Tuesday 31 May 2016

Teaching lead climbing day 2

Day 2 of our Glenmore Lodge Introduction to Lead Climbing and we went to sample the sandstone of Cummingston. Cool, a gentle breeze and typically a little sandy but more lead climbs including first time leads for some.
 Follow me
 Hannah on the stack
 An attentive belayer
 A good Dragon
 On the sharp end
 A tyrolean traverse
 The fun way off the stack
 Hmmm.... which wire?
Cornflake Wall- first ever trad. lead

Monday 30 May 2016

Learning to lead climb Day 1

I'm working a 5 day learn to lead course at Glenmore Lodge this week and today we were at Kingussie Crag. The sun shone, the rock was dry, the gear was fine and we climbed half a dozen routes from Diff to VS. Happy days!
 Comfy shoes today
 Series climbing
 Whoops. check that krab
 Hard not to enjoy
 Bringing up his partner
 Kingussie looking good
On the sharp end

Sunday 29 May 2016

Ropework in the Cairngorms

Day 2 of the Mountain Training Association CPD weekend based at Glenmore Lodge and I was working in the area of the Twin Ribs looking a Mountain Leader rope work. We had a dry sunny morning and then it was a shock to the system after the recent sunny weather when we walked out in heavy rain!
 Walking in
 Party Management in the boulder field
 Route selection
 Steep ground
 Come on up 
 Direct belay
 'What goes up...'
'...must come down!'

Saturday 28 May 2016

Warm and dry nav in the Cairngorms

This weekend I'm been working for Glenmore Lodge on refreshers for Summer Mountain Leaders on behalf of the Mountain Training Association.
Today I had a group of 4 folk and we headed up the north ridge of Cairngorm looking at relating the map and contour features to the ground. We also visited the El Alamein Refuge and had a chat about the plants and geology of the Cairngorms.
 Cloudberry in bloom in many places on the north slopes of Cairngorm
 A wee break
 Trying out the Sherpa Lithang jacket
 Where have I been... where am I... where am I going?
 The El Alamein Refuge

Thursday 26 May 2016

Aonach Eagach

Today I had a great day working on the Aonach Eagach with Martin for Steve Fallon. We also had MIA Trainee Jess along who is working towards her Assessment later in the summer. With 6 fit scramblers and a great forecast I knew we were in for a good day. After a bit of a breeze on the pull up to the first summit it went still and calm ('fail' from the weather forecasters who predicted 20-30mph winds) and we sweated our way along the ridge with plenty of stops to drink in the view and some fluids too.
The Aonach Eagach is a cruise scramble for some and a little more challenging for others. Today we were flexible and with perfect conditions 4 of the team chose to follow Martin without a rope whilst 2 were happier with the security of a rope with Jess and I. Great views and a fun day. The descent is always quite full on on the knees though!
 After the flog uphill
 Amazing view of the Highlands
 Equally great view of Glencoe mountains
 Ready to go!
 Lorne and the view
 Jess on the move
 Jess getting some friction
 Through the pinnacles
 Up the steepest bit at the end
 Looking back along the pinnacles
 Sam savouring the exposure
 Still snow on Bidean nam Bian
 Looking back along the ridge
 Heading for the second Munro summit
What are you little fellow?

Wednesday 25 May 2016

Gneiss sunny slabs

Holly Tree Slab is so clearly visible as a gleaming sheet of rock close to the road from Corran to Strontian that I've been promising myself a wander up it for years. Today the sunshine, inclination and a likeminded partner coincided so Cameron and I headed across the ferry to Meall a' Braighaid. Its less than 15 minutes walk to the base of Holly Tree Slab which was as it appeared: a sheet of cleanest gneiss at an easy angle. We soloed it and then came down its left side, back up a rib there, down again, round to the right and up a slightly harder slab and then wandered up and right searching for its companion routes. We struggled a little with the descriptions but certainly found clean sheets of gneiss that were a lot harder than Holly Tree Slab and gave 60+m lines (including a couple of cracks that would have taken gear). Then we rambled back down to the bags (and I squeezed one more solo of HTS in) before sun induced lassitude caused us to call it a day. Very relaxing...