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Over the next few months we will be taking a look at what some of our staff have been getting up to when they’re away from the office.

Senior Engineer Ian Hylands has just returned from a winter mountaineering trip to Scotland with his Dad. Below he talks about his weekend away.

‘As my Dad was over from Texas (In the States) we decided to make the most of his visit and take a trip up to Scotland. We had originally made big plans but due to the iffy weather forecast we scaled back our ambitions slightly and decided to do some walking in the Cairngorms.

We started out just as it was getting dark and walked to our first overnight stop by starlight. As it was a clear night we were lucky enough to spot a number of shooting stars along the way as well as Mars, Venus and Jupiter. Arriving at our chosen spot we threw up our tent and settled in for the night.

We woke up the next morning to glorious sunshine and had a leisurely start before restarting our walk. By the afternoon it had clouded over and we quickened our pace up to Devil’s Point. As we reached the summit the clouds had begun to part and we were treated to some good views up the Lairig Ghru. On the way back down we found an excuse to use our crampons and axes, descending a snow slope to save some time.

The next day dawned in grey misery and we didn’t leave until lunchtime when the weather had improved. As we started to head back we took some time to take shots of the scenery when the sunshine managed to poke out. We trudged our way down to the overnight hut which we shared our last night with 3 cheerful Scots and a healthy supply of alcohol.

Waking up the day after, we headed back to the car and started the long drive back to Sheffield. It wasn’t the most productive or punishing trip we have ever made together but it was never the less memorable. Can’t wait to get planning our next adventure!’

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