Monday, 9 June 2014

AMRT Sponsored Walk 2014

This year's Aberdeen Mountain Rescue Team sponsored walk took in a large horseshoe through the Glen Tanar estate, and as we did last year, the four elder members of the family were determined to complete it together.

We decided to drive to the finish from where we could get a shuttle bus to the start. As an added bonus, the bus was full and we got a ride in one of the team's Land Rovers instead - it turns out that the particular vehicle in question has reached the end of it's mountain rescue life and is up for sale - unfortunately, my sensible head (and my wife) tell me that I don't really need a 10 year old Defender with dodgy steering.

Our new car?

The walk itself started with a long steady climb with some great views looking back down over Loch Kinord and to Morven. It was a warm day but there was enough of a breeze that we didn't overheat.
Morven and Loch Kinord

From the top of the first climb, we then had a long downhill section towards the Water of Tanar with Mount Keen facing us.

Mount Keen

There was a short section alongside the river and then a wee climb up a boggy path until we joined another track that took us round the South of Black Craig and Clachan Yell and then back into the very pleasant Glen Tanar forest and back to the car park where they had set up a marquee for cakes, sandwiches, cups of tea and ice cream.
Action selfie!

We also picked up some first aid kits, beanie hats, a t-shirt and a water bottle so all-in-all, a fantastic day out with lots of goodies.

Throughout the walk, members of the AMRT were giving directions and handing out juice and sweets - all with a friendly smile. I hope I never need these guys to come and help me, but it's great to know that they're ready to help find and rescue people who get into trouble out on Scotland's hills - something that they need donations to be able to do, so please sponsor us by clicking on the button below.

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Thank you.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Pressendye Hill Race - Welcome to the Pleasuredome

So a brand new race, included as part of the Cosmics Summer Series due to the cancellation of the Durris Mast race. Unfortunately a bit further to travel than Durris which meant that only myself and Gary were there from Stonehaven.
We'd had a family walk up Pressendye at the end of last year (or start of this year, I can't remember) but the race route was slightly different, starting on the edge of the village of Tarland with a short road bit before turning onto a fairly narrow path through the trees which widened enough for overtaking quite soon. Not that I was doing any overtaking - I was just planning a nice steady race the whole way. After a bit, the route opened up a bit more onto a wide, grassy path through moorland, great to run back down I was thinking as I pushed on, run/walking towards the track where we would meet the route taken on our walk and where I knew I could run for a little bit before the last steep push to the top. Which was steeper and harder than I remembered so it was a great relief to round the trig point and start back down - an even bigger relief for a lady I'd been following all the way up but who really suffered and felt sick on the last climb, but then got a second wind and flew past me on the descent. I picked off a couple of runners on the way down which felt good and even had time to look up at the fantastic view - a panorama taking in Clachnaben, Mount Battock, Mount Keen, snowy Lochnagar, and nearby Morven.
So overall, I'd say this was a good wee race - a traditional up-and-back hill race with some steep climbs and fast, runnable descents with the bonus of some good views when you're not concentrating on your feet. It's just a shame that it felt such a long way from home.