Friday, 25 May 2012

Team sendage

This evening I arrived up in North Wales and met up with Tim, John and Murdoch in Llamberis Pass. The guys were heading up to Dinas Cromlech so I tagged along. Tim and I climbed Resurrection (E4 6a) and Murdoch flew up Lord of the Flies (E6 6a) which was very impressive! Then Will and Dave turned up and Will cruised Right Wall (E5 6a) so a super impressive evening hit. Next stop was the pub and off to Fairhead tomorrow!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Traveling Day

Today was my travelling day and the start of a mini holiday. So on my way down to cross the border, I stopped off in Glencoe and met up with Kenny and we went for a wee climb on Creag A'Bhancair. I had climbed here years ago when I was really weak, so coming back with a bit of strength and age I was able to make some progress. Kenny put the clips in and then I had a few goes on a top rope to figure out the moves and find the rests on Uncertain emotions (7b). I think a few more goes I will have it in the bag.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Monday, 21 May 2012

Day 2 on Skye

Today was Inn Pinn day, the day of the week the guys were most looking forward to.  The all made a fantastic effort getting upto the Pinn before the hoards of people heading for the same objective.  After a relatively speedy ascent we made an abseil of and wandered down and back up to Sgurr Mhic Choinnich.  Two new peaks for the chaps and a fun scree run down into Coire Lagan.  I'll let the pictures tell the story.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Skye Munro's

Today I was out with Mike, Paul and Rick who were on the first day of a week long Cullin Munro course for Skye Guides.  As I was out with the guys for the first two days, I was keen to get the guys over the mid section so we headed off from Glen Brittle and up into An Doris and popped up to Sgurr a'Mhadaidh.  It was nice to see lots of folk on this section, after a short break waiting for the traffic jam in An Doris we headed up to Sgurr a' Ghreadaidh.  The weather was fantastic, a light breeze and the sun was shining.  With the day going well we headed over to Sgurr na Banachdich as the final peak of the day.  We hummed and harred about going over to climb the Inn Pinn but the guys decided that it would be best to save it when they are fresh in the morning.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Morning wander up Ben Nevis

Today I was with a group of 12 for an ascent of Ben Nevis, the first of their 3 Peaks Challenge, organised by Maximum Adventure.  Fred was out too helping but headed down at the zig zags with two clients who were not feeling up to it.  I pushed on with the remaining 10, reaching the summit in 3.5 hours and returning in 2.  A top effort by everyone.  Was very busy on the hill as usual on a Saturday.  Many groups were walking for charity, many for the personal challenge and some just out for enjoyment.  Great effort to the team pushing up the wheelchair!  Goes to show that teamwork can take people great places!  Hope they make it up.  Plenty of snow on the tops, didn't venture near the north face as the visibility was poor and there are reasonable cornices around the rim.  Looked very wintery though.  Snow was down to about the 5th corner on the zig zags and is tricky to move on as its so compact.  Little spikes on your feet would be an advantage!  We were back down for 1pm after our 7.30am start, gives me plenty of time to get ready for another mini-break (well still working actually, but feels like a mini holiday) on Skye.  Weather looks great!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Day 2 in the Lakes

Today was the best forecast so we headed into Langdale for a look around a couple of crags.  We started off at Raven crag and climbed the uber classic Pluto (HVS 5a) which has 3 brilliant, contrasting pitches, a great little expedition.  I find that Raven crag has a bit of a grade gap (Not many E1-E4) so we headed over to White Ghyll which has heaps of E1's,2's and much more.  We started off on Do Not Direct (E1 5b), then hit White Ghyll Eliminate (E2 5c) which is fantastic and finished off on Feet of Clay (E1 5b).

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Quick hit in the Lakes

Kenny and I had a short window to head down to the Lakes for a spot of climbing.  As Kenny hadn't done a great deal of climbing in the area we tried to get to several different crags and get some of the classics done.  Today we headed to Borrowdale and started off at Black Crag and climbed Troutdale Pinnacle Superdirect (HVS 5a) which is a great way up the crag.  I really wanted to climb Prana but unfortunately it was soaking wet.  It was super windy here so we opted a slightly lower crag and headed over to Quayfoot Buttress and climbed the classic Mandrake (HVS 5a) and then the Go Between (E2 5c).  Just as we got back to the bags the heavens opened so we bailed to the Shepard's Cafe for a slice of cake and coffee.  Eventually the crag dried up so we nipped round the corner and climbed The Bludgon (E1 5b) and Finale (HVS 5a).  All these routes are absolute classics so I was happy to do them all again and must do's if you visit these crags.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Old Skye vid

Back in March I was in Skye with Katy and we had fantastic weather whilst doing the Black Cullin traverse.  I have eventually got round to putting together a little video of some of our photos of the two day traverse.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Downhill at speed

Today Laila, John, Gary and I all headed up the gondola at Nevis Range for a quick shot down the red run.  It was fantastic, nice and flowing with some good tricky sections.  It didn't take long for us to get down and after a quick coffee we met up with Kenny and Rhona for a burn around the witches trail.  Today was the trails for the world cup so there was lots of brilliant bikers, lots of labels and lots of caps tilted to the side!  Good vibes at Nevis Range.  Blair was up creating an avalanche forecast of all the fresh snow that has fallen and said he was ripping up the goose with some sweet turns!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Red Cullin Traverse

Today was meant to be the second day of our traverse however as we binned it yesterday we opted for something different.  Mike was keen to stay away from the main ridge as he's been up and down a few times so we went for a nice horseshoe route through the Red Cullin.  We headed up Beinn Dearg Mhor which was nice and blowy with very little shelter before heading onto Glamaig.  This hill is great for scree running which was really useful for Mike as he has done very little of this and wasn't very confident on this terrain.  After a few top tips we were both down the scree in no time.  A great day to be had it the Cullin isn't playing ball or the fitness levels are not super high.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Skye Ridge Attempt

Today I was out with Mike who has an ongoing ambition to traverse the Cullin Ridge.  So we set off at 8am with bags packed and waterproofs on.  Strong winds were causing concern and on approach it was feeling a little bit wild to be teetering along a ridge.  On arrival to Loch Coir' a'Ghrunda there were white horses on the water and whirlwinds of spray which again were showing us that conditions were less than ideal!  So we made the decision to bin the attempt due to the weather and a few other reason but we still went up Sgurr nan Eag just to confirm that our decision was right.  On our decent we passed a few other walkers who planned to do the same and not spend to much time in the foul weather!

Monday, 7 May 2012

Glen Nevis

Today I was out with Alan and Ruraidh for a spot of rock climbing. We were meant to be doing more winter climbing in March but the weather wasn't great so Alan decided tokeep his extra day for some sunny rock climbing. Both of the guys are keen to learn to lead and have had some input already from Al Halewood. We went up into Glen Nevis and started off on Reptons Right hand (VD) where I did all the leading but they were building their own belays and working on their judgement of what a good belay/runner is and isn't. We then found a nice little abseil back down to the bags. This got the guys ready for a lead on Styx's Right wall with me in close proximity on the rope next to them. A good clean lead by both of the guys with good belays, good gear and good climbing technique. The rain was threatening on the top pitch of Right Wall and by the time we topped out it was fair to say it was raining. So not keen for them to lead in the rain, I took them up Pine Wall (HS) to the large pine on the Gutter where together we set up an abseil and ran away from the crag.  

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Pass of Ballater take 2

After an early start, Ben and I had a few hours to do a spot of climbing before I had to get back over to Fort William. We started of on a VS called ..... which turned out to be a total sandbag. Ben took a belay half way up and I took over and ended up halfway up a blank slab with snow falling, no gear and feet slipping, I retreated down to a tree, we rapped off and the realised that I had wandered onto an E1 slab! A little bit frustrated that I backed off this I went and led up (E1) which I abbed off the top and stripped the gear as Ben wanted to give it a shot too. Still annoyed with my weakness, I wanted to climb Anger and Lust (E2 5c) which was fantastic, a tricky route with a great finale at the top. I was very pleased to get to the top without falling off. The hardest part was abbing down the route and over the overhang to strip the gear! A great couple of hours of climbing despite finding out that I am weak!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Pass of Ballater

After Ben and I got off the hill with our group, we said our fair wells and headed over to the Pass of Ballater for a spot of evening cragging. This granite roadside crag gave us some good sport and climbed several VS's and a couple of E1's before heading off to the pub for a few well earned pints.

Walk up Lochnagar

Today I met up with a my good friend Ben Cooling and we led a group up Lochnagar for Wow Scotland. It was a fantastic day to be walking up a new mountain, the sun was shining and the tops were capped with snow. I was particularly excited about taking this group out as it gave me an opportunity to have a look at the crags on the side of Lochnagar, especially the possible winter lines. Really keen to climb here next winter! The walk was part of a charity event where the participants had placed a bid to spend a day walking with members of the Gurkha army. Out of the group of 14 there was 4 Gurkha's, 5 novice hill walkers and 3 folk that had walked up Lochnagar before and Ben and I. It was a great day with lots of tired people at the end.