Thursday, 5 May 2011

Blue Sky Days

This week the island has been basking in unseasonal sunshine and dry weather. I've had two fantastic days in the mountains before the weather broke, in almost identical conditions of hot dry rock and a cool breeze- perfect for scrambling and climbing.

On Sunday, I was out training with Arran Mountain Rescue Team ( I am a probationary member), and we headed up on to the western slopes of Mullach Buidhe to practice some rope work and rock climbing.  Normally AMRT training sessions are hard work, but this had more of the air of jolly picnic on the beach, although we did do some top roping of some hard and highball boulder problems on the ridge, plus some abseiling and climbing on the biggest buttress. All quite leisurely really.

AMRT Jolly. 

Setting up for the ab and climb.

Top roping in the sun. 

Great views of Cir Mhor and Caisteal Abhail across Glen Sannox. 

On Tuesday a good friend stopped by on route to the highlands and we whisked him from the ferry into the hills. At this point I should provide a nice big plug for the company he represents, Mountain Hardwear, but as we lent him a load of non Mountain Hardwear gear for the day, he'd prefer to remain anonymous!

So it was back in to Coire Lan and up on to North Goatfell for a quick traverse of Stacach in perfect conditions.

The boys enjoying tremendous views from the top of North Goatfell. 

Heading off down the Stacach for Goatfell summit. 

Now it is Thursday and the rain has come at last.  It is sad to say goodbye to the sun for a bit, but the island was beginning to feel like a tinderbox in the haze from the mainland wildfires.  I'm relieved that we have survived the dry spell and the moisture will only help the wildlife. Good for gardeners too!

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