Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Intorduction to lead climbing Day 2

Today we headed down to Glen Nevis to build on the skills that were covered yesterday and to gradually add to what they have learnt. We climbed 9 pitches looking mostly at protection selection and placement, belay building and stance management. I was working with Ali and Emily and they both did their first lead. We climbed 3 Pines, Right Wall (repton), Right Wall (styx) and Pinnacle Ridge. It was quite windy today which was drying out the crag nicely. Our final day is on Friday after the group have done two days hill walking and navigation practice.

Monday, 27 April 2009

Introduction to lead climbing Day 1

Today I was out with a group of students from Lochaber College on the Outdoor Education Course. This is a 3 day course and hopefully by the end the students will be ready to lead routes unsupervised. Today we went up to Kingussie Crag and climbed several routes on front face of the upper tier. We climbed Little Wall (Diff*), The Groove (Hard Severe**), The Block (Very Difficult), The Slab (Difficult **), Right-hand Crack (HVS 5A**) and finished on First Pull (VS 4C). The rock was nice and dry, we had no rain, only a cold breeze.

Duke of Edinburgh bronze practice expedition

Last Friday, I set off with Kinlochleven High School D of E group for their first experience of walking with heavy rucksacks and camping in the wild. The group consisted of 10 students and two teachers. We got the train from Fort William and took the short journey to Corrour Station. From here we headed NW to Loch Treig and stopped for lunch. After lunch the group navigated W past Creaguaineach Lodge, down to Staoineag Bothie and onto Luibeilt where we set up camp for the night. The next day we headed SW back to Kinlochleven along Loch Eildh Mor. The groups were doing studies on the Flora and Fauna en-route, coming across common butterwort, primrose, iris, ladies mantle and many more which were starting to make appearances this spring. Unfortunately the group were looking forward to seeing some deer but never did. Next up for these guys will be their assessment expedition.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Glen Nevis

Today I went climbing with two clients who were really keen to learn to climb trad. Both were indoor climbers and had some experience sport climbing but had never been on the lead with trad gear. We started off on Pinnacle ridge, we climbed this in 3 pitches in series so they both got a chance to remove protection and build belays. We then walked up the The Gutter and Ben led the first pitch and Sarah led the second and third with me next to them on a fixed line. Once we topped out we walked down for a bite to eat and then agreed to climb Resurrection. I led them up in parallel and then we abseiled down form the tree. With only a short amount of time left we finished with Ben leading Tear on SW buttress and Sarah seconding and then they set up an abseil to return to the bags. It was very warm and slightly cloudy today, with lots of sunny spells. After returning the clients to their cars I met up with Dan and Jamie and we went for a evening cragging. I led them up a HVS on Repton, Jamie led up Scratch and then Dan did his first lead on Right Wall.

Sunday, 19 April 2009


After work today Dan and I popped up to Glen Nevis to finish some unfinished business. We headed up to Wave Buttress and climbed Crackattack (E3 5c). This was Dans second ever climb, so a good effort for him. I had tried this route once before but fell off and got to pumped to carry on so I was lowered down, so this time I was pleased to get to the top.


Yesterday, Lorenzo, Ben and I headed down into Glen Nevis after work for a quick climb before it got dark. This was Lorenzo's first rock climb of the season, so he went for the first pitch and then I gave him the second as well, so he can practice his gear placements a bit more. Ben went on and finished up the final pitch. We walked down and headed back to the car. Lots of boulderers at Heather hat, climbers on Secretaries, Repton, High and several more.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Glen Nevis

Today I took Joe and Tom on their first day rock climbing. We started of on Pinnacle Ridge (severe), breaking it into 3 pitches, we then went up to Styx Buttress and climbed Damnation (VS 4b). Then headed over and climbed the Gutter in 3 pitches then abseiled off and finished off with Three Pines (mild severe) Not bad for their first day! It as dry at first then the rain came in patchy around 2pm.

Dunkeld - 07/04/09

Ben and I headed East in search of dry rock, we did find some fortunately. We climbed The Rut (VS 5a), Ben led this one, then I led up The Groove (VS 5a). After this we met Graham and he led the first pitch of The End (VS 5a) and Ben led the second pitch. The rain was coming in so we left the rack an ropes in the car and headed up to lower and upper cave for a nosy. After this we opted for some action on Myopic's Buttress where Graham and I climbed The chopping Block (7b), Ben made a strong effort but couldn't get through the roof. A good day considering the on and off rain.

Glen Nevis - 3/04/09

A day down Glen Nevis proved to be very productive with Donald, Ben and Graham. We started off at Whale Rock and the first route of the season I led Ben and Graham up Earthstrip (E2 5c). After this we headed up to skeleton boulder for a few problems, skin was ripping pretty easily! Then headed back down to the river and did 1.5 deep water soloing problems, yes i fell into the cold snow melt water!! After drying off, we went up to Scimitar Upper Buttress and climbed Jesus Christ Come on Down (VS-E2???)(I think HVS 5a). We then wandered up to Bistro Buttress and Donald and I climbed Cool Cookie(E15a)/Winter Blues(E25c)?? The skies were clear with very little wind.