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Messages - cairngormwanderer

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General navigational Kit / Re: Osprey Hydration
« on: April 16, 2013, 12:12:57 PM »
Sounds like a piece of kit designed by someone who's never stepped outside his design studio.

General navigational Kit / Re: Head torches and night vision
« on: March 25, 2013, 09:08:52 PM »
Had an interesting discussion with a friend once, who claimed you didn't need a torch as long as you allowed your eyes to acclimatise naturally as night fell. We got a chance to test this soon after, reaching the summit of Stob Choire nam Beith in Glen Coe just as the sun disappeared over the horizon (a common occurrence when I go ice climbing! Must speed up.). We found the descent into Coire nam Beith with the last of the light and were able to see well enough to get almost all the way down to the road before I finally gave up and put my torch on at the last outcrop across the path, which was verglassed, although my mate stuck to it and got down to the road safely. He reckoned it proved his point, although I have to say I would have been able to move a lot faster with a headtorch switched on - and he uses a head torch too(!).
Anyway, I reckon there's not much point in messing about with red or green loghts. Just make sure your batteries are in good order and use your headtorch: it's what we invented technology for. :)

Variations of Existing Techniques / Re: White-out navigation
« on: February 28, 2013, 02:45:35 PM »
Hi Lyle, I was walking very short legs between getting new targets and using a 1:50,000 map, so I just kept a mental note. I was coming up a gully out of the Loch Avon Basin (Pinnacle Gully beside the Shelter Stone Crag) so I knew my starting point and was able to take one single bearing on the summit, with no obstacles on the way and, given the lack of fresh snowfall and wind for several days, felt able to use the usual footprint highway from Cairngorm as a handrail to aim off at. Given the terrain and the weather, I don't suppose the task was too serious, but having walked through a lot worse, it's a tactic I'd feel happy about using when it does get serious.

Variations of Existing Techniques / White-out navigation
« on: February 24, 2013, 09:59:19 PM »
Was heading for the top of Ben McDui on Saturday in thick weather and away from the main highway of footprints. With uphill in various directions, only one of them right, I was walking on a bearing, usually picking on rocks/snow shadows about 20 to 50 metres ahead, which was the limit of visibility for snow shadows and black rocks poking through white snow respectively. A few legs offered nothing visible on the line of the bearing, but I realised that if you take two other visible points either side of the correct line, you can keep your line pretty well until you pick up something on route.
Worth keeping in mind.

General Discussion / Re: Books on modern mountain rescue techniques
« on: February 21, 2013, 10:16:30 PM »
Eric Langmuir's 'Mountaincraft and Leadership' has a section on mountain rescue.
'Modern Rope Techniques in Mountaineering' by Bill March also has a chapter on improvised stretchers and carries and one on crevasse rescue (lots of rope stretchers).
And, probably more of historical interest, Alan Blackshaw's 'Mountaineering' (1965) also has a chapter on mountain rescue.
Can't think of any more complete books though.

General Discussion / Faindouran Bothy, Cairngorms
« on: February 12, 2013, 02:56:07 PM »
Sadly the MBA has heard through a bothy report that the chimney stack at Faindouran Lodge Bothy in Glen Avon has collapsed with significant damage to the roof and walls

It is understood the bothy is in a dangerous condition at the moment and should NOT be used.

MBA volunteers hope to do a site visit as soon as they can to assess the damage.

In the meantime it is best to remake any plans which involved using the bothy, as it is highly unlikely any proper repair will be possible before the spring and - depending on the findings at the site visit - a repair could be a lengthy process.

Trip reports / Re: Great British Bothies
« on: February 10, 2013, 11:42:19 PM »
Don't know where best to put this info, but it's worth knowing that, when you're at the Hutchison Hut, a mobile phone signal can be obtained by going to the summit of the prominent hillock about half a kilometre to the east (NO 027 996) and walking 10 yards or so downhill to the east, where you'll find a small cairn. You can get a Vodaphone signal from this point and, of course, access from any network to emergency 112 calls. (Thanks Lyle, by the way, for that informative YouTube clip on 112 calls.)

New Techniques & Learning / On getting unlost
« on: January 30, 2013, 08:21:54 PM »
Just by way of saying hello, I wrote this blogpost after managing to get myself lost in darkness amongst featureless hills. Shameful that I got lost in the first place, but there are maybe lessons to be learned from the way I got myself out of the mess I got myself into. A case of keeping the heid and using it too, but also knowing how to use map contours, slope aspect and deduction.

Trip reports / Re: Great British Bothies
« on: January 29, 2013, 10:43:08 AM »
Just for reference, the inside picture from February 2011 is actually the interior of Ryvoan Bothy near Glen More. The Hutchie looked a lot worse than that before it was done up.

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