Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Ice on Ben Nevis

Castle ridge was tempting
But the cold heart of the mountain drew our attention
OK calm down...nothing worth writing home about however there was ice present on the mountain.  The only point worth making at this stage is that I didn't take enough clothing!  So winter layers will be dug out in preparation for the next few weeks of climbing and work.  Jees, I even got hot aches today!  We climbed Observatory Buttress, a 340m VD.  It was first climbed in 1902 as a solo which brought it to our attention and seemed like a great route to climb.  Having had many days out with Alan we are now searching for routes we haven't climbed and neither of us had climbed Observatory Buttress in summer or winter.  It has had many ascents in winter (Grade V,4), can't wait to do it, but not so many in summer.  As a result it was a little esoteric but gave some fantastic sustained climbing all the way to the top.  The summit sunshine was welcomed as it was very chilly on the route and took a good while to get warmed up after our lunch.  A great day, another brilliant line climbed, the mountain has so many more objectives away from the obvious ridges!  Looking forward to our next outing!

Alan ice climbing

Alan thrutching

Nathan playing name the summits from the Great Tower

Alan flirting with me for a tight rope

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Sea cliffs, sea stacks, mountains, dolphins and the Royal Navy

An you name the peaks (Clue...Suilven is there)
The last few days I have been fortunate enough to be involved in a great trip around the North and West Coast of Scotland.  Unfortunately we were unable to climb any of the cliffs, stacks or mountains due to a tight schedule.  We started in Orkney and followed the North Coast passing the Old Man of Hoy, around Cape Wrath, past Am Buachaille and the Old Man of Stoer.  Here the summits of the NW Highlands came into view before we made our way around Skye, around Ardnamurchan Point, into Oban before finishing our trip in Kinlochleven.

The aim of the trip was mostly a maintenance trip but also as a recce trip.  The vessle is an ex-fishing boat which is being converted into a passenger boat.  The beauty with this boat is that it can withstand very rough seas and pretty much go anywhere so when it is fully converted we will be running trips to St Kilda, the outer and inner Hebrides...in fact anywhere on Scotland's coastline.  Watch this space if you like climbing, hill walking, bird watching, sea kayaking, island hopping and being on the water!

Tanker meets destroyer

Dolphins leading the way

Got my sea legs

Loch Leven...a stunning glen.