Sunday, 29 June 2014

27/28.6.14 - Three peaks 1 and a half

Friday/Saturday seen me out for Mountain and Glen, guiding on 3 peaks challenges.  The weather on Friday was marginally better than the next days drizzle, but by no means bad weather on the Ben.  In short, Fridays group made it, Saturdays group didnt. Big well done to both groups for their efforts climbing now!

Brians face of fatigue 

Fridays group on the summit! 

Thursday, 26 June 2014

26.6.14 - North buttress, Buachaille Etive Mor

Late this morning Ali and I set out for the Buachaille and in particular, North Buttress.  This route is my standard 'bad mood route', what I mean by this is, if I'm in a bad mood, I head for North Buttress because there is no bad mood in the world that cant be lost in the sheer enjoyment of this beautiful route.  The point of today was to get Ali leading, placing gear and building belays, all of which she did in fine style.  We enjoyed awesome views amongst the best scrambling/climbing at its grade (Moderate).  Another great day out on the Buachaille, If you haven't done it, get on it! 

Ali leads off on the first crack system 

Ali's gear placement review - bomber!

Ali got fed up leading  
scrambling up the final rocky section to the summit

I love this environment dearly 

Monday, 23 June 2014

23.06.14 - Ben Nevis via the mountain footpath.

Today I was working for Adventure Nevis guiding Kunal on the mountain footpath.  The day was fairly warm and humid and set the stage for a sweat-fest on the lower half of the mountain, both in going up and coming down.  We cut off the path at corner 6 and went for a look at the North face from No4 Gully area, before making our way round to No3 Gully and then on to the summit for around 1230hrs.  Good day in a beautiful country ...even if you couldn't see it!

Monday, 16 June 2014

16.6.14 - Lagangarbh Buttress, Buachaille Etive Mor

Yesterday Ali and I headed out to the Buachaille with the plan being to get up either North Buttress or Curved Ridge for Ali to get a chance to try out her new B3 alpine boots before we head to Chamonix next month.  When we arrived, we counted over 20 cars and 2 mini buses, which lead to us making the assumption that Curved Ridge was probably as busy as the Hillary Step!  We also assumed there would be a fair few people on North Buttress so we decided on Lagangarbh Buttress, a nice grade 3 scramble up the buttress just East of Coire na Tulaich.  The approach was shit. A swampy, wet, heather trampling, midgie infested march of misery.  Once on the route itself, it was very enjoyable and the rock is immaculate, providing loads of high class, very enjoyable scrambling with the odd airy moment.  As we got higher on the route I had spotted Lagangarbh Chimney, a V.Diff rock climb about 3/4 of the way up the route.  We were deterred from bagging this as it looked very dank,damp and midgie infested.  Once at the top of the buttress we stopped for tea (yes I know, I know.  However tea seems to be a good bribe to the girlfriend out the door!).  Whilst enjoying our brew, we looked over to the coire rim and seen endless hoards of people going off in all directions, enjoying our solitude on a very busy mountain.  Once the tea was finished, we headed directly up by skirting over to the rim of the Great Gully and then over the summit shoulder to the path.  We did this because on my previous times on this route, it looks quicker and easier to contour round the coire rim and pop out at the col, trust me its not, its loose and shit and horrible and will most likely ruin your whole day.  A quick descent down the Coire and we were back at the car enjoying a bounty and a can of lilt, the little things!  great day out!

Lagangarbh Buttress, Grade 3 scramble

Ali glad to be on the rock and off the swamps!

Nice climbing with just a little exposure

Mountain guide or brew bitch?  not quite sure either..

Tea as promised

Brew with a view


Saturday, 14 June 2014

14.6.14 - Early shift on the Ben

This morning I was working for Adventure Nevis.   I drove to Fort William after nearly running over 3 foxes on the high road out side of Kinlochleven, and waited for Mira and Paulyne for our 0400hrs start.  I do not love getting out of bed at 0250hrs, but I do love this time of day in the mountains.  It has a real magic to it and unless you've been in the mountains so early no words I can type will be able to convey exactly what I mean (so get out there). We headed up the mountain footpath along a very sleepy and misty (not to mention hot and humid!) Glen Nevis and before long were engulfed in clouds. We reached the summit around 0730 after a detour to the top of No4 Gully area for some great views of the North face.  A fantastic morning was had by all, well done to Mira and Paulyne!