Hiking, Mountain Leader, Scottish Hills, Travelling

Exploring 2016

2016 was a busy year for me! Between changing posts at work and moving city, I have managed to fit a couple of adventures in. These were my favourite parts of 2016:

In February, I went to Glenmore lodge to try winter walking. With lots to learn, we spent two full days out around Cairngorm. Winter walking is definitely something I can see myself getting hooked on, and I would highly recommend getting yourself on an Intro course as a great start!

winter-pano

 

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I completed my first ever half marathon in June! In 2.04.36 I made my way around the Isle of Skye half marathon course. I was a bit sore after, having smashed my prediction by at least 20 minutes!

I used the trip up as an excuse to explore Skye a bit more too. Some friends joined Craig and I for the trip to Skye. Along the way we saw a few castles, swam in the fairy pools and in the sea, we camped out under the Cullin ridge and explored Portree. All while battling the midgies!

 

In August, Craig and I went to Star Surf Camp in Carcans. 10 hours of lessons in a week was a great way to start a brand new sport.  I fell off a lot the white wash and got totally wiped out on a few big waves. It probably felt a lot more impressive than it looked….

But it was totally worth it for the thrill of standing on my first green wave! All adrenaline, more terrifying than you ever expect it to be and it feels like you’re being flung along at 100mph. I couldn’t get enough of it!

I was too scared of losing my camera in the water, but we did spend a few days in Bordeaux before we headed home.

 

Another month, another challenge. This time, a DofE Diamond Challenge! 2016 was the 60th anniversary of the Award, and the Diamond Challenge was a call to raise money to support more young people getting involved in the DofE. With the Scotland team we set out on a tough one. From Ardnamurchan lighthouse to Spey Bay, we covered around 140 miles on the bikes and a further 40 miles in canoes. Owch! This took us 4 days, and I can’t say that I’ve been out on  my road bike since.

 

Alongside all of this, I definitely stuck to my resolution of getting out on the hill more. I spent a week in October up in Torridon and Cairngorm, and the rest of the year was dotted with hiking. I even tried a summit bivi for the first time!

 

Thanks to everyone who was part of my adventures in 2016! I’m looking forward to getting out and exploring even more this year.

See you on the hill.

Ainsley

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