West Highland Way cycle loop

Check this Cycling link for a map of the route. A fairly arduous local trip, following the West Highland Way (WHW) from Fort William to Lochan Lundavra and then back along the B road to home in Fort William. 50% on public roads, 20% on forestry tracks and 30% on single track (WHW). I needed to walk some of the single track, especially the uphill sections and occasional drainage dykes. I’m no downhill MTB, so parts of the WHW were fairly technical. This route has plenty of slow uphill to be dealt with.

Carn Mor Dearg Arete, Ben Nevis 4th February, 2018

From a group who spent a high, snow hole bivouac at approximately 3000ft in Coire Leis. This classic traverse is very popular. Surrounded on all sides by steep icy slopes, dropping towards Glen Nevis or the Allt a’Mhuilinn. The easier approach is from the north-west, starting at the North Face car park. In this direction, an ascent of Ben Nevis can be included and descend by the ordinary ‘mountain track’ towards the halfway lochan. On this day, we descended back towards the snow-holes in Coire Leis by steep, sustained and icy slopes from the summit of Carn Mor Dearg. Treat this descent with great respect, as a slip could have a serious outcome. We used a rope in ‘alpine’ mode for the whole descent. Take care.

Plenty of teams out on Tower Ridge. Some on Orion Direct, Point Five Gully, Observatory Gully, N.E.Buttress. Those who started up Zero Gully backed off in the face of poor protection. Not very busy, considering the good forecast.

Poor climbing conditions on Aonach Mor

Today we had an explore around the East Face of Aonach Mor. Abseiled in to Left Twin, which was pretty thin, lean and unconsolidated. There were pockets of shallow wind slab, as it had snowed overnight, but a conservative approach to Easy Gully and plenty of rock belays on the side walls, allowed for  a gentle ascent of that route on a beautiful day out.

Lanyards and personal anchor systems

Lanyards and  personal anchor systems Black Diamond

Belays by DMM

Snow Anchors and Glacier Travel

Check out these videos showing Snow Anchors and Knots in ropes for glacier travel

Cycling Orkney (Rousay)

Back in July A day trip to Rousay Full of History and Tombs and Chambers and Sculptures
A short ferry trip from Tingwall on the Orkney Mainland and a fifteen mile cycling circumnavigation of Rousay is simple in a day. Plenty of interesting places to visit, especially Midhowe Cairn.


Glen Roy cycle


A visit to the Scottish Mountain Heritage Museum  put together by Mick and Kathy Tighe is well worth the trip. Give them a call to make sure they will be around, before making the journey.

The collection of ancient mountaineering kit is considerable, fully archived and continues to grow. In fact, if anyone has any kit they no longer need or has been passed down from generations, Mick and Kathy would love to hear from you. Anything from old photos and books/magazines to clothing and hardwear is of interest.

The weather finally gave a decent day for an outing on the bike  outing on the bike Venturing further up this remote glen is not to  be missed, to view the Parallel Roads


Islay Paddle

Last year, with Roger Wild. Roger took a lot of these photos, as my camera packed up. Thanks for a great trip. We left Frenchman’s Point for another day, in light of gale force winds and counter tides, heading towards Ireland!


Happy mountaineering club (UBES) at Calluna


I just wanted to say a huge thank you for letting us stay at Calluna again this year. We had a fantastic week and took advantage of the summer-like conditions to try lots of new walks and scrambles – and managed to squeeze in a bit of winter climbing as well before the rain came!

Just to confirm the dates for next Christmas – the same dates again (27th December – 3rd January) would be ideal if that works for you. I’m looking forward to it already – we were all very sad to leave yesterday!



Sailing amongst the Virgin Islands

A recent trip of eleven days cruising around the British Virgin Islands. Steady trade winds, stunning beaches and reasonable snorkeling. Our boat was a 40ft Lagoon catamaran from Dream Yacht Charters, Hodge Creek Marina on Tortola. We sailed bare boat with no skipper. This area is pretty safe, having very few offshore reefs and plenty of deep water. Overnight we normally used moorings supplied at approximately $30 a night. Plenty of restaurants and bars ashore each evening, or stock up with grub and beer before leaving. Happy hour is normally 4-6 p.m. and the Rum cocktails go down very easily!

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