Monday, 7 May 2012

AMRT Training Exercise

Yesterday I was out with Arran Mountain Rescue Team (I'm a probationary member) on a training exercise in the Cir Mhor area.  It was a great opportunity for the team to practice skills for moving on steep ground and numerous small parties were to be found exploring the south face of Cir Mhor throughout the day. I'm nursing a sore elbow (golfers or tennis elbow- I forget which, but would be better named climbers or kayakers elbow in my case) so followed Alec and his very happy (hairy) dog Luing up on to the Castles for a leg stretch before descending the Sub Rosa Gully and catching up with the rest of the team under the face of Cir Mhor.

Arran Mountain Rescue Team is made up of men and women volunteers from all over the island who train together in the hope that they can assist when an emergency arises in the hills. As a charity, the team depends on donations and the support of the public for its work.  You can donate to the team here:

 Big Alec taking in the view on the summit of Caisteal Abhail

 Looking back towards Cir Mhor and Goatfell in between snow showers. 

 Along the ridge of the Sleeping Warrior

 Back under Cir Mhor, catching up with other team members. 

 South face of Cir Mhor and the Rosa Pinnacle, where some of the best rock climbing in Scotland can be found.
Having a brew by the Argo-Cat (all terrain vehicle) before returning to base.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Around Holy Isle

The weather today was blissful.  This afternoon I dragged myself away from a mountain of admin to paddle around Holy Isle- a little mountain of a better kind, sitting in the middle of Lamlash Bay. Its a stunning journey in a sea kayak, and do-able in half a day with leisurely stops. We saw plenty of wildlife, including eiders, black guillemots, gannets and fulmars. The eiders are particularly entertaining just now as the males are displaying like mad and exclaiming ooo-OO-oooh at everything. The best of today's photos are below.

 The summit of Holy Isle stands 314m high. 

The peaks of the Goatfell Range visible looming above the Lamlash hills. 

"Wee Donald", the inner lighthouse on Holy Isle, and the lighthouse keepers cottages, now home to a Buddhist retreat.

Pillar Rock Lighthouse, the first square one to be built by the Northern Lighthouse Board, and designed by David A Stevenson