Monthly Archives: January 2010

Aborted attempts

Weather has not been on the side of my plans for the last few weeks producing more snow than I ever remember in Scotland. This has been declared a national emergency in places, but anyone with an interest in winter sports there has been some amazing opportunity. Curlings Grand Match was almost held even with opposition from the Emergency services, Ice climbs not seen since the seventies have been in condition and there has even been snow to ski on. I have managed to catch up with friends and get out into the mountains a bit on shorter trips through very deep snow.

A visit to the local curling club shed with my dad
Stars over Ben Dearg in the North West. I was trying to get north but couldnt get out of the first valley due to waist deep snow…
One of the attempts to get out of the valley, deep snow plodding but with amazing views south to An Teallach.
Loch Broom – frozen sea – shortly after this I was told I had just slept out in -22degreesC. Cold but beautiful
Walking across a deserted Cairngorm plateau as the sun sets. Thats Ben MacDhui in the middle.
Rime ice on the summit cairn of MacDhui. For the photographers – the last two images are both stitches of at least 6 photos.

So now some more shorter adventures lined up – first stop, seeing what Glen Coe and Ben Nevis have to offer.
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Photo of the year

2 photos from Lucy of the epic ski out of Hutchinsons hut.

Ski-ing out in heavy snow – but below is my favourite moment of the year so far…Me Laughing at Rich (not impressed) as we hit another massive drift.
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The Unblelievable (Part 2)

Canoeing, it would seem, was not the best idea considering the weather for this new year period. We did pack and set off (in the cars at least) but a few phone calls and a look at a very icy loch confirmed that skiing was a better option. After a day at Glenshee and I nice warm night in a bunkhouse we skied up the valley from the linn of dee to Bob Scotts hut were we were met by some rude drunk Aberdonians (one boy drank 3 bottles of red wine in three hours and then did not appear to be able to talk – this said Aberdonians are hard to understand at the best of times!) – hard to see beautiful places full of rude idiots. The next day Clare, Bob and Robin headed down the valley and off to Hogmanay at Tummel and Rich (the dirty one), Lucy and I continued up to the ice cave (otherwise known as Hutchinsons hut). We were treated to clear skies, lots of snow and an empty hut. The next day we slept till 8am having not woken up for the bells but still managed the deep slog out to the cars in daylight.

The final straw – loch laggan frozen up (looking west)
Bob “the mountain man” taylor (he grew his beard just for the photos) slogging up after I forgot to bring his skins down.
Clare and Rich in the dry, warm kitchen of the bunkhouse the night before we set off
Looking up the valley – the hutchinson hut is in the furthest back coire on the left.
Trying to find a place to cross the river – beautiful wind blown snow in the valley.
Rich cools his bum off after some hard uphill slogging
From L to R – Me, Lucy and Rich almost up to Hutchisons hut
Rich in the ice cave – ice covered the walls of the hut inside and out – note the gas cylinder on top of the stove to help it along.
Rich and Lucy outside the hut on Hogmanay. This was taken at about 9pm just before bed!
Messing around in clear evening – I have been told to point out that I am writing a name – yes, a name. the squiggle below the A is where i fell over – oops i gave it away!
A panorama looking up the valley on the ski in to hutchinsons.

Unfortunately I have no photos of the epic ski out in up to waist deep powder. Hard work but hilarious as we all spent time stuggling and disappearing into drifts. By the time we hit the “easy bit” Rich and I were spent – just in time for Lucy to get a burst of energy to get us down the last 4 km. A great Hogmanay.
Posted in bothy, hogmanay, scotland, skiing