Thursday, 30 January 2014

Inside and outside today.

One of the nicest days so far this winter. I was climbing coaching in Inverness climbing wall so not much vitamin D today! There is a huge amount of snow in them there hills and more forecast. It will be an interesting weekend for working in the mountains. Please be careful if you are considering heading for the hills to walk or climb. There have been some big avalanches already and I am sure there are more to come.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

A film about our High Atlas Mountain Expedition with University of the Highlands and Islands students last June.

Hebridean Pursuits were involved with organising and guiding 3 expeditions to Morocco last year. This is a great short film about one of them.

Summit Fever - A Morocco Expedition from Matt Bleesen on Vimeo.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Teaching Winter Mountaineering and Winter Walking Skills over last three days.

Friday was a bluste
ry day in Glencoe and with plenty of fresh snow falling we opted on day 5 of our Winter Mountaineering course to head for the Zig Zags which were sheltered and covered in good snow. It is an ideal route to teach leading on and we had some descent skills to offer too. Saturday and Sunday has been a great few days and we have been lucky to avoid most of the dreadful weather forecast. Saturday we headed up onto beautifully shaped and sheltered Sgorr Dearg and hence onto it's fine ridge line. Sunday, we took the groups up into Sgurr na H-Ulaidh and looked at shelter building and survival skills. We had 25 clients out on the hill this weekend it was fantastic to see and hear them all having an fabulous time learning new skills and of course having real adventures.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

School House Ridge Grade II.

was day 4 of a 5 day Winter Mountaineering course. We headed up School House Ridge which was in tremendous condition. The weather was thrown at us and the clients loved the whole Scottish experience. Photos illustrate the day well.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Day 2 of 5 day Winter Mountaineering Course. Survival and Navigation.

Yesterday was some what wilder than Monday. 50 mph gusts of wind made conditions perfect for considering what we do in the event of not making back to the road due to accidents or more likely poor navigation skills. As we ascended we looked at snow pack profiles, dug emergency shelters and considered safety bearings and route choice. After reaching the summit of Stob nan Cabar we descended it's NW face
. An unusual way off but this made for a great contrast from the ascent and gave the guys a fresh route to practice their new found skills. Snow anchors, ropes and steeper ground today on Aonach Mor.

Monday, 20 January 2014

5 Day Winter Mountaineering Course. Day 1.

Today I was out working for Hebridean Pursuits with 5 folk in Glencoe on Meall a Bhuiridh. This was day one of five concentrating on winter mountaineering skills. We looked at packing, carrying and selecting equipment. We ascended the hill looking at a variety of essential skills. We had mixed conditions, but at 2 pm the cloud lifted we got beautiful views from the summit. The ski slopes are covered in deep snow. The fresh breeze
from the south was blowing in fresh snow onto the north facing lee slopes and we experienced some wind slab in the steeper hollows, something to be aware of tomorrow.

Friday, 17 January 2014

A few images from our work on courses in Glencoe and The Cairngorms over the last 5 days.

Conditions are good for mountaineering in Scotland. Much snow remains and the snow pack has consolidated well. Here are a few images of a variety of work HPL
have been involved with this week.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

More like winter on Aonach Mor today and the sun came out!

I was working on Aonach Mor today with 6 students from West Highland College. We were concentrating on essential foot work and the traditional skills of mountaineering for moving around on steep snow. The snow was, at last solid providing a perfect medium for instructing on. No rain, a little snow shower and dry gloves, what more could a mountaineering instructor require? It lifts the spirits somewhat after a very damp spell. Check out the amount of snow in the pictures the ski touring will be awesome.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Summit Gully, Stob Coire nam Beith today.

A few shots from work today in Summit Gully. Still very warm but copious amounts of snow banks out most gully lines. A calmer day with some rain after 3 pm. I was mentoring a MIC trainee today, concentrating on snow anchors and teaching progressions for an up coming

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

A very wet day for teaching Winter Walking Skills in Glencoe.

Happy New year! Our first day back on the hill in 2014. Glencoe was extremely wet today. The snow cover has been pushed back some what but optimistically loads of snow remains in all the main gully lines. The snow we used today was soft and water logged at 650 m but at approx 750 m it certainly was still firm enough to use the edge of a boot in. All we need now is a good lowering of temperature and the neve will be classic. I am out climbing tomorrow, with a better forecast I should be able report on the snow pack at higher altitudes and fingers crossed have a great day out mountaineering

Saturday, 4 January 2014

New Year out on Mull at Tavool House Outdoor Centre.

I have just arrived home in Oban after a great week on Mull staying at Tavool House on Mull. The weather has been kind and we had some adventures on the rock, in the fresh water streams and in the sea. Hebridean Pursuits
Ltd became 25 years old in 2014. More of this Silver Jubilee event soon.