Tuesday, 30 June 2015


The trek over the Col de La Seigne into Italy , followed by the high level traverse above Val Veni into Courmayeur ranks as one of the finest days on the TMB. Today the group were treated to yet another crystal clear sky day with spectacular views. The best and most spectacular view of Monte Bianco (Mont Blanc) on the entire route.

Monday, 29 June 2015


Second day out on the TMB and an even hotter day. Hardly any snow patches this year over the Col de Bonhomme.

Sunday, 28 June 2015


At La Truc with fine views of the Domes de Miage
Elevenses at the meadow below the Aig. De Bionassay
Not very often the streets of Chamonix are deserted
Pure Alpine cheese
Another season of Tour Du Mont Blanc's begins. Unlike last year the weather is behaving itself, so far. With completely clear skies and hot sun over the Mont Blanc region it made for a cracking first day from Led Houches to Led Contamines. Big group of 12 as per usual from the USA & Canada.

Thursday, 25 June 2015


FiacaillRidge, quiet as always
Fiacaill Ridge & Coire an Lochan
Female Ptarmigan
Cairn Gorm & Coire an t-sneachda from the ridge
Male Ptarmigan
Warm rock and down to baselayesrs all day
Dwarf Cornel
Snow Bunting singing away
Ring Ouzel

Loiseleuria procumbens (Trailing Azalea)

Nice to get the odd sunny and warm day in this rather unseasonal 'summer'. It was down to base layers and a sunhat not a woolly hat today. With lovely warm sun, a slight breeze and glorious views on the Fiacaill Ridge onto the Cairngorm Plateau. As nearly always, it was deserted again. Quite a few folk on the plateau heading over to Macdui and Cairn Gorm. I wandered off and found lots of wildlife including ptarmigan, a lovely singing snow bunting, skylark and down in Coire Cas lots of Ring Ouzel. A nice romp out on the hills before heading to The Alps for another season of Tour Mont Blancs. Apparently the heat from the Med will be drifting up to the UK next weekend.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015


Not much in the way of fine mountain views
Camp in the clag
Beyond this lump of concrete is the profile of the finest mountain on the planet
With the promise of a fine morning in the NW Highlands, I took the tent high up onto An Teallach in the hope of a super sunrise on the finest mountain on this planet. Unfortunately the weather gods had other plans. On Monday night I was camped at 850m surrounded by thick clag and fine drizzle. It was also the night of an High alert for an Aurora. Even if it was clear skies it would be difficult to see this wonderful spectacle as being this far north it never gets dark, being only one day after the Summer Solstice. This mornings view from the tent was similar to the scene last night. I headed onto the ridge early morning in hope of at least the cloud lifting. No such luck. That's the way the cookie crumbles I guess. Of the countless times I've been on An Teallach, today rates as the worst ever for views, as the photos will testify! Maybe July is when our summer arrives?

Saturday, 20 June 2015


A' Bhuiddheanach Bheag's finest feature
A' Bhuidheanach Bheag summit
Ben Alder from the plateau
Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria) far out numbered human beings on the hill today
Descending back to Drumochter Pass
Mid Summer Snowhole?
The two Munros on the eastern side of the Drumochter Pass unfairly get a bad reputation has being rather dull and boring. It's a shame as these big broad plateaux have some wonderful features and big open views. Today the hills were quiet and we were far outnumbered by the many Golden Plover. Once you get high above the busy A9 that cuts through the Drumochter Pass the noise disappears and it's lovely walking on short cropped vegetation with a wealth of ground nesting birds. Despite the weather forecast of showers we enjoyed a completely dry and warm day. Indeed it felt like summer, down to base layers for much of the day. No hat or gloves for a change and pic-nic on the plateau without the need for finding shelter from any wind. On the way back down we saw a Golden Eagle flying above the A9 to round off the day nicely.

Thursday, 18 June 2015


Osprey, the highlight of todays bike ride
Glen Feshie and Loch Utah
Great single track biking along Glen Feshie
Nest building in June?
Loch Insh
Lots of Bearberry in flower
Taking off again
Why does that Osprey get all the attention?
Even when the weather is gloomy and the hills are clagged in with cloud there is so much to do in The Cairngorm National Park. There are many trails and tracks for brilliant biking in the area. Today I was up Glen Feshie and to the quiet Lochan Utah. A lovely spot, hidden away in the Caledonian trees and a haven for dragonflies. Unfortunately the dragonflies are a bit late in buzzing about this summer with the cool conditions no doubt. Highlight was on the way home where I spotted that beautiful of birds, the Osprey. This was in a new location unknown to me which made it even more special. I was intrigued as this fella was collecting nest building material and not fishing? In mid June? A great end to a lovely day. And no rain!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015


Cloud coming and going on the Fiacaill Ridge
Atmospheric Coire and Ridge
Cornus suecica (Dwarf Cornel) just in flower this week
A very quiet on the Fiacaill Ridge

Loiseleuria procumbens (Trailing Azalea)
The Scarpa Marmalada in action
Cetraria islandica (Icelandic Moss)
Ptarmigan guaranteed in The Cairngorms of course
Coire an t-sneachda, slowly the snow is disappearing
The east fared best today with dry conditions and the temperatures rising a little to what mid June should be like. There was a lot of cloud around and the Cairngorm plateau was gloomy at times but this didn't detract from the day. There was lots of atmospheric cloud coming and going on the stiff breeze along the Fiacaill Ridge. This wee scramble gives the finest summer route onto the plateau. Plenty of flora and fauna about today, maybe the flowers and plants are just a week or two behind normal with the lingering col and snowy conditions we had in May and beginning June. I was trying out the new Scarpa Marmolada boots today. Excellent boot, lightweight and fit for scrambling. As aways Scarpa produce some excellent mountain boots.

Sunday, 14 June 2015


The fabulous Ben More Coigach
Harbour (common) seal basking in the sun
and some more
Grey seals basking in the sun too
Ben More Coigach from Loch Broom
How can you not like seals?
A glorious morning in the NorthWest Highlands. A day on the water and some seal watching on Loch Broom today. I always forget how to distinguish the Grey from the Harbour (Common) seal. Plenty of them basking around the Summer Isles in loch Broom.