Tuesday 28 September 2010

Amazing time in the Northwest

Suilven from Alan Halewood on Vimeo.

Lurgainn Edge from Alan Halewood on Vimeo.

Today I rushed down to Glasgow to start an SPA training this evening at Glasgow Climbing Centre. But this morning I took 3 pupils from The Glasgow Academy up West Buttress on Stac Pollaidh. Rock climbing on rough sandstone with a superlative view. The last 4 days working with Neal and his 6 pupils have been great. We started with a scramble up Lurgainn Edge on Cul Beag. Although it was absolutely freezing the route got better and better as we got higher up and finishes only a 100m from the summit with a grand outlook onto our objective for day 2. Those of you who know me will attest that I'm not a paddler. However the approach to Suilven cries out for open canoes with long lochs running parallel to the walking path. So we took the boats and paddles to the foot of this stunning mountain. A steep pull to the bealach and we passed through the curious but well crafted drystone dyke on the way to the top of Caisteal Liath. Suilven comes from the Norse for 'The Tower' which is how it would have been perceived by viking raiders passing off of the coast seeing it end on. We retraced our steps before scrambling up to the east summit and I kept going to pass over the lower peak at the eastern end and on down the ridge (startling a buzzard perched amongst the boulders on the way). Back to the boats and it was a weary team that returned to the hut in Elphin that evening. More SPA action with Forth Valley College tomorrow and here are a couple of videos of the Cul Beag and Suilven.

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