Sandy Paterson Mountaineering

This is a blog of my personal and work climbing along with all the other things I do in the outdoors. Please feel free to have a look at my main website.

Over winter I will try and blog at the end of each week, however I will aim to tweet each day so feel free to follow me @SandyPMIC

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Wild, Windy and Snowy for Learn to Lead

This week I was working on a Lead to Lead week at Glenmore Lodge with Nick and Adam. It has been a wild week in the mountains with more snow coming in and burying the routes on everything apart from and easterly aspect! We still had a great week though and Nick and Adam are now well on their way to being fully self sufficient winter climbers.
I now have a few days off before being a student myself on an American Avalanche Association Level 2 course so I am hoping from more snow!

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Mixed weather week

Looking into the Northern Corries from windy ridge
Breaking through a cornice
Lurchers and Corie an Lochan on Friday afternoon
I have just finished a week of Advanced Winter Skills at Glenmore Lodge. Over the week we spent time navigating including night nav, developing our avalanche awareness and looking at some ropework to over come some of the obstacles we might find in the winter mountains like cornices. The week gave us a real mix of weather which was great for training in. Thanks to the team for their company and I hope they enjoy the rest of the winter.
A weekend off before a week of Lead Climbing coaching.


Sunday, 12 January 2014

Winter Climbing week

On belay 2 of Hidden Chimney

Abseiling into Cha-no to climb Dukes Rib

Taking the direct line on Twin Ribs

End to a great week

Last week was the start of my season at Glenmore Lodge and I started off working alongside Bill Strachan on a Winter Climbing week. I teamed up with Nigel and Andy who were getting their first taste if climbing let alone winter climbing! The week started with some poor weather so we spent Monday looking at snow anchors and then visited the Ice Factor on Tuesday. Wednesday was cold and windy and we made it to a very buried Hidden Chimney for some vertical swimming. Thursday had us at Cha-no to climb Dukes Rib where the conditions were much better. Finally on Friday we climbed a direct version of Twin Ribs. A great week with improving conditions and great company and by the sounds of things two new coverts to winter climbing!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Avalanche Awearness Courses for MCofS

Having a look at the snow!

Great snow cover at The Nevis Range

I was working for the Mountaineering Council of Scotland at the weekend on Avalanche Awareness Courses along side Heather and Max. On Saturday the Gondola did not run as it was too windy, this lead to a very wet day walking up underneath the gondola. However we still found some layers in the snow and looked at Avalanche Avoidance. Sunday was a very different day with the gondola running we could get high and look at the snow pack above the freezing level. There was lots of wind slab around and all sorts of layers in the snow, a great day for teaching avalanche awareness.
I am back at Glenmore Lodge from Jan 6th for most of the season so will post about conditions in the Cairngorms.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Back to Blogging

I have not touched the blog over the Summer really but with the on set of winter I will try and blog weekly about conditions etc.

The summer has been busy but rather than bang on about it there are some picture below!

BASI Ski Course in Tignes at the start of November

A chilly nights ML Camp in the Cairngorms

The Cairngorms looking stunning

Playing with Luke in the Alps in July

Watching a rescue in the Alps, two guides out playing and one has a heart attach:( All ended OK:)

ML's in the Cairngorms

Scrambling on Skye

One for all you IML's out there!

More play in the Alps!

ML Ropework in Glen Coe

North Face days for Glenmore Lodge

Sunny SPA's

Saturday, 6 July 2013

SPA Training in the Sun

Kev talking the team through a group abseil rig

Testing out their bottom rope set up!

Discussing anchors with Kev

Lead climbing skills at Cummingston

Group warm ups

Scotland at its best

I was back at Glenmore Lodge this week running an SPA Training with Kevin Rutherford. We went to Cummingston on Wednesday to look at personal skills and lead climbing and were treated to stunning weather and a deserted crag. On Thursday we visited a windy but mostly dry Kingussie crag to look at rigging for groups and group management and then on Friday we went to a quiet and sunny Huntly's Cave to look at some problems solving.
A great few days with a great team, good luck to them as they prepare for their assessment.
The weekend off now before heading to Skye for three days and then to Switzerland for some holiday!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Summer ML Training and Climbing

Alex leading the group through some broken terrain

Testing out some of the Blizzard products

River crossings

Nice spot for a camp just a little windy!

Heading back to the bus after our mini break

Hugh practising his South African abseil
I have been at Glenmore Lodge for the last 8 days. Last weekend was an Introduction to Rock Climbing Weekend, we had reasonable weather on Saturday at Cummingston and the very wet weather on Sunday. This aside we still managed to gets lots done.
Last Monday saw the start of a Summer Mountain Leader Training with a full team of 12. It was a great week with good weather and loads of input from the team. Good luck to them all as they prepare for their assessments.
I have a few days off, just enough to move house before heading back to Glenmore Lodge to run an SPA Training.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Catch up

I have been a bit slack over the last week or so with the blog, first due being busy and then due to man flu!!

After my trip to Skye I was working on an ML Assessment for Scotch on the Rocks Guiding where we had a great weather for our exped over the Creag Meagaidh hills. I then went staright on to a weekend Intro Scrambling course followed by a week of Rock Climbing for Glenmore Lodge where we had great weather.

I am back at Glenmore Lodge next week for some more climbing and an ML Training course so fingers crossed for some more nice weather.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Skye Scrambling and Climbing

I was on Skye last week working for Rob Johnson. I spent the week with Martin and Gez and we did a mixture of scrambling and climbing. On Monday we headed to the Cioch doing Arrow, Wallworkers and Yanks, it was cloudy but dry and warm all day. Tuesday had us down at Elgol to get the boat over to do the Dubhs Ridge, Wednesday was a day of rock climbing on Sunshine Pillar. To avoid the wild weather on Thursday we went to Preshal Mor to do Boswells Buttress. Finally on Friday it we did the Cioch Blabheinn Traverse that had a bot of snow on but was great.
A great week with the usual great rock climbing and scrambling and great company.
I now have a few days off before heading back west to work on an ML Assessment for Bill Strachan.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Travels and Rock Climbing

It has been a busy few days for me with lots of traveling. Last Saturday I was at the Mountaineering Council of Scotlands Coaching Symposium at Ratho. This was a really good day with a number of different workshopslooking at how and what we coach in climbing. Looks like this is going to become a regualr event so have a look at their website for info. It was then a long drive down to the Peak District for a meeting with the Association of Mountaineering Instructors. I then headed back home as our friends Anne and Luke were visiting from Switzerland. Luke and I have managed to get a few days out climbing on the local crags inbetween the showers, it still feels a little cold for mid May!
I am hoping for some warmer weather next week as I am off to Skye for a weeks scrambling!

Thursday, 9 May 2013

SPA Training - In the SUN!!!!

I have been back at Glenmore Lodge for the last few days running an SPA Training for 4 candidates. For the first time this summer it was actually nice and warm and sunny on most days. We spent some time at a rather busy Huntly's Cave, a very quiet Cummingston and a breezy Kingussie Crag.
Thanks to the students for their company, I hope they enjoy getting out climbing in preparation for their assessment.
I have 2 days off before I am down to Ratho for the MCofS Coaching Day and then onwards to the Peak District for an AMI meeting, hoping for quiet roads!