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Sunday 26th March 2017

Stunning views from the Cuillin

Weekend on Skye with Dundee University Rucksack Club

A beautiful sunny weekend on the Isle of Skye with Dundee University Rucksack Club. I was working in my role as St John Scotland Mountain Safety Instructor.

A high pressure dominated the weekend with both days sunny and clear. There was a frost overnight and the wind that picked up during the day was quite cool. The students were keen to climb the Inaccessible Pinnacle so that's what we did.

There are some photos from the weekend on the St John Scotland Mountain Safety Instructor Facebook Page: Dundee University Rucksack Club weekend Facebook photo album

Dundee University Rucksack Club Dundee University Rucksack Club

Wednesday 22nd March 2017

China to Chitral by H.W.Tilman

A book review: China to Chitral by H.W.Tilman

In this book Tilman explores the little visited area of Eastern China, Kashmir and north east Pakistan. This is the 11th of 16 books being published by Vertebrate Books in association with Lodestar Books. As a single volume with an up to date foreword it brings Tilman to the 21st century reader in a very accessible format.

I have read several of his sailing exploration books but this is the first land exploration books I've read and to be honest I was slightly disappointed. Tilman travels through a part of the world just after the hugely divisive partition of India which started in 1947. Bearing this in mind you'd expect some reference to the problems this created for the local people but due to Tilman's lack of the language and maybe lack of interest he doesn't really get to know any of the locals in any depth and certainly doesn't touch upon any politics of the area. It's almost like he travels in a bubble of his own making.

This is even more apparent when he travels as a passenger in a vehicle across a huge swath of China. He admits that being a passenger is far less desirable than being a true traveller who "must move by his own exertions". In the central part of the book Tilman spends time exploring mountains with Shipton and fails on many of his objectives which makes for some entertaining reading. It is in the final two chapters of this book where he becomes a true traveller and travelling by foot and horseback between Kashgar and Chitral he brings the landscape alive as he "uses travel as an end in itself" rather than moving as a passenger.

If you are a reader with a keen interest in all Tilman writings or a personal interest in the areas he travels through then this will be an important addition to your library.


Sunday 19th March 2017

Below Fiacaill Buttress

A Cairngorm weekend with Heriot-Watt University Mountaineering Club

In the Cairngorms this weekend with Heriot-Watt University Mountaineering Club. I was working in my role as St John Scotland Mountain Safety Instructor.

On Saturday we did some winter skills on our way up Cairngorm. There was fresh snow from Thursday into Friday.

Saturday night it warmed up and melted lots of the fresh snow but there was still plenty around to do the skills we wanted. We went up Fiacaill Coire an T-sneachda after doing some skills in the coire.

There are some photos from the weekend on the St John Scotland Mountain Safety Instructor Facebook Page: Heriot-Watt University Mountaineering Club weekend Facebook photo album

Heriot-Watt University Mountaineering Club Heriot-Watt University Mountaineering Club navigating

Sunday 12th March 2017

Gemma from the Edinburgh University Hill Walking Club

Just back from a warm weekend in Glencoe

I was staying in Glencoe with the Edinburgh University Hill Walking Club who were celebrating their 30th birthday. I was working in my role as St John Scotland Mountain Safety Instructor.

On Saturday we ascended Buachaille Etive Beag in the mist and did some winter skills. By the end of the day it cleared for some great views from Stob Coire Raineach.

Today I took a smaller team out and after climbing the NW ridge onto Stob Coire nan Lochan we descending the NE ridge and the Zig Zags practicing rope work.

There are some photos from the weekend on the St John Scotland Mountain Safety Instructor Facebook Page: Edinburgh University Hill Walking Club weekend Facebook photo album

Edinburgh University Hill Walking Club Edinburgh University Hill Walking Club

Monday 6th March 2017

Dundee Rucksack Club on Stob Coir nan Lochan NE ridge

Glencoe this weekend

This last weekend I was staying down Glen Etive with the Dundee University Rucksack Club. I was working in my role as St John Scotland Mountain Safety Instructor.

On Saturday we climbed up on to Buachaille Etive Beag and did some winter skills and also summited Stob Coire Raineach. There was an Easterly wind in the morning with a band of snow which passed through by the afternoon and the wind dropped off quickly.

On the Sunday we traversed Stob Coire nan Lochan in mostly stunning weather with frozen ground from the night before.

There are some photos from the weekend on the St John Scotland Mountain Safety Instructor Facebook Page: Dundee University Rucksack Club weekend Facebook photo album

Looking down Glen Etive from Ben Starav Summit of Stob Coire Raineach