Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Today Kenny and I headed out to the Cairngorms early doors to meet up with Andy. The forecast was meant to be quite cold but we recorded temps of 4oc at the car park and only 1oc on the top of the route. It was raining at the car park but we still headed into Coire an T-sneachda. As the weather was pretty miserable we headed up to the Mess of Pottage and quickly climbed The Message (IV,6). Kenny shot up the 1st pitch, 1 shot up the second and Andy shot up the third. We got up the route super quick and the headed back to the cars, back down for 1pm. Despite it being quite warm the route was pretty firm, soft and damp in a couple of places but not worth writing home about! If we have a cold night it would be ace tomorrow.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Langdale Bouldering

Today was another cold crisp blue sky day in the Lakes, hardly a breath of wind. Dave and I decided to head out for a spot of bouldering at the Langdale boulders as they were sitting in the sun most of the day. We had the boulders to ourselfs until a strong team from Ambleside came down and gave us all the crutial beta we needed on the problems we couldnt do. Some of the lines were still damp, but avoidble. Good day with a reasonable amount of skin loss.

Thursday, 10 December 2009


I am currently based in the Lakes for a couple of weeks before I go on holiday to Morocco. Today I had the morning free so I headed up Blencathra, a hill I haven't been up for about 8 years! I headed up via Sharp edge which was like verglass underfoot with the combination of polish and dampness. One team backed of as I slid past them like Bambi on ice! I always seem to slip when someone is watching! From the top of this grade 1 scramble I walked onto the summit passing some small patches of snow on some east facing recesses. From the summit I headed SE down Hallsfell Ridge, another interesting grade 1 scramble but also very slippy. Passed a couple of teams coming up and going down. Very warm day with little wind and cloud patches were covering the tops. I think a session down at the wall is in order tonight.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Face Blasted on Aonach Beg

Today Jamie and I head off from Glen Nevis up to Raw Egg Buttress on Aonach Beg. The weather forcast suggested foul weather coming in at midday, so we had a super early start so we could walk in and get most of the climbing done before it got nasty. So we were planning on climbing Raw Egg Buttress (IV,4), however a quick change of line due to no turf pro, we made a bit of a varied journey through the crag and ended up climbing some pitches of REB, Top Gun (V,6) and also a pitch of ground, as far as I can see, hasnt been climbed (need to check). Has anyone got a good photo topo of the crag? The climbing was top quality, conditions were perfect, turf was bomber, belays spacious, ice was forming well and we were relatively sheltered from the wind until we got to the top. Well worth the walk in!

Monday, 30 November 2009

Cobwebs on the crampons - Gone!

Today Kenny and I had an early start with the head torches and shot up to Lost Valley Buttress. We set off on Neanderthal (VII,7), I lead the first pitch getting us up into the cave section. From here Kenny went for the traverse right but the condition weren't playing ball, everything was plastered in 'snice' (thanks Al, didn't know what that was called) which made the climbing a right pain in the backside. So we abbed off and headed round and climbed Sabre Tooth (IV,5), which was very steep and seemed abit harder than the suggested grade. Anyway after two pitches and lots more 'snice', we abbed off and headed back to the bags, it was getting late. So no routes completed but 3 pitches climbed, glad to be climbing in winter again!

Monday, 16 November 2009

Grey Corries

Today Dan and I loaded up the bikes and headed up to Corriechoille, up from Spean bridge. We cycled into Lairig Leacach Bothy, battling with a fierce headwind which really drained our energy levels. After having a bite to eat and getting psyched up for a walk, we stashed the bikes and headed up to Stob Ban (977m). We then decided to carry on, so we walked over to Stob Choire Claurigh (1177m) and onto Stob a' Choire Leith (1105m). We carried on along the ridge to some small summits, but time and energy levels were running out, (also Dan forgot his head torch) so we back tracked and headed back to the bothy and the bikes. A quick burn out to the car, after one puncture, resulted in a good day. It was super windy on the tops and wet, wasn't quite sleet or snow just fine rain. Quite a bit of snow on the north facing slopes and some of the wee lochains were frozen over.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Testing my new boots

Yesterday I recieved my new boots for the winter, Scarpa Phantom Lights, so fancied giving them a try out. Dan and I headed for Agag's Grove, which is a great mountain VD, but was even more exciting with big boots and wet rock. We climbed the route in 3 pitches, then after some more ascent, we traversed over to the top of Curved Ridge and decended this classic route. We only experienced a couple of showers, nothing worth writing home about, but the rock did feel a little slimey in places. We saw quite a few teams out on Curved Ridge, all having a good time!

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Wet on Beinn Eighe

Yesterday Al and I drove up to Torridon for a spot of climbing. We camped out over night and set out on foot this morning at 7.30. We knew it was going to be very wet and possibly snowy, so Al suggested East Buttress on the Triple Buttresses of Beinn Eighe. This 3 star diff doesn't get much harder in the wet but did seem a little harder at one point when I couldn't feel the rock because my hands were so cold. First round of hot aches for me today! We climbed 2 pitches from the base of the route and then moved together to the top. We topped out very quickly so Al suggested we nip up to Ruadh-stac Mor, a Munro neither of us have done. We headed back down to Loch Coire Mhic Fhearchair battling through heavy rain/sleet and some snow. On the way out we could see an obvious dusting on Liathach. Check out here to see what Al's got to say about it . . .

Friday, 30 October 2009

Wet day on the Buachaille

Today I was with Caroline who was really up for a stretch of the legs in the form of mountaineering. She is up from Norfolk with Steve and Stuart, both who wanted to go rock climbing, so Big Jamie took them to Huntlys. It rained on us most of the day but as we were moving all day it didn't affect us. We climbed up North buttress to the summit in 3 hours from the car had a quick bite to eat then headed down Curved Ridge in two and half hours back to the car. It was not weather for standing around so we did move pretty fast and got Caroline back to the Ice Factor for some bouldering. I cant climb at the wall because I've torn a ligament in my finger.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Out on the bike

Today Dan and I took the bikes out into the rain and the mud. We started off at the Braveheart car park, Glen Nevis and did a circuit around Cow Hill, just above Fort William. This brought us back to the car so we then rode over to the North Face car park at Torlundy planning to do a few routes at Nevis Range, but I fancied biking up to the CIC hut. So off we went steeply at first and worked our way up to the hut, we didn't see a soul. Whilst having a sandwich at the hut we saw one bald looking bloke heading up for a quick solo mission on Tower Ridge, we saw two coming down from the half way lochain and passed 3 climbers on their way up (staying at the CIC?). Back to the north Face car park, popped into Grahams in Inverlochy for a cupper then back to the car. A good 4 hours biking.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Scouts on Ben Nevis

Day two with the scouts and it was a different bunch from yesterday, but the same route for me. Fortunately it was sunny at first with a nice breeze throughout the day, unfortunately we hit the cloud at around 1000m so no view from the summit. A much busier day today from yesterday, probably 150 people on the tourist route.