Monday, February 18, 2019

February Wildlife

'Dick Turpin' common seal in the early afternoon light

Adventure Club - Sea Kayaking Calf of Man
"Just back from our Adventure Club IOM sunday morning training around the Calf of Man! A challenging session, finishing in bright sunshine, loads of playful seals around us in the waves and foam 😊spring blossom, wrestling seals and a Manx Loaghtan (our native breed of hardy sheep) nibbling on a coastal delicacy : ) "

Yesterday's advanced water training for our regular Adventure Club members

The awesome Calf of man is owned by Manx National Trust and is home to a flock of our native Manx Loaghtan (4 horned) sheep, diverse colonies of Atlantic Grey and 'Common' or Harbour Seals, and is a protected bird sanctuary and observatory.

It's one of our favourite places to paddle : )

Last Sunday's Adventure Club sea kayaking training, using the conditions off Peel : )
Really positive to see skills developing in the bouncy stuff, and folk embrace the challenge of winter paddling, in all its many forms! 🌊💪#AdventureClub #isleofman #seakayaking#seakayakinguk #coachingpeople #safety#changingperspectives #coaching#safefunlearning #kayak #islandlife #getwet#beactive #loveiom #IOMstory #peelcastle#manxnationalheritage #winter #february#sunday "

these two are growing up so quickly...

Scotland Winter Climbing - part 2

After a rest day (instigated by weather conditions) our educational adventures in Scotland continued...
Beautifully breezy 'march' into Lurcher's Crag this morning, a bit of spindrift flowing through us 😊 We met up with Jake & Mandy, Ken and Glenn at the sugarbowl car park for the stomp up through Chalamain Gap and round to the ice climbing routes at Lurcher's... I led a pitch up something hollow, then it got more exciting for Jim's lead and a good time to traverse across to the rest of the party and retreat! Wind was still increasing in vigour making a memorable walk out!💪😅 ❄🍻..#ice #climbing #winter #winterclimbing#cairngorms #scotland #lurcherscrag #wind#spindrift #loosesnow #adventure#galaxys8 #nofilter
"Heading back home to the Isle of Man tomorrow 😊 finished our last day in the mountains with a lead up 'Hidden Chimney' and a gusty walk off before the real weather came in 👍🌨 photo's @jimgayler It's been another immense trip! ..#winterclimbing #leading #last #day#mountains#learning #nohotaches #climbing#ptarmagon #blackgrouse #winter#cairngorms #coireantsneachda #snow#thin #ice #cold #magnificent #scotland#aviemore #neveatlast"

Great to be back home in the Isle of Man, and looking forward to more winter adventures when conditions come back in : )

Catch you on the water soon

Monday, February 04, 2019

Cairngorms - Winter Climbing

Winter Climbing in Coire an t-Sneachda

Jim and I arrived in Aviemore on Tuesday evening, for our fix of ice and mixed winter climbing. Some great weather conditions in the northern corries, super cold with blue skies... conditions on many climbs have been interesting, with too much ice in the gear placements and thin ice or powder on the routes themselves. Its means everything is climbing one grade harder : )

A Message from Scotland

The first day of our winter climbing trip, climbed 'The Message' with too much ice in the cracks!
A fine 'mixed' route - mixture of real fear, a few short desperate moves made memorable by thin axe or crampon holds, blue skies, and a walk out under starry skies.

A Classic Bluebird Day

Thursday was a classic 'bluebird day', climbing in Coire an t-Sneachda again : )
Did a unique variation / compilation of Red Gully, finishing in illuminated rocks, simply stunning. Jonathan Preston and Mikey Byford were climbing Fingers Ridge beside us. Rounded the day off with a stroll up Cairngorm summit! 

Jim took this beauty of Mikey finishing Fingers Ridge

Navigation & Route Finding Practice

Conditions changed quickly on Friday, snowing well with a bit of wind, ideal visibility for navigation practice... : ) Jim led a pick 'n mix line up Mess of Pottage - 'Haston Line', 'Yukon Jack', finishing up 'The Slant' before topping out and getting out! Contrast to yesterday's experience & pics.

The Cairngorms in all of their magnificence : )

Adventures and abstract in Saturday's contrasting conditions. We had a relaxed start with a hot walk in and instant chill down in the corries, teams queing up on routes so chose a quick moving route up 'The Runnel' (soloing to the last section) with an enjoyable lead to finish.

 With daytime temperatures going mild enough for snow thaw
for a few days, climbing conditions should improve over the next week!


Back in the Isle of Man Tim led the Adventure Club training on Sunday morning : )