Wednesday, 27 June 2012
Today was my last day with Rob and Jill and after yesterday's monster day we had a bit of a sleep in and set off walking at 9.30. Rob and Jill had completed all the South section and the mid section of the Cullin ridge Munro's except the Inn Pinn. They also haven't done the North section. We decided that we should attempt the Inn Pinn as it is a bit of a shorter day and we had a later start. Unfortunately the weather still wasn't playing ball and we didn't really fancy walking all the way to the top to find we couldn't climb it. We decided to sack it off for another day. A great 3 days in the mountains, our itinery was some what disturbed by the weather but that is the way it goes in the mountains, being able to come back safely without your chosen climb or summit means that you can recover and attempt at a later date. Didn't get any photo's of Rob and Jill looking very wet.
Tuesday, 26 June 2012
Monday, 25 June 2012
Saturday, 23 June 2012
Today I was marshalling for a large group of 59 fund raisers walk up Ben Nevis. The event was organised by Marie Curie and every participant had done their part and raised lots of money. Today was one of the busiest days I've seen despite the conditions. It was mild and very wet with visibility very poor. Cloud base even touched down to the Ben Nevis Inn around mid morning. There was never a point today where I couldn't see another person, it was a constant train of people both up and down, more miserable looking faces than happy ones. There were lots of 'panda eye's' wandering around as well as many people who had clearly forgot their waterproofs who wet obviously soaked to the skin. The John Muir Trust were out doing a summit litter pick, good on them to be out in this weather! Anyway, back up to Skye tomorrow so hopefully the weather is a little more favourable.
Friday, 22 June 2012
Today looked like it was going to be a suffer-fest on the hill with heavy rain and strong winds forecast. Nigel, Diane and Mark knew what they were letting themselves in for and were still keen to get involved. The weather actually turned out pretty good. Our ascent went very well and stayed dry most of the way. After getting the team into the Gap, I climbed down and I was just bridged across the gap and the heavens opened and they opened well! The raindrops were huge, mixed with a few hail stones for good measure. We stepped it up a gear and pressed onto the top and then onto the summit of Ben Nevis. They guys loved that fact that the weather changed, made them feel good for having to wear waterproofs all day! A quick descent saw us passing many walkers coming up the tourist route, mostly involved with some 3 peaks challenge.
Wednesday, 20 June 2012
Tuesday, 19 June 2012
Monday, 18 June 2012
Sunday, 17 June 2012
Today I was back out with the walking club from yesterday and today we went for more of a journey day. This gave the group the opportunity to focus on marco-navigation, as this is what we all do most of the time whilst walking in the hills. We focused specifically on leadership skills and party management on varying terrain both in ascent and descent. The weather wasn't fantastic which was great for the group to get first hand experience of looking after others in the foul weather.
Saturday, 16 June 2012
Tuesday, 12 June 2012
Monday, 11 June 2012
Thursday, 7 June 2012
Tuesday, 5 June 2012
Over the last two days I took Brian for his second attempt on the Cullin ridge Traverse. Last years attempt he got as far as An Dorus heading South to North. This time we went from North to South so we could cover the Munro's he hasn't done and if we don't complete it then Brian will have done the ridge in two overlapping halves. We made good progress reaching Sgurr nan Gillean via the South-East ridge, after helping two chaps who were in a spot of bother, crag fast with out a rope. We got down the west ridge before the crowds, looking back from the top of Am Basteir we could see there was now a traffic jam. We were moving well, off Am Bastier, over Bruach na Fraith where we saw a load of rucksacks buried with rocks, I presume to stop the pesky Ravens getting their lunch. Going over An Caisteal and Bidein Druim nan Ramh we passed several teams who were doing the ridge traverse, all looking tired after the distance they have covered. We reached Brians 'high point' from last year, Sgurr a Mhadaidh and passed through An Dorus up to Sgurr a' Ghreadaidh, our final peak for the day. We dropped down to the col below Sgurr Thormaidh and set up for the night. A good 10.5 hour day!
4.30am alarm clock woke Brian and I up and after a brew and some food we were on our way by 5.15. Our first port of call was the Inn Pinn via Sgurr na Banachdich. We were on the summit on the Inn Pinn at 7am, we had the whole place to ourselfs and we had fantastic views of the whole ridge. We next headed over to Sgurr MhicChoinich, then back tracked to Collies Ledge before making our ascent up the highest peak, Sgurr Alasdair. From here we abseiled down in to the TD Gap and climbed out the other side before heading over to Sgurr Dubh Mor. Unfortunately time was getting on and we had been on the go for many hours and Brian was happy to call it a day. He felt to tired to carry on and then walk out. So we headed down to Loch Coir a' Ghrunnda and back out the Glen Brittle for and ice cream and a nice cold drink. We were very luck to have fantastic weather for the two days, we even got a little snow flurry! Overnight it was very cold, frost all over the bivi Bags in the morning! We did 9 Munro's in total and spent 12 hours on the go on the second day cumulating to 22.5 hours on the hill. Great effort Brian!
Sunday, 3 June 2012
Today I was out with Simon, David and Brian and some rock climbing was on the cards. Weather was good and dinner last night was even better so we were all full of energy. With a mixed group (experienced climber but done nothing for 20 years, indoor rock climber and another lapsed climber) we didn't want to push ourselves to hard especially as this was day 1 of 5. We went and climbed the classic Cioch west (Severe), first climbed in 1919. What a brilliant route, I had never done this route before but I will be keen to do again. It has some fantastic warm up pitches before the crux, an easy-ish crux (just a little exposed) and some excellent finishing pitches. From the top of the route we climbed Cioch Nose (VD) to the summit of the Cioch. From here we down climbed a wee bit the abseiled down the slabs and traversed back out to the scree's and descended back to the minibus where we met the other team who had just been up the Inn Pinn. Well done to the guys today, they all put in a great effort and I'm happy to announce that their cob webs are well and truly blown away. Ridge traverse tomorrow.....I think so!
Friday, 1 June 2012
I have just been in Northern Ireland for a week rock climbing on the coast. I was here lastyear and because it was so good, I was keen to come back. This year I was teamed up with Tim Neil which meant that I would be going home very tired indeed! After arriving on the ferry we had a long drive up to Fairhead but we went to the crag straight away. I started off on the brilliant two pitch Titanic (E2 5c) which I did in one 60m pitch then Tim led Thunder Road (E3 5c) after a recommendation (sandbag) by a local (the skin on the back of Tims hands never really recovered). The following day we climbed Candy Kisses (E4 6a), Halloween (E4 6a) and The Brasser (E2 5c), all three star routes but very different from one another. The following day we climbed Blade Runner (E3 5c) and Track of the Cat (E4 6a) followed by The Hustler (E3 5c), Salango (E3 5c), Dark Forces (E4 6a), Marconi Arete (E4 5c), Embankment (E2 5c), GBH (E3 5c), Aoife (E1 5b) and Waist Deep in Alligators (E4 6a) the following 4 days. We were in a group of 13 and between us we had made over 150 ascents, cumulating over 300 stars and getting close to 800 E points between us. It obvious to say that the weather was rather good!