Category Archives: Community

Love a good story – Dirtbag Diaries Podcast

Have you even been drawn in by a good book? You know the feeling… you can’t put it down and before you know it hours have gone by because you have been sucked into some riveting story. What about an heart pumping film… where everything else in life falls away and you seem to be apart of the plot flashing before your eyes. And then have you every been drawn in by a story on the radio or someone in person spinning a great tale around a campfire?


Well, if a good story gets you going then we suggest you check out: The Dirtbag Diaries Podcast in itunes or visit their website The Dirtbag Diaries! The stories are sent in by recreationalist, mountain guides, professional climbers, and of course those living the dirtbag lifestyle (i.e. living in a van down by the river:-).


If you are wondering where to start episode wise, here are a few of our favorites:


Dirt Bag Diaries

This episode is about an avalanche forecaster who finds himself in a serious pickle.  Anyone who works in winter will be able to identify with the story that unfolds!














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In this episode climbing legend and Frank Sander’s shares his journey as a climber, b&b owner and guide of the Devil’s Tower. And Tommy Caldwell reflects on the Dawn Wall, life and the changes that have overwhelmed him since his the project went viral.











Categories: Blog, Community, culture, James, podcast
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Bouldering Wall Part 2 – “Life-long learning” – another company value

Bouldering Wall - Imlil, High Atlas

Bouldering Wall – Imlil, High Atlas


As mentioned in the first post (Bouldering Wall Part 1), building community is a company value for The Mountain People and I wanted to expand on and share another value we hold as a company and community. We are committed to being “life-long learners” at TMP, and are always looking to grow our skills, better ourselves as climbers and people and a bouldering wall is a good example of a practical expression of such a value.


I personally love all disciplines of climbing from Scottish mixed and ice epics to bouldering to sport climbing to hard trad and if you stop and think, these disciplines all feed off each other.  They are all interconnected and the lessons you learn from one help you to reach more of your potential in another. For myself, bouldering has been one of the areas that I have neglected over the years and I am now on a quest to learn, develop, enjoy and grow in the discipline.   It has been noted by some of the top climbers in the world that bouldering is a key component to unlocking your full potential in other climbing disciplines. It provides one of the keys for the crux of a route – when you are at your limit and need every ounce of power you can summon. If you had a look into most of the homes of serious climbers such as Dave Macleod or Tommy Caldwell, you would find a training wall of some sort.


Again it may seem a bit odd to be talking about company values, climbing disciplines, and a bouldering walls all in the same post, but our actions flow from our values: those things we hold dear and sow our time and energy into.  For us it is important and a key value to keep growing and developing, and so we see a modest training wall in our compact office in a mountain village in Africa as small expression of two of our core values: community and a commitment to being life-long learners.   In my last post I will give the basics of building a wall and point you in the direction of some good free online resources!

Categories: Blog, Bouldering, Business, Community, Company Values, James, Morocco, Training
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Scotland Winter Trip Day 5 & Wrap-up

rachel and sam on stob ban

Rachel and Sam enjoying the North Ridge of Stob Bàn


Our annual Scotland Winter Community Event is now over for 2014, but we had a satisfying day out on the west coast in the Mamores. This was the fifth and last day of the trip, the aims of which have been to build relationships and have adventurous experiences, and we feel we have certainly met those objectives.


As the week progressed, and tiredness set in, we wanted a shorter day with some variety away from the Northern Corries. We felt that the North Ridge of Stob Bàn would fit the bill and offset the longer drive with a shorter day. This was the plan, at least, but the weather forecast did not live up to expectations and an accident on the A86 meant that it was the longest day of the week!


We steadily ascended the North Ridge, which was deeply covered in unconsolidated snow, although our progress was good. The difficulties increased towards the top of the ridge, at which point there were some mild expletives from one of the group – apparently Nick had not quite been transparent in his description of the day, which had swayed the particular member for one last blast! Nevertheless, the group enjoyed the exposure, which was short-lived.


Overall, it has been an excellent week. All have enjoyed the comforts and surroundings of a lovely, modern Scottish lodge, which have facilitated a great atmosphere. There have been many opportunities to catch up with old friends and get to know new acquaintances. And, of course, the hills have never disappointed, although the forecast has kept us on our toes and emphasised the need to be flexible.


We have pencilled in next year’s dates for Sunday 15 to Saturday 21 February, so if you have enjoyed reading about our exploits and the photos, do get in touch to be part of the community.



Enjoying the views on Stob Bàn



Marc, Sam and Rachel enjoying the scrambling on Stob Bàn



James keeps a beady eye on the group



The team in our lovely lodge for the week

Categories: Blog, Community, Mountaineering, Scotland, Simon, Winter

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Scotland Winter Trip Day 4


Chris and Maggie on Invernookie III,4, Coire an t-Sneachda


Today we had a nice mixture of activities happening on the fourth day of our Scotland Winter Community Event, the aims of which are to build relationships and have adventurous experiences. One team was mountaineering in the western part of the Northern Cairngorms and the second mixed climbing in Coire an t-Sneachda.


Nick and Simon led the first group on an ascent of Sgòr Gaoith, a fine Munro, the name of which translates as ‘peak of the winds’. The initial part of the climb was a wonderful walk through pine woods, and alongside Allt Ruadh, before breaking onto open hillside to gain the shoulder of Sgòr Gaoith (roughly pronounced ‘skoor gui’). By this point the visibility had closed in, so there were no views, and the team quickly regrouped before descending via Meall Buidhe. Despite the lack of any panoramas, it was an excellent day and very sociable with all in good spirits.


Meanwhile, in the Northern Corries, Chris and Maggie were out with James, who is working towards his MIC, and agreed to climb with them on an informal basis. After their abortive effort at Invernookie III, 4 the other day, Chris and Maggie joined forces with James, who led them smoothly and confidently through this well-known and -travelled Grade III in Coire an t-Sneachda. As has been widely reported, the crag is buried under good névé, but with few (obvious) placements for gear.


Tomorrow looks to hold the best forecast of the week, so everyone is hoping to travel a little further to Creag Meagaidh for more of a remote experience, which rewards a visit on every occasion.



Sam hits his stride



The team in the lovely Scots pine forest




Good views today at lower elevations to the Monadhliath



Sam and Rachel enjoying some quality time



Discussing the finer points of a topic of conversation



The whiteroom – again!



Nick, contemplating a banana



Chris and Maggie enjoying the lower portion of Invernookie III,4



The ever familiar walk-in to Coire an t-Sneachda

Categories: Blog, Community, Mountaineering, Scotland, Winter

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Scotland Winter Trip Day 3


marc and sam enjoying a whiteout on the cairngorm plateau

Whiteout conditions are fun


Today we had two teams out in the Northern Cairngorms on the third day of our Scotland winter Community Event, the aims of which are to build relationships and have adventurous experiences.


The first team, led by Nick and James, led a large party from Glenmore Lodge out through the Pass of Ryvoan and onto Bynack More. This gave the group a wonderful stroll through Scot’s pine forests as a warm-up before the long pull up to the summit. The weather and views were magnificent all day, with the worse of the weather lingering over the higher peaks to the West. A lucky break!


The second team took on a day of navigation on the plateau with Simon under the shadow of a challenging forecast, culminating with the mighty Ben Macdui. Initially, the westerly winds were very challenging on the Fiacaill a’ Choire Chais, but once on the plateau, there were brief breaks of sun and views, which was a great bonus. Sam and Marc did very well with their first taste of full-on navigation in whiteout conditions.


Tomorrow, the forecast is again challenging, but the aim is to keep some energy back for Friday, which promises to be a great day – cold, calm and sunny.



Suitably suited and booted for a day on the plateau



Somewhere on the way to Ben Macdui



A finer end to the day



Good snow cover on the Cairngorm plateau



Looking forward to a good day out on Bynack More



Bynack More looms with an impressive summit plume

Categories: Blog, Community, Mountaineering, Scotland, Winter

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