Changing Plans in the Caucasus, Part 1

Posted by on Oct 29, 2017 in Abroad, Climb, Georgia, Travel | One Comment
Changing Plans in the Caucasus, Part 1

Nothing went according to plan on this mountaineering trip to Georgia and Armenia.  Which is probably why it was so much fun. The Caucasus have rarely been more prominent in the British consciousness. Two recent TV series have featured the region, Levison Wood’s “From Russia to Iran: Crossing the Wild Frontier” and “Russia with Simon Reeve”. […]

Moroccan Zen: September’s Outdoor Sleep

Posted by on Oct 29, 2015 in Abroad, Bivvy, Climb, Morocco, Travel | No Comments
Moroccan Zen: September’s Outdoor Sleep

I found myself reaching for the word ‘Zen’ to describe the state of mind induced during and following my recent mountaineering trip to Morocco. But what exactly is Zen?  And why did this single three letter word seem to be a more accurate summation of my experience than any I might aspire to craft from the 8000 words […]

Swiss alpinism: Weissmies traverse from Saas Almagelle to Hohsaas

Posted by on Oct 2, 2013 in Climb, Switzerland | 3 Comments
Swiss alpinism: Weissmies traverse from Saas Almagelle to Hohsaas

Somehow I became convinced that, should 2013 pass without my ascending an alpine 4000 m peak, I would be diminished as man, a worthless and contemptible specimen. Fortunately  I had at my disposal a crack team of similarly minded comrades: Colin, a man who has climbed slowly in most of the world’s mountain ranges; Dan, […]

Summer highlights 2013

Summer highlights 2013

I’m going to put it on record that this summer has been one of the best I can remember. After a cold spring it has now been consistently warm and sunny for months. The purpose of this blog post is to bank a few memories of the summer of 2013 so I can refer back […]

Switzerland: Scottish weather thwarts an attempt on Uri Rostock, 2928 m

Posted by on Aug 27, 2013 in Camp, Climb, Switzerland, Walk | No Comments
Switzerland: Scottish weather thwarts an attempt on Uri Rostock, 2928 m

By the lake in Zug. The Finsterarhorn is just visible in the distance to the left of the fountain At the end of June I attended a training course in the Swiss town of Zug and was reminded what a marvellous, clean and orderly country Switzerland is.  One morning I observed a workman polishing a […]

Winter Highlights Feb – Mar 2013

Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in Climb, East Highlands, Ski, West Highlands | 2 Comments
Winter Highlights Feb – Mar 2013

Been reasonably busy of late but haven’t managed to find the time for any blogging. Here’s a quick, photo-heavy post to set things straight. Ski Touring: Glen Feshie A quick blast up Sgor Gaoith, following the snowiest lines. Winter Climbing: Golden Oldy, Aonach Mor Readers of this blog might be surprised to learn that I used to […]

Pyrenees: Pico de Aneto and Pico de Alba from Benasque

Posted by on Oct 23, 2012 in Climb, Spain | 8 Comments
Pyrenees: Pico de Aneto and Pico de Alba from Benasque

Mountaineering in the Spanish Pyrenees: Pico de Alba (3118 m, PD-), a night in Refugio Reclunsa, traverse of Pico de Aneto (3404 m, F+) and a night in Refugio de Coronas. Absorbing scrambling to gain summit ridge of Pico de Alba We flew Ryanair from Prestwick to Barcelona then drove through the arid, dusty landscape […]

Back in the saddle on Beinn Dearg

Posted by on Jan 10, 2011 in Climb, Northwest Highlands | 2 Comments

Hemingway stated that there are only three sports: motor racing, mountain climbing and bull fighting, all other pastimes being mere games. Mountain climbing – the only one of Hemingway’s sports in which I participate – covers a huge and diverse range of endeavour, all the way from a gentle summer afternoon’s hillwalking at one end to extreme […]

A tale of two visits to Creag Meagaidh

Posted by on Jan 12, 2010 in Climb, Ski, West Highlands | 5 Comments

Creag Meagaidh occupies a central position in Scotland both geographically and in terms of mountain sports.  Its cliffs, the view of which unfolds throughout the approach to Coire Ardair like the plot of a good novel, are rivaled in scale only by the likes of Ben Nevis and Ben Lair.  Walking the last few km […]

Isle of Erraid

Posted by on Jul 20, 2009 in Climb, Islands | One Comment

Caught in my torch beam, a tiny plover chick crouched low to the sand and froze. All the colours of its adult plumage were mirrored in its coat of fluffy down. The thin golden ring round its neck sparkled like tinsel. I looked up to prospect the much anticipated midnight wade across the sound of […]