Garvellach’s

In the 1990’s I was fortunate to be able to paddle regularly in the area around the Firth of Lorn. At the time there was a campsite next to the beach in Arduaine. It was possibly the best located sea kayaking campsite in the UK. A favourite paddle for many of the visitors were the Garvellach’s, a few miles to the west.

The campsite closed, other paddling opportunities arose and the last time I paddled there was in 2002. It is hard to believe that 17 years have passed. This summer the opportunity arose to paddle to the Garvellach’s and I seized it with both hands.

We headed out from Belnahua on a day of bright sunshine but reasonably large tides. A direct route wasn’t possible but the use of transits was the only navigational tool required. We left Belnahua in the crisp light, which is experienced after the passage of a cold front. The winds from the front were the reason why we hadn’t paddled the day before. Today though the Islands of the Nether Lorn were calling.

Behind us there was a steady stream of yachts using the southerly tide to assist their passage down the west coast of Luing. Ahead though, the sea appeared empty apart from the distant hum of a fishing boat. We were pushed south by the tide despite our best attempts at maintaining our course. Once in the eddy behind the rocks we were able to work our way back to Garbh Eileach. The most substantial of the islands in the Garvellach’s.

One of main memories of my last visit was of a magnificent stag standing on the cliffs at the north east end of Garbh Eileach. In the swirling mists of that July day, it struck a striking pose and amazingly on this visit there was a superb stag standing in an identical position. It didn’t look stuffed so one can only assume that it’s a popular location for the resident deer population.

Garvellachs
Heading along the southern shore of the Garvellach’s. There are magnificant views to the south towards Scarba and Jura.

The paddle along the Garvellach’s is always spectacular with plenty of evidence of sea level change, a geographers dream. There is always the sense of expectation as you approach Eileach an Naoimh, knowing that you are going somewhere really special. As we pulled into the small anchorage it was clear that we were going to have the island to ourselves, a first for me.

Island Exploration

Garvellachs
Pete by one of the preserved Beehive cells

We passed a virtually perfect couple of hours wandering around the amazing remains, which are to be found on Eileach an Naoimh. As the only people on the island we were able to let our imaginations run riot. On a warm June day with light winds it seemed an idyllic place to live but what it must have been like exposed to the full force of an Atlantic storm on a December night, is hard to imagine.

This is probably the best preserved early Christian settlement on the west coast of Scotland. It dates back to the 6th Century A.D. It may have been founded by St Brendan the Navigator, which was before St Columba reached Iona.
17 years had passed since my last visit but I am certain that it won’t be 17 years before I step ashore on the these islands again. Classic is a word, which at times is used far too frequently but there is no doubt in my mind that paddling out to the Garvellach’s is one of the classic sea kayaking trips.

Eithne's Grave
This grave is traditionally identified as the grave of Eithne. St Columba’s mother
Garvellach's
Me standing on the summit ridge of Eileach an Naoimh, looking back towards the mainland of Scotland. Mull is on the left.
Garvellach's
On the summit ridge in 1999. Nicky and Phil Harriskine. Gordon Brown has his back to us and Duncan Winning is still walking upwards in the white shirt.

River Tay

I was surprised to discover that the River Tay, in terms of volume of discharge, contains more fresh water than any other river in the United Kingdom.  It shouldn’t have come as a shock as it has a catchment area of nearly 2,000 square miles, much of it mountainous.  Downstream of Perth the river becomes tidal and it was this stretch of the river that we explored on Sunday morning.
The morning dawned damp and overcast. But we were keen to get on the water when we met in the small village of Newburgh, which is on the south shore of the River Tay.  The tide had just turned and the plan was to use the ebb tide to carry us in the direction of Dundee and the famous bridges.
It was a journey of 11 nautical miles, a distance which slipped quickly past but didn’t seem to require too much effort.  The tide seemed to be doing most of the work.  I was surprised to see a number of seals. One in particular seemed to be enjoying his morning break, feeding on rather a large fish and in no hurry to move out of our way.
Coming from Jersey, I enjoyed paddling past relatively long stretches of wooded shoreline.  An environment which is relatively rare on the island.  The sight of deer running through the fields or walking along the shore was an added bonus.
The dominant feature of the paddle though was the Tay Railway Bridge.  The original bridge was opened to railway traffic on the 1st June 1878.  On the evening of the 28th December 1879 a violent gale was blowing.  At 7.13 pm a train headed across the bridge but disappeared in the darkness.  The exact number of people who died isn’t known but thought to be 74 or 75.
The events of that evening were described in the poem by Willaim McGonagall, “The Tay Bridge Disaster.”  I remembering studying it for English A Level at school.  So bad that it was shown to us as an example of how not to write poetry.
Paddling under the new bridge and seeing the remains of the old bridge, one couldn’t help but reflect on the events of that night, 150 years ago.  It was a fitting place to complete our Sunday paddle on the River Tay.  Thanks once again to the enthusiasm and knowledge of Piotr, the owner of Outdoor Explore.

Newburgh
Leaving from the slup at the western of the village of Newburgh. It was just after high water so we were able to use the ebb tide flowing out of the Firth of Tay.

Bear and Staff
Just downstream was the Bear and Staff. Carved into the hillside in 1980, it was a rather interesting feature.

Firth of Tay
The coastline isn’t spectacular but it was enjoyable and contained a number of surprises. We saw a number of deer either along the beach or running across the fields.

Firth of Tay
Along the south shore there were a number of ruined cottages, which may have been left over from the fishing industry.

Dundee
As we approached the Tay Bridges we could see the oil rigs, which are being worked on in Dundee.

Shipwreck
There were two shipwrecks on this section of the River Tay, one either side of the railway bridge. The one to the east of the bridge was probably used in helping to salvage items after the disaster on the bridge in 1879.

River Tay
Nicky approaching the Tay Railway bridge from the east. With a span of 2.75 miles it is an impressive structure.

Tay Bridge
Looking along the gap between the remains of the old railway bridge and the new one. The term new is used loosely, as it opened in 1887.

Fibreglass kayak
This looked like a 1970’s or early 80’s general purpose fibreglass kayak. Wedged on a steep hillside its origins were clearly a mystery.

Perth

Following the pattern of kayaking in cities, on Friday evening it was the turn of one of Scotland’s newest city, Perth.  A quick search produced a number of options but we were really successful in that we selected Outdoor Explore, a relatively small company based in eastern Scotland.
We met the owner Piotr at The Willowgate, just downstream from Perth on the River Tay.  Whilst we were waiting for Piotr, an osprey flew past, which we took as a positive sign.  As soon as Piotr arrived we unloaded kayaks, added the final items of kit and in what seemed like a few minutes were ready to launch.
The plan was launch and head upstream towards Perth in the hope that we would see some of the beavers, that have come to call this stretch of water home.  Sadly we didn’t see the beavers although we saw plenty of evidence of their activity.  We did see plenty of other things though, which would attract the attention of kayak tourists.
Piotr was so much more than a coach, he was a passionate leader, his enthusiasm and knowledge about the river and its surroundings was infectious.  Our journey through Perth was so much more than a paddle.  We did manage to push the current and we were able to get through the arches of the oldest bridge to span the river, the return journey was so much easier!
The biggest surprise of the trip was that we were on the water for over two and a half hours, we only really noticed how long we had been out when it went dark!  We didn’t paddle that far but what we saw and heard was fascinating and all within the boundaries of  what is know as “The Fair City”, thanks to Sir Walter Scott and the publication of his book “The Fair Maid of Perth in 1828.

Perth
Nicky testing the kayaks before leaving Willowgate Activity Centre

Perth
Approaching the bridge which carries the M90 across the River Tay. Just upstream from where we launched.

Tree
This tree clearly shows the impact of Beaver’s, although we didn’t see any just being in their territory gave us a thrill.

Piotr
Piotr, our knowledgeable guide, clearly getting animated about a topic which he was passionate about. He was full of information about the area around Perth and his willingness to share he knowledge was one of the real highlights of the evening.

Nicky in Perth
Nicky with part of the Perth skyline behind. Light was starting to fade fast at this point.

Perth Bridge
Just upstream of the Perth Bridge, which was completed in 1771 and is still in use today. Designed by John Smeaton, sea kayakers may be more familiar with one of his earlier designs, the Eddystone Lighthouse.

Perth activities
The light was fast disappearing as we returned to the Willowgate Activity Centre.

Edie

Edie

I know that this isn’t a film review website but after watching the recently released “Edie” this afternoon I feel that I must put some thoughts down.
It follows the journey of Edith Moore, after the death of her husband, who she has looked after for 30 years, but what was in effect a claustrophobic marriage.  When her daughter wants to put her in a Care Home, she heads north to Lochinver, following a dream that was ignited by a post card from her father many years earlier.
As somebody in her 80’s climbing Suilven, an iconic mountain rising to a height of 731 metres, was clearly going to be a major challenge.  She was assisted in her endeavours by Jonny, who just happens to work in the local outdoor shop.  He was in a prime position, therefore, to be able to sell her a significant amount of high quality outdoor equipment.
Jonny was also in an ideal position to provide appropriate training for the proposed ascent of the mountain.  The relationship between Edie and Jonny is the corner stone of the film and is what helps make the film more enjoyable than might be expected.
One of the most emotional points in the film is when they are rowing and Edie reflects on her wasted life.  So many years spent in unhappiness, which can never be regained.  I enjoyed the performances by both Shelia Hancock and Kevin Guthrie.
The background to the film is the superb landscape of north west Scotland, although this is a film set in the mountains there are glimpses of a coastline far below, which many of us are familiar with, and if we aren’t, it is an inspiration to head north to discover the superb coastal and mountain scenery.
A showing of Edie may not be that easy to find.  At our local cinema it was only shown Monday to Thursday at 3.00 in the afternoon.  So if you had a normal job watching it is virtually impossible, that may well explain why there were only 5 people at the showing we went to.  It deserves to be seen by a wider audience though.
At times the film seems cliched and the end was never really in doubt but it is a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend 102 minutes of your time.

Scottish Symposium

Well the Scottish Symposium has been and gone, all that remains is the extended paddling programme.  Two things set this event from the others, firstly it is the last one in its present format and secondly the unbelievable weather.
I travelled north in the expectation that I would be delivering a range of talks, including such diverse topics as Expedition Planning, Baja and Thirds, Twelfths and 50/90’s.  As it turned out the weather was superb and in reality who would want to sit in a classroom listening to somebody ramble on about sea kayaking when they could be out on the water experiencing, first hand the impact of a Scottish heat wave.
Nearly 200 people attended the final Scottish Symposium, in its current form.  The programme was the usual diverse mix of workshops, talks and paddles, delivered by some of Britain’s most experienced coaches.  Fortunately common sense broke out among the participants and pretty much everybody went on the water with virtually every classroom session cancelled.
The key note lecture on Saturday evening, delivered by Gordon Brown and was very much in the form of a tribute to our friend Duncan Winning, who sadly passed away earlier this year.  He was one of the most influential sea kayakers of the 20th Century as well being a vital cog in the machinery of the Scottish Sea Kayak Symposium.  His presence at the event was sorely missed.
As the Symposium drew to a close, after a weekend of perfect weather and the extended paddling programme started you couldn’t help but think that Duncan would have been with pleased with the way the weekend had evolved.

Scottish Symposium
Nicky outside the Gaelic College, wearing her Moderate Becoming Good Later T shirt. Our nephew was starting his journey around the Shipping Forecast areas that day.

Scottish Symposium
A really unusual picture. Nicky and Gordon tucking into ice creams at Armadale. Almost unheard of at any of the previous symposiums.

Scottish Symposium
A group on a day trip around the Point of Sleat heading south in front of the College. Just a stunning backdrop.

Scottish Symposium
A busy Greenland Rolling session at Armadale. With the weather rolling was a pretty popular option.

Scottish Sea Kayak Symposium

Over 6 weeks has passed since my incident in Gozo, which resulted in a ruptured achilles, I still have my leg in plaster and at times feel frustrated by my inability to get out on the water.
This weekend I had arranged an Advanced Sea Kayak Leader training course with paddlers visiting the Island from both the UK and France to take part.  I was really looking forward to working with Olly Sanders, but it was not to be last weekend.  I was fortunate enough to be able to arrange for Calum McKerral to fly down from Scotland and cover me at the last minute.
I was able to spend some of the evening preparing for the Scottish Se Kayak Symposium, which starts this Friday evening on the Isle of Skye.  Having attended them all since 1995 it is an event, which holds great memories for me.  Some fantastic paddles, inspirational talks and great social evenings over the last 20 plus years.
As this is due to be the last one it was an event I was particularly looking forward to attending and to do some more paddling in Scottish waters.  In fact the plan was to remain in Scotland for a further week and to paddle around the Small Isles, with some of the other members of the Jersey Canoe Club.
With my leg still in plaster flying isn’t an option so Nicky and myself leave this evening on the ferry, to start the long journey north, taking slightly longer than normal as we are stopping off in Bristol to see Joan Baez in concert, on her farewell tour.
Instead of being out on the water this weekend with the Advanced Sea Kayak Leader Training, it has largely been spent inside the house preparing my talks for next weekend.  I might not be able to paddle but at least I will be able to contribute to the lecture programme.
So it has been time spent re-acquainting myself with PowerPoint and searching through external hard drives for that one photo, which I feel might make all the difference but in reality won’t have an impact at all.
So talks on Expedition Planning, the weather, tidal planning, 12ths,3rds and 50/90, Baja and sea kayaking in the Mediterranean have gradually taken shape.  Although there is still plenty of work to do before I am satisfied with the finished product.
Fingers crossed that I don’t have to deliver all of the talks.  If there is good weather on Skye next weekend people attending the Symposium should be out on the water, experiencing all that the island has to offer.  Far more enjoyable than hearing me ramble on about Proxigean Tides or the Coriolis Force, with the occasional pretty picture of kayaking thrown in for good measure.  That said if the wind blows, the rain falls and people feel the need to shelter from the worst of the Scottish weather I will be ready to go.
Whatever happens next I know that next weekend on Skye there is going to be a great sea kayaking event with plenty of paddlers having a great time.  I hope to see some of you there.

Symposium
Taken in the 1990’s these are just a selection of the kayaks lined up on the beach on Cumbrae.

Symposium
A helicopter demonstration in 2005. It was great fun being blown around by the down draught from the rotor blades.

Symposium
The extended programme in the week after the Symposium has always been enjoyable and at times experienced some great weather. Looking towards the Cuillins, on a day trip from Elgol. Always a favourite.

Symposium
Another day trip from Elgol, when the weather wasn’t so kind. Howard Jeffs on Soay, close to the basking shark factory.

Site Updates

Those of you who read my previous post will know that I damaged my Achilles heal, last week, whilst kayaking on Gozo.  So here are a few ideas about possible site updates.
The following few days was a time of new experiences for me. I had never been put in plaster before, I had never been put in one of those lorries where the cab extends vertically alongside and aircraft, so unscathed you can be wheel chaired onto the plane. I had never traveled through an airport on one of those beeping trucks and I have never had to undergo a course of daily injections last nearly six weeks.
Having arrived back in Jersey I have had time to reflect on the experiences of the last few days. Firstly the medical attention that I have received both in Gozo and Jersey has been excellent. On both islands I was seen promptly by medical staff, including orthopaedic consultants.
Secondly whilst traveling, everything was smooth and timely at Malta, Gatwick and Jersey Airports plus on the British Airways flights. Care and attention from staff in all locations was great and fully appreciated.
I have started to develop a greater understanding of the challenges facing people living with a physical disability. I had to wait in a toilet in Malta as it was too difficult to open the door whilst on crutches. Many thanks to the anonymous Good Samaritan who came to my assistance.
In terms of missed opportunities I am disappointed that I won’t be able attend the French Sea Kayak Symposium, which starts on the 21st April. In addition I won’t be able to assist at the Scottish Sea Kayak Symposium, starting on the 25th May. Although it is far enough away that I will hopefully be able to travel to Scotland for the weekend and experience some of what is sure to be a superb event. I have been involved with the Scottish Sea Kayak Symposium since the early 1990’s and it would be disappointing not to be able to attend the last one. Even if it is the role of honorary coffee drinker as opposed to active paddler.
In 1983, on my way to a sea kayaking trip in Svalbard, I flew over a spectacular archipelago, which I promised myself to visit one day. After 35 years of waiting this summer was the year I was going to finally get to paddle in the Lofoten’s. Sadly a destination that will have to wait for another year.
All disappointing but it is important to maintain some perspective, it is only an injury, I will get better and other opportunities will come my way.  So facing several months of inactivity it is an opportunity for some new challenges.
I will be able to make sure the Jersey Canoe Club mega SUP racing in conjunction with Absolute Adventures is organised and runs smoothly, although no active participation for me this year.
Later on in the year I will have time to complete my Greenland Paddle.  At the moment I can’t put any weight on my leg and I haven’t learnt “woodwork for sitting down” so that will have to wait until my leg strengthens as the summer progresses.  It should be complete for the autumn so that I can then work on my Greenland rolling.
One of the things that I have planned are a number of site updates, including completing a number of the Sea Kayaking Guides, which I have started including the one on Jersey.  So plenty to do but the main aim for the next few weeks is to keep my plaster dry!

Site updates
Mega SUP racing at St Brelade’s with the Jersey Canoe Club and Absolute Adventures.

Site updates
The view from the Gaelic College at the 2007 Scottish Sea Kayak Symposium.

Site Updates
Paddling into towards Loch Coruisk on one of those perfect Scottish days.

Site Updates
One of the many French Lighthouses, which are close to the base of the French Sea Kayak Symposium.

Site Updates
An on going project, my evolving Greenland paddle.

Duncan Winning

On Thursday morning we received a telephone call from Gordon Brown with the very sad news of the passing of Duncan Winning.  Duncan was an immensely influential figure in the  world of sea kayaking but more importantly he was an incredibly generous individual and thoroughly decent person.
I first met Duncan in May 1992, when he attended the first Jersey Sea Kayaking Symposium, and was one of only two people from off the island who attended every one.  Always willing to give his time and energy to ensuring that the event was a success.
Douglas Wilcox has written eloquently about Duncan and some of their shared experiences on his blog and I would recommend that you read his post.
There is very little that I could add except to mention two things, firstly Duncan did achieve some form of local fame in 1999, when he was able to paddle through the centre of his home town of Largs, due to flooding.  Secondly in 1998 at the Jersey Symposium he built a junior sea kayak from wood, the Jersey Junior, over the course of 3 days.  A beautiful kayak, which is still treasured by my family.
I last saw Duncan in January when Nicky and myself called in to see Duncan and went out for lunch at the local restaurant.  Although he was quite at times the passion that he had for kayaking still shone through with that glint in his eye.
After lunch we sat looking across to Cumbrae, talking about the great times we had on the island in the 1990’s at the Scottish Sea Kayak Symposiums.  Duncan said that he wouldn’t be able to attend the event this year but we did make tentative arrangements to call in and see whilst traveling to the event from Jersey, sadly that is not to be.
I feel fortunate to have known Duncan Winning for over 25 years, spending many happy days on the water with him both in Jersey and Scotland.  He will be sadly missed, not just by his family but by the wider kayaking community.

Duncan Winning
Duncan paddling away from Loch Coruisk, Skye in perfect conditions. June 2009, just after the Scottish Sea Kayak Symposium.

Duncan Winning
Lisa in her Jersey Junior at Archirondel, in the week following the 1998 Jersey Sea Kayak Symposium

Duncan Winning
Duncan relaxing after lunch in Loch Coruisk, underneath the inevitable umbrella.

Some more old kayaking pictures

Here is another selection of old pictures, illustrating some of the places that we have been paddling over the years.  It feels like it is time to pay a visit to some of these places again, its been nearly 40 years since I paddled some of these trips.

Old pictures
This is paddling around the Great Orme in North Wales in November 1979. We couldn’t afford specialist sea kayaks so used general purpose kayaks with home made skegs that we used to slip over the stern, when we weren’t paddling the same kayaks on white water.

Eastbourne kayaking
I started work as a teacher in September 1980 and before my first salary check arrived I had ordered my first Nordkapp HM. I collected it from Nottingham at October half term and this is kayak being launched for the first time off the beach in Eastbourne.

Bardsey
The first summer holidays of teaching so it was time to go paddling. This is approaching Bardsey, in perfect conditions. The string across the hatch cover was there for a very special reason. My Nordkapp was one of the first to be built with the new hatch covers but the mixture proved to be unstable and the rims started to collapse. After this trip it was back to Nottingham for new hatches to be fitted by Valley before we headed off for a 4 week kayaking trip in Denmark.

Menai Straits
A rather blurred picture from the Menai Straits in October 1986. I was on my Level 5 Coach assessment at Plas Y Brenin. We camped at the south west entrance to the Straits and I still remember the look of horror on the face of the group when the shipping forecast for the Irish Sea was SW Force 12.

Porth Daffarch
Paddling out of Porth Daffarch at the 1993 Angelsey Symposium. The paddlers are Andy Stamp and Graham Wardle.

Rathlin Island
The bay at the western end of Rathlin Island, of Northern Ireland It was a Coach Assessment in 1996. We were looking forward to a night of traditional Irish music in the bar, but it turned out to be a karaoke evening with Japanese divers, rather disappointing.

Arduaine Children
The Scottish Sea Kayak Symposiums used to be great family affairs. The five children on the right are my two girls, Howard Jeffs two daughters and Gordon Brown’s oldest daughter. As you can see we used appropriately sized kit!

Cricceth Castle
The BCU Sea Touring Committee used to run Symposiums every autumn. Initially at Calshot and later on in North Wales. This is some paddlers from the 1998 event off Cricceth Castle.

Beinn Chuirn

Beinn Chuirn is mountain that doesn’t readily spring to mind when thinking of Scottish summits.  After two days of inactivity, in the mountains, due to the weather out thoughts were turning to walking uphill once again.  The forecast was for improving weather as the day progressed but there was significant wind chill and fresh snow particularly in the morning.
So we looked for a mountain with a reasonable walk in and hopefully fairly steep so that we could avoid the worst of the underfoot conditions.  Two days of torrential rain must have produced some challenging conditions in places.
Beinn Chuirn is frequently overlooked by its more majestic neighbours, Ben Lui and Ben Oss.  250 metres lower than Ben Lui and a Corbett as opposed to a Munro it doesn’t have the same appeal.  For us though on a cloudy Thursday in January it seemed perfect.
A reasonable walk in, nearly 3 miles along a gently rising valley track, heading further and further into the heart of some dramatic mountain scenery.
Although a mountain area there is evidence of an industrial past and perhaps an industrial future.  Just after starting up the valley we passed the site of the abandoned village of Newton and the lead mines in the area, which closed in 1865.  Further up the valley, prior to heading up Beinn Chuirn, we could see evidence of the Cononish Gold Mine, with a tunnel being opened in the hillside in the 1990’s.
Once we were past the fences we turned up the slopes of the Corbett, there was virtually no evidence of a path.  This could be because very few walkers head this way and also because in places the lower slopes had remnants of the heavy snow, which had fallen the weekend before.
There is always a discussion about the rights and wrongs of using mapping software on mobile phones as opposed the tried and trusted method of map and compass.  I love the feel of the paper map and actually believe that the Ordnance Survey is one of the reasons we should be proud to be British but I have also embraced technology.  I have downloaded numerous 1:25,000 maps onto my phone but find that I use the ViewRanger App, far more frequently.
There are two advantages of using ViewRanger, the mapping is generally at a high enough resolution, only on a few occasions have I had to switch the OS 1:25,000 map with its detail of walls and small physical features.  Secondly, the Skyline facility enables you to take photographs, with physical features labelled, its quite handy to know that you are facing in the right direction, although I wouldn’t rely on it exclusively for navigation purposes.

ViewRanger
The map and data of todays walk.

Skyline
Using Skyline on the ViewRanger App, it names features, which we can’t even see because of low cloud. Its not an application, which I use that often but it does provide you with some extra information.

As we climbed higher conditions underfoot became more solid, clearly the temperature had dropped below freezing last night, and may still have been below zero.  The lack of wind actually made the day surprisingly warm, but it was still necessary to put on our crampons, a few hundred metres below the summit.
We didn’t hand around too long of the summit, a quick slurp of warm coffee and a Twix between us, whilst standing before we headed back towards the valley and the reasonably long walk back to the car prior to heading towards Tyndrum and coffee and cake at The Real Food Cafe.
It was another enjoyable day in the Scottish mountains and once again we were surprised by the total lack of people encountered whilst out walking.  I know that we are fortunate enough be able to go out in mid week, when it is not unusual for numbers of people in the outdoors to be reduced.  I am certain though, that if we were in the Ogwen or Langdale Valleys then we would not have had the mountain to ourselves.
For those seeking solitude and that feeling of wilderness it isn’t necessary to travel to remote corners of the world, midweek in January about 50 miles from Glasgow is always an option.

Beinn Chuirn
Nicky heading up the valley of the River Cononish. The summit Of Beinn Chuirn is above and to the right of her head. Our route pretty much followed the obvious ridge.

Beinn Chuirn
Nicky heading up the ridge on Beinn Chuirn. Some spectacular scenery behind.

Beinn Chuirn
Higher up conditions changed, there was more snow underfoot and more was falling out the sky.

Beinn Chuirn
A couple of hundred metres below the summit crampons became advisable, the rain of the last two days had clearly helped to freeze the snow higher up. It is always a pleasure fitting crampons to your boots. We don’t get that many opportunities to do so in Jersey!

Beinn Chuirn
The inevitable summit pic.

Beinn Chuirn
Crossing a stream on the descent. In places the whole stream was covered in snow. Clearly a major hazard for the walker who isn’t sure of their location.

Beinn Chuirn
We dropped below the snow and it was just a matter of heading back to the valley track and walking back to the car, 3.5 miles away.