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Friday, 14 December 2018

Festive winter cheer for winter skills!









A lot of snow forecast for this weekend and with already a good buildup in the gullies for winter climbing and plenty of good neve for winter skills. Conditions over Christmas (Xmas) and into the New Year are looking especially good. You can book your festive guiding and winter skills courses here :-)

Cairngorm's Northern Corries - A few pics from today and although they give a good idea of the refrozen snow and ground cover they don't show the strength of the wind which was well over 100 mph on the summit and funnelling down the coires. 

Soon to change though with SE gales and a lot of fresh snow soon to fall on the icy hard frozen ground creating interesting conditions, check out the SAIS which started today at https://www.sais.gov.uk/northern-cairngorms/

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Exploratory Winter Climbing access 5th Dec 2018










With a good frost over the past week it was time for an other early season winter climbing adventure with Scott to make access easier to some of the routes we've climbed over the past few years. It's always interesting to note the changes in the snow ice buildup throughout the winter season and in particular to find rap anchor point that wont be buried under metres of snow ice later in the season!!!

 I was last up this 300 metre gully line with clients in March 2018 and we had superb snow ice conditions from the Strath Nethy all the to Cnap Choire Spreidhe summit, see video here.

However today the buildup was very limited which made anchor selection easier as long as a you avoided the partially frozen shattered and loose rock. We traversed in to avoid the fist 150 metre of abseiling which would likely damage the ground with out it's thick mantle of snow ice.

The first anchor point on the terrace, I'd spotted last March was obvious, however the following anchor points are situated in overhanging caves which had been completely buried in thick snow ice last March and will need re-positioned later but at least we now have relatively easy access!!

After the third and final 50 metre abseil we headed back up before taking another more direct line to the summit on superb frozen snow and turf.



A short video can be seen here and it is worth comparing with last March's blog and March 2018's video here!





Sunday, 25 November 2018

Spanish Hot Rock







We're currently in Spain enjoying our annual Hot Rock trip so here are a few photos of our local mountain and crags from yesterday :-)

We've been coming to Spain for well over two decades and know the area well so guided 'Hot Rock' climbing trips as well as our usual guided winter climbing, winter skills and winter mountaineering courses can all be booked online here.

New Year Winter Skills bookings




With snow falling in the Scottish mountains and the recent winter climbing action it's time to think about practising the essential Winter Skills as we head into Xmas and the New Year.

We only have a couple of places left on our New Year Winter Skills course starting on the 3rd January 2019 so if thinking of a course, make sure you book your place soon!

Places can be booked direct online here.

Sunday, 4 November 2018

What a difference a day makes!

Cairngorm winter conditions 4th Nov 2018

Cairngorm winter conditions 4th Nov 2018

Cairngorm winter conditions 2nd Nov 2018

Cairngorm winter conditions 2nd Nov 2018

Cairngorm winter conditions 2nd Nov 2018

Cairngorm winter conditions 2nd Nov 2018


Great winter conditions all last week until Friday before a major thaw set in on Saturday, this is what's left on Sunday afternoon, this is normal!

In most years this is the normal pattern as the days shorten and the ground cools with winter coming and going in October through November before becoming firmly establish around Christmas and the New Year and the start of our open winter skills and winter mountaineering courses.

During early December if winter conditions are suitable, we run our winter skills course on demand and for private groups.

Sunday, 28 October 2018

A stunning start to the winter season

The start of winter in the Cairngorms

The start of winter in the Cairngorms looking towards Fiacaill Ridge


The Cairngorm plateau and the start of winter

The start of winter and the path from the ski area to the summit of Cairngorm

winter rime ice on Cairngorm

A wintry Cairngorm plateau November 2018

Coire an t-Sneachda in October 2018

A well rimed summit weather station on Cairngorm

Cairngorm's Fiacaill Ridge in October 2018

A stunning start to the winter season and a chance to check out the snow cover on our local hills for winter skills, climbing and skiing - cover is surprisingly good :-)

We have also recently updated our website with our Scottish winter skills and winter mountaineering course dates for 2019 and these can be booked direct from the website.

We're running a few winter skills weekends in early December as well as Christmas and New Year winter skills and winter mountaineering courses.

If the dates or standard winter courses don't suit or for winter climbing we can easily organise private guiding and instruction at a date to suit.

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Christmas and New Year 2019 Winter Skills course dates

Xmas and Hogmanay winter skills courses in Cairngorm near Aviemore

Cairngorm winter skills courses

Cairngorm winter skills and winter mountaineering courses

Cairngorm winter skills and winter mountaineering courses

Cairngorm winter skills and winter mountaineering courses

Cairngorm winter skills and winter mountaineering courses

Now the snow has arrived in the Scottish mountains a quick heads up to say that the winter skills course date calendar for 2018-2019 can be viewed and booked online via our website at https://www.talisman-activities.co.uk/dates

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Alpine training summer Scottish winter climbing!


Nice to see Henri and Valerie again and two very contrasting days of pre-alpine training for their trip to Mont Blanc in two weeks time!


Alpine training on Cairngorms Fiacail Ridge


Alpine training on Cairngorms Fiacail Ridge

Day one sun and dry rock on Fiacaill Ridge Direct and Day two sleet, snow and blizzards climbing Jacob's Ladder as can be seen in the video above!


Guided winter climbing in Jacob's Ladder in the Cairngorms in June

Guided summer winter climbing in Jacob's Ladder in the Cairngorms

Heading towards the summit of Cairngorm in June

Summit of Cairngorm in June

Guided summer winter climbing in Jacob's Ladder in the Cairngorms

Henri and Valerie's loved it especially the second day climbing Jacob's Ladder in the blizzard :-)
More details and photos on our Facebook album here