Monday, 21 August 2017

Lochnagar with Meggie 20.8.17

Yesterday with Shell heading to bed after a night shift, i decided to take the mutt up Lochnagar.  The summit of Lochnagar is Cac Carn Beag and sits at 1,155m.  Random trivia - Cac Carn Beag actually translates as 'small cairn of faeces' although i can confirm this is not the case and the summit itself is actually quite rocky. The route to get there from Glenmuick car park is a well trodden path, which gently ascends through some heathery (and midge-tastic) terrain.  about 2hrs from the car park saw us on the summit before descending via the same route.  On descent i was surprised to find so many people pushing/carrying mountain bikes up the trail and was advised that they would be returning via this track (something to bear in mind) Another point of advice is that the car park ticket machine does not accept notes, coins only.  so when i left a note and a fiver under my windscreen wiper, i fully expected to return to a fine but was pleasantly surprised!  what awesome people we have working in our national parks! In summary, a great walk, great views, good weather...smiles and waggy tails all round!
When you have the right amount of money, but not the right kinda money!

Meggie wondering what the hold up is

Lochnagar - Gorgeous

on the final approach to the summit - no faeces encountered

Me and Meggie on the summit

Meggie and Erica

Back to the car to find this on the windscreen, legends!

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Alpinism for awareness - Chamonix July 2017

Earlier in July I headed out for some alpine adventures with Peter and James.  The reason behind this trip was to raise awareness for Pancreatic Cancer United Kingdom (PCUK) which is a charity very close to my heart.  On our first day we ventured up high for a 'wee look' as you do, with a view to attempting a Midi-Plan traverse.  The snow conditions were absolutely awful and soon put a halt to that idea.  The next day we decided to go up the Cosmiques arete on the Midi, this is a classic (and busy!) route and always worth doing as an acclimatisation route, good fun being had by all.  Our next trip out was up the Petit Aiguille Verte via the Northwest Integrale.  This was a great AD ridge which (in my opinion) had more interesting climbing than the out of condition north face had to offer. Great route, fantastic position!  The very next day, Peter and I climbed the East ridge of the Aiguille des Grande montets, which was a very enjoyable scramble with one or two exposed 4c moves. The day after this we decided to walk in and bivvy on the col du Maudit at 13,450ft. at 0200hrs we left our snow graves and summited Mont Blanc (15,780ft) before returning to chamonix. The last climb of our trip was the Aiguille du Belvedere which is the highest peak in the Aiguille Rouge mountain range at 9,727ft (just twice as high as Ben Nevis). We climbed it via the south ridge, which was very similar to the Cuillin ridge in Skye, very exposed but relatively easy climbing at around uk Diff/V.Diff. We were rewarded by beautiful views over Lac Blanc and of the high mountains across the valley. All in all it was a very enjoyable and productive trip, massive thanks to Peter and James for a great few climbs!

topping out on Cosmiques

on the NW Integrale of the Petite Verte

James looking very alpine!

View of Mont Blanc and the Drus from the Petite Verte

On the Summit of the Petite Aiguille Verte 3,512m 

Abbing down the Petite Verte North Face

Peter on the East Ridge of the Aiguille des Gandes Montets 

On the summit of the Aiguille des Grandes Montets 3,295m

Approaching the Col du Mont Maudit and our bivvy site

defintely slept in worse places

preparing our snow graves

view from my bed!

Matterhorn/Monta Rosa sunrise

Peter and James at the Col de la Brenva

on the final ascent to the summit of MB

Mont Blanc Summit 4,810m

She said yes! 
James and Peter on the summit of Mont Blanc

Aiguille du Belvedere from Lac Blanc

Aiguille Verte and Grandes Jorasses from across Lac Blanc

Near the summit of the A d Belvedere

Summit of the Aiguille du Belvedere 2,965m

If you would like to make a donation to PCUK it would be very much appreciated and you can do so by clicking Here! thanks!

Friday, 11 August 2017

Blog catch up!

Its been a wee while since i last updated the blog, so rather than write a horrifically long boring story i'll just show some photos and we'll call it at that! aslo just back from 2 weeks in the French Alps, pics/stories due up soon.

Wills first time scrambling, Fiacaill Ridge, Cairngorms

Picking our line up the Mer de Glace galcier, Chamonix

not the worst place i've ever woke up, Chamonix

Climbing the Aiguille du Peigne, Chamonix

Off route and defeated, aiguille du Moine, Chamonix

Jonny looking alpine on the Peigne

abbing off the Peine, Chamonix

Top of the Papillions arete, Chamonix

Cragging with Michelle at Golspie

Fiacaill ridge, Cairngorms

typical cairngorm winter view

Snowboard descent after Fiacaill ridge

North buttress, Buachaille Etive Mor, Glencoe

Paul and I, North Buttress

bivvy washroom/river Coe

Taking Gash up the Inn Pin

Michelle getting better with heights, Golspie

Top of the Cioch, Skye

Peter and I on the top of the Cioch, Skye

cragging with James and Meggie at Cummingston, Morray Coast

Grooved Rib, III,4

cairngorms in winter

Nik not enjoying a clagged in Fiacaill ridge

dicking around with my best mate

abbing off the Old Man of Stoer

Our wonderful photographer!

Nik and I at the top of the Old Man of Stoer

Got my boot stuck on Ledge route, Ben Nevis (20 mins of battering it ensured!) 

descending the Red Burn, Ben Nevis...with both boots!

Climbing the Old Man of Stoer with my best mate, a day planned for years

CMD arete, Ben Nevis

CMD arete, Ben Nevis

No2 gully, Ben Nevis with Simon

Rare Nevis summit clarity