Sunday, 30 June 2013


It snowed constantly above 2400m yesterday and it was like a Scottish winter day as we made our way over the Col Sapin and over to the Bonatti Refugio. In complete contrast in had been glorious blue skies today. We continued our TMB route over the Grand Col Ferret. Outside the Bonatti Refugio the virw to the Grand Jorasess is amazing. Over the col we enjoyed stupendous views and the group had big smiles trekking in the snow. There is even a cornice on the Swiss side of the col. Pretty unusual start to the summer trekking season.

Friday, 28 June 2013


First Tour of Mont Blanc trip this season and the trail still as much snow around the cols, of which there are many. There is still over 2 metres of snow on the Col de Bonhomme- Croix de Col de Bonhomme which was spectacular on Wednesday. The Col de la Seigne yesterday was also well snowed up on the Italian side. It's been quite cool with the Fohn wind bringing a cold spell. The Monte Saxe ridge was glorious with a riot of flowers. Small size group this week with 7 folk from USA , Canada, Australia and England. Half way through 1st trip.

Saturday, 22 June 2013


Mont Blanc, Brenva face
Away working out in The Alps for the next few weeks with several trips around the Tour of Mont Blanc. Many countries in Europe have had a long and snowy Winter/Spring. The TMB has many cols of 2300-2700m and there is still a huge amount and depth of snow on some of these. Should make an interesting first couple of tours. Blog posts may be a bit more sporadic over the next few weeks. Any booking enquiries please just email me. Enjoy the summer! 

Friday, 21 June 2013


At last the sun shone for Kath & Louis on their final day of Munro bagging this week. Today we were joined by Will. After yesterdays big day on Braeriach-Cairn Toul we opted for a shorter  eight and a half hour day on the Monahliath. The group of three Munros  Carn Dearg, An Sgulaid & A' Chailliach are linked together by some high, undulating plateau, mostly grassy and some boggy sections but with the dry weather we have enjoyed of late it gave fine walking. It was cloudy this morning and some drizzle by mid day but in the afternoon we basked in warm sunshine and some fab views on A' Chailliach. Well done to Kath & Louis for some great company and strong hillwalking, big days on the big mountains of The Cairngorms. Kath as now bumped up her Munro tally to 126 with Louis and Will not too far behind!

Thursday, 20 June 2013


Day three with Kath & Louis, a big day on Braeriach, Sgor an Lochan Uaine and Cairn Toul. The weather was overcast and we had an hour or so of light rain just before Braeriach's summit but they were still keen to carry on along the plateau. Cloud son broke and we enjoyed good views for much of the afternoon. There is no 'easy' way back to Strath Spey from Cairn Toul, continuing down to the Lairig Ghru isn't my choice, much nicer to traverse back and a descent to Loch Einich. Highlight of the day was a herd of reindeer and their young grazing away on the ' Alpine meadow' over 1000m below  the Einich Cairn top.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013


Looking into Easy Gully on Creag Meagaidh's Post Face
Kath & Louis at Coire Ardair
Dwarf Cornell
Cloud lifted for Kath & Louis steaming ahead for the final Munro of the day
Looking to Creag Meagaidh
Coire Ardair & 'The Window'
Day two for Kath & Louis on their Munro walking holiday with me this week. We headed west in the hope of maybe some better weather but we had a rather cloudy time of it. Three Munros today of Creag Meagaidh, Stob Poite Coire Ardair and Carn Liath. We saw no one until  mid afternoon, three folk heading the opposite direction. The cloud did lift and so we enjoyed the last two Munro summits with views. Another fine array of flowers with Dwarf Cornell, Globe Flower, Starry Saxifrage and various Cranesbill. We were round in a very respectable 8 hours.

Monday, 17 June 2013


The Barns of Bynack
Along the ridge
Trailing Azalea
Kath & Louis at The Barns of Bynack
Ptarmigan Chick
Kath & Loius are out with me for four days of Munro-ing in The Cairngorms. Kath has been out with me on a previous trip last summer and her Munro tally is up to 118, until today. Our first outing was a 'warm up' with a good leg stretcher onto the solitary Munro of Bynack Mor. We set off in cloudy conditions but the tops soon cleared. We saw no one all the way to the summit and then had a detour to the finest feature of the hill-The Barns of Bynack. The cloud descended on the way down and we had  a couple of hours of rain. It's a fine time to see lots of plants and flowers, lovely displays of Cloudberry, Trailing Azalea, Moss Campion amongst many others. We also spotted a ptarmigan chick scurrying across the path. I was shod in my ancient Scarpa Vega plastic boots today  to remember how heavy they are- 2.5kg I think , this wasn't for fun! I'm guiding on Elbrus in August and wanted to feel how to walk in the heaviest boots on the market. Think my feet will survive and my wallet will be thankful too :)

Sunday, 16 June 2013


The rain stayed away from The Cairngorms today and after low cloud this morning the tops eventually cleared and it was warm. Karen and I had a day of wildlife watching around the beautiful Loch Gamhna. We even fitted in coffee & cake at The Potting Shed. Looking benign weather for the week ahead, I have Kath & George out for a few days of Munro walking from tomorrow.

Thursday, 13 June 2013


The sun returned today and a very pleasant morning in Upper Glen Feshie. Fantastic biking with the paths and trails recently maintained from only a few weeks ago when I was last up here.The trails go into wonderful single track in the upper reaches, before entering into Glen Geldie. The bridge over The Feshie is still down from 2009 when it was washed out,  so who knows when this will be fixed up again? It's been so hot & dry the last week or so and getting across The Feshie I hardly got my feet wet for a return down the western side.