- Guided Hillwalking Across the Scottish Highlands

Cairngorm, Ben Macdui & Winter Skills

by JohnKing

At the beginning of the month I was working for Steven Fallon Mountain Guiding in the Cairngorms. On Friday 4th January I led a small group out over the plateau to Ben Macdui where we emerged from a mild, grey day to a temperature inversion. We had unbroken sunshine and stunning views for the rest of the day! Then on the 6th, another mild day for early January, we were up on Cairngorm practicing winter skills. You can read my full write-up of the days and see more photos on Steven’s blog here!

Sgor an Lochain Uaine & Braeriach from Ben Macdui – 4th January 2019

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Eagle Rock Circuit

by JohnKing

Early last year I mapped and walked a route around the edge of the edge of the UK’s only known terrestrial meteorite impact crater, located in central Sutherland. I completed the walk carrying a Google Trekker, with the resulting imagery going live last November. It was a fantastic adventure and I hope to continue to promote and develop the route, so I was very excited to get the opportunity to return to the area last week. Mairi and Rosalind had been in touch regarding a guided day of walking on a section of the route and so we headed out last Monday to the edge of Assynt, to follow a circular route, which I’ve called the ‘Eagle Rock Circuit‘, taking in a portion of the Crater Route around the upper reaches of Glen Oykel.

The view south from the summit of Eagle Rock

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Corbett Mini Adventure – Beinn Dearg Mor & Beinn Dearg Bheag

by JohnKing 0 Comments
Monday 30th April 2018 – Tuesday 01st May 2018

It was a stunning spring morning as I drove west towards Corrie Hallie. An Teallach dominated the views from the ‘Destitution Road’ and I had to make a few stops to take photos of some of the classic views of the peak against a clear blue sky!

Glas Tholl, An Teallach from the A832 just south of Coire Hallie

As I wandered up Gleann Chaorachain spring was in full swing with fresh buds on the trees and a constant accompaniment of bird song. By a plantation near the top of the glen I saw a couple of young golden eagles swooping high above the trees. It was a steady climb up the glen with a big pack on but worth the effort on reaching the high point by a large cairn where the track emerges onto high open moorland and the peaks of the Fisherfield Forest burst into view ahead. From there I headed off on the rough path to Shenavall Bothy in Strath na Sealga. The bothy stays out of view until the very last minute, only coming into sight as you drop down to the bottom of a small side glen, but when it does appear, it has to be one of the finest views in the Highlands.

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West Highland Way

by JohnKing 0 Comments

At the beginning of April I was working for Thistle Trekking on the West Highland Way (WHW), Scotland’s first long distance walking route, which stretches for 96 miles from the outskirts of Glasgow – Scotland’s largest city – to Fort William, at the foot of Ben Nevis – at 1345m, Scotland’s highest mountain. I was guiding Thistle’s first WHW group of the 2018, a team of apprentice engineers up in Scotland to walk the Way as part of a team building exercise. We were lucky with the weather throughout, getting pretty much ideal conditions for the walk and there were plenty of smiles and lots of satisfaction at the finish line on Fort William High Street. You can read my full write-up of the week on Thistle Trekking’s Blog here (part I) and here (part II)!

Lots of smiles after successfully completing the West Highland Way

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Bridge of Orchy Munros

by JohnKing 0 Comments

In the middle of March I was working for Steven Fallon Mountain Guiding, leading a small group around some of the Bridge of Orchy Munros. The mini “Beast from the East” was in full swing on the Saturday giving us a wild ascent of Beinn Mhanach, but by Monday, a stable easterly airflow had settled over the country giving one of the best days I’ve ever experienced in the hills! You can read my full write-up of the trip on Steven’s blog here!

Monday 19th March 2018 – Ascending Beinn a’Chreachain with the view over the expanse of Rannoch Moor to the peaks of Lochaber in the background

 

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Kintail Guided Hillwalking & Winter Skills

by JohnKing 0 Comments

I was leading a guided walking and winter skills trip in Kintail in the West Highlands on Sunday and Monday for Steven Fallon Mountain Guiding. We visited 3 Munros, covered lots of skills and got some perfect winter conditions for it! You can read my full write-up of the trip on Steven’s blog here!

Having lunch and enjoying the views on the South Shiel Ridge

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Ben More Assynt and Conival

by JohnKing 0 Comments

During Sunday and into Monday a big thaw set in across the Highlands causing significant melting of what was very extensive and deep snowcover. However, with the temperatures plummeting again on Tuesday the snowpack had consolidated and the avalanche hazard was low. This was combined on Wednesday with the promise of sub-zero summit temperatures, very little wind and bright sunshine. Forecasts don’t come any better and with the day free I decided to go for a day’s personal mountaineering with Ben the dog. We headed northwest to Inchnadamph to tackle Ben More Assynt and Conival, hills that I’d visited a couple of times before, but never in winter. As we headed north and west we were treated to amazing views of all the hills. An Teallach looked particularly good, but the view of Ben More Coigach was really special!

Ben More Coigach from Loch Cul Dromannan early on Wednesday Morning

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Winter Magic in the Fannaichs!

by JohnKing 0 Comments
Sgurr nan Clach Geala in winter

An alpine looking Sgurr nan Clach Geala from the slopes of Carn na Criche

Summits: Meall a’ Chrasgaidh (934m) | Sgurr Mor (1110m) | Sgurr nan Clach Geala (1093m)

Time: 9hrs 20mins

Sunday’s forecast was looking good from several day’s ahead. I had agreed to get out in the hills with a friend and we had a chat on Saturday night about where to go. It was difficult to choose with so many options. It looked like a day where you could pick your hill, any hill! In the end we decided to go for some old favourites of mine in the central part of the Fannaichs range of Wester Ross, Northwest Highlands.

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Central Sutherland Crater Walk goes live

by JohnKing 0 Comments
Ben More Assynt from the Crater Route

Ben More Assynt from the Central Sutherland Crater Walk and now viewable through Google Street View

In the past few weeks the imagery that I gathered using a Google Trekker backpack in February/March 2017 has gone live on Google Street View. The experience of walking the route and capturing the pictures was a real adventure but seeing the final images is very exciting and makes the effort of carrying a 22kg load around central Sutherland all the more worthwhile! For more details about the Central Sutherland Crater Walk and how to access the imagery for yourself, see the press release below…

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