Newsletter – January 2019

Tip of the Month

Packing your rucksack for winter requires much more care and thought than in summer.  Everything needs to be kept dry in waterproof bags, and organisation is vital as there will rarely be the opportunity to unpack and lay items on the ground while you locate something in the bottom of the sack.

The three essentials for packing successfully are:

  • Use drybags. Don’t even think about relying on the rucksack alone to keep items dry.
  • Use multiple drybags. A single, large rucksack liner restricts the way in which you can pack and ultimately reduces the capacity of your rucksack. What’s more, as soon as the top is open, rain and snow can get in. Instead, use several smaller drybags to pack individual items.
  • Pack the drybags into the rucksack in reverse order of when you may need them – for example first-aid kit and emergency clothing at the bottom; and your next payer of clothing and spare gloves towards the top.

Quote of the Month

“Nothing substitutes a large apprenticeship, a heap of experiences which converts into the base of intuition.”

Route of the Month

This month’s photo shows the view looking towards Bidean nam Bian from the summit of Stob Coire nan Lochain. Bidean, the highest peak in Glencoe, gives a fabulous walk in summer or winter, though the latter makes for a much more serious day out. In particular, navigation off the summit in poor visibility requires care. There are various options for this route, making it longer or shorter, but a popular option is to approach via the Lost Valley and take in the other Munro on the ridge, Stob Coire Sgreamhach.

Photo of the Month

Last week I was up in Glencoe and had this wonderful view from the summit of Stob Coire nan Lochain.

A group of climbers enjoy the view of Bidean nam Bian in Glencoe from the top of Stob Coire nan Lochain on a fine winter's day© thesummitisoptional

Forthcoming Events

Availability for the winter season is now limited to late-February onwards, but that’s a great time to go to Scotland.

  • Winter 2018-19. Still taking bookings for all types of courses, from basic introduction to winter skills up to full winter climbing:
    • 25 February 2019 onwards. Limited availability remaining.
  • Skye 2019. A sneak preview. This isn’t advertised anywhere yet, but I might be running a trip to Skye in late spring 2019. Depending on numbers, this could be for rock climbing or scrambling (max 2) or for adventurous ‘scrambly’ walking (max 4-6, depending on routes). Get in touch if you are interested.
  • Spring/Summer 2019. The usual range of climbing, scrambling and navigation courses will be available once again.

Download this newsletter as a PDF (below)

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