Friday 30 May 2014

Great weather and great company on Great Ridge

Brian and Iain texted me late last night suggesting s trip to this classic climb on Garbh Bheinn and after a week of paperwork and quality family time it sounded just the job. Its some years since I've been on the route and today was the first time we've had company. The van driver next to us on the Corran Ferry clocked us as climbers from our forearms and we spotted him as one but the guidebook he was reading.
We hit the direct start after a sweaty walk in a pitch or so behind a pair and the van team (Tim and friend) were a wee way behind us. The first few pitches gave great value on excellent rock as ever. At the grass rake we caught the first team up and found 4 EUMC students waiting for the main Ridge too but they kindly let us through. The upper part of the Ridge has super exposure for a Diff with the core yawning below dappled with clouds and sunshine. It was almost a shame when it had to end!
 Iain on the walk in with the Ridge above
 Starting up
 Brian following the first pitch
 The ramp traverse… quality
 End of our second pitch
 On the upper Ridge
 Great views
 A long way down
 High on the Ridge
 Nearing the top
 EUMC topping out
Spot the climber
 See him yet?

How about now?

Monday 26 May 2014

Last day on Skye and a week off (sort of)

Rachael's and Duncan's last day was another damp one but we decided what the heck- lets go large and go to the Cioch anyway after their stirling performances the previous couple of days out.
It was wet and it was slippery as expected but some perseverence paid off and they pair had their 'Highlander' moment atop the Cioch. Then there was just the little matter of a monster abseil and the terrace to be traversed back down. And of course then the sun came out. But that's Skye (and Scotland) for you.
After that I had a weekend with family and friends in Applecross. Great food, great company and too much red wine kept the midges away (along with a healthy dose of Smidge. Now I have a few days to catch up on paperwork and bookings.
 Rachael in Action
 On top of the Cioch
 Who has to be Christopher Lambert?
 Duncan coming down
 Finishing the big ab
 I climbed that!
 Sunshine at the end of the day
 Kaye at the beach
 Walk this way!

Thursday 22 May 2014

Chilly fingers on The In Pin

Cold, a little damp and the sun never quite broke through the flag but well done to Rachael and Duncan for tackling the Inaccessible Pinnacle in less than ideal conditions.

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Steamy on Skye

Today I took Rachael and Duncan up Pinnacle Ridge on Sgurr Nan Gillean and it was hot, steamy and hazy all day long. Iain was along to shadow me and the chat and banter flowed all day long as we went up, over and down the Pinnacles on the way to the summit. We had a bit of a fright at the beginning of the day when a party skirting the first pinnacle on the Coire a Bhasteir side almost had a party member come to grief in a large rockfall- plenty of loose rock around off the beaten track in the Cuillin and perhaps more so in spring/early summer. We descended the West Ridge (no ab tat on the block) and the Coire below (no need to go on snow now) before heading down for tea and medals…. and a lot of rehydration therapy!
 Sweating in
 First Pinnacle
 Iain in the gap
 Sunshine and views
 Knights Peak, 3rd Pinnacle behind
 Topping out on Knight's Peak
 Summit of Sgurr Nan Gillean
 Welcome to The Cuillin
 Through the window
 Heading down
Bring on the first stream!!!

Monday 19 May 2014

Flying visit home from one island to another

After a good second day of CWA Trg on Orkney (thanks to Duncan for the help and to Ian of Orkney Climbing Club and his family for the amazing hospitality) I'm home packing for Skye for the rest of the week followed by a weekend in Applecross!
 Ella playing golf...
...whilst the rest of the team look on

Sunday 18 May 2014

Orkney rock and resin

I'm making a flying visit to Orkney just now. I arrived on friday evening in time to grab a route on the sandstone crags of Roseness and yesterday I had a bit of work to do there again before starting a CWA Training working with Duncan. The islands have 2 climbing walls. One at Kirkwall Grammar School and one at the Picaquoy Centre both of which are great wee venues.
 A quick route
 Sunny sandstone by the sea
 Ancient ripples on the sand
 Blind deadly ninja beanbag assassins
 Bizarre belaying at the 'Picky'
Who needs a belay plate?