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February 17 Conditions

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Monday 27th February 2017

West Highland College University of Highlands and Islands Mountaineering Club

Glen Clova this weekend

Over the weekend I was down in Glen Clova with the University of Highlands and Islands West Highland College Mountaineerin Club. We stayed at the lovely new Carn Dearg Mountaineering Club Hut at Braedownie. I was working in my role as St John Scotland Mountain Safety Instructor.

On the Saturday it started wet, windy and warm but soon cleared to cooler and brighter conditions. We found some snow high on the north east side of Glen Clova. On the Sunday we headed up Corrie Fee and on to the munro top of Mayar. There are some photos from the weekend on the St John Scotland Mountain Safety Instructor Facebook Page: West Highland College University of Highlands and Islands Mountaineering Club weekend Facebook photo album

Hannah digging an emergency shelter Keiran navigating on Mayar

Wednesday 22nd February 2017

Distant Snows by John Harding

A book review: Distant Snows by John Harding

John Harding's autobiography is certainly a long and eventful journey for both himself and the reader. With over 300 pages packed with stories from all the corners of the earth Harding truly has had an insatiable thirst for travel and exploration. His interest in continuous mountain exploration led him to ski touring where he pioneered many first traverses often in rarely visited mountain ranges in Greece and Turkey.

This book has been deeply researched and his fascination in history reveals itself in many references to stories of old and ancient myths. This will be of interest to many readers but I found myself skimming over the references to in depth historical events.

However, Harding has lived through some interesting times and his accounts of travels in Iran in the 50s and living in the British Colony of Aden in the 1960's interested me the most. His desire to explore unknown regions well into his 70's will certainly be an inspiration to many of us 'younger folk'.

Harding dedicates his book to the '...memory of my companions past and present' and this book really is a celebration of his journey through life and partly a way of thanking his family and friends for partaking in this journey with him. The book is not an 'easy read' with so much intricate detail of events and history but his passion for the mountains shines through.


Monday 20th February 2017

Strathclyde University Mountaineering Club

Another weekend in Glencoe

This time I was working with the Strathclyde University Mountaineering Club who were staying in Ballachulish. I was working in my role as St John Scotland Mountain Safety Instructor.

The weekend was very mild with rain and drizzle at all levels. We managed to find enough snow in Stob Coire nan Lochan to do some snow belays and on Sunday afternoon we had good spring conditions for doing a descent of The Zig Zags. There are some photos from the weekend on the St John Scotland Mountain Safety Instructor Facebook Page: Strathclyde University Mountaineering Club weekend Facebook photo album


Monday 13th February 2017

Aberdeen University Lairig Mountaineering Club

Winter skills with Aberdeen University

This weekend I was working with the Aberdeen Uni Lairig Mountaineering Club who were staying at their hut at Allt-na-giubhsaich on the Balmoral Estate. We were up in the hills in the Lochnagar area. I was working in my role as St John Scotland Mountain Safety Instructor.

Saturday saw plenty of fresh snow down to 300m and with cloud down to 500m we had to practice our navigation a lot. On Sunday the weather improved with very little snow fall and the cloud lifted to 900m. There are some photos from the weekend on the St John Scotland Mountain Safety Instructor Facebook Page: Aberdeen University Lairig Mountaineering Club weekend Facebook photo album


Monday 6th February 2017

St Andrews University Mountaineering Club

Another great winter weekend in Glencoe

I was in Glencoe with the St Andrews University Mountaineering Club teaching winter skills in my role as St John Scotland Mountain Safety Instructor.

On Saturday we climbed Buachaille Etive Beag in fresh snow and a good fresh SW wind. Very little old snow left below 900m. On Sunday in the coire of Stob Coire nan Lochan we found some good hard old snow below the fresh new layer and practiced some winter skills. There are some photos from the weekend on the St John Scotland Mountain Safety Instructor Facebook Page: St Andrews University Mountaineering Club weekend Facebook photo album