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

Monday 25 October 2010

Family time then some biking

Laura and I have headed down to Edinburgh during half term to see my parents and brothers family. We had a great weekend catching up and doing various family things, however the weather was just too good today to stay at home so we headed to Glentress. It was busy but the centre has such a good set up once we were on the trails we did not see that many people. There can't be that many places in the UK were you can have such fun for just £3, oh plus the new tyre and inner tube for my bike!

The weather looks like it is going to turn a bit damp in the next few days but I am sure we get out some more!

Sunday 24 October 2010

Winter Video

A taster of the courses, instruction and guiding that is on offer this winter. For more info have a look at

Wednesday 20 October 2010

The Witch's Trails

The view of Ben Nevis from the top of the World Champs trail

Monty happy to be at the top of the World Champs the fun begins

Monty and I spent the afternoon at the Witch's Trails next to the Nevis Range today. The glorious morning turned into heavy showers but the trails were still great. A dusting of snow has fallen with there being more in the east than the west. Reports of routes being done in the Northern Corries already! Looks set to stay cold for a few more days with snow showers on and off.

Sunday 17 October 2010

More Biking

What happens when you don't wear shine pads!

I headed out biking again with Laura today. We headed to Aviemore and although we got caught up in all the traffic for the half marathon (well done to all those who were running) we still managed a great circuit in the woods. It is defiantly turning wintry and it looks like we will have a reasonable amount of snow in the Cairngorms over the next week.

Friday 15 October 2010

Mountain Biking at Wolftrax

I spent yesterday at Wolftrax on a Bike School Scotland course, being run by Jules Fincham. We spent the day looking at core skills for mountain biking including breaking, balance, pumping the bike, jetting, drop offs, roll offs, track stands, manual front wheel lifts, power assisted front wheel lifts and rear wheel lifts. As well as putting these all together riding a number of the trails.

It was a great course and I could not recommend Jules highly enough he is a great coach/instructor/teacher as well as being good fun! I am sure I will be back for some more once I have master this set of skills!

Wednesday 13 October 2010

Summer ML Training - Lochaber College

Confidence roping
South African Abseil

I have been working with Bill Strachan over the last 3 days running a Summer Mountain Leader Training course out of Lochaber College.

Monday saw us looking at the unplanned use of a rope in Glen Coe, we spent the day at the foot of Buachaille Etive Mor. Anchor selection, belaying, abseiling and lowering were all looked at. Tuesday had us heading on to the ribs that come down onto the tourist track on Ben Nevis from Meall a t-Suidhe, here we looked at leadership styles and managing a group through steep ground and then some confidence roping to finish off. Today was a centre based day looking at emergency situation including river crossings, mountain rescue situations and preparing for the 2 day expedition that the group head off on tomorrow morning.

The weather has been brilliant across in the west with cold nights but clear skies and sun during the day. It looks like it is going to change a little tomorrow but it still looks fairly good for this time of year!

Sunday 10 October 2010

Nethy Bridge Biking

Laura at Loch a' Chnuic

Laura had a few hours off from work today so we headed of to Nethy Bridge for some mountain biking. We headed out  via the forest lodge to Loch a Chnuic along the landrover track and then back via Lurg taking in some good single track. It was a cracking day and this part of the Cairngorms is so nice and quiet, we only passed one other group all day.

I am off to the West Coast tomorrow to work on a Summer ML Training at Lochaber College with Bill Strachan and am then doing a bike course with Jules Fincham. Looks like the weather it is going to be good as well! 

Saturday 9 October 2010

Winter Course Dates 2011

The nights are now closing in up here in Scotland and it is definitely feeling like winter is coming!

I have put this years open course dates on my website, however I have also put them below! You can download PDF's from the website by clicking on the course name.

As always I also offer bespoke guiding and instruction so if you don't see what you want please just drop me a line

Winter Skills Weekend 2 Day Course (£150 per person) - 8th to 9th January 2011 + 12th to 13th March 2011

Winter Mountaineering 3 Day Course (£325 per person) - 6th to 8th December 2010 + 26th to 28th January 2011 + 21st to 23rd March 2011

Winter Climbing 3 Day Course (£350 per person) - 27th to 29th December 2010 + 12th to 14th January 2011

Thursday 7 October 2010

Damp Sandstone!

Monty and I headed down to Cummingston this morning for a quick climb. However the tide was again very high and the rock a little damp. As a crag it often does not fully dry at this time of year as it does not get much sun. Anyway we managed a handful of routes and then headed home. Perhaps the last visit to Cummingston until after the winter now.

Laggan Wolftrax

James and I had planned to head over and do the Burma road on Tuesday but strong winds put us off as the high point is 700m! Instead we headed to Wolftrax for some more single track fun. The weather was not as nice as Monday and the car park was deserted! We also realised that the cafe was shut for the day so we decided to do a half day and then head back to Aviemore for lunch! We had a good 3 hours doing both the red trails and the orange trail a few times.

Great fun but I will check the cafe opening times next time before I go, or just take a packed lunch.

Highland Wildcat Biking

James on the way down the top section of the red run

On the way up the red!
On Monday James and I headed up to Golspie for some biking on the Wildcat Trails. I had never been up here before for biking but had heard great reviews of it so was keen to get stuck in! We did a few circuits of the red run there which was really good, but did not venture onto the black run, next time! The coffee shop by the town car park is also very good! Although the trails are free up here (as they are all over Scotland) there is a sign up asking for a £5 donation per car in the car park. We were happy to pay this as £2.50 per person for a days biking seemed like a good deal to me, however the pay and dispaly machine was broken so we could not pay! Never mind I will pay double next time I am up!