Al pointing at volcanic rocks

Some participants have been kind enough to send me in reviews and comments on the various walks that Hills of Hame offers. Thanks to everyone who has given me feedback, either for general sharing or via my Mountain Training Association DLOG referees page. If you are a MTA member and would like to be able to see all my DLOG referees reports, please get in touch and I can arrange access.

Dr Jason Gilchrist, Lecturer in Ecology (3/19)

Thanks for today. I enjoyed it and I am sure that the students did too. Really informative – on geology, ecology, heritage and palaeontology. I am sure that the students appreciate the integration of disciplines (especially in the context of guiding and interpretation) that you provided, the enthusiasm that you pervaded, and the discussion of the issues.

Al replies: Thanks for coming out to explore the links between geodiversity and biodiversity with your students. Your photos of the day on your Twitter timeline (@jgilchrist13) were excellent. Thanks for posting those.

Liberton After School Club (LASC) Young Navigators Activities around Harlaw, Pentlands (7/16)

Staff – An exciting new experience.The leader had lots of knowledge of the area and was very patient with the children, giving them time to explore and was able to answer all the questions.
Kids – Orienteering is fun, a really nice place, enjoyed the walk, lots of fresh air and exercise, got to climb trees and learned lots about nature.

John W. Pentlands MTA CPD day (2/17)

Review on John’s site, with plenty of pictures from the day.

Ian M. Moffat Dale MTA CPD day (11/16)

I spent a day with Al in November 2016 in the Moffat Dale where the weather was pretty bad, wet and windy all day, however Al had planned the day well and we looked at 2 different areas in the relatively sheltered glens avoiding the high tops. The day was spent mainly looking at the geology of the area, Al’s ability to convey information is excellent very much laid back & putting you at ease but with an unquestionable level of knowledge in this field. I am currently aiming for SML assessment and although I have done the usual reading Al was able to de mystify plenty and put geological features into lay man’s terms by practically pointing out examples on the ground. The day did all that was expected & more in a interesting, entertaining and engaging manner despite the poor weather. I had a thoroughly good day in good company with wide and diverse conversations & I learned plenty.

Fiona R. Pentlands MTA CPD day (2015)

We had a mixture of sunshine/showers throughout the day but the main issue was the strong (and rather cold) wind which meant Alistair had to choose our stopping points carefully to ensure we didn’t get too cold. Alistair’s choice of lunch spot was just perfect, behind a big boulder to provide us with as much shelter as possible. Throughout the day he looked after the group well and kept a good balance between stopping to discuss different features that we passed and keeping us moving. Personally, I’d be very happy to spend a day on the hills with Alistair again. His engaging style and depth of knowledge makes for a very interesting day out. I felt safe and well looked after as an attendee at his workshops and would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending him to others in future.

Fiona was also good enough to do a review of a MTA CPD evening that I ran in 2015 in Holyrood Park for the Mountain Training Association website

Bert H. Pentlands MTA CPD Day (1/17)

Another Mountain Training Association hit yesterday, with a walk in the Pentlands in the company of colleagues in the [Mountain Training] Association and Al McGowan, a geologist & palaeontologist, based in the capital [Edinburgh]. Dr. McGowan provided the attendees with an insight in to the geology and physical geography of the Pentlands, his involvement in footpath construction on the range and also his participation in the “Carnethy 5 Hill Race”. This was an extremely informative day and any Group wishing to expand on an outing in to the Pentlands might wish to consider using Al’s services.


Al is a Summer Mountain Leader
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