Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Technical Advice work in The Ochil Hills, Strathyre, and East Lothian.

Over the last two days I have been working for Hebridean Pursuits in the capacity of a Technical Adviser to Mobex East Lothian. They offer training and apprenticeship to young people from East Lothian and the surrounding area. The apprenticeships include a large amount of outdoor education and experiences hence I have visited allot of places over the last two days. I have been to a variety of venues some new and some I had not been to or climbed on or walked up for many years. It was great to be back in some old haunts. Two very contrasting days, today was warm, sunny and clam, yesterday was wild on the fells in the near gale force winds and snow showers. It is marvelous to be involved with such a progressive and successful

The Ochil Hills. The Law and Ben Cleuch. Lovely walking in a remote setting and a new tick!.  

Searching out 'big' ways up small hills.

North Berwick Law. A quick dash up this shapely hill via some nice scrambling.

A Coasteering venue at Dunbar. Very low tides today! Some good swims between the islands and in the deep channels in the slabs.

Canyon and gorge exploring in The Lammermuirs.

A spot of exploring at Traprain Law. A great rock climbing venue for all climbers and all grades.

 project and I look forward to training their new apprentices in the future. Hebridean Pursuits offers Technical Advice to a variety of companies and organisations throughout the UK. We are always happy to discuss with outdoor companies their specific in house training and site specific advice.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Hebridean Pursuits winter mountaineering courses continue.

Hebridean Pursuits continue their winter courses season with another mountaineering skills course in Glencoe today. It maybe nearly the end of April but there is still plenty of snow in the mountains to run our courses and it will remain cold high up for a while yet. It has been an amazing season for our staff in the mountains this winter whilst instructing and guiding our clients on winter mountaineering, climbing, ski touring and navigation courses. We are taking booking bookings for Winter Mountaineering Courses in December already so looks like it will be a short summer season but not too short we hope, after all we have courses and expeditions to run such as Roses Project residential courses on  Mull at Tavool House, sea kayaking trips to St.Kilda , trekking expeditions to Morocco and lots of Coasteering before next winter. Should be a fun season!

Thanks to everyone who booked with us this season, best wishes and a fun summer to you all, Andy Spink. 

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Beach Project with Park Primary School today.

My son Ben comes home form school very animated about the projects he gets to do at school. They have studied Australia and the Arctic so far and this terms project is the sea shore. With his enthusiasm bursting at the seams I had to go along and help out with the class today and support his teacher in guiding a flock of  small five year olds along the beach in what can only be described as west coast conditions. Full wet weather gear on, clip boards at the ready and pencils in hand we headed out down to the coastline to discover all manner of creatures and objects. In the end it turned out rather nice as the sun came out over the sound of Mull. Seeing the wee ones outside just brings it home how crucial it is that our children are taken outside and immersed in the great outdoors. More outdoor education, more!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

A spring constitutional on the West Coast.

It was excellent to be back outside today after nearly two weeks of being ill. Recovering patients used to be sent off for the air in the Alps. A constitutional tour was prescribed for the well off. A short walk with the dog along a Scottish Loch was every bit as good for my recovering lungs. It finely feels like spring out there. the trees are budding up and the grass is growing at last. Snow remains in large patches in Glencoe and Ben Nevis is still plastered. Driving home to Oban after a meeting with the UHI Atlas Mountains expedition team I enjoyed the long views across to Morven and Ardgour. After a wee break Hebridean Pursuits start up  running our summer program and adventures days next week so we are looking forward to all the adventures coming up and a full summer season.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Inspiring Scotland group, Inspire us today!

HPL enjoyed Coasteering and Abseiling on the coastline of Oban today with a Tullochan Group of young people. A slightly warmer day, yet new snow covers the hills of Mull down to about 400 m. It does however feel as spring might be about to spring! Hebridean Pursuits Ltd are heading to the Isle of Man next week to run a Coasteering training course and SLSGB safety and rescue award. Should be fun! for Coasteering skills training courses and rescue awards www.hebrideanpursuits.co.uk 01631720002

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Tullochan young people come Coasteering in Oban with The Roses Project.

Today The Roses Project were coasteering with a group of young people from Tullochan. The young people did so well as it was really raw today. What a contrast to the recent warm sunny weather on the west coast. Big respect to the young people for getting 100% stuck in jumping in the sea, swimming, climbing and having some big laughs.

. They are joining us out at Tavool House Outdoor Centre in the summer on an outdoor education adventure residential and I have promised them warmer conditions!  

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Tullochan 'Heads up Project' go climbing to the Quad Rocks.

Today  The Roses Project  were working at the fabulously set Quad Rocks above Largs. The weather was again magnificent although pretty cold in the easterly wind.  The views across to Arran were spectacular and much snow is still on the hills over on the island. The Quad Rocks offer good sound rock and interesting routes, of which some feel exposed and under protected. The guys did so well climbing routes up to severe standard, belaying each other and abseiling.  Some of the young people will be coming out to Tavool House in the summer for an outdoor education residential and more adventures. It will be brilliant to spend

more time with them as they certainly enjoyed the chance to challenge themselves today.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

A winter of hill running and the Highlander Mountain Marathon is looming.

Winter conditions still dominate in the hills in the Highlands and amazingly in the Lakes and North Wales. My thoughts are being pulled quickly to rock climbing work and the Coasteering season [which started today on Mull for HPL ] and the up coming Highlander Mountain Marathon at the end of the month which I have entered with a good friend. Winter mountain running has become something of a passion  for me.  It has added a whole new dimension to being in the hills and it is also a brilliant way to tick off summits and glens in at least half the time walking would normally take. I have been on holiday over the last week and have enjoyed the continuing sunshine in Yorkshire and Oban, hence no blog updates. Back to working outside in Scotland this week, fingers crossed the weather holds on a little longer.