Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Lushness in the Mercantour

Cabane du Talon
I'm back home after a couple of weeks in Scotland and there has obviously been some rain when I was away. Today, I had a nice hike in the Mercantour national park; everything is very green and it looks more like Switzerland than the south of France. I avoided the tourist zone around the Lac d' Allos and only saw one other hiker in a 6 hour day.  

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The West Highland Way

I haven't lived in Scotland for 34 years, and lots of things have happened since I left. One of them is the West Highland Way (WHW), a nearly 100 mile super-scenic hike completed by 30,000 people each year. Today my son and I wanted some gentle exercise (it was an almost unprecedented 26C / 79 F in Glencoe!), so we explored a part of the WHW. 

We started from some lovely woods of Scots Pines at Inveroran and followed the way for a couple of hours across Rannoch Moor, had lunch and came back. The route was very easy, it followed Telford's road, created in the early 19th century, still 'the road' into the 20th century and looking good today.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Agag's Groove

Etienne emerges from the top of Agag's Groove
onto the easy ground of Crowberry Ridge.
I'm on a break in Scotland with my family, and visits back home are always a little bit nostalgic. This was even more the case today. 

I took my son on his first rock climb on a mountain. We did Agag's Groove, a real classic route on Buchaille Etive Mhor in Glencoe - steep, exposed, sensational but not terribly hard. Forty years ago, it was one of my first climbs and I remember it very well. Revisiting it today felt strange and a little bit like completing a cycle. 

For Etienne, maybe (like me) it will be the first of many routes he does, but if he doesn't do any more rock climbs, at least he has done one of the best!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Life changes. Over the last couple of years, I've been flying less and less. It hasn't really been a conscious decision, it's more a matter of finding other things more attractive. And like many changes, it might reverse itself.

When I started this blog, it was very much about flying. I just checked and the first 20 or so posts were all flight related. But flying has become a smaller part of my life now, so what to do about this blog?

I'm currently minded to use it as a sort of 'public outdoor diary' - whether flying, hiking, skiing, cycling, snow-shoeing, rock-climbing or whatever. It allows me to look back at previous events (and to check details like how the scenery looked given the rainfall or when I did something). So that's my current intent!