Sunday, 30 March 2008

Training at Glen Nevis

Today I went out with Will Bayliss and Ed Morrison to refresh their knowledge of rock climbing, belays, anchors, group management etc as they are both doing their SPA assessments in a months time. They both led a climb each, and with the rain coming and going they didn't try anything to strenuous. Will also built a couple of anchors for bottom ropes and also set up a group abseil which they both went down. After packing up and heading back, we popped into the Go-karting center just outside Fort William for 12 minutes of 'rippin up the tarmac'! (A present for Will's birthday)

Wednesday, 26 March 2008


Yesterday I was over in the Cairngorms for the day. Due to large quantities of red wine the previous night, we agreed that an early start for climbing would be out of the question, so we went for the later option and hit the slopes. The snow was very good throughout the day as fresh snow fell. The winds were quite high and the visibility was quite poor all day but cleared out as the day went on. Unfortunately I took no photo's :-(

Saturday, 22 March 2008

North Buttress (this time in winter)

Today a friend and I went and climbed North Buttress (west route) IV,4***on the Buachaille. We had both climbed the route in the summer, Alasdair has previously tried the route in winter a couple of years ago but did not finish it. The route did look quite bare from below but as we got climbing the chimney's were holding snow well, areas of soft ice were also present. The turf was also solid. There was a bitter northerly wind most of the day (constant waterfall from my nose!) and as we descended snow began to fall. While we had our feet up in the Kingshouse hotel drinking our pints the snow was now coming in quite hard. We had a party of three behind us from Adventure Peaks and bumped into a few Munro baggers on the way down. Great route.

Week in Skye

Over the last week (Sunday 16th-Thursday 20th) I have been working in Skye. I was working with Jamie B for Bedford schools CCF. We were working with cadets aged 14-19, all with varied backgrounds and experiences. We ventured into the Red Cullins (Beinn Dearg Mhor, Beinn Dearg Mheadhonach, Beinn na Caillich), Storr and spent a wet and wild day below Sgurr Alasdair at Loch Coire Lagan, we even got a view of The Cioch! We spent 4 days with the cadets with one rest day in the middle, so we had a 12 hour day on Pinnacle Ridge on Sgurr nan Gillean (amazing route)! It can be quite a rarity to climb a winter route on Skye so we made the most of the good conditions! Unfortunately I forgot my camera on this day so no pictures of the route. We also stopped off at the White Dyke crag near Kyle of Lochalsh for a spot of soloing and bouldering on the way home! A very busy week! (nice pose Bav!!)

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Douglas Boulder

Today Big Al and I headed up into the Ben for a wee look. From looking at the weather forcasts, it appeared it was going to worsen as the day went on, so we opted for a shorter route (to stay out of the weather and also so Al could get his wife some treats from morrisons!). We ended up on the South-West Ridge of the Douglas Boulder (III) as it was low down and relativly short. Al was keen to explore this area to see if it would be a suitable area to bring clients. Pleanty of snow had fallen today, creating some new layers within the snow pack. Lets hope we have a good freeze soon! There were a few groups out today - some on MIC assesment and a couple personal climbing. Turned out to be quite a nice day!

Sunday, 2 March 2008

A Red Letter Day

Today I took two clients for a walk up onto Stob Coire nan Lochain (1115m) in Glencoe. We made great progress on the walk into the corrie and then proceeded up the East ridge. This is a nice approach to the summit as there are a couple of steps here and there to manoeuvre over. Once we got to the summit (around midday) the winds and snow came in hard so a quick photograph then headed down the North ridge above the crag, bumping into some climbers on the way. There were many groups out today, some climbing, some walking and some doing winter skills. When we came off the ridge, we came across a huge snow hole, so we all jumped in out of the wild weather and enjoyed tea and biscuits in peace! Good work to whoever constructed the snow hole! After recharging our batteries we decided to do some self arrest practice, however as the snow was quite wet and soft it was a little bit too easy to stop! It was a great day, weather was pleasant on the decent with some showers here and there. Good dump of snow fell today.

21/2/2008 Skills at Glencoe

Today (21/2/08) Karl and I took a group of outdoor enthusiasts from an outdoors activity club up into Glencoe ski area to look at snow skills. The day took a while to get going as one member of the party had shrunk his boots on the radiator the previous night! But to make up he did pay for the whole group up the chair lift. We ventured up into the snow slopes and looked at various methods of making belays in the snow, starting with bucket seats, buried axes, snow bollards and had a look at a dead-man. After a small wander and some lunch we looked at using crampons on various different slopes and went for a wee wonder and introduced some step cutting. After this we had a quick look at self-arresting then gained more height for a better view. After heading down we agreed we would all walk down as it was such a nice day.