Sunday, 31 March 2019


Liathach from Beinn Eighe
Fresh snow on Spidean Coire nan Clach
Still winter in the corries
Coire Mhic Fhearchair & Tripple Buttress of Beinn Eighe
Liathach looking moody
A weekend away in the most spectacular of areas in the Scottish Highlands, Torridon. A weekend is just not enough, try a week. Or more! Beinn Eighe is one of the 'Big 3' classic mountains in the area. It doesn't have the scrambling fun like Liathach and Beinn Alligin but it's complex and huge ridge line makes up for this. It also has some fine views, especially towards the chiseled outline of Liathach to the west.
The temperatures had dropped enough on Friday to leave a sprinkling of fresh snow above 900m or so. A definite winter feel to the day. It was mostly a dry and clear day with just a few very brief snow showers.
Tripple Buttress
Sunshine & snow showers
Sunday dawned completely clear skies and lower temperatures with hardly a breeze on the tops. The cloud quickly rolled in but it was another fine day to be out on the summits with superb views. The sun quickly melted most of the fresh snow from the previous day. The old snow pack in the corries had firmed up an it was great to crampon up Coire an Laoigh for a second time, why not?

Blue skies above Liathach on Saturday
Liathach & Ruadh-Stac Mor
Looking north towards The Fisherfield Forest
The Eastern section of Beinn Eighe
Ruadh-Stac Mor
Winter conditions in The Highlands for all this week. A lot more snow forecast, even to lower levels.
As I always state (every year), winter ain't over until at least mod April.

Thursday, 28 March 2019


Having a scratch
A nibble
Coire an Lochain

Nice afternoon

Strathspey not so sunny


Yawn or growl?
A lovely day to be out in The Cairngorms. Dry and some great sunny spells this afternoon. There was a stiff wind blowing and although the temperatures were high in the Strath, it felt chilly in the wind.
A fine day for photography once you found some shelter. A great afternoon with the Mountain Hare. One in particular was just happy dozing and scratching and quite happy for close quarters with human beings. Over 1 hour 20 minutes with one wonderful guy.
Winter returns again over the weekend with much colder temperatures and more snowfall on the mountains. The Hare's are still in their winter coat. Me too come the weekend.
With Spring not too far away it's a great time for photography of our wonderful wildlife. Once again my ptarmigan photography workshops are starting to book. If you're interested in joining on one of my photography tours check details on my website.

Wednesday, 27 March 2019


On the Glacier du Geant below the North Face of the Tour Ronde
Back in January I entered an online competition organised by top quality outdoor kit manufacturers, Jottnar. To my big surprise I got an email two days later from Tommy at Jottnar congratulating me on winning! What a fantastic prize. A top end down ski jacket, waterproof mountain/ski pants & 3 nights accommodation in Chamonix for 2 people including two days with an IFMGA guide! A total of £2,400.
The Jottnar Ragnarok jacket
The fantastic kit I was lucky enough to win was the Ragnarok waterproof down jacket. A top end down filled waterproof ski jacket. The prize also included a pair of the Jottnar Vanir LT Mountain pants. Another superb bit of kit. Tommy had the kit sent to me immediately and sent me details of the company organising the second part of the competition, Adventure Base. Adventure Base are based in Chamonix and they were a joy to communicate with. We quickly had our dates sorted for our mini adventure break in Chamonix. Thanks to Olly who was superb at organisng our trip.

A spot of ice climbing on the Mer de Glace with Pablo
Mer de Glace & Grand Jorrasses
Adventure Base run lots of mountain activities so my wife and I chose to have two days on the glaciers around the Mont Blanc area. Our guide for the two days was Pablo. How lucky were we to get such a knowledgeable and experienced IFMGA guide? Pablo is also just a really top bloke to spend time in the mountains with. On day one we headed onto the Mer de Glace for some glacial travel and a bit of ice climbing around the moulins with a wonderful backdrop of the Grand Jorasses. Plenty of ski tourers heading down from the Aiguille du Midi, down the Vallee Blanche and ending into the final section of the Mer de Glace. We chose a more leisurely mode of travel, by foot.

The ice narrows
Pablo, our top guide
Skiers below the Aig. de Charmoz
Fun on the ice
More ice
Les Drus from the Mer de Glace
On day two we headed through the Mont Blanc Tunnel and took the Skyways cablecar up to the Helbronner on the Italian side of Mont Blanc. It was another hot, windless day and fabulous clear skies. We had a day of snow shoeing across the Geant Glacier. A wonderful tour below the magnificent Grand Capucin where we threaded our way around the crevasses.

Aiguille Dent du Geant & Glacier du Geant
Le Grand Capucin
The weather conditions were a bit unusual for this time of year. Quite warm up on the glacier so not much chance to use the Rognaruk jacket! The Vallee Blance was once again busy with skiers enjoying the fantastic weather. We escaped all the traffic over toward Mont Blanc de Tacul and below the imposing Brenva Face on Mont Blanc. Here it was solitude and a chance to savour in a quiet corner.
Vallee Blanche

The Brenva face of Mont Blanc
Crevasses below Le Grand Capucin
Grand Jorasses, Matterhorn & Monta Rosa from Cole de Entreves
We got to our high point of the Col de Entreves before heading back around to the Point Helbronner and our lift down. Another fabulous day with Pablo.

Alpine Chough
Fab place
Col de Entreves

We stayed on in Chamonix for a couple more days. Amazing weather throughout. There is still snow on the lower trails and you can still find some nice snow shoeing walks in the area. I had a lovely walk above Montenvers on our last day. The quietest moment in our visit. Grand views of the Drus from here and looking down onto the Mer de Glace.
Aiguille Rouge

Grand views of Les Drus
Aiguille de Chamoz
Mer de Glace and Grand Jorasses
Cloud creeping over
Thanks to Jottnar and Olly at Adventure Base. If you're looking for top quality kit for all your adventures look no further! I have actually bought Jottnar kit before winning this prize!

Another big thanks to Pablo Herraez. Highly recommended if you are looking for some climbing out in The Alps.

We stayed at the very friendly and comfortable La Chaumiere.

Sunset on the Aiguille du Midi
See you again in summer Chamonix!
Jottnar kit in action 

Monday, 18 March 2019


Afternoon light on the Fiacaill Coire an Sneachda
Alpine ridges!
Cairngorm plateau
Full light on the Fiacaill
Ptarmigan on the change
Rime plastered Coire an Lochain
Coire an Lochain
More Alpine stuff
The Great Slab well covered
Well rimed up
Is it Spring yet?
We've certainly had our fair share of stormy, snowy and poor visibility days here in The Cairngorms over the last few days. Today was an absolute stunner. No wind, clear skies and bags of sunshine. All weather sites weren't forecasting to be a great a day as we got. What a pleasant surprise. It was a real Alpine weather day. The mountains have a full cover of snow. Lots of folk out climbing, ski touring, walking and downhill skiing. A few sickies being thrown I would guess. he Fiacaill Coire Sneachda was shear delight this afternoon. I took a slow wander across to soak in all the views and sun. This time of year the ridge is in total sunshine. I was down to base layers for most of today. What a contrast from Saturday (day and night!).
Looks like it's warming up again next few days. It is only mid March and winter doesn't finish until April :) .