Doorstep Mountain Biking

Sunday 20th May 2012 - Adventure & Travel

Nice fast track!

Went for a run in the woods behind our house yesterday, and came across an unmapped footpath which I thought would make a fun mountain bike ride. Went back today and wasn’t disappointed! Despite a few wet boggy bits and slippery corners, there was some sweet downhill sections through the trees and out onto the newly made gravel tracks. Turns out some local politics means the paths aren’t on any maps, however that doesn’t seem to stop people, passed 6 walks and another biker.


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East Coast Weekend of Climbing and Kayaking

Wednesday 16th May 2012 - Adventure & Travel

A long weekend adventuring around the East coast of Scotland. Climbing at Logie Head and Graymare Slabs. Followed by a day sea kayaking from Chanonry Point, famed for it’s dolphins. There were a number playing around, but a bit too far away to get decent photos unfortunately.

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Breaking the silence…

Wednesday 2nd May 2012 - Adventure & Travel

It’s been silent on here for far too long, resulting in many adventures being unreported. Lets start to sort this out…

Norway

Firstly, we’ve had a week in Norway, in the ice-climbing capital Rjukan. It was a mixed week of skiing and climbing, in a mixed-bag of weather conditions. Rjukan is a strange place, at the foot of large valley walls in perpetual shade. We were out there during the ice climbing festival, which meant a good selection of social activities were occurring. Otherwise I don’t have a clue what you’d do on an evening other than eat in your hostel. The single place we found to eat-out was essentially an eat-in pizza takeaway, and no sign of interesting bars.

Actually even had there been bars, the prices would have been painful. We calculated that the duty-free gin we bought at Manchester airport on the way out was cheaper than the tonic water we bought when we were there, which resulted in a novel situation where we’re making the drinks stronger by diluting them. This actually became an indicator of how well the locals spoke English, as we explained the situation to them, they found the punchline, “so we have to ration the tonic water”, hilarious; a phrase I don’t have the slightest idea of how to say in Norwegian.

We climbed some easier routes together on the first few days, and then I climbed some tougher ones with a guide later in the week. We also skied a couple of days, cross-country and downhill.


New House

We’ve moved from our Shawlands flat to the fringes of the Lomond National Park. The location is brilliant, a short ride or run to the shore of the Loch. French doors, a conservatory, walled garden, it’s a superb place to just sit and enjoy the country side – the cats particularly love it. It’s a bit of a longer commute but well worth it.

Sea Kayaing off Skye

We took a set of kayaks to Skye for a long weekend. The weather wasn’t great but we saw plenty of seals. It was probably the biggest swell we’d been in so far. We concluded that when the waves were big enough that we lost sight of each other it was time to retreat (no time for photos!).

Scottish Powder

Right when everyone thought the very last of the snow had gone, some of the best conditions of the whole season descended on the Cairngorms. (This was after record-breaking March temperatures in the mid-twenties). Jen and I headed up for the weekend making the most of the great weather with Louise and Dave. The powder was great, and gave the freedom to explore all over the mountain (despite many of the lower lifts being closed), it made up for the busyness.

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First few bits of Scottish winter 2012

Sunday 15th Jan 2012 - Adventure & Travel

Since cancelling most of our plans over Christmas and New Year due to rubbish weather, the last two weekends we’ve been out making use of the good Scottish winter conditions.

Last weekend we headed up to Glen Shee skiing. The forecast was for excellent weather, but gusts of up to 90mph. As it turned out the wind did cause for some interesting skiing at points (very useful being blown up hill), however for the majority of the day clear skies and relative quietness were the main features.

This weekend we drove up to Aviemore on Friday night, and climbed in Corie an Lochain the next day. We headed up the grade I route ‘The Coulior‘, taking in a left hand variation up steeper and icier ground (felt grade II+, but can’t find it graded anywhere).

Up in the Cairngorms for a third weekend next weekend, when we’re staying at Nethy House with the Langside MC. It should be great fun!

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