The last week or so there has been a rustle of internet activity, reports of the first winter climbs of the season are coming through with the Northern Corries being the usual favourite for some early season action. The recent Storm Abigail blew most of the leaves from the trees and deposited a reasonable amount of snow to around 700 meters. This week there are indications of a good cycle of temperatures rising and falling along with more rain, snow and wind to blow it onto all the faces and different aspects. We need this stormy weather early season as it saturates the ground and helps the turf freeze when the temperatures really plummet which may happen this coming weekend..? Of course everyone has their opinion on weather and what makes a good build up to winter, lets hope the newspapers are finally correct in saying this will be the  ‘worst on record’ – you mean best?!

Snow topped Mamore Mountains (photo: Insidethelens)

Snow topped Mamore Mountains (photo: Insidethelens)

I love a bit of early season winter action and listening to friends making plans to get out in the snow is pretty frustrating but, I have to take the positives in that my rehabilitation is going well and I am now able to swim, cycle, lift some weights and walk – allot. Eight weeks since surgery and I get very little pain, all the horrible neurological painkillers are in the bin and I finally feel like fitness and strength are returning to my legs. The success of the operation relies on being particularly careful with any impact upto 12 weeks post op. This rules out leading at the climbing wall until December but top roping some of the easier angle routes should get the green light when I see the physio tomorrow. Finding an accessible climbing wall is the next battle as the Ice Factor remains closed following the recent fire although they plan to reopen before the New Year – lets hope so.

Getting some mileage with the pup

Getting some mileage with the pup

This winter I plan on using a clever App which allows simple and quick video editing. The idea is to post at least one short video every few days on the Facebook page in conjunction with the usual daily blog posts arriving on here every time I am out in the mountains. I personally find mountain condition blogs very useful but have also fallen victim to someone else’s interpretation of what’s ‘in nick’ or not. Hopefully these short videos will give another perspective on what I may describe on my blog as ‘wild’ or ‘perfect’ conditions.

Quiet and colourful in the hills during November

Quiet and colourful in the hills during November