May 2010 – May BH Snowdonia

No Comments Written by Tam on 04/05/2010 in past expeditions.

Tom^2, Chris^2, Marky, Ben, Adie and I went up to Gwern Gof Uchaf campsite at the foot of Tryfan for a fun weekend scrambling in Snowdonia. We had a great variety of weather including rain, hail, strong winds and some fantastic sunshine. Saturday we wandered round Llyn Ogwen, up past Llyn Idwal onto Y Garn and then across the Glyders. On Sunday we headed up towards Bryn Mawr before following the ridge onto Pen yr Ole Wen then across the tops over Carnedd Dafydd and Carnedd Llewelyn before descending along the Bwlch Eryl Farchog arete then a gentle stroll down Y Braich back to camp. Lots of other people took pics and ChrisH’s and TomH’s are up. TomE also put together a YouTube clip.

A great weekend all round. Thanks to everyone for coming :)

April 2010 – Easter snowy Ben Lawers attempt

No Comments Written by Tam on 07/04/2010 in past expeditions.

For Easter, we ditched on the snowholing idea and Adie and I headed up to the Ben Lawers area in Perthshire for a couple of nights out wildcamping with Ben, Chris, and chromakey. After a Thursday evening drive up to Manchester and a late night car-swap, we set off bright and early on Friday morning in good time to ditch the car beside the A827 near Carie and head for the hills at about 1430. We made it up for a cool wildcamp beside the Lawers Burn (flowing out of Lochan nan Cat) for the night. The peaks and even the cols of the ridge (~900m) were heavy with snow still, then further rain and snowfall overnight, and low cloud in the morning, made any prospects of heading higher a little out of reach, so we headed back down, playing on the steep snowy slopes and practising some ice-axe breaking.

Easter Sunday saw us drive up towards the visitors’ centre on the way up to Lochan na Lairige for a wander up onto Meall Liath for lunch before beer and tasty treats in the restaurant of the Cruachan Farm caravan and camping park and then a long drive back on Monday. Ta everyone for coming and hopefully see you on a mountainside somewhen soon :)

March 2010 – Ropework and snowholing with Talisman

No Comments Written by Tam on 09/03/2010 in past expeditions.

Ste, Adie and I went to the Cairngorms for 3 days with Ron Walker of Talisman Activities to learn some rope work skills and have some fun snowholing.

Ron did his own blog updates for the rope work day and the snowhole expedition. We had awesome weather, especially on the final day to walk back out, then spent hours in the pub (thanks for the Olde Bridge Inn recommendation, Ron!) debating the finer points of optimal snowhole configurations! I think we’re now bitten by the snowholing bug and fingers are crossed that there’s enough snow about at Easter to test another layout 😉

Aug / Sept 2009 – Chamonix-Zermatt Walkers’ Haute Route

No Comments Written by Tam on 13/09/2009 in past expeditions.
The Matterhorn

Marky, Roz, Adie and I walked the Chamonix to Zermatt Walkers’ Haute Route. We started in Champex, having walked the first 3 days of the route from Chamonix as part of the Tour du Mont Blanc a couple of years earlier. This is not the easiest route through the Alps, but an incredibly spectacular one, with high passes to cross most days, steep-sided valleys, amazing views of glaciers and lakes, and the Europaweg to finish off. Whilst away I did online blog updates whenever we had 3G connectivity, which also show our GPS position at the time.

June – Aug 2009 – HRP

No Comments Written by Tam on 13/09/2009 in past expeditions.
[day 20]

Over 42 days Adie and I walked the Haute Randonnee Pyreneenne from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, taking the highest route through the Pyrenees. We crossed the French / Spanish border numerous times and walked through the ski resorts of northern Andorra. Whilst away I did online blog updates whenever we had 3G connectivity, which also show our GPS position at the time. It’s an awesome, but very challenging route – only for the hardcore.

April 2009 – Easter – NW Lakes

No Comments Written by Tam on 28/04/2009 in past expeditions, walking.
Looking back down Hall's Fell Ridge

Camping at Dale Bottom Farm, with Marky and Roz, we went up Blencathra, but along Hall’s Fell Ridge rather than Sharp Edge, which was probably longer and more fun than Sharp Edge anyway. We then wandered along the ridge, taking in the views before a stroll across the tops and back down the valley to the West. Easter Sunday saw Marky and Roz heading home and Adie and I managed bacon and egg sandwiches from a trangia… Fantastic weather and a bit of mild sunburn to show for it 😉

March 2009 – snow Ben Macdui

No Comments Written by Tam on 22/03/2009 in past expeditions, walking.
Adie with 2 axes so I can get the camera out

Following the christening of crampons in a white out to summit the UK’s highest mountain last March, we headed out for the UK’s 2nd highest, Ben Macdui in the Cairngorms, Eastern Highlands, Scotland. We staying at Aviemore SYHA, which is one of the best Youth Hostels I’ve stayed at, and headed out from Cairn Gorm ski centre car park at 9am in the sunshine with a forecast of 70% chance of cloud free summits, to ascend into thick cloud, cold temperatures, an increasing wind, soaking rain, and poorer and poorer visibility until we could no longer even make out the footprints at our feet that we were following. We made it there and back though – in fact we made it all the way out without even digging out the GPS, and just walking blindly into the white on a compass bearing. 3.5 hours each way if you fancy it.

February 2009 – Patterdale, Angle Tarn, Hart Crag and Fairfield

No Comments Written by Tam on 14/03/2009 in past expeditions, walking.
A bit of sunshine on the tops

Ste, Adie and I went up to the Lakes for a weekend to make the most of a rare heavy snowfall in England, and to test out the crampons and axes. Had some technical car issues on the way up meaning we arrived at lunchtime on Saturday and hence just went for a short stroll up to Angle Tarn for lunch just in summer boots (to find it spectacularly frozen, and not a patch on the place we’ve paddled/swum in previous years!), before returning to Patterdale for beers. Sunday we managed a nice loop over Hart Crag and Fairfield (suggestion in March’s Trail magazine). No real snow below 500m, but well worth the trudge in winter boots as we found some decent deep stuff on the tops (see sunken axe pics!), and pretty hard in places, so we were grateful of the crampons and the boots to put them on. On the descent off Fairfield we could look down on Grizedale Tarn, and across up Dollywaggon Pike onto Helvellyn – a stark contrast to such views on previous visits. An exhausting but awesome weekend.

September 2008 – Trans-Cairngorm Trek

No Comments Written by Tam on 11/01/2009 in past expeditions, walking.

View across the tents, west up the River GairnAdie, Ste and I headed up to the Cairngorms, leaving a car in Aviemore and a car in Braemar to attempt an ambitious trans-Cairngorm trek. We had some nice weather although low cloud came down for the latter half of the week. Starting at Braemar and walking the eastern peaks is incredibly remote, compared to the well-walked Cairn Gorm / Ben Macdui area and the Braeriach ridge. We found some fantastic wild camp sites during the week, experienced some sub-zero temperatures on the tops overnight, visited the newly-furbished (now with chemical loo) Corrour bothy, and made it back out to Aviemore within the week. We might not have conquered all of the peaks that we were aiming for though 😉

June 2008 – GR20, Corsica

No Comments Written by Tam on 11/01/2009 in past expeditions, walking.

Day 12 (Refuge de Tighjettu - Refuge d'Asco Stagnu)Eating cheese in a mountain hut in France as we neared the end of the TMB last year, with a Turkish dude who didn’t like cheese, led to us finding out about the toughest long-distance trail in Europe.
Adie, Phil, Pink and I walked the 180km trail with 10000m of ascent over 16 days, south-north (Conca to Calenzana), saving the most fun and spectacular parts to the end, including the Cirque de la Solitude (day 12) and a day’s detour to take in Monte Cinto (2706m, day 13), Corsica’s highest mountain.
A challenging but incredibly fun walk which I would highly recommend, along with the local chestnut beer (Pietra) and Torra if you can track it down.