Despite being the most prominent and iconic hill in eastern Aberdeenshire, I hadn’t been up here in many years, a bout of decent spring weather coincided with Aberdeen hillwalking club’s trip there, so I made my way down to the bus leaving at a spring-clocks-forward civilised 9am start.

Although the trip had two options, one around the base, one over the top, there’s always a third: “ running about like a dafty off-route looking for photo-treasure in hidden places”. I’d had a look at the excellent and comprehensive Baillies of Bennachie website, which has all manner of interesting facts of the hill, I had every intention of trying to find a few of the lesser known spots. Continue reading “Bennachie”


My first winter trip of the season with the Cairngorm Club is up to Brown Cow Hill and a few others beside Corgarff Castle. I’m not familiar with it, and it has a reputation as a not hugely exciting corbett, but a chance to have a closer look at the castle of a thousand winter photos that I’ve passed many times en route deeper into the mountains, and test out some winter gear. Weather forecast was clear, snow had been falling in the last few weeks so hopefully a winter wonderland awaited.

It’s not often on a day out that you’re ‘Lost’ straight away, but the bus having stopped for a toilet break at Strathdon, I quickly nipped 20m down the street to the war memorial, where thanks to the sign, you are no longer lost but have found Lost.


Continue reading “Corgarff”

Illuminator 2017

Preparation for my last race of the year, and my second attempt at the Illuminator Run, wasn’t ideal. I’d picked up an ankle injury playing football 3 weeks before the event which had curtailed training, and then a cold the week before was still working it’s way out of my system. My initial target of a top 10% finish, which would likely require a 15% improvement on the time of 2’38 from last year, seemed in doubt.

However, on the plus side I was running substantially faster at all distances than a year ago, and being my second attempt at Illuminator meant I knew what to expect, and being a bit more race savvy in general meant I now had a strategy other than ‘make it to the finish line’. Continue reading “Illuminator 2017”

Cairn Gorm to Linn O’Dee

Today’s trip is the Cairngorm Club’s annual traverse of the Cairngorms. They choose a different route each year but it’s always a through route crossing a chunk of the Cairngorms. Conditions are looking good though as the bus climbs up to the Cairn Gorm ski centre car park, the driver reports the wind is buffeting the bus.

I get a good view down to the recently visited Loch Morlich


Continue reading “Cairn Gorm to Linn O’Dee”