Friday, 31 August 2018


The impressive Barns of Bynack

Brenda & Robert's first Munro

More Barns

Excellent trail to Bynack Mor
The Glenmore residents in beautiful morning light

Ptarmigan well camouflaged
Beautiful day for it
Wife and husband team, Brenda & Robert were out with me today on their very first Munro. This guided day out with Tarmachan Mountaineering was a Christmas present from their son, Calum. It was worth the 9 month wait for a stunning day that we had on Bynack Mor. This isolated summit is a terrific viewpoint and not as busy as many of the other main Cairngorm Munro mountains. In fact we saw no one until the top. The crowning glory and best feature of Bynack Mor is the monolithic granite tors to the east of the main top, The Barns of Bynack. These amazing rock outcrops are rarely visited despite just a 10 minute stroll from the top. Or maybe folk can't find them? It was a wall to wall sunny day, warm but a stiff breeze. This morning it was quite foggy down in Aviemore and even a frost in places. Autumn is definitely just around the corner.

Thursday, 30 August 2018


Feith Buidhe Slabs

Feith Buidhe

Loch Avon

Fiacaill Coire Sneachda

Ridge again

Usually more water here

Hells's Lum and Loch Avon
Remote and wild scrambling

Beside the waterfalls

Time to soak in the views

Some view

Easy second time round

More confidence

Autumn light

A great place to learn
Day 2 of Elissa's Intro to Scrambling Course here in the Cairngorms. Today we did a recap of the skills and revisited the Fiacaill Sneachda ridge. More confidence today and we cruised along the sun soaked rocks this morning. Light winds and more sun today. We headed over the plateau and down to the slabs at Feith Buidhe in the afternoon. A fabulous area, wild, remote and spectacular views. A bit less intimidating around here, less exposure but some wet and mossy areas to be careful on. With such a dry summer we have enjoyed the waterfalls over the slabs are very low. Beautiful afternoon light and Autumn colours starting to make an appearance. We went up, down and across the slabs and crags. All the while Elissa gaining more confidence. A brilliant couple of days.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018


Sunshine and scrambling

This is fun
Cold hands and cold rock

The ridge to ourselves

Fiacaill a Coire Sneachda in profile

Autumn colours and fab light

All smiles on the top!

Sneachda crags from The Goat Track

Good holds

The pathless and wild way up to the ridge

Loch Morlich bathed in sun

Cairn Gorm and Sneachda
Elissa is out with me on a 2 Day Intro to Scambling Course in The Cairngorms. With 65 Munros completed she is looking to gain more confidence in tackling some scrambling on the more fun rdges and corries that the Scottish mountains has in abundance. As well as plenty of summer and winter hillwalking experience she also has discovered indoor bouldering and climbing walls. For our first day we headed onto the Fiacaill a Coire Sneacda ridge from the lochan's in Sneachda. A good way to gain the ridge, pathless and scenic and guaranteed to meet no one here except the odd ptarmigan. This is a brilliant place to learn the art of scrambling and many of the harder or scarier sections can be bypassed on a traverse path. Perfect for beginners. We had the whole place to ourselves, apart from a team of 3 who passed us by. It was a beautiful day for most of the time. It did go much cooler when the clouds did roll in and a pair of gloves was needed at times. Elissa did brilliantly for her first taste of scrambling and was pleased as punch on the top. We descended via the Goat Track and once again Coire Sneachda was very quiet.

Tuesday, 28 August 2018


Feithe BuidheWaterfalls

Loch Avon Slabs


Hell's Lum

Last nights full moon
Starry Saxifrage

Slabs & Shelterstone
Carn Etchacan & Shelterstone

Billberry & Crowberry garden

Camp up at Feithe Buidhe, nippy morning

Loch Avon
Nice to be back home amongst the Cairngorm mountains today. It's a complete contrast to walking the crowded Alpine trekking trails of the last few weeks.
Early evening yesterday Karen and I camped up high, over 1000m  above sea level in the heart of the Cairngorm Mountains. One of the finest viewpoints is of the Loch Avon basin, near the Feithe Buidhe. We set off early evening to gain the plateau just before dark. It was a dull, drizzly and windy ascent but it did dry off later. The skies cleared by 10pm and we enjoyed a beautiful full moon. This morning we headed down to Loch Avon via the slabs near to the Feithe Buidhe waterfalls. This area is grand, raw mountain scenery. The gentle flowing Feithe Buidhe burn that trickles across the Cairngorm plateau suddenly drops into steeper terrain as it flows down to Loch Avon, 300m below. Silvery slivers of water rush over smooth granite slabs and crags as the water finally flows into the loch. A wonderful walk down amongst these slabs to the loch and a swim for Karen in the gem of The Cairngorms. We walked and scrambled amongst the crags back up to collect the tent before heading home. Solitude, wildness and grand scenery await those who have adventure and walk off well beaten trails.

Colourful mosses amongst the slabs
Swimming time

Loch Avon

Friday, 24 August 2018


Pam enjoying the Ladders 

The team on the final high point

Fabulous cloud formations 

Final ladder 

Stefan on the final ladder

Aiguillete de Argentiere 

Clouds in the Chamonix Valley 


The Ladders 

Waterfalls,  Balcon Sud

Mont Blanc through the cloud
Final day on this Tour du Mont Blanc guiding for Alpine Treks. The finest way to end the trek from Argentiere to Chamonix is via the 'Ladders' up to Lac Blanc.  The weather forecast wasn't looking too clever with rain forecast morning and afternoon with only a few bright spells. Instead we got some stunning cloud formations through out the day. On the way up to the treeline we spotted 3 Chamois in the forest. What a treat, never seen them in this area before.
The team did brilliant,  overcoming their trepidation on the Ladder section. Everyone had a great day in The swirling cloud. We had just 10 minutes of light drizzle,
A fabulous 11 days with these guys. Some great laughs and fun times.
Final TMB for 2018. That takes me to over 60 TMB circuits now. Time to stop counting :-)