Thursday, 29 August 2013

Coasteering and Climbing. Staff Training for Atlantis Leisure Centre.

Today Hebridean Pursuits were working with six staff from Atlantis Leisure in Oban. This was their annual team training day. Oban offers some quality and  fun venues for both these activities, especially for training purposes. A challenging day for the team with some personal challenges overcome.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

A one year Modern Apprenticeship opportunity with Hebridean Pursuits Ltd.

An Apprenticeship in the Outdoor Adventure Industry with Hebridean Pursuits Ltd.

Hebridean Pursuits Ltd 'est 1989' are inviting applications for a one year modern apprenticeship placement starting March 1st 2014. If you are 18 or 19 years old before the above date and have a genuine ambition to work in the outdoor industry then please send us a CV and a 200 word explianation of why you would like this position. Based out of Oban, on Mull and in The Highlands you will be working alongside highly qualified and experienced instructors and coaches in all aspects of day to day outdoor work. You will gain SVQ level 3 qualifications and at least one NGB certificate. Accomadation and food will be provided whilst working away from your base. Our Face Book page illustrates what we do and what you would be involved in. Please share this post to those whom maybe interested. CV's to

Mountaineer Doug Scott to give lecture in Oban on behalf of The Roses Charitable Trust. October 26th 2013.

This will be a fascinating and visually stunning lecture. Based on Doug's entertaining and sometimes epic journey's in the mountains and on the crags.

To book a place phone 01631720002 or email

Find out more about the amazing work this trust does for young people.

Outdoor education, respite, personal development and loads of fun. The Roses Project est 1990.


Children in Nepal will also benefit from this lecture. 

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Coasteering Skills Training Course and SLSGB Safety and Rescue Award.

British Rock and Water Association.

Coasteering Skills Training Course November 2nd and 3rd 2013. £250 per person [inc accommodation.]
SLSGB Coasteering Safety and Rescue Award 4th November 2013. £130 per person.
Organised by Hebridean Pursuits Ltd, based at Kilbowie Outdoor Centre, Oban.
This two day skills course offers you a certificated skills training course in the varied and specific skilled activity of Coasteering. It offers both those who coasteer or have never experienced this amazing adventure activity a chance to develop skills, share experiences and contribute to the future of the sport.
We will concentrate on skills and theories such as:
  • Swell forecasting & Bathymetry.
  • Jumping techniques & Adventure swimming.
  • Combining rock and water & The journey of Coasteering.
  • The rescues and what if's & Equipment.
  • Current developments in the National Coasteering Charter Group, SLSGB Rescue courses and Brawa.

Expect a challenging and active weekend with plenty of time in the water. The Oban area has great fun and varied Coasteering, they are ideal for training purposes. We shall meet at Kilbowie Outdoor Centre at 0900 on the Saturday 2nd November. Each day we will be in the sea so expect at least 4 hours of practical sessions. You will need a packed lunch each day. On booking we will send you a suggested kit list. We will be wrapped up approximately at 16.00 hrs on the Sunday. The SLSGB Rescue Award training and assessment will begin at 0900 hrs on the Monday morning. Location to be confirmed. Accommodation is included in the Skills Training cost for Friday and Saturday evening. Self catering. Saturday evening traditionally is a curry night in town. Arrangements can be made in addition to stay at Kilbowie on the Sunday evening for those booking onto the Rescue award.

We look forward to meeting you and coasteering with you.

Andy Spink. MIC, IML, BCU Level 5 surf coach. 07721778821 or
Blog reports of previous courses check out

Outdoor clothing and equipment for sale.

Outdoor Kit For Sale.

  • Montane. Synthetic Belay Jacket with hood. Blue. Med £30

  • Burton. Snow Sports rucksack. 35 / 40 litres. £20

  • Burton. snow sports rucksack 25 litres £20.

  • Thermo Rest ¾ length sleeping mat. £30

  • MSR expedition xgk multi fuel stove and bottles. £30

  • Camp. Rock Climbing Harness [ m ] £20

Mountain Buggy Pram. Urban Elite. used £200.
Macpac. 'Vamoose' baby rucksack carrier. Like new £100.

Andy Spink.
MIC, IML, SCA Level 5 Surf Coach.

Post and package charge £5 per item.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

A working wander through Perthshire.

Over the last few days I have been working over in The Glens of Almond, Turret and Lednock. Sandwiched between Loch Tay and high above the towns of Crieff and Comrie these Glens offer beautiful hill walking and long distance foot paths.  We walked from near Monzie through glen Turret, into Glen Lednock at Invergeldie and over to Kenmore on Loch Tay. Camping gave us solitude and a sense of history whislt passing stone circles and old ruins of shielings. Once off the newly made land rover tracks [ which are starting to invade the glens] the sense of place was very special indeed. We took in Ciste Buide a Claidheimh .759m which is a fine Graham. It has a huge rock crevasse on its summit ridge which is impressively deep! The weather was mixed but between the heavy showers the autumn light was spectacular. Often walking through the Glens is as rewarding as ascending the tops.

Early evening at 750 m above Dunan.

Looking back down the Invergeldie Burn.

Camped in Gleann a Chileine.

Looking up to Dunan and Ciste Buide a Claidheimh on the left.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

'Silver Jubilee' celebration Winter Skills Courses with Hebridean Pursuits Ltd.

'25 years of guiding and instruction.'

Silver Jubilee 2 day courses for just £60 per person.

Based in Glencoe.

  • Use of the ice axe.
  • Essential foot work.
  • Crampon techniques.
  • Avalanche avoidance.
  • Survival skills.
  • Safe route choice.
  • Navigation.
  • What gear to carry & how to carry it.

Instructed by  Association of Mountaineering Instructors.

Dates Feb 15/16th, 17th / 18th or March 8th /9th 2014.

Contact Andy Spink MIC at or 01631720002.

Price does not include transport, accommodation or food. Based on a min of 6 on course.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

The seasonal satisfaction of light weight trail and hill running in Scotland.

Scotland Outside offers so many seasonal adventure activities it is often hard to choose which to do!
Having young family and not alot of free time, fell running has become a fantastic way to keep fit and ascend some wonderful hills in a shorter time than walking up them. I am on a personal quest to tick off the Corbetts and Grahams by running [ well moving as quickly as I can ] has become a wee bit addictive. The simplicity is the key to the enjoyment, as is the light weight gear, travelling efficiently through remarkable terrain and of course the satisfaction of 'the bag!' Like most folk I am a bit of a yo-yo trainer, consistency is often the hardest part of any training and goal orientated aims but having the lists to aim for really helps the drive. The Munro round was truly incredible to complete, yet I feel these lower hills though not smaller  are equally as challenging and often more satisfying to ascend and it is a brilliant excuse to visit places I may not ever visit. A truly all seasonal activity which can be enjoyed at any level and by all with a little training and some basic hill skills.

About as remote as it gets. Mid summer on Hirta, St.Kilda.

The Shiant Islands in the Minch between Lewis and Skye.

Glencoe. Mid winter. offer winter skills training courses for trail runners. 

Early winter. Mikey Clifford high above Argyll with Byron.

Late summer dash. Descending Beinn Donachainn today.

Every season in a day. Late spring run near Oban.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

A different perspective.

Today I was working for Hebridean Pursuits on the coastline running a coasteering session on the south shore of Mull. I spend alot of time in the marine environment just on or in the water line and it never ceases to amaze me just what an incredible place it is to view the landscape from. When introducing clients to the activity of coasteering this is highlighted by their enthusiasm and wonderment of a whole new experience. Jumping, swimming, scrambling, rock climbing, playing in waves, rock pooling all make up this heady mix. I would stick my neck out and say that no other outdoor activity brings together so many elements of adventure activity and environments like coasteering.  Hebridean Pursuits run guided sessions and skills training courses based out of Oban. The next skills training course is in Nov. November the 2nd and 3rd and is open to anyone keen on learning about this fabulous adventure activity.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Rock climbing instruction on the sublime granite of the Ross of Mull.

Having waxed lyrical yesterday about the Autumn being only just around the corner. The Ross of Mull yet again produced a wonderfully sunny and warm day. I was teaching rock climbing for Hebridean Pursuits with a youth group on the perfect pink granite crags of the Ross of Mull. Set above pristine white shell beaches and emerald waters these quiet crags offer a good introduction to the art of crack and slab climbing. The sun has shone all day and the northerly breeze keep us pleasantly cool and repelled any midge attacks!

Instructor Dan Goodwin demonstrating the art of climbing. 

The 'Burg' across Loch Scridain, Mull. Tavool House Outdoor Centre is located on the coast below the cloud on the left of picture. 

A perfect venue to learn to climb. 

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

The colours of late summer in Scotland.

The colours of Scotland Outside are rapidly changing as summer seems to become an early Autumn. I am back out working for Hebridean Pursuits on a Roses Project course at Tavool House on Mull. We have another Tullochan group in the house until Friday and this is their 3rd course on Mull this year. HPL have been running a variety of courses and trips over the summer including out on Mull, Sea Kayaking in The Outer Hebrides, guiding climbs in Glencoe and on Ben Nevis and guiding expedition in the Atlas Mountains. HPL are gearing up for a busy working Autumn out at Tavool House Outdoor centre on Mull, in the mountains of Scotland, running Coasteering skills training courses, adventure weekends and back out in Morocco are amongst some of the highlights. The start of the winter season is not far away with hill walking courses and skills course booking up for December [not that we wish for winter just yet]. Moving between the islands and working in different locations offers a chance to witness the seasonal changes. This year the heather appears to have bloomed really early on Mull. It has been one of the greenest summers on islands and in the highlands I can remember and the hues of tones at present are truly beautiful. We seem to be experiencing extremes of weather conditions more frequently on the west coast which makes running outdoor courses slightly more challenging but as regards the landscape it enhancing the unique nature of Scotland's diversity.

Autumn appears to be setting in.

The colours of summer on Mull.

The Wilderness of Mull.

An Cliseam on Harris in July.

Early summer rain squall.