Sunday, 31 May 2009


Another very hot day here in The Highlands. I was on Ben Nevis again with a group of five folk. Views were once again superb and hardly a breeze on the summit. A day for plenty of sun bloc and water, quite a lot of exposed flesh about on the hill today! Tower ridge had a few parties on the hot rock today.

Saturday, 30 May 2009


A mini heatwave this weekend with temperatures in the mid 20's in the glens. Mostly blue skies with a nice breeze on the tops. I had a group of six on Ben Nevis and they were treated to superb views on the summits. There was a big annual clean up operation on the Ben today, organised by the JMT. A lot of litter was being bagged on the summit area by volunteers.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009


A rather unsettled spell of weather this week. Lots of heavy showers, although it was quite pleasent today around Loch Tay, good for cycling. Was sorting out some pictures from last year in The Alps, maybe this one should be put up on Ben Nevis?

Sunday, 17 May 2009


The weather forecast was not quite accurate again and we enjoyed a very nice sunny day here in The Southern Highlands. Plant life on the Eastern slopes of Tarmachan is starting to bloom with marsh marigold, alpine Lady's mantle, bearberry, violets and masses of wood anemone. I went searching for early purple orchid as it does prosper in this area but couldn't find any today. It's amazing how the vegetation, plants and flowers can flourish when fenced off from the deer and sheep as is the case here, controlled by the National Trust of Scotland.

Saturday, 16 May 2009


I was up on The Ben again today with 10 folk from 'Space and Time' who were being sponsored in aid of Cancer Research. Everyone did well in the not so pleasent conditions, although the high wind forecast didn't happen, still a bit cool on the top and once again poor visability. There are many footprints all over the plateau and some are too close for comfort near the cornices of Tower & Gardyloo gullies! Looks like an unsettled spell for a while.

Thursday, 14 May 2009


The weather continues to be warm and sunny here in the Southern Highlands. It was a lovely day on the Tarmachan Ridge, if a tad windy with a warm, strong SE; the West seeing the best of the clear conditions. Conditions underfoot are very dry at the moment.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009


The heatwave in The Highlnads continues! Today Laurence and I were over on The Mamores and did a lovely circuit of Sgurr a' Mhaim, Sgurr an Iubhair and Stob Ban. This is an excellent excursion with some easy scrambling and narrow ridges on The Devils Ridge and the North ridge of Stob Ban. It was blue skies all day and very warm. Temperatures at 5 pm in The Fort were 20 degrees C! It was quiet on the hills and we only saw a few folk out. The great weather is set to continue up to the weekend.

Monday, 11 May 2009


Beautiful day again in The Western Highlands and what a complete contrast on The Ben from only two days ago. Today it was almost unbroken sunshine along the CMD arete, the finest walking route onto Ben Nevis. The North face looks like mid March at the moment! With the sun now radiating on the face it looks positively Alpine. It was a day for strolling along the ridge and photographing the wonderful vistas. The clarity of air was superb with excellent views from the Cairngorms to Skye. There was snow on the Arete but it was melting fast in the heat. Still over 2 metres of snow on the plateau which will take a while to melt away.

Sunday, 10 May 2009


After the winter comes the Spring! It was a glorious day today in The Western Highlands. Irene and I were in the beautiful Ardgour area and went up on to Sgurr Ghiubhsachain. We covered navigation, despite it being clear skies and bright, warm sunshine! We also went through scrambling techniques on the long North ridge over the lower Meall a' Choire Chruinn summit. This is one of the finest peaks in The Western Highlands, overlooking Loch Shiel with excellent scrambling and wonderful views in every direction, with out the crowds as there isn't a single Munro in sight for miles. It was t shirt weather all day with not a breath of wind and no midges!

Saturday, 9 May 2009


For the last few days it's been rather un -seasonable with heavy rain, snow above 800m and strong winds. I was on Ben Nevis today with Jackie and Geoff and you could be forgiven that it was mid December! We were on the Pony track up to the summit. After a very wet early morning, it turned to wintry showers above 500m and the cloud base was around 900m. On the plateau it was poor visibility and the foot prints suddenly 'ended' near the Tower gully area? We had the summit to ourselves for a couple of minutes before the crowds 'followed' us!! Still around two and half metres of snow on the plateau. On the decent the sun came out and things started to look Spring like.

Sunday, 3 May 2009


A wonderful day on The Ben today. Jip, Peter, Yvonne and I were on Britain's highest peak in what could have passed for winter. We went up via Carn Mor Dearg and the superb arete which links to The Ben. This was Jip and Peter's first taste of Scottish hillwalking and what a grand way to start off! The temperature's had dropped overnight and it had snowed to 800m. During the day we had a few snow showers above 800m but also some excellent breaks and spells of sunshine. Jip and Peter tackled the snowy arete with confidence and enjoyed every step along. I have taken several groups along here in 'winter' but with less snow than we had this day. We 'picked' up Edward along the arete who was a little nervous and looking for a helping hand. The plateau still has 2 metres of snow and it was getting a bit icy with the passage of so many folk out this weekend. The usual colourful characters were seen on our way down the pony track, including a guy sporting a wedding dress, hopefully it was waterproof?