Saturday, 31 May 2014

Busy few days!

The past few days I have been on a BASP Outdoor First Aid Course held at the Glencoe NTS Centre.  The course itself was very good indeed and provided a good opportunity to brush up on some first aid skills whilst revalidating my mandatory qualification.  The course was run over 2 days which finished at 1700hrs yesterday, so Sandy and I decided to go climbing given that the weather had been so unreasonably nice!  We headed for the Buachaille and made a quick approach up to the base of Agags Groove (V.Diff) on Rannoch Wall.  The route never fails to please, providing great exposure and some fun climbing.  After having made swift progress up the route we headed up to the base of Crowberry Tower and on to the summit of Stob Dearg.  Shortly after which we me Leigh on our descent and enjoyed a beautiful sunrise before descending Coire na Tulaich.  Today I was out working for Up and Doon guiding on Ben Nevis mountain footpath.  Today was a scorcher, a lot of sunshine and a lot of people on the mountain footpath.  We passed the on going path/bridge repairs and made good time to the Redburn and then on to the summit of Ben Nevis before taking our time on descent, placing an emphasis on regular water stops to combat dehydration.  Cracker of a day!

is there a better place for an after work hit?

Sandy scrambles up the initial section of Curved Ridge

Sandy on the 3rd belay on Agags Groove

Moody Mammores

Sunset on Stob Dearg

on going bridge/path repairs on Ben Nevis

on going bridge/path repairs on Ben Nevis
Paul and Sean enjoying the weather

The summit and Indicator Wall, Ben Nevis

The guys on the top

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

28.5.14 - Curved Ridge with Andy and Pae

Today I was out on Curved Ridge on Buachaille Etive Mor in Glencoe with Andy and Pae.  When I met the guys off the bus in Glencoe it was raining and had been for a wee while and I was not looking forward to a soaking, but thankfully the rain stopped and the sun came out to play.  The route itself was bone dry, although the same could not be said for the approach!  Curved Ridge is one of my favourite days out, summer or winter.  We made good progress up to the base of Crowberry Tower before scaling the South Ridge and having lunch on the top enjoying views of the Ben.  After a bite to eat we made our way down into Crowberry Gap and onwards to the summit of Stob Dearg, where a cheeky raven expectantly hung around unaware we had already eaten!  A careful descent down Coire na Tulaich (loose and still partially snow covered path which we chose to avoid!) seen us back at the car with all having had a great day!

Pae and Andy in the Great gully

Andy enjoying the approach to Curved Ridge

Pae gains the ridge proper after the first steep section

Moving up Curved Ridge

Pae on the last few moves up Crowberry Towers South Ridge

Lunch on the top of Crowberry Tower

Pae happy on the summit of Stob Dearg

Cheeky Bastard

Sunday, 25 May 2014

25.5.14 - Not Quite!

Today I was out working for Adventure Nevis guiding a group on the mountain footpath.  The weather today was very dull and conducive for all out midgie attacks.  Frequent showers and lack of wind ensured a rather unpleasant sweaty humidity remained with us all day.  The group took their time getting to the redburn path junction and we decided a high point of corner 4, being 1000m above sea level, was an appropriate goal.  Once we reached corner 4. we sat for a few minutes, taking on some food and water before a slow and steady descent back to Glen Nevis.  Not quite the high point some of the guys were aiming for, but they assure me they'll be back soon to finish the job!

Midgie Costa Del Sol

The guys at our high point today

Saturday, 24 May 2014

24.5.14 - 3 peaks challenge

Today I was out working for Mountain and Glen, guiding a group of eight on the Ben Nevis stage of a Three Peaks Challenge.  We started at 0700 from the Visitor Centre car park and were motivated to leave quickly by the midgies.  Progress was a bit slower than average but morale remained high as we enjoyed some beautiful views before summiting in the clag at around 1100hrs.  A steady descent to the car park with smiles all round!  another great day on the Ben, well done to Debbie, Sarah, Anne, Zoe, Howard, Dave, Rachel and Kerstin on a successful ascent!

Friday, 23 May 2014

23.6.14 - Freitag on Ben Nevis!

Today I was out with Andy Davidson working for Up and Doon guiding on Ben Nevis mountain path.  We had a group of 5 Germans out today, all very eager to reach the top!  We took our time enjoying the beautiful views of Glen Nevis before leaving the footpath at the corner of ZZ6/7 and headed through the snow flurries over to the top of No4 Gully where the group feasted their eyes upon some awesome views of the North Face, we followed the coire rim and rejoined the path just beyond No3 gully. Once back on the path it wasnt long before we were all stood on the summit.Well done to Anja, John Paul, Gito, Monika and Andreas on their successful ascent!

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

20.5.14 - Ben Nevis in the sun

Today I was working for Adventure Nevis guiding a group of six  on Ben Nevis.  The weather today was all out t-shirt weather, with strong sunshine and a gentle breeze to help prevent an all out sweat-fest!  After enjoying the refreshment of ice cold water from the Red Burn,  Jadene and Sharon decided to descend leaving Tim, Kate, Julie and Jess to ascend further.  We reached the summit around 1345hrs and were treated to some great views of the surrounding areas while enjoying our well deserved lunch.  The group were impressed with the views but were restricted from seeing the full extent of this amazing place by the threat of cornices, so a short detour on descent to the rocky safe haven of the top of the Tower Ridge area gave us great views of the North Face and Coire na Ciste. Well done, not only to the guys who summited, but to the group as a whole for keeping morale high and trying their best!

"Do the zig zags ever end!?"
Relieved to have finished the Zig Zags with the end Almost in sight

Jess, Julie, Kate and Tim happy on the summit!

Big smiles from Jess!
The summit as seen from the top of Tower Ridge area
Enjoying some great views of Loch Linnhe and Loch Eil

Heli dropped bags carrying equipment and materials for upcoming foot path repais

Saturday, 17 May 2014

16.5.14 - Moy rock

With a day of good weather forecast for the Inverness/Dingwall area, Dan and I decided to head north to Moy Crag.  I had never been to Moy previously and was quite impressed with the unique climbing experience that conglomerate rock gives, if I had to describe it, I'd say it feels a bit like being a spider climbing up a rough cast wall!  Pebbles and blocks of all shapes and sizes protruding from the surface offer a whole range of holds, some of which feel too good at times, leading to mistrust of their security on sighting cracks around them!  We warmed up on Corvus 5+** before getting super pumped on Fighting off the vultures 6a+ ** which I totally dog fucked on lead due to epic pumpage (more training required!).  After this and some lunch Dan lead up The Old Man of Moy 6a+* and I lead up Moy Racer 6a*.  We ended the day on Pebble Party 6a* (which I really enjoyed leading! superb route!) and Moy Soldiers 5+*.  We had no sooner got back to the car, before the Lochaber weather had found us and began to piss down.  A fantastic venue, and one which I will be sure to visit again!  Cheers to Dan for a good day out and some great photos!

Moy crag as seen from the A835 road

Sunshine and dry rock!

me cruising up Corvus 5+** Photo:Dan Timmis

Dan starts off up Fighting off the Vultures 6a+**

Great photo of me lowering off after Corvus. Photo:Dan Timmis

Crag Comfort Carpet! its a beautiful thing!

Lunch time! Photo:Dan Timmis

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

13.5.14 - more good weather on the Ben

Today I was working for Mountain and Glen, guiding Team Elliott on a three peaks challenge.  The weather today was much better than forecast and blessed us with some stunning scenery.  By halfway our team of 7 was whittled down to four and made good time to a clear Ben Nevis summit.  The long descent back to Glen Nevis, made a little easier by enjoying some great views!  Well done to Frances, Emma, John and Keith on a successful summit and a great start to their 3 peaks challenge and all the best on the mountains yet to come!

top of the zig zags and going strong!

beautiful conditions today!

the guys on the summit

Sunday, 4 May 2014

04.05.2014 - Ben Nevis by the mountain path

Today I was back out for Adventure Nevis, guiding a group of eight on the mountain foot path.  In a stark contrast to yesterdays beautiful weather, today was absolutely minging with sustained rain and non existent views.  For the most part we were wrapped in a blanket of claggy misery which managed to dampen all but our spirits!  A very big well done to all group members today, especially Izzak who despite being only 8 managed to make it to the summit today and single handedly raised over £500 for charity in doing so, well done that man!

my group enjoying some food at the half way point

a few of my guys on the summit while another group takes shelter!

Saturday, 3 May 2014

03.05.2014 - Carn Mor Dearg Arete

Today I was out working for Adventure Nevis guiding Vicky on the Carn Mor Dearg Arete on to Ben Nevis.  The weather today was absolutely brilliant which made for some stunning views over the Mamores and of the North face of Ben Nevis.  We started from the North Face Car Park near Torlundy and made our way up the forestry path before veering off the Alt 'a Mhuilinn path towards Carn Dearg Meadhonach and then on to Carn Mor Dearg its self.  From there we tackled the Carn Mor Dearg Arete, an excellent grade 1 scramble which leads to the eastern side of Ben Nevis and ultimately on to the summit, which today was very busy!  well done to Vicky and thanks for a great day!

Vicky enjoying the fine scrambling on the Arete

Ben Nevis North Face

Taking in the amazing views!

The Carn Mor Dearg Arete and Ben Nevis

Vicky happy on the summit!