I have visited Yorkshire many times over the years, usually for the rock climbing & abundance of bouldering, more recently for the purposes of working as a Rock Climbing Instructor or Mountain Leader on the Yorkshire Three Peaks.
On this occasion, 24th August 2020 I was in the Northeast visiting family & friends and made the most of a good weather opportunity and popped down to Reeth a small village within The Yorkshire Dales with Helen.
We completed a circular walk from Reeth through Swaledale to the summit of Great Pinseat a hill covered in old mine workings and worth taking the time to explore. We then dropped down into Arkengarthdale and returned to Reeth via Arkle Beck.
Pleasant wanderings with pleasant views, Andy 18th September 2020
Wishing The Balcony Cafe all the best...! 😀😀😀Our fab The Balcony Cafe will open from tomorrow for lunch and will open for the full weekend. The team will be offering delicious cakes, gourmet toasties and top coffee. The full menu will land on the 5th Oct. We are really excited to see Liam, his family, and the rest of his great team back to GCC, now operating independantly! ... See MoreSee Less
Day 1, the team looked at maps, the differences in maps and how to set the map or orientate the map using linear features, land masses or the compass. How to check your direction of travel using the compass and basic contour interpretation using ropes.
Day 2, was spent in Mugdock Country Park putting this new found knowledge to good use, using the official orienteering map of the park to navigate a very random route through the park. No photographs due to the torrential rain!
A very strong performance from all team members, that overcame a challenging second day to successfully pass there NNAS Bronze Navigator Award.
I've walked many times in the Luss Hills to the west of Loch Lomond and found them to offer great hill walking within easy reach of Glasgow and very rarely have I ever bumped into anybody else.
18th August 2020 I walked a circuit of Auchengaich Hill, Beinn Tharsuinn, Beinn Chaorach & Beinn a' Mhanaich from the A817 military road. They made for a thoroughly enjoyable walk, with the odd fleeting glimpses of the surrounding hills and towards the hills of Arrochar.
Pleasant wanders in the mist, Andy 14th September 2020.
My final day in the far north of Scotland and I felt the need for speed...!
On the 10th August 2020 I cycled into Maoile Lunndaidh a stand alone munro that makes up part of the Loch Monor Hills from Glen Carron.
It was a slow and steady approach to the hill in blistering heat, it seemed to take an age to cycle in and I am not going to lie. Cycling uphill on a 4x4 track certainly gave the legs a good work out after such a long period away from the hills.
I made a direct ascent straight up to Carn nam Fiaclan a munro top and then onto the summit of Maoile Lunndaidh before descending straight back to the 4x4 track. It is possible to make this a more interesting circuit by walking the whole ridge line of Maoile Lunndie or combine it with its neighbours Sgurr Choinnich & Sgurr a' Chaorachain.
Once back at the 4x4 track I picked my bike up from where I left it at Glenuig Lodge and hurtled back to towards Glen Carron at great speed enjoying just over 10km of fast down hill cycling. It felt awesome and I was back at the car in no time!
Another incredible day enjoyed in solitude, Andy 9th September 2020. 🙂
Following on from my last post the glorious weather I enjoyed whilst up north back in August continued...
As I have mentioned before I have been making good use of the Scottish Mountaineering Club - Guidebooks guide to The Grahams & The Donalds. So far it continues to give excellent walking with good combinations of hills if you use a little imagination and have the SMC guidebooks to The Corbetts & Munros.
On the 9th August 2020 I made an ascent of Meall Doire Faid a Graham that sits in front of Beinn Dearg in the mountains just north of Braemar Junction. I would imagine most folk would dismiss it and go for the higher mountains in the region.
I would have to say that is what I have done in the past, but to my surprise what a wonderful view point Meall Doire Faid (a graham) turned out to be. The views were just exceptional. 🙂
I continued my journey by descending very steeply into Bealach nam Buthan and then ascended steep slopes directly to the summit of Beinn Enaiglair (a corbett), hard going but worth it. Another fabulous view point of the higher mountains in the region.
The walk out is to the east following an old stalkers path, I made the detour and included two minor tops, Meallan Mhurchaidh & Meall nan Leacachain before returning to the roadside.
Fantastic hillwalking and not a single sole insight, Andy 7th Septemeber 2020. 🙂
The last time I walked in the hills to the north of Braemore Junction was during the winter of 2017, the winter that never really kicked in.
My intention was to snowshoe out to Seana Bhraigh, but the weather had other ideas. I had arrived the night before with snow right down to the roadside, things were looking promising. But when I woke the following morning it was a different tale altogether.
The snow had completely stripped overnight, only remaining on the higher tops as snow patches. I set out regardless and I would have to say its not often I have a sense of humour failure, but this day was grim. Low cloud, zero views, constant drizzle, high wind speeds all endured whilst walking through what I can only describe as rivers of slush anywhere from ankle to shin deep. 🙁
I returned to Seana Bhraigh on the 8th August 2020 to a totally different experience. Dry ground underfoot, a moderate wind speed, just enough to keep you cool, the midge at bay and spectacular views in all directions. 🙂
On the return from the summit of Seana Bhraigh I decided to make a traverse of Eididh nan Clach Geala and to my surprise the ground was dry and the walking pretty straight forward.
A truly memorable day with 1563m of ascent and a little over 30km covered. 🙂 Andy, 5th September 2020
For those looking to avoid the crowds Scotland has a lot to offer the hill walker and I've been making the most of a Christmas present I treated myself to...
The SMC guide to The Grahams & The Donalds is full of fantastic walks in some pretty remote or rarely visited areas of Scotland.
These pictures are from 25th July 2020 of a walk based out of Glen Artney, taking in Uamh Bheag & Beinn Odhar two Donalds that offer great walking with fantastic views towards Stuc a' Chroin & Ben Vorlich.
A very pleasant wander, enjoyed in total solitude, Andy 2nd September 2020 🙂
It has been a while since my last post, I'm not entirely sure where the time is going?
On the 24th July 2020 I enjoyed a day off in the Arrochar Alps and made a circular walk of Beinn Narnain, Beinn Ime and the Cobbler.
The day started sunny, almost to sunny if you can believe that? Although it gradually changed, typically by the time we reached the summit of Beinn Narnain to low cloud and zero visibility.
We remained undeterred and completed all three peaks, it made for a good day of navigation practice, another good day for trying to improve my knowledge of the flora and fauna that can be found in the Scottish Highlands.
Blairdenon Hill in the Ochil Hills is a hill that is less frequented than its neighbour, Ben Cleuch. It has a sense of remoteness as well, especially if you take the time to explore some of the other tops in the area.
The day 14th July 2020, started promising as I left Minstrie, lots of sunshine and clear views, As I reached the 1st summit of the day Colsnaur Hill, the wind speed increased and I was grateful of the small quarry at the summit to shelter in. I spent a good 30 minutes there enjoying the view towards Ben Cleuch in perfect solitude.
Crossing Minstrie Moss en-route to Blairdennon Hill left me exposed to the wind and the occasional shower that quickly blew through, but pleasant views in all directions remained. The summit of Blairdenon Hill is marked with the convergence of three fences. There is no shelter from the elements, so I moved on to explore Kidlaw Hill, Big Hunt Hill and Little Hunt Hill before returning to Minstrie.
One of the most striking things about this walk was not the solitude it offered but the vast variety of wild flowers in full bloom. They are everywhere, adding a dash of colour to the hillside and giving me a good opportunity to expand my knowledge of the flora and fauna of the Scottish hills.
I've visited the Ochil Hills many times now and usually I have enjoyed low cloud, rain, zero views and more boggyness than a boggy thing that is boggy.
It was a pleasant surprise for once to enjoy sunshine, views and relatively bog free walking when I visited these hills earlier in the month, 13th July 2020.
We set off from Tillicoultry in Clackmannanshire, making our way up through Mill Glen to King's Seat Hill, a fine view point. Then bimbled over to Andrew Gannel Hill before ascending to the high point of The Ochil Hills, Ben Cleuch.
Our descent was via Ben Ever, a broad grassy ridge that allows you to make the most of the views before descending back into Mill Glen.
Another pleasant wander, with the hills to ourselves. Andy, 22nd July 2020 🙂 ... See MoreSee Less
I've been spending time exploring hills I would not normally consider walking recently. And so far I have been pleasantly surprised by just how many options there are and the variety of walks available. Ranging from gentle strolls along the canals surrounding Glasgow to forestry walks and short hill days.
On the 7th July 2020, I went to the Carron Valley and walked Meikle Bin from Todholes. It is the 1st time I have done this hill from this side, I usually combine it with Cort-ma Law and Lecket Hill walking in from the Campsie Glen Waterfall car park. It turned out to be a very pleasant wander through the forest to the summit of Meikle Bin. I returned via the shores of Carron Valley Reservoir to give a pleasant 14km circular walk.
Just off the summit of Meikle Bin is the remains of a Fairey Firefly war plane which crashed into the summit in January 1950 killing the pilot as he was en route to HMS Sanderling Navel Air Station.
As some of you may have guessed most of my recent posts were scheduled back in April when the COVID-19 pandemic 1st started.
Without a shadow of a doubt it has been a turbulent time here at Aspect Mountaineering and I have had to consider making some very difficult decisions to protect my business and hopefully the long term prospects for my business.
With restrictions across the UK now easing Aspect Mountaineering is open for business. We will be offering bespoke guided hill walks, navigation courses and rock climbing activities to small groups and to family groups.
Aspect Mountaineering will continue to follow the government guidance and guidance from Mountain Training Association. We will continue to update our services as the restrictions continue to ease.
The website aspectmountaineering.com/ has been updated with a new pricing page to reflect the changes Aspect Mountaineering has to make in light of the present situation. Hopefully 2021 will see a return to normal and the events page will return. In the mean time please use the contact page on the website or email firstname.lastname@example.org or drop us a message here on Facebook if you would like further information about the activities we can offer at present.
My last Munro before the COVID-19 crisis was Ben Lomond a wintry day back in November 2019. It only seemed right to me to pick up where I left off last year, so with restrictions now lifted I returned to Ben Lomond and it felt absolutely fantastic to be back in the mountains of Scotland. It was also fantastic to see so many folk enjoying the day from all walks of life, especially all the family groups.
Last but not least, I would like to say thank you to all the folk that have been in touch for friendly chat or to offer support during these challenging times, It means a lot to Aspect Mountaineering. Thank you! 🙂 I would also like to say thank you to all of you that continue to support my page and to those that have recently liked my page. Thank you! 🙂
So far during the month of June these posts have looked at some of the many classic ridge walks and scrambles here in Scotland.
Almost one year ago, July 7th 2019 and what a day... I can honestly not think of any other place I would rather be right now than Skye and The Cuillin! 🙂
The weather was perfect for this classic round of scrambling taking in Sgurr nan Eag, Sgurr Dubh Mor and the highest peak within the Cuillin, Sgurr Alasdair.
Starting from Glen Brittle this classic round winds its way into Coire a' Ghrunnda. Once you reach the loch, stop and take the time to survey your surroundings, it is an incredible imposing landscape.
Continue with care onto the summit of Sgurr nan Eag, from here on a clear day you can see the entire of the Cuillin ridge. Re-trace your steps and then continue to Sgurr Dubh an Da Bheinn a munro top.
From Sgurr Dubh an Da Bheinn descend towards Sgurr Dubh Mor, be aware the route is not easy to find and care will be required to find the correct route to the summit of Sgurr Dubh Mor.
Return to Sgurr Dubh an Da Bheinn, again good route finding skills will be required. Descend and cross the scree towards Sgurr Alasdair. The route to Sgurr Alasdair is not obvious, good route finding skills is required and it does involve some serious scrambling.
Once you reach the summit of Sgurr Alasdair, take a deep breath and admire the view, it is truly spectacular view point. Again the descent from Sgurr Alasdair towards the Great Stone Chute involves good route finding skills. Descend the Great Stone Chute with care down into Coire Lagan.
This is a truly memorable outing that involves some serious scrambling, good route finding and head for exposure! All detailed in the SMC, Skye Scrambles Guide or the new Cicerone Guide to Skye's Cuillin Ridge Traverse by Adrian Trendal.
April 2015 and similar to April 2020 Scotland was enjoying some fantastic weather.
It would be rude not to include possibly one of the classic ridge walks of Scotland, The Aonach Eagach. Made up of Meall Dearg & Sgorr nam Fiannaidh two fine Munros. Technical in places with just the right of amount of exposure to make this an unforgettable experience that will live you for a life time.
I have completed this ridge now on numerous occasions, summer & winter, in pouring rain, gale force winds with zero visibility and seldom seen views like the views I enjoyed on the 18th April 2015.
These pictures say it all, I hope you enjoy them... Andy, 24th June 2020 🙂 ... See MoreSee Less