Season’s Greetings

Well, that day is almost upon us.

 Surely most people in the UK will be taking it easy once the parcels are opened and lunch is on the way.
I really hope all of my friends and fellow mountain lovers have a truly restful time and take the opportunity to recharge batteries and plan some rewarding days on the hills. Spare a thought for those that do have to work at Christmas and New Year especially those Mountain Rescue volunteers who have had a busy time round here lately.
I have had a good year. It is now 14 months since I sold my retail business and took on a less demanding but more meaningful role in life. I have not only been able to spend more time with my family but I have been able to enjoy the great outdoors more often with my friends, Freetime Outdoors clients, Mountain Leader and Duke of Edinburgh  candidates not to forget my fellow outdoor professionals who I have enjoyed working with immensely.
You will no doubt know that Cumbria is in the early process of recovering from the recent floods. Significant damage has occurred to many homes and business right across the county and a fund has been established to ease the burden of many of those affected. Furthermore a group of outdoor people are organising a day of support also to raise funds. A Grand Day Out In Cumbria event is scheduled for 16th January. There are information posts on Facebook for both of these. I hope to be arranging a walk on this day so if you are interested please get in touch. The cost will be £5.00 per head and will take place in the north Pennines not far from Brampton.
On the fells there have been some significant changes due to the severe weather so please do be careful out there when crossing new scree slopes and washout areas. Be aware too of path damage and bridge failures that could affect your route in the hills.
For Freetime Outdoors 2016 should continue with plenty of activity. As well as the evening classes at Trinity there will be opportunities for navigation and skills days coming along. Keep an eye out on my Facebook page or website for more info or simply get in touch for a chat!
That’s enough from me for one year. Back to the mince pies!
Take care.
All the best for 2016,
Phil Tinning
P.S. the attached photo was taken by me from Great End, Borrowdale on 4th February 2015. Plenty of time for the snow to come yet!

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