first Munro as well as giving them a taste of the spectacular landscapes we have on our door step.

With a few days off I went for a leg stretch up the Grey Corries. I headed up the Lairig to the bothy and then went up Stob Ban followed by Stob Choire Claurigh and Stob Coire an Laoigh Unfortunately the predicted sunny skies didn't materialise but it was still a great day and nice to get into some snow too!
This is a great time of year to get some CPD done and Cotswold Outdoor in Fort William were running a GPS course. This was a really useful day and taught me that my GPS (which lives at the bottom of my rucksack) can do quite a lot of nifty things! It's also great to network with other professionals in the industry at these events so a big thanks to Craig and Adam from Cotswolds, Lochaber MRT for the use of the base and to the other folks on the course.

It's very difficult to predict what condition the mountains will be in in November, so I'd prepared my client Sanjay who'd booked for a day on CMD Arete, for pretty much anything from a Summer trip to full on Winter! We were faced with pretty much a Summer's day on the Arete, albeit a little bit more chilly than usual. Still we had stunning views, saw multiple Brocken Spectres and had a superb day!

This month also saw us taking a long overdue family holiday and Glenda, Robin and I headed to Mull for a few days. We were really lucky with 5 days of lovely sunny weather and I managed to head for a run up Ben More to add another Munro in the bag. I'm by no means a seasoned hill runner but this track was really nice to run, a bit of bog in the lower slopes but nice and direct so as to get some great views quickly and a speedy descent too!

 Back on the mainland and I was working with Max for WHC with the ATM1(Adventure Tourism Management First Year) students. It was the last day in their Mountain Skills Unit and they were yet to look at steep ground and scrambling so we headed down Glen Nevis to ascend the South Ridge of Meall Cumhann. The students did really well and we had a some really interesting discussions about route choice, dynamic risk assessment and look after yourself on steeper ground. Thanks to Mairead, Cormac, Sam, Isobel and Max for a really enjoyable day in the office!

On Friday I saw things were shaping up to be good weather day so I had an early start and went for a bit of a workout up Ledge Route and back down by the Lochan in just under 3 hours ( from the top car park though!). I spent a  wee while on the summit of Carn Dearg enjoying the peace and solitude of the sunrise.

With freezing levels dropping this week and some snow on the way, Winter maybe a bit slow in arriving but it's definitely on it's way!