Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Castle Ridge for my last bit of work for a while

That is me done for a wee while now.  Rest is upon me.  Ha, not likely.  I finished off a great summer season with a fun day out with Linda and Alan on Ben Nevis.  I have been out frequently with Alan over the years, Linda however hasn't been out for a few years but decided to burn both Alan and I off on the walk in!  We managed to slow her down so we could keep up!  We walked up from Achintee and traversed into the base of Castle Ridge, it was a little tricky to find as visibility was down to about 15-20m.  On the route the rock was generally dry but still slippery in places.  It has been years since I last climbed this classic scramble and it was really nice to finish my summer season getting reacquainted with it.  We didn't see or hear anyone else on the North Face, however there were points when we couldn't see each other as we only had a 30m rope.  The cloud came and went as we climbed and topped out into more mist.  Making our way over to the tourist route was fine, we 'felt' like wandering around for a while in the mist and then made our way down.  Linda was keen to burn Alan and I off again so she ran down to the car and Alan and I picked up as much litter as we could up all the way down.  It was pretty disgusting...banana and oranges skins, yoghurt pots, tampons, tissues, sweet wrappers, drinks bottles, a scarf, bottle of Bukkie and lots more!

We crammed a lot of rubbish into these makeshift bags!

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Single Day Cuillin Ridge Traverse

This is the vis we had to contend with
Still bad vis
Another Cuillin ambition achieved today for both Malcolm my client and I.  After our training day and a good rest day yesterday we left the car at Glen Brittle at 04.30 for a one day ridge traverse.  It was looking good as we drove through the glen but unfortunately the Cuillin mist descended on us.  On the summit of Gars Bheinn we couldn't see a thing!  It was like this all the way to Bruach na Frithe.  No view and very wet and slippy rock.  We had to by pass the TD Gap and Kings Chimney, climbed the In Pinn, by-passed Bidean Druim nan Ramh, by-passed Naismiths route and climbed onto Am Bastier via Lota Coire Route and then finnished via the west ridge of Sgurr nan Gillean.  From Gars Bheinn to Sgurr nan Gillean was 10 hours which was two hours quicker than the winter traverse last year.  Hopefully the conditions are good for another winter traverse as one of my ambitions is to guide it... It was a brilliant day with great company (also very hill fit) and it was brilliant to get some dry rock and sunshine on the last 3 peaks.  30km from the car at Glen brittle to the car at Sligachan  Cant wait to do it again!

It eventually cleared

Plenty of these around in the misty/sunny conditions

We did it.  On the Summit of Sgurr nan Gillean

Happy chaps

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Pinnacle Ridge

Today I was out with Malcolm who is up to do a traverse of the Cuillin Ridge.  With this in mind we went out from Sligachan and climbed Pinnacle Ridge.  yes, I know I climbed this yesterday but It was ideal for Malcolm and he really wanted to do it.  It was apparent early on that Malcolm could walk fast, climb well and descend well.  So I suggested a one day traverse...he was keen!  We were car to car in 5 hours.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Pinnacle Ridge

Making our way up to the first pinnacle
Today was the final day for Nadir to get some photo's of Lee and I but unfortunately the weather was deteriorating as the day went on.  So with this in mind we left the car at 6am and made our way into the mist...
We headed up Pinnacle Ridge as Nadir had a particular shot in mind but as we reached the location it was too cloudy.  Oh well, we still got some good shots and some brilliant scrambling.

Modelling is much easier than guiding!

Power pants in action!

Thursday, 19 September 2013

An Doras to the In Pinn

We were not the only ones on the In Pinn!  Good shot Lee
Today it was me and Lee out and we fancied a good stretch of the legs in the Cuillin.  Lee hadnt done much on the ridge so we blasted over a few tops.  From An Dorus in the cloud to the In Pinn in the cloud.  The cloud eventually lifted but be were on our way down by this point.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Kilt Rock and Elgol

Today was sea cliff day and it was wild conditions at both Kilt Rock and Elgol.  Again Nadir got some great shots despite the conditions.  We climbed Grey Panther (E1 5b) at Kilt Rock and Jamie Jampot (VS 4c) at Elgol.  I'm wearing sunglasses to keep the rain out of my eyes!

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Round of Coire Lagan

Me and Lee enjoying a cloudy and wet day
Today I was out with Nadir Kahn, a photographer and Lee Fleming, a keen climber and an all round nice guy!  However he does say 'man' at the end of every sentence which is a bit weird!  I'm out with these guys for 4 days to try and get some good shots in the Cuillin and the sea cliffs of Skye as well as test out some kit from RAB and sunglasses from Jublo.  Today we opted with a round of Coire Lagan.  Up under the Cioch, onto Sgurr Alasdair, over Hart's Ledge, up Mhicoinnich and down the An Stac screes.  I go no photographs as I felt in adequate with my little camera!

Approaching the Summit of Sgurr Alasdair

Brewing up 

Another amazing shot

Friday, 13 September 2013

The Needle

The Leg End

So....not the best of days!  Back out with the Big Ben.  A legend!  Quote of the day from Ben 'If you don't want to ever climb with me ever again I totally understand!'  Its not going to happen Ben.  Despite us having differences in abilities its still really good fun to go climbing with you even if we don't get up things.  But come on, stop backing of 4b pitches! ;)  We walked through the cloud to the Shelterstone, in the Cairngorms with the intention of climbing The Needle.  Uber classic!  Wanted to climb this for ages...and I still do.  After Ben Backed off the first pitch I led it and the next.  As Ben arrived at the belay saying 'I don't know how the f*@k you led that!?' it started to wasn't looking good.  We weighed up our options and abseiled down the route and walked to the top of the cliffs where the bags were.  I always hate bailing off routes but as the heavens opened, I was happy we did!
Not happy with the rock climbing conditions

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Aonach Eagach

One of my favourite days out in Glencoe
Today was a afternoon jaunt up into Glencoe with my cousin Charlie and a few of his buddies. Don't worry I didn't charge him!  It was great weather so Charlies buddies thought they would do some 'extreme Yoga'.  I thought it was a ridiculous idea and when I tried it I felt ridiculous!  Maybe I didn't do it right but it felt weird.  I don't think its going to pick off with me but each to their own.  It was a good day with great craic and a nice beer at the Clachaig, standard Glencoe protocol!

The worst boy band in the world

Charlie has no fear!  It runs in the family!

Charlie ahead of the rest.....he clearly has good Genes!

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

North Face Route and Hiccup

Today I was back out with Alan, making the most of the nice weather.  Options were Ben Nevis or Glencoe.  After discussing objectives we went for the brilliant North Face Route (Severe) on Buachaille Etive Mor which led us to the bottom of the 3 star VS 5a of Hiccup.  Its described in 2 pitches but we squeezed 3 out of it.  I was very impressed, its a nice route.  It eventually joins the top of NFR and after a wee scramble up and then a traverse, we were back onto Curved Ridge with a front row seat of the 3 teams of climbers on Rannoch Wall.  The mountain was very busy, a team below us on NFR, 3 pairs on Rannoch Wall and about 12-14 folk on Curved Ridge.  Its great to see people out enjoying some of Glencoe' Scotlands best routes!
North Face Route, lower section

Not sure if this is a smile or not..?

Busy on Ranoch Wall

Friday, 6 September 2013

Glen Nevis easier stuff....

This afternoon I met up with Ben and we headed up into Glen Nevis for a few routes.  Ben was keen to get on an E1 as he hasn't led one for a while.  At Gorge Crag, I led Conscription (E1 5b).  Given one star but I think should be two.  Ben then lead All our Yesterdays (E1 5b) with a textbook belly flop onto the belay ledge, it was brilliant, like a seal berthing on a beach!  After that spectacular performance, we climbed In the Groove (E3 5c) which was brilliant.  Ben fancied the first 5b pitch but got shut down so I got to lead both pitches.  We abseiled off from the top as the rain started to fall, unfortunately Plagues of Blazes was wet and time was against us and we bailed.  A great day with a true legend!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Glen Nevis hard stuff...

View from the crag
...too hard for me!  Last two evening I met up with Tony and Blair and headed up to Buzzard Crag.  Tony has a couple of projects he's been working on, trying to climb them on top rope before he leads them.  First evening we were working the moves on Liminality (E6 6c) as Tony's main objective was wet.  This great route follows an arĂȘte with some savage moves in the middle with some really hard to place gear (should you lead it).  Brilliant moves.  I wasn't able to link the whole route but could do most of the moves.  Probably the hardest route I have ever been on.  Today we went back up to the crag and Juggernaut (E7 6b/c) was dry which was Tony's objective.  We played around on top rope again, Tony climbed from bottom to top without falling, hopefully his next effort will be on the lead.  I, on the other hand will be trying it over and over again on top rope and will probably lead it in 2062!  It was a great couple of evenings too be out, the temperature is dropping and the midges are thinning out.  Love Autumn cragging.

looking down to Fort William from Buzzard Crag

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Creag Dubh

Rachel and Pete on King Bee
Pete and I on Inbred
We had to escape Skye to find dry rock today. We had to escape the West coast. We were greeted with sunshine and a stiff breeze as Rachel, Pete and I pulled up at Creag Dubh. We headed to Lower Central Wall and warmed up on Mirador (Severe) which gave some nice climbing and worth doing if climbing at the grade. Next on the agenda was the 3 star classic on Great Wall, King Bee (VS). I led up feeding Rachel's rope though the original line and made sure Pete's went through the variation start at HVS 5a to give him a bit of a work out. After topping out, we abseiled down and Pete and I climbed the classic Inbred (HVS 5a) in two pitches. An essential route for anyone who climbs at Creag Dubh. After another abseil we all went back to Lower Central Wall and all climbed the 'interestingly' named Phellatio (HVS 5a) which was another great route but quite a serious finale. A fabulous day and great to be back in the su

Amazing rock on Inbred

Pete approaching the first belay

Amazing rock and weather

Pete abseiling off

Pete getting tangled up