Tuesday 29 April 2014

Sair tips and Glen Nevis VSs

Sandy had a few routes he wanted to tick in the Glen so I said i was happy to go for a relaxing morning of VS bagging. My fingertips are getting a little tender from all this great cragging. Rich was on an admin day and joined us for a wee spell too.
We had a chilled time on Resurrection (still a little damp), Damnation, Iche and Flying Dutchman with its wee 4c finish.
Nice to see Frankie and Emma out on the rock with Graeme today too.
 Sandy on Resurrection
 seeping a little as it often does
 Sandy over the roof on Damnation
 Graeme, Emma and Frankie on The Gutter
Rich past the crux overlap and onto the delicate slab of Iche

Monday 28 April 2014

Home to rough, hot rock

Back to the ring crags today with Steve who hasn't really climbed there before. I was keen to go somewhere I hadn't climbed as much on as Meall Fhir Eoin Mhor/Beag. The Apron Slabs have had nesting birds the last few springs so I've avoided them but after looking hard during a visit a few weeks ago we made a careful approach today and found no birds or nests on the crag.
we climbed Leac Glass, Ne'er Day Corner, a possible new 2 pitch HS 4b on the crag to the north, Seabhraic and Toulouse Booze Cruise Blues to give 10 pitches from HS to E1.
Hot, dry, rough as you like, slabby and clean. Quite unlike anything we did in the Lakes last week and in a truly beautiful place.
Thanks to Steve for the pics of me.
 Not a bad day
Steve on Leac Glass… there must be a runner somewhere...
Me heading for the sun 
Ne'er Day Corner P1
 Looking down the Pitch
 Top of the crag
 P1 of something new?
...And P2
 Me leading P1 of Seabhraic
 Steve following the pitch, bags below
 Steve heading for the top on amazing rock
Just after the crux move of Toulouse Booze Cruise Blues

Friday 25 April 2014

Today in Borrowdale

Last day of the Glenmore Lodge staff training in the Lake District today and we all wanted a route on the way home. We stopped off in Borrowdale and Giles and I went to Black Crag to have a look at The Mortician. The first pitch was an unfortunately greasy 4b but the second pitch was great- full on HVS. After a hard pull to get established in the corner a series of technical moves and steep steps always led to a rest before more of the same. The finger traverse on the Super Direct onto the Pinnacle itself felt a doodle afterwards.
End to a good week despite it being necessary to dodge the rain. Always great to climb with this bunch of friends/colleagues, indulge in some banter (amazing how well rocks can be hidden in rucksacks really), review the winter and get lots of early season mileage.
Sampled 3 great pub menus in Hawkshead and did a little shopping at the ever friendly, helpful and well stocked Needlesports in Keswick.
 Giles getting involved with the steep start to pitch 2 of The Mortician
 Looking steep up there
 Still steep and still going!
 Looking down over the Pinnacle, more of the team visible far below
Giles and Derwentwater

Yesterday in the Lakes

We woke to damp weather and a possibly showery forecast so we took some drastic action and headed for the coast for some sunny bouldering at St. Bees. Nice rock once the sun had hit it and after a few hours my elbows were screaming!
At the end of the day we had a few hours sit down chat about some of the avalanche training we've introduced at Glenmore Lodge- what we've learnt this year and what we want to do next year. Then it was on to some tweaks to how we will run ML courses and MIA Trainings and Assessments this year. Some good in depth chat- always impressed with how thoughtful and analytical many of my colleagues are on our work.
 Team Lodge at the seaside
 JJ getting into position for the rock over
 Derek resisting the barn door
 Giles getting up from the sit down start
 Sandy in balance
 Kev topping out

Wednesday 23 April 2014

A third mixed day in the Lakes

The Glenmore Lodge Staff Training continued today with parties in Langdale on Raven's Crag and above Wrynose Pass on Black Crag. Saw plenty of Lakes locals curious at our presence south of the border (revenge for winter incursions folks :-).
After a coffee at the ODG waiting for the crag to dry and the rock to warm up Sandy and I climbed on Bilberry Buttress (VS+) and Revelation (HS) and started up Mendes when the heavens opened. Ambleside…. cake…. etc. etc.
 Coffee at the ODG
 Sandy on the crux of Bilberry Buttress
 Kev and Derek belaying for Giles on Holly Tree Direct
 Looking down Revelation
 Andy and Phil relaxing on Centipede
Teams on Pluto and Bilberry Buttress
Sandy starting up Mendes… here comes the rain again...

Tuesday 22 April 2014

Staff training in the Lakes

After a weekend with the family in Keswick they have gone home and I've joined 10 other Glenmore Lodge Staff on 5 days climbing/mountaineering staff training in the Lakes. Yesterday we arrived and had time for a hit on Quayfoot Buttress (Derek and I climbed Quayfoot Buttress, the Mound and Irony). Today was wet but between (and sometimes during) downpours we managed Little Chamonix, Fishers Folly and Kransic Crack. Plenty of rock being climbed from VDiff to E2 despite the weather.
 Colin on The Mound on Quayfoot Buttress
 Derek on Little Chamonix (VDiff) only raining a little
 Derek higher on Little Cham- raining a little more
 Derek traversing on Fisher's Folly- hardly raining at all
Andy on MGC just before the big downpour

Friday 18 April 2014

Scottish sun rock

Stunning weather today. I was working with Steve helping prepare him for an MIA assessment  going over some of the sort of problems he will have to solve. Craig came along to lend a hand by being on the other end of the rope as he will go forwards for the Award in the future too.

We went to Glen Nevis which was dry and sunny but with the occasional cold breeze above the trees. It was great to feel the sun and climb some favourite routes for the first time this year in perfect weather.
When Scotland is like this its as good as anywhere in the world!
 Stob Ban
 Steve on pitch 1 of Pinnacle Ridge
 Walking the roof
 Craig coming down from 3 Pines
 Styx Buttress Right Wall
 Great view to the Mamores in the background
Came home to rescue this little one from one of our cats

Thursday 17 April 2014

BUSY day's teaching

During the day today I was working in Glen Nevis with first year students from West Highland College. Next week they will be assessed on their ability to coach a short, simple session for their peers. and today was a practise session. Those in my group were looking at ideas as varied as tying on and belaying, to shifting the centre of gravity climbing to use of clove hitches. It was cool and windy but dry.
This evening I was at the Ice Factor starting a CWA Training session for 9 candidates from West Highland College and Glencoe Outdoor Centre. Long but fun day
 Stability (?)
 Clove hitches
 CWa Trg