Thursday, 29 November 2007


Today Kenny Grant and I decided to go and check out Ben Nevis North Face to see if we could get a climb in. On the walk in from the car park, we were greeted by a light snow blizzard which gave the ground and the crag even more snow cover. We walked up into Coire na Ciste and headed up to Number Three Gully Buttress and climbed Babylon (VII,8**). This route was amazing. The protection was pretty good, bomber where we needed it and the climbing was challenging and sustained. This is by far he hardest route I have climbed to date, and by far one of my most favourite and memorable. During the climb the weather held out very nicely, calm most of the day, a couple of snow showers here and there. The route itself was in good nick. A little bit mushy lower down but good build up higher up and plenty of rhyme. It got dark as we topped out, we abseiled down Number Three Gully to our sacks and headed back to the van.

Monday, 26 November 2007

Little bit of Nookie

After a weekend off work spent with the family in Glasgow (which I nearly abandoned due to tempting climbing conditions!), I managed to scrape an extra day off so I could get out for a climb. Today Joe Adams and I ventured into the Northern Corries, which was, as always, a stunning sight. Cloud level was low as we arrived with blue skies trying to squeeze through with little success, and as the day progressed the cloud base dropped until visibility was pretty poor. We climbed Invernookie (III,4*) on Coire an t'Sneachda which was a pleasant route with some great technical 4 moves. The mountain was plastered with snow as was the route, which made gear finding less than easy, but generally there was gear where I wanted it. This was Joe's first ever winter climb, and an appropriate one as it had many difficulties and obstacles for him to solve, he seemed very confident when he was climbing (just wouldn't stop moaning about his aching calf muscles!-) and enjoyed his first day out very much. So much that he snored all the way home!

Friday, 16 November 2007

Back to the Gorms

After a successful day yesterday, Kenny Grant and I were keen to get back out to the Northern Corries and ascend another line. We decided to head into Coire an Lochain, but we were not sure what line to do, until we had a closer look. As we arrived, the crag looked very attractive and we ended up climbing The Migrant (VI,7**). This spectacular 100m route had some very good climbing and some very 'interesting' situations. I lead the first pitch which was quite tricky and Kenny finished the route off with some amazing climbing. Conditions were good, however we were racing against time as the crag was thawing. We finished the route and descended back down to our bags via The Couloir (I*) and walked back to the van in darkness. Another great day with some pretty serious moments.

1st winter climb this season

Yesterday Kenny Grant, Tom Kilby and I, ventured out to the Northern Corries of Cairn Gorm in the hope of finding some climbable lines. After our 6.30am start, we were all very optimistic and very excited, however on the drive there, we were beginning to wonder if there was going to be any snow?! We had our rock climbing shoes just in case, so we could tick a few routes at Creag Dubh if needed. As we approached there was a cloud inversion, so the corries were not visible. We got to the car part to see Andy Nisbet getting geared up so we did the same. As we got in view of the coire, we realised it was a winter wonderland! We marched up to the crag and decided to climb The Seam (IV/5*) as it was quite high up and also short (we were pushed for time). This was Toms first ever winter climb so Kenny and I took turns in giving him some movement coaching and useful tips for being out in winter. Tom climbed very well, and thoroughly enjoyed the day. I lead up the first pitch and Kenny finished the route climbing up the chimney fault (crux pitch), I had previously done this route last winter so I climbed next to Tom giving some hints when needed. Great day out. The route is short but sweet.