Based in Aviemore, The Cairngorms, Highlands of Scotland.
Gary Hodgson runs Tarmachan Mountaineering, providing instruction and guided walking all year round. This is my regularly updated blog including the latest snow conditions in winter.
Saturday, 25 June 2016
THUNDER & LIGHTENING
Clouds cleared for those Mont Blanc views
Baguettes and coffee
Gear drying at the bus stop, as you do
We've been spoiled the last three days with hot sun and clear skies. Today was very different. Cooler and a cloudy start. The overnight thunderstorms returnd by late morning. Perfectly timed for our arrival on the Col de Balme. We received a heavy downpour, cloud, breezy and some thunder/lightening. Refuge was closed so many folk were huddled around the walls for some shelter. My group got some warm clothing on then we made a fast descent. By the time we got down to Charamillon the cloud lifted and we enjoyed the warmth of the sun plus some great views of Mont Blanc. We witnessed some arogant groups out on the hill today as they forged their way past my group claiming they had some right of way across the snowfields. This was no doubt due to their inadequate footwear and clothing ( approach style shoes on snow and plastic capes over shorts). On the col and way down I had six separate individuals asking for directions off the hill. One couple, separated from their group, were asking how to get down to Le Tour. The guy had a compass on full display around his neck, map in hand and stood 20 metres from a signpost displaying his intended destination! Another person with a TMB guidebook was also asking where he was stood ( standing next to the cafe at the top of a major cablecar). Good to know that my job may well be safe for a wee while yet :). Top marks for my group who coped well in the conditions. Tomorrow is our final day of the tour, Lac Blanc and some stupendous views over to Mont Blanc await, if the weather is kind to us.