DSC_1569…  has been a little unpredictable this year. After a wonderful family holiday in Menorca I came back to similar conditions here in the Northwest.  Clear, crisp and sunny days.  Absolutely perfect for an Association of Mountaineering Instructors (AMI) coaching day led by Paul from GoFurtherScotland.  We visited the sport crags – Creag na Luch and Creag nan Cadhag, both originally equipped by Paul himself.  Lots to think about and now lots to offer clients on climbing courses too! Just in case I got too comfy the following weekend I headed to snow squalls (and sun) on Meall a Buachaille, Glenmore to lead a day on managing mountain walking groups for High Life Highland Outdoor Education.  Myself and the six staff from Millburn Academy had a great day looking at preparation for leading pupils on this route; emergency procedures, navigation and the importance of good local knowledge. Winter’s temporary return had me a little anxious about a day mountain biking with some of my outdoor education pupils at Gairloch High School and tutor Nicki Diggins and her outdoor pursuits students from Inverness College,UHI.  However a reliable weather forecast suggested that we would be able to make our 12km ride before the rain and wind really kicked in.  Both of us enjoyed stepping back a bit to enjoy watching how skilled and confident they had all become over the session.  Hopefully this will now become a regular event? The unsettled weather in the last few days of April made it difficult for Nathan and I to choose venues for him to develop his own course in coaching climbing.  In the end we used the excellent Gairloch Climbing Wall for a short evening session then followed it up at the world class bouldering venue of the Celtic Jumble in Torridon.  Nathan hopes to use some of the photos in his new ‘stone play‘ website; I hope so as I am pretty chuffed with some of the ones I took, especially the light and shade on the Celtic Boulder with snow-capped mountains and nuked trees in the background. Just as I finish this blog Nathan is on Sgurr nan Fheadain with return client Nick, whilst Kirsty and Iain have started our SYHA Torridon Munros course in 40-50mph easterlies…  both adventures I am sure. blog by Jim Sutherland nineonesix-guiding


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