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hills

Carn an Tuirc

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Carn an Tuirc

A hill I’ve been up many times, although this time views were perfect. One of those days where clouds and hills merge together off and on. Big cumulus clouds floating over the tops bringing flurries of snow in their path but luckily mostly avoiding us to the north. 

The walk up from Loch Callater gives opportunity to peer into Coire Loch Kander too, where you can view the gullies and cornices from a safe distance. This way up also has the added benefit of a stop off at the bothy and the views over Loch Callater, almost completely frozen in April. 

Jo suggested this route as our plan B and it didn’t disappoint. Lots of folks on the hills for such a beautiful day. Very jealous of the two kite boarders who seemed to cover about the whole of Glenshee and White Mounth Munros in about an hour but if you go that fast you miss the views!!

Photos below :)

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February Update

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February Update

Hello all,
As the “beast from the east” blasts through I thought I’d spend a bit of time in my office this week catching up on the paperwork and preparing for a busy season ahead! Hopefully the snow will not impact you too much, if you don’t want it too! This winter continues to deliver with some record temperatures and snow fall. Unfortunately, it’s also been a very busy period for our Mountain Rescue Teams, huge thanks to these volunteers for looking after safety on the mountains, I’ll be hosting another charity event in August for Aberdeen Mountain Rescue Team and any training I do in Braemar percentage of fees will go to the Braemar team. Stay safe, stay informed and get trained.

I was absolutely delighted to be in the latest issue of Scottish Mountaineer magazine and to be included on their website. You can read their article via my earlier blog here. My journey from back injury to Mountain Leader will hopefully help inspire some to believe they can get out and do more, thanks to Neil and the Mountaineering Scotland team for publishing the article.

We had a great mid term break down in Loch Tay, weather was good so we had some nice fresh walks up Glen Lyon and also up toward Meall nan Tarmachan for a bit of sledging! I also took the family to see the Fortingall yew, the oldest living thing in Europe, right here in Scotland, some 5000-year-old. Our time on earth seems a little insignificant next to that tree.

Meall nan Tarmachan

Meall nan Tarmachan

Fortingall Yew

Fortingall Yew

February has also seen me finalise my procedures and processes that I will submit to the HSE for my Adventure Activities Licence. This is the next stage for Hillgoers and will allow us to take groups of youngsters out on expeditions and walks, as we aim to become a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Provider by the early summer.  These activities will run aside the current activities and I’m delighted to be building my team for this with some great people.

The season ahead is looking quite busy already but there are still some places left on the planned walks and we have spaces for bespoke walks or corporate events. There is some availability on our hill skills and navigation award courses too. I have put in some new events for this as we try and cater for all – “Hill Skills with dogs” and “Navigation Awards during school hours” for busy parents! I’ll keep trying different ways to run the courses, if you have any suggestions I’d be happy to have them!

Keep an eye on my website, social media, etc for new events and please get in touch if you have any questions.

Take care in the snow.
Garry.
garry@hillgoers.com

Luna preparing for Mountain Leader exam!

Luna preparing for Mountain Leader exam!

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A Birthday Thank You!

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A Birthday Thank You!

Hello all,

This week is our birthday at Hillgoers! I’d like to send a huge thank you to everyone for your support so far! I’ve had a fantastic time over the last year, meeting many of you, hopefully inspiring outdoor adventures and building your love for our beautiful land.

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In the last year I’ve also been on a journey, walking over new hills and returning many times to my favourite places. Going into the mountains and observing the changes in the seasons, discovering new things and learning from others. On Sunday I spent the day with Nigel Williams, head of training at Glenmore Lodge for many years. It’s a privilege to learn from the masters of their trade. I also recently had a great hour with Adam Watson, a true Cairngorm legend.

Over the last year I’ve been fortunate to teach some of you navigation skills. Hopefully this has built your confidence and you’re now using those skills when needed. I’d love to know how you’re getting on so please let me know! I’ll be running more courses and ad-hoc sessions throughout the winter and the indoor sessions at Bennachie will start again in April. I’ll also be offering more National Navigation Awards in 2018. These sessions are a great way to embed the learning, stepping through the stages of navigation. See https://nnas.org.uk/

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The Lairig Ghru charity walk was very damp but still very enjoyable, we also bumped into the Braemar Mountain Rescue team which was an added bonus. I’m pleased that Hillgoers has been able to support our local Mountain Rescue teams this last year, thanks to all who donated.

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Thanks again and I look forward to seeing you all next year, if not before. If you’re heading out over the winter season stay safe! I’m optimistic for some real snow this year.

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.” – John Muir

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