Summer 2014 I remember It well? Part 1.

Early spring on Culter Fell

It has  been a while, as you may see since I last posted a blog  my excuse work commitments and not being in writing mode or mood.

It had been quite an eventful winter in 2013 great snow conditions and some new kit to test.

As with the seasons we all have our favourites for different reasons winter is mine, however I do look forward to spring and summer for the longer daylight hours that allow me to spend longer days in the mountains on the move. Not one for keeping a diary or putting my thoughts to paper on a daily basis I am very grateful for the invention of the camera which helps to keep my memories fresh and is going to of be of some assistance in my dotage.

Well how is everyone? I sincerely hope all you outdoor aficionados had a whale of a time I personally thought the summer was kind to us this year didn’t get wet to often or suffer from hypothermia, as we know very well up on those big mountains in the UK half the time you don’t know what to expect.

I will try not to haver to much and get to the points of my summer in 2014 but please bear with me as my good lady would say in certain words “you do ******* haver!

Late March you would have caught me ascending one of my favourite places the Tarmachan Ridge  to spend three days wild camping near the summit of Meall Garbh, and exploring its nooks and crannies incidentally the name Tarmachan means ptarmigan in gaelic, but you probably new that already.



The Bad Step on Meall Garbh
I was fortunate on my first mornings camp to be greeted with brilliant sunshine and spent most of the day playing about its flanks taking pictures and scrambling on some outcrops, its amazing what you can get up to when know ones watching well within reason I drew the line at going back to my childhood and acting out a game of cowboys and Indians, well that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
On a more serious note the following morning  the weather had turned to a grey damp day and my plan was to walk to the far end of the ridge over the “bad step” which involves minor scrambling for the experienced walker. At the foot of the step I was taking a couple of minutes to adjust my pack and   secure my walking poles before ascending. It was then that I heard a young girls voice coming from atop the step followed by a male voice whom I assumed was her dad, the young girl sounded hesitant as her dad persuaded her to take the first steps on descending. 
I began to make my way up and reaching half way came across the pair at this point the terror on the little girls face was evident she was around nine years of age and wearing inappropriate clothing and footwear flat treadles shoes on damp rock. Her dad wasn’t any better prepared and he to lacked confidence on the descent where he literally got stuck and couldn’t decide on the next move. 
Not wanting to embarrass the dad I made a light hearted comment that he had taken the most difficult route down especially in these wet conditions however I was seething underneath that a “responsible adult ” could put himself and more importantly, his daughter in such a perilous situation. As there were no phone boxes nearby I discreetly donned my red cape and went to there rescue slowly guiding the little girl down first then her dad whom by this time was rightly so embarrassed and ashamed of coming onto the hill so unprepared.
Having shown him a safe route down from the bealach  back to the track, I continued on my way but still angry at what I had witnessed.
Me on the pointy bit of Meall Garbh

I’m sorry but I did warn you I do tend to haver on now lets get back to the mountains and the beauty and solitude they offer personally I now prefer to stop and spend time discovering the mountains for their diverse terrain and geology not taking into account weather patterns and cloud formations, clear unpolluted night skies all of these make for memorable experiences that last a lifetime.

Sunset over Tinto



The photograph above was taken from Culter Fell I must have spent the best part of two hours sitting watching the different hues and cloud formations develop. This picture is as natural as you can get from a digital camera no photoshop has been introduced.

Summit of Ben Vorlich



Taken in mid April you could be forgiven to think this was a winter picture  the stuff lying at my feet doesn’t belong to me it is part of the gear from a student group I had the pleasure to meet on the ascent, four girls and a young man, they kindly asked me to join them on the final push to the summit to even up the gender imbalance which I gladly accepted damsels in distress and all that!

Summer 2014 I remember It well? Part 1.
Kicking back after 12 mile hike



How many times do you relish these moments you have twelve mountain miles under your belt found a perfect pitch made coffee and time out here doesn’t mean anything plus I have my new shoes on.

Nightime selfie



Its one in the morning  there is a chill in the air the night is ear shatteringly still the sky is clear and studded with a spectacular display of heavenly bodies who in there bloody right mind gets up at that time in the middle of nowhere. ME

My favourite water source

This beats going to a sink to draw water I honestly cannot remember where this waterfall is located but do remember pitching nearby on a through hike over multiple summits and wakening to the sound of running water which in turn turned out to be a desperate departure from my sleeping bag to pee!

Is this bloody timer on!



Well folks that was just a wee snippet of my summer 2014 part1.  In part two I shall continue to bore you with my holiday snaps and mild adventures, take a look at my favourite kit, and a wee mention of  inspirational people I have met on social media and why and anything else I think may be of interest.

 The End

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