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, 29 December 2012

Catch Up!

John getting ready for pitch 2 on Pgymy Ridge

Stunning on top of Cairngorm with the Berghaus Team

Testing kit to the limits with team Berghaus!!

Ice axe arrest practice with St Pauls pupils

Bill feeling at little cold at the top of pitch 2 on Western Rib
I have been a little slack on the blogging recently, mainly because for some reason it would not let me up load photos but also because it has been Christmas!

Anyway it is now sorted it would seem so I thought I would catch up. Since I last posted I have been out enjoying winter. I have managed to get out a climb a few routes, spent a weekend testing kit and running some winter skills training with Berghaus, spent sometime staff training at Glenmore Lodge, had 3 days winter skills with St Pauls School from London and had a days ski touring out by the Lecht.

After a week spent with family enjoying Christmas and enjoying some time with Dougal it is time to get back to work at the start of January with what looks like it is going to be a busy winter.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Navigation in the Rain and Snow

Looking across to the White Corries on Friday
I was back across on the west last week for my last stint with West Highland College. Unfortunately I drew the short straw on Wednesday and was left back at the college to stock take (some students did not turn up!) while the other instructors headed out climbing in the sun. On Thursday and Friday I was out with the 1st Years assessing their hill skills. On Thursday I went from the Devils Staircase to Am Bodach in horizontal rain that lasted all day and then on Friday I was in and around the hill just north of the Kings House which were quite snowy. A good few days even if they were a little damp! Now hopefully time to start my winter season.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Another few wet days!

Al Halewood on a ledge!

Steep ground in Buchaille Etive Mor

Rich leading in the wet
Last week I was back across on the west coast working for West Highland College. I spent Wednesday in the Ice Factor with the second years looking at rock climbing skills, focusing on ropework. On Thursday I was on Buchaille Etive Mor looking at ML style steep ground and ropework and then on Friday I was teaching leading at Kingussie. The weather was fairly damp on each day but not as bad as it could have been!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

SPA Assessment

Stegosaruss at Cummingston

Enjoying the setting sun

Abseiling at Huntly's Cave
Rigging top ropes at Cummingston
I have spent the weekend working for Pete Hill on an SPA Assessment. It was cold on both days but dry so not too bad really for November. We visited the climbing wall at Grantown, Cummingston and Huntly's Cave.
A good few days although it was a bit strange rock climbing while so many people were out playing in the snow. Lots of winter routes being done.

Still Rock Climbing

Erica leading her first route at Kingussie

Working on some navigation above the Devils Staircase

Winter or Summer?

Chris focused on his gear placements

Chris happy with his first lead
I was across on the West Coast last week working with the students from West Highland College. I spent a few days doing a mixture of climbing and navigating with various different year groups. I good few days but it definitely felt a bit cold to be rock climbing!

Catch Up

Great weather in the Cairngroms on an ML Assessment
Not such good weather on an ML Assessment!

Dinner inside a tippi on a Leave No Trace Course
I have not blogged of a while as life has been a little busy with the arrival of Dougal our new baby boy, he is certainly keeping us on our toes.

I have though still be out and about working and the top few photos are from a few Summer ML Assessments I have worked on for Pete Hill and then a 'Leave No Trace' course for Glenmore Lodge were I was a client rather than running it. I am now qualified to run Leave No Trace awareness course.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Summer Mountain Leader Training

Enjoying some navigation around the Burma Road

Summit of Ben Macdui.........Summer??

Cloud Bow early on a cold morning

Navigating while looking onto the Shelter Stone Crag

Relocation skills while navigating
Last week I was working at Glenmore Lodge directing a Summer Mountain Leader Training course. A full course of 12 candidates enjoyed a good week and although cold at times the weather was good to us. A real highlight was Saturday morning waking up high on the plateau after a camp and being treated to some stunning weather including a very cool cloud bow.
A great week with a great team, hopefully we will see some of them back next summer for their assessment.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

SPA Training

Rigging and running group abseils in the sun
Al running through a top rope set up

Al abseiling in to rescue me and demonstrate a Y hang pick up

I was at Glenmore Lodge last week working with Al Halewood on an SPA Training course. Day 1 had us at Cummingston with our team of 7 looking at personal climbing, abseiling and group warm ups. The weather was cold but dry so not too bad. Day 2 had us at Kingussie Crag looking at top rope, bottom rope and abseil set ups for groups. The sun was out in the morning but some cold and heavy showers had us scuttling back to the Glenmore Lodge climbing wall in the afternoon! Day 3's weather was fairly wild so we made use of the climbing wall at Glenmore Lodge again plus the granite towers outside.
A great few days with a keen team, hopefully see them back for assessment next summer.
The weekend off for me before heading back to Glenmore Lodge to run a Summer Mountain Leader Training.

Monday, 3 September 2012

CWA and SPA Workshop

Cliff top discussion
On Saturday I was on a Mountain Training Scotland seminar on the CWA and SPA courses. About 14 providers and directors got together to discuss certain aspects of the awards. It was great to hear other peoples views about the award and generally chew the chud. Thanks to George Mac for facilitating the day and Jon Jones and Al Halewood for running sessions during the day, all very useful.
Good timing for me as well as I am back at Glenmore Lodge next week working on an SPA Training course.

Visually Impaired Mountaineering Course

Norma, Richard and John on the Summit of Ben Rinnes

Sam and Richard on the way up Ben Rinnes

The camp at Bynack Stables after the midges!

Full moon at Bynack Stables

The team catching up with Eric during his bike ride

David climbing at Cummingston

Coming down from Bynack Mor

Jennie leading the team up to Bynack Mor

Norma climbing at Cummingston
Last week I was working at Glenmore Lodge on their annual Mountain Craft course for Visually Impaired people. It was a great week with an amazing team. During the week we went to Cummingston climbing, spent a night out camping, used the indoor climbing wall at Glenmore Lodge and went up Ben Rinnes.
It was truly inspiring to watch the VI's just getting on with everything and not letting their impairment stop them enjoying the great outdoors.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

SPA Assessment

John enjoying being guided up a route at Cummingston

Dealing with abseiling problems at Kingussie

Stuck climber on a bottom rope
Earlier in the week I was working with John Armstrong at Glenmore Lodge on an SPA Assessment. The team were all from the UAE and had been across in Scotland for a while doing various NGB awards. On day 1 we headed to Cummingston to look at personal climbing and abseiling, were we had nice sunny weather. On day 2 we headed to Kingussie Crag to look at group set ups and issues. The weather was not quite as nice as day 1 but we still managed to look at all the rigging and issues that we needed to. The team all did really well and passed their SPA Assessment, well done to them.

Scrambling on Ben Nevis

The start of the difficulties on Castle Ridge

A damp pause for a photo

Tim enjoying the exposure in the crux of the route

Mona coming up the crux corner, in the rain!!

Looking up towards Ledge Route from the CIC Hut
Last Saturday I was out in Ben Nevis with Tim and Mona. This was a birthday treat for Tim from his brother. We headed up to the CIC Hut and then decided on Castle ridge as the odd heavy shower was coming through and this would allow us to move fairly constantly. We headed up Castle ridge with the odd shower and then came down Ledge Route as the weather cheered up a little. A great day out on Ben Nevis with great comany thanks Tim and Mona.

Ropework and Self Rescue - 11th - 12th August

Building Belays at Kingussie Crag
Last weekend I was at Glenmore Lodge working on a Safe Ropework and Gear Placement day followed by an Introduction to Self Rescue Day. On day one we headed out to Kingussie Crag were we had nice sunny weather with a good breeze. This allowed us to look at gear placements and equalising belays using diffrent methods as well as self protecting personal abseils. Sunday had us spending the day in and around Glenmore Lodge were we looked at some self rescue techniques. During the day we covered Y-Hang Abseils, Prussiking, Lowering past a knot, abseiling pas a knot and hauling from within the system.
A good day with lots of technical ideas cover. These are great days for people who climb on multi pitch crags or remote crags and want to be a bit safer.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Navigation Week

Looking towards the Northern Corries from Craggan Gorm

Looking into Loch Eanaich from the summit of Sgor Gaoith

Loch Morlich from the rim of Coire Laogh Mor

Looking back towards Beinn a Chaorainn from the north ridge of Cairngorm

Looking back towards Aviemore on the way up Craiggowrie

I have just finished a week at Glenmore Lodge working on a Hill Skills and Navigation course. My team and I had a great weeks visiting a number of areas in and around the Cairngorms. We had a few cloudy days at the start of the week to look at some poor weather navigation techniques and then the last three days have been lovely. This has allowed us to have some great days in the hills enjoying the views as well as looking at emergency procedures and macro navigation.

A great week. This weekend I am back at Glenmore Lodge working on a safe ropework and self rescue weekend. Fingers crossed the weather holds for us.