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Bumper Winter Lecture programme from MCofS

Winter 2010 sees the introduction of a new expanded MCofS Winter Lecture Series. Following on from the success at the Clachaig Inn each winter, the free lectures will now run from three different locations.

The Clachaig Inn, Glencoe (Tuesday evenings)

The Mountain Cafe, Aviemore (Wednesday evenings)

The Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team Base (Thursday evenings)

The focus of the lectures is to entertain and educate on winter mountain safety. The MCofS has chosen an inspiring array of who are guaranteed to provide an entertaining night out. All the speakers have spent many years in the mountains and will draw upon their own experiences to illustrate hard lessons learnt. Each presentation will last approx 45 minutes and there will be opportunity at the end of each evening for any questions. Whether you are a hardened climber, or up in the Highlands for your first winter experience, you can ensure a good night out and learn something new.

The MCofS Winter Lecture Series is free of charge and open to all.

The Clachaig Inn, Glencoe
The Clachaig is the birthplace of the Winter Lecture Series. Tuesday evenings from the 2nd February see the return of the series for a six week period. The evening talks will begin promptly at 20.00, however feel free to arrive well in advance to enjoy a bar meal and a pint or two. This winter’s speakers are:

2nd February & 9th February Roger Wild, IFMGA mountain guide and ex Mountain Safety Advisor with the MCofS. Roger has a wealth of Scottish mountaineering experience to draw upon. Roger will be talking about Winter Mountain Navigation.

16th February & 23rd February Nick Carter.  Nick has climbed extensively around the world since the early 80’s, but is probably most well known for his hard winter ascents. Nick climbs up to grade VIII in Scotland including the first winter ascent of Hung, Drawn and Quartered (VIII,8) and the second winter ascent of Sidewinder (VII,8) on Ben Nevis and Genesis (VII,7) on Beinn Bhan. As we all know, to be successful and safe climbing in Scottish Winter you need to be much more than a ‘hot shot’ climber. Getting to and from the routes can be a challenge in itself. Nick will share some of his experiences with us.

2nd March & 9th March Rosie Goolden. Rosie is a well known face in the Scottish winter mountaineering/climbing scene and one of only a handful of female MIC’s. She has spent the last 10 years guiding in Scottish Winter and was the founder of the hugely successful initiative ‘Chicks Unleashed’.

The Mountain Cafe, Aviemore
This famous cafe must be the perfect venue to spend a winters evening after a day on the hill. The cafe will be open from 18.30 onwards – use the entrance around the left hand side of the building. Food is available at 19.00; there will be a choice of meat or veggie at an excellent price of £8. The evening talk will begin promptly at 20.00. The Mountain Cafe winter lecture series will run on Wednesday evenings for eight consecutive weeks from 20th January 2010. This winter’s speakers are:

20th January & 27th January Ian Sherrington, IFMGA Mountain Guide and Senior Instructor at Glenmore Lodge. Ian has extensive experience of mountaineering, climbing and skiing in Scotland and is looking forward to sharing some of his adventures with you.

3rd February, 17th February & 3rd March Simon Steer, Simon combines his day job in the Scottish Government with the role of Deputy Team Leader of the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team. He relaxes by climbing hills slowly; making easy rock or ice routes look hard; falling off his mountain bike and posing as a ski patroller on Cairngorm. He also lectures on wilderness emergency care to anyone willing to listen. In his 14 years in the rescue team, Simon has been involved in a great many incidents (some funny, some not) and will be sharing some of those tales with you.

10th February & 10th March David (Heavy) Whalley – this is Mr Mountain Rescue! What Heavy hasn’t been involved with in his 37 years in mountain rescue isn’t worth knowing about. Heavy spent his working life in the RAF and rose to the dizzy heights of Team Leader for both the Kinloss and Leuchars Mountain Rescue Teams. He is now retired from the RAF and spends his spare time collating the Scottish Accident Statistics for the Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland and is still active in mountain rescue as a member of the Torridon Team. Heavy is a larger than life character and guaranteed to provide an entertaining evening.

Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team Base, Fort William
This venue is the fantastic, new purpose built facility for the Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team, located on the Ben Nevis Industrial Estate on the north side of the town. The LMRT have kindly opened their doors to the public to host the Thursday evening lectures. The lectures will run for eight consecutive weeks from Thursday 21st January, starting at 20.00. The lectures are free, but visitors may wish to make a donation to the Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team.This winter’s speakers are:
21st Jan & 25th Feb Cameron McNeish. Cameron is well known for his work with media, he regularly appears on our TV screens with classics such as his walk through the Far North West of Scotland. Cameron manages to juggle his day job (editing TGO Magazine) with an active and enthusiastic love of the Scottish Hills.

28th Jan & 11th Feb Stuart Johnston. Stuart has been an MIC for many years and now runs his own successful mountain training business ‘Stuart Johnston Mountaineering’. He balances this with his commitment as a member of the Tayside Mountain Rescue Team and Training Officer for the Mountain Rescue Committee for Scotland.

18th Feb & 11th Mar Di Gilbert. Di is another one of those rare female MIC’s. Alongside her many years experience climbing in the Scottish Mountains, Di has made many ascents in the greater ranges including Denali and Everest. Her vibrant personality and enthusiasm for the Scottish Mountains will ensure an entertaining and informative evening.

4th Feb & 4th Mar Richard Bentley.  A well known MIC, Richard has been running his own mountaineering business for many years from the foot of Ben Nevis. Richard has climbed throughout the world but is probably best known around Scotland for his coaching and teaching of winter climbing, his love of hard mixed climbing and his knowledge of Ben Nevis in Winter. He is a member of the Lochaber Mountain rescue team and occasionally masquerades as a Ski Patroller on Aonach Mor!

In the past, these events have been fun evenings, often with a chance to chat with like-minded souls and enjoy a drink before or after. In the meantime, if you want to prepare for the winter conditions later on, why not have a look at the great winter safety information from the MCofS which can be found on this page of  Walkhighlands.

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Walking can be dangerous and is done entirely at your own risk. Information is provided free of charge; it is each walker's responsibility to check it and navigate using a map and compass.