Author Archive | Janey

Bouldering at Bowden Doors, Northumberland

On Friday 6th June, Keith, Dougie and I headed down to Bowden Doors in Northumberland for Dougie’s first outdoor bouldering trip. The weather was stunning with bright blue skies and sunshine, although it did make it a little warm for climbing. We plastered ourselves in factor 50 and then began our very short 2 minute walk in to the crag.

After discovering a sheep lying on its side unable to move in the field, and a trip down to the local farmer to alert the shepherd, we headed along to the ‘Sheep pen’ at the far left of the crag to warm up. The sheep pen contains 6 or so easy short problems with an excellent flat landing, ranging from font 3 – 5. It was also a good spot to introduce topping out on problems as it’s a technique that can’t really be learnt indoors.

We then had a play on the classic problem ‘The Light Bulb’ font 6a, before making our way to the Scooped Wall area. We climbed several other problems around this area, including the classic ‘Scooped Wall’ font 6b and then wandered back towards the main wall of the crag having a look at how to place gear and set up belays at Northumberland venues. Gear is a bit limited and hard to find at the top of the crag compared to venues in the central belt.

Dougie warming up in the Sheep Pen

Dougie warming up in the Sheep Pen

Keith on The Light Bulb, font 6a

Keith on The Light Bulb, font 6a

 

Beinn Each, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs NP

Yesterday saw me collecting Calum and Rhonwyn for a hill walking day trip to the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park so we could climb the Corbett, Beinn Each.

The day began with typically Scottish weather – rain – for our drive north. We parked the car at the bank of Loch Lubnaig and headed into the pine forest towards Glen Ample. We were lucky enough to encounter some wood sorrel, so had a nibble and continued on our way.

After a short walk along forestry track headed for the glen, we branched off to the east and headed up the western slopes of Beinn Each. From 550m upwards we saw an abundance of blaeberry plants starting to flower. In a couple of months’ time these will have transformed into tasty berries, ideal for hillside snacking!

blaeberry

At about the same height, the rain got heavier and the clouds closed in, reducing visibility to about 100m or so.

Despite the decline in weather, Calum and Rhonwyn were still in strong spirits and eager to continue to the top of the hill. We soon reached the summit at 813m and after taking a few photos in the mist, the cloud lifted and we were presented with fabulous views over Loch Lubnaig, Ben Vane, Ben Ledi and along the ridge line to Stuc a’Chroin.

Beinn Each Summit

Despite the mixed weather, Calum and Rhonwyn had a great day out (or so they say!) in the Scottish hills and are keen to get into hill walking. They have aspirations for completing some multi-day expeditions this year which we are going to make sure they achieve.

Loch Lubnaig

Thank you both for an excellent day out!

Keith

Mountain Biking, Glen Einich, Cairngorms

On Wednesday we had a group ride to the fine Loch Einich with Robin and Debbie to celebrate her birthday, happy birthday Debbie!

This was a fantastic mountain bike tour up the glacially formed Glen Einich. We started by following our trail through the picturesque scots pine woodland of Rothiemurchus estate to the Am Beanaidh river, continuing to the head of the glen where we stood at the feet of the Cairngorm giants Sgor Gaoith (1118m, peak of wind), and Braeriach (1296m).

Glen Einich Mountain Bike

It was nice to see the hills in transition between seasons; large snow patches surviving thanks to the prolonged winter snow fall along with the plant life colours representing the start of summer.

To add a bit more excitement to the ride, there are numerous river fords to cycle through which presented us with lots of laughter and wet feet. But fear not, it’s possible to stay fairly dry if you’re good at rock hopping!

Glen Einich, Mountain Biking

We saw lots of geese and ducks lower down, evidence of grouse higher up and hundreds of tadpoles. Sadly we never caught sight of the glens resident eagles or the forests capercaillies, but there’s always next time!

Trees and plant life encountered consisted of scots pine, silver birch, juniper, blaeberry and the ever abundant heather. Thanks to the Rothiemurchus Estate who manage the land, we were able to see the heather in different stages of growth due to recent muirburn management. Muirburn is a way of managing the moorland to create patches of heather at all different stages of growth – essential to maintaining a healthy and abundant grouse population.

Glen Einich Bike

A Week in Barra, the Outer Hebrides

The Get Out Adventures team are just back in Edinburgh after spending the last week on the Isle of Barra; this was our first trip to the Outer Hebrides, and it certainly will not be our last. The entire island is surrounded by crystal clear emerald water & unspoilt white sand beaches that wouldn’t go amiss on a postcard for the Caribbean.

During our trip we explored all of the main beaches and completed two of the must do walks, amongst others. One of the famous walks we did was the Vatersay Coastal Circuit. It includes several beautiful beaches, an abandoned croft, and views towards Sandray in the South and the climbing destination island, Pabbay. Mingulay was hiding behind Pabbay so sadly we couldn’t see it.

Vatersay Beaches

Vatersay Beaches

The second of the must-do walks was an ascent up the highest peak on Barra - Sheabhal (383m). The rugged hill overlooks Castlebay taking in views of Kisimul Castle and majority of the coastline around the island. Luckily for us, the visibility was so good that we were also rewarded with views of South Uist and The Isle of Skye in the distance.

Sheabhal

Sheabhal

We sampled some of the rock climbing on the island by bouldering on a developed boulder that overlooks the Airport beach and an undeveloped outcrop by the sea beside our holiday home. Due to the unsettled weather of heavy rain then golden sunshine most days we decided to hold off on the bigger routes on the western sea cliffs of the island for another visit.

Bouldering on Barra

Bouldering on Barra

The sea kayaking was utterly fantastic and relaxing. We could launch from our literal doorstep on a high tide after a gentle 15 metre walk with the boats and tour around the airport beach bay during high tides. We spent several days rock hopping along enjoying the sounds, scenery and sea life, which sadly only consisted of seaweed and oystercatchers for us, despite our neighbours having several sightings of otters in the bay outside our house! There were a number of great bays and inlets around the coast for us to investigate in the boats also. The only things missing were some natural arches and caves!

Keith and Tom enjoying the crystal clear water

Keith and Tom enjoying the crystal clear water

After our daily kayaking trips it was swim time for Tom, who is a keen open water swimmer. We practiced with different techniques to find out what worked best for a swimmer when following the kayak as Tom is soon to be safety boating for the St Kilda Swim 2014. 9 open water swimmers are planning to swim from the Isle of Harris to St Kilda on 28th June along with 3 supporting sea kayakers for charity…it’s never been attempted before!

Tom out for a swim

Tom out for a swim

One evening during low tide we ventured out onto the beach for a spot of cockle searching and managed to harvest enough for lunch the next day. TOP TIP: once you’ve collected enough, rinse them well then place them all in a large tub of fresh water with a generous palm full of salt and some fine oats and leave them overnight for them to filter through and clean themselves. The next day, boil in a pan until they’ve all opened, season and enjoy! Very yummy indeed.

While on any island it is also worth visiting the local fishing docks and finding out if you can buy fresh from them. We did from Barratlantic and came home with the freshest and tastiest Scallops, Langoustines, Prawn tails, Monkfish and Haddock. Utterly delicious. It was interesting to find out that the majority of their catch gets exported to France and Spain as the market in the UK is not that large!

All in all, a brilliant trip and definitely recommended!

Scallop Shells

Scallop Shells

Mental Health Awareness Week 2014

We are pleased to announce that Get Out Adventures Ltd are running a charity abseil event in Edinburgh on Sunday 18th May for mental health awareness week. This year’s theme is anxiety – so join us and overcome your anxious feelings by abseiling over the edge of a cliff!

We were approached by Jake McManus of Climb Out and asked if we would like to organise some form of climbing related challenge to help him with his goal – to encourage more people to get into outdoor sport as a means of helping with depression.

Jake has suffered from depression for the majority of his life, and in February 2013 he found rock climbing! Climbing and the outdoors have helped him greatly, and to raise awareness of his awesome discovery he built up the courage to post about his depression online to help others suffering from similar issues.

I first got in touch with Jake several months ago after coming across one of his blog posts on Facebook. I found him so inspiring that I simply wrote to him to tell him I thought what he was doing was amazing and to keep up the good work and we have been in touch ever since.

You can check out Jake’s website here: www.climbout.co.uk

We will be announcing more details for our charity abseil challenge soon so please follow us on Facebook and Twitter or subscribe to our blog to stay up to date.

You can find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week by visiting: www.mentalhealth.org.uk

MTA