Friday, 21 February 2014

Gretna and tartan

Craig and Bill had a great activities and challenge day with young people from East Dunbartonshire Council engaged on an anti-sectarian  project.

We had them climbing over ropes, passing balls through pipes, speed collecting the alphabet and playing various forms of archery.

It was a damp cold day at Mugdock part but this failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the young people who threw themselves into the challenge with vigour.   Mud prevailed in overdoing the rope and the alphabet game went down a treat.

The archery was 'interesting' but the target was threatened on at least three occasions :)

All in, a great day rounded off by a visit to McDonald's for a well earned burger (not for the atheletes mind).  They move on with their project now to visits to Ibrox, Parkhead & Hampden.   Hats off to them for keeping us, and themselves, entertained and integrating as a team from the two schools.

And Gretna won...

Monday, 17 February 2014

Is the Monument meant to be over there?

Craig and Bill took a group of keen walkers from Glasgow Life to the hills above Dalmally on Sunday.  The snow on the hills looks quite beautiful at present; there is lots of it but avalanche risks abound higher up and common sense is required when venturing to the Scottish hills at this time.

Our walk took us to 500m and broke out onto open ground around this height after a pleasant walk through the forest.   A path to the ubiquitous radio masts then saw us strike across country to Loch an Stacain.

The views were to die for and the weather very friendly; one snow squall passed us between spells of sun.   The temperature rose through the day and although the snow line sat around 400m, it was a very wet pack and in need of a good freeze to make walking less strenuous.

We completed a great circular walk, bar the final 100m ascent to the van, in the dark and made a hasty dash for coffee and cake to the Green Welly Stop and thence home.  A 10/10 day in the Scottish hills, which goes to show you don't need big mountains to have a big day.  

Some more pics of the day...

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Always Plan A, even when it's not!

Plans for Taxus and Cirrus fell apart when Craig and Mark drove through Bridge of Orchy and headed for Achaladair; 6C, persistent rain and orange avalanche warnings meant it was all too much of a risk.

Heading for the Coe, saw us check out the North Buttress on the Buachaille - too loaded - then SCNL - death on a stick.  What to do...the Ice Factor was unappealing and we wanted to get something done, burn calories and get cold.

Ridges were always the likely location, so after a rain (get it?) check, we headed for School House Ridge at the back of Ballachuilish village.  We got ahead of a winter skills outing and headed up the appealing line, with cornices in view near the top.

Once we hit the snow line, we moved fast with light sacks and sans crampons.  However, the snow is soft, the drops steep if one slipped and there are two wee steps worthy of respect and care, so we got crampons on and roped the steps to be safe.  A hasty pit at the top of the ridge line revealed a hard slab covering but a definite weak layer about 4" down with a smooth shear.

After that it was a fast ascent to the top at 947m where the wind howled around us like a train; the spindrift was bullet like and we snuggled down behind the rocks to see if the wind abated.

A group ahead 'retreated' citing a navigation error and followed us down the ridge line then across to the more northern ridge line and thence to the village school carpark.

All in, a fine day indeed; a new approach to the hill for Craig and a lovely line for those days when you want to avoid avalanches.   Notwithstanding, can we have a bit of settled weather to give us a wee climb before summer arrives??

Monday, 3 February 2014

Hunger Games, Robin Hood, William Tell.........Craig & Bill???

Craig and Bill were away this weekend finishing their Archery GB Leaders Award with MRM Archery at Auchengillan.   It turned out to be a most enjoyable course with good banter with a wide cross section of keen outdoorsy folk.

Bill did 'quite' well and won himself a wee cup for hitting the target;

Craig made it a challenge and did archery on ice skates and won a cup too;

As you can see, the boys 'done good', had a good time learning about safety and archery and got to 'fire' a few arrows too...'fire' of course being the entirely wrong term, which we all repeated ad nauseum to the assessors grand consternation.

Many thanks to Auchengillan Scout Centre for the location and Moira for putting up with us.

If you fancy a taster session on archery, why not give us a call.

Guaranteed to hit something....we hope.