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The off Season

Autumnal colours coming across on the hills

The seasons have begun to change in the Highlands with the colours becoming more autumnal by the day and even the first snow showers landing on the higher tops. It also gives a slightly quieter period on the work front and a chance for some personal time in the hills and on the crags. Autumn is a nice time of year and often quiet in the hills and in areas often busy with tourism in the high season.

Scrambling in the Cairngorms

Jo and I headed North to Torridon under greyish skies but did check out a small crag above Torridon called ‘Fence Crag’ which judging by the entries on UKC’s find a crag facility seemed like a recently developed crag. There are numerous crags lying on the flanks of the surrounding Munros. All of which feel a little like gritstone outcrops, the rough Torridon sandstone gives great grippy well protected climbing. We also took a look further out above Loch Torridon on ‘Beginners Slabs’ some nice strips of rough pink granite slab of forty five metres. All the first ascents where done by the late Andy Nesbitt, great climbs in a stunning setting. Unfortunately the North Wests rock was short-lived as the rain set in and sent us back to Inverness.

Jo sport climbing at May near Inverness

Inverness has a large number of crags from sport to trad around the city. We had a look at the Moy crags which offer some pretty steep and pumpy conglomerate rock. We also took a look at Ashie fort another conglomerate crag giving some nice short trad climbs. I seem to remember people used this for some dry tooling along time ago but has since become a nice single pitch venue. This sits along from Duntelchaig and with a good breeze to keep the midge down offers a nice couple of hours climbing out of the city. Just to note if using the crag there are plenty of stakes hidden back from the top of the crag.

Smiles and sun with Dad in the Cairngorms

We also had a trip into the Cairngorms where the hills are definitely feeling like the seasons are changing. I also had a day with Dad scrambling up through the twin ribs and along the fiachail crest which gives a nice spin up to the plateau. We where though in a pretty chilly wind for the day which was the forerunner to some wintry showers across the tops.

For Wild Path at the moment its a quiet period while one season ends and another begins shortly. Now is some time for CPD and getting out and about for ourselves. There have already been some snow flurries on the highest tops which is normal for this time of year. Fingers crossed that there will be some frosts soon to which should see the end of the midge. We have the winter dates on the calendar now for winter skills courses and our minds are slowly starting to think about winter.

what we are hoping may be just round the corner....

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