Monday 6 July 2015

Gone climbing...

Off today for a month to Greenland.
On our last trip there a large lake and its uncrossable outflowing river blocked our way and sitting on a hillside observing this my friend Neal said: "Alan… do you know what we need? We need a sea plane".
Knowing Neal I should have been prepared for the email. "Fancy a trip to Greenland next year? I've got that sea plane!" So now we are taking a group from Worksop College to Eastern Greenland (this will be my 7th trip now- time flies) in the G-PBYA Miss Pick Up. In its time this glorious aircraft has been a submarine hunter, a photo recon aircraft, search and rescue plane and latterly a firefighter. Now its going to fly from Loch Lomond to Lewis to Akureryi to Contablepynt. I'm going out ahead by commercial flight but in Greenland we'll split the already freighted kit and the team in two and make the shorter hop to a lake landing (I'll also be flying home in her).
Plan A is to hunt for some unclimbed peaks in Scoresbyland the extreme southern end of the Stauning Alps but, like here in Scotland (where we may have white stuff falling atop Ben Nevis tomorrow!) the winter has been holding on late and our lake may still be ice covered. If this is the case we'll go south to  an area south of Paul Stern Land to land on the very lake that sparked the idea.
The Worksop team have done some training with me during the winter ( and and other logistics will be through Tangent Expeditions.
I'll be a wrench being away from my kids for so long now that they have their own personalities (and agendas for dad's time when present!) but it'll be great to feed my polarhula a little more.
So I'll be out of comms for a month. Back in early August to an already busy back half of the year!
The further lake as a landing site
 Cairngorm training for the team
 Miss Pick Up
Packing for the trip

Wednesday 1 July 2015

Volcanic temperatures at Ardnamurchan

Today I took Nathan and Ruairidh to the Ring Crags out at Ardnamurchan to work on R's climbing. It was hot. Its rare for it to feel almost too hot to climb in Scotland but today almost did it!
Great to see Guy and Alan out there sweating and smearing too.
Ruairidh led his first pitch of Severe and a good long pitch of VDiff and we showed him what he could do as he followed pitches of 4b, 5b, 5a, and 5b!
 Guy hanging out on Yir
 R leading his first Severe
 Bringing N up
 N with his feet dancing on nothing
 Guy on the excellent Greta Gabbro
 Alan following on Claude
 Nathan heading Up Pompeii
 Starting the run out
 R styling the seconding
 R leading on Wedge Buttress
 Doing it for himself
 Sweating gently
 Guy and Alan on Ring of Fire
 N reaching for the gear on Krakatoa
 Happiness is a good cam
Last route of the day