17 Feb 2015

Two days in the Clouds

Have day 2 good days out with on being on last friday with Nathan out on the Ben Climbing Thompsons Route witch like most routes of the Ben in great contoin. Tho getting to the climb was a bit trike with the low cloud but we found it will a bit of help for a team looking to get on Sioux Wall. Coming off the Ben was a bit of a mess as I dofo need to sort out my winter Nev!!! Some how managered to end up at the top of the Red Burn very lucky for sure. Other then this was lucky with a lifts up the Ben Track with Kev and Joe how where looking to get on Mega Routes X and then a lift back form the North Face car park with Will of was out with to poeple for Atlas Mountaineering.

Routes in there some where

Nathan coming up the first pitch

Nathan leading the last pitch 

Half way lochen looking nice int he even light

Yesterday head out to the West Face of Aonach Mor. Am not having much luck on the west face. Third time on the worry route. Was meant to be on Western Rib but end up on Daim Buttress with more IV then the III thats its mean to be. Still a great day out with a great ice pitch at the bottom with 2 mixed pitch to gain easier ground to the top.

Ewan on the Pitch
The evening looking like it could be a nice day

11 Feb 2015

A wee birthday walk from Corrour to Kinlochleven

So today was Erika's Birthday and for a random outing. The plan was simple of first train out to Corrour and then walk back to Kinlochleven. Easy as that... Ooo and we had to be back for 7.30 for drinks and food. Leaving Carrour Station we headed to Carin Leum Uilleim which was a mix of soft snow and heathery patches. Quick progress brought us to the start of the ridge where we put crampons on. Shortly after entering the cloud, creating moments of whiteout conditions. Managed well with navigating using timings and bearings, but dropped the ball walking off Beinn a Bhirc where we ended up heading to Blackwater. Once out of the cloud managed to work out where we were and relocate. Below the cloud level we made good time round to Kinlochleven and even managed to get back to Fort William for half four.

Horse on the train
No to the cloud we go

Following the deer

Even a wee bit of blue sky came out

Eating on the good
Finding are way again

10 Feb 2015

Zig Zags in winter

What a mega day out yesterday was. One of then days that make you think you should do more walking and not to be look to climb all the time. We head down to Glencoe for the day to go up the Zig Zags on Gearr Aonach. The walk in was worryingly warm as it could have been done in a t-shirt. The snow was soft under foot all the way up with water running under the snow too. Once on the ridge was in the cloud so not much to look for the day. At the top on Bian got a bit moist and bumped into Neil how had solo Dorsal Arete and heading back down. Dropping off Bian to Sgreamhach we came out of the clouds to Blue sky and amazing views!! We had back down down into the lost valley with a shot down climb with the longest bum slide I have ever done (500M at High speed). This mean the first past of the walk of fun but some it was onto poor snow with hidden holes under it. But still a great day. Will have to head back into to do Beinn Fhada as the ridge looks great! Winter just keens giving. Tho today is sadly a uni day.

Looking over to Rannoch Moor

Beinn Fhada
Last bit


Great views at last

Maga bum slide
My rainbow

2 Feb 2015

2 in 1 with a wee bit more

Head out with Ewan today. We had nothing really planned to do just opened mind on what was in. We stared off with the first pitch of Waterfall Gully as there was a team heading up to The Curtain. Witch was great but a bit sort lived.

Start of Waterfall Gully

Next headed back to The Curtain get on it and for Ewan to do a wee bit of leading (doing a very good Elvis). There was a other team on it so a chilled out bit of lunch be for getting on. The ice was all good but for some bad bits at the top. By now a another team had gone up Waterfall Gully and broke trail thought the snow on the upper pitchs. So back we when for the hole thing. Very snowy upper part but great feeling in the Gully.

Two Teams on The Curtain
Ewan on the lead
Looking about
There was a far number of people out for Monday. Teams on Shield Direct, Gemini, Tower Ridge and Vanishing Gully too name some. If things hold out like this then a lot to get out.

Last bit
Great end the day
CMD looking good in sunset
Skier enjoying the snow
Happy Ewan

1 Feb 2015

Two Great Days

So have day to great days playing about. First day was out with my brother (John) for his first test of winter walking/climbing and Andy. We head to the West Face Aonach Mor to do Gendarme. But as I have fond before on the west face not on the right route. We where on a rib to the left witch still give great climbing of I/II. And the prefect thing for John's first day. There was a far bit of power about and made for a bit of a swim at times. Looked great for all the skier and borders out.

Looking like a bit of a swim

We are men with axes!!

Starting up the rib

John Loving the swinging his axe

The second day was out with a big crew of people from UHI Paddle Sports Club to head down the Arkaig. It was great to head so many people out good banter, swims, getting wet and a wee bit cold. This is a start of a week/2 week trip the club is looking to start running.

Kayak surfing

Classy Girls

Big crew

Playing on the wave!!!

20 Jan 2015

Puffer Fun

Well last weekend was the 10th Strathpuffer and it was a great time!! Had been enter with my friend Andy who I did it with last year as a quad and we where going to do it as a pair but he broke his wrist the week before. So with some calling about got another friend Rich to join in for the 24 hours of madness. The route was not much different form last year they had add a muddy end to the lap witch was great fun to hit the puddles and there was a lot more ice about at the start off the race. So how did it good. We did pretty will for the still about 1 where we both die after getting 16 laps done and then got back on it at 7 to get 3 more done so 19 laps in all. We came 31st out of 58th mans pairs. I was well happy with 19 laps as I had broken my ankle back in Sept and Rich had week notice before the race. And some how had a smell on his face on the change over (think he enjoy the muddy a lot more then me). A big thanks to Fi and Davey for food and pitting for us!! We'll done to Fiona for coming third solo woman. And will I be back again for sure just need find a team.

Me enjoy the sunshine (Photo Archie Lang)

Fi with her prizes 

15 Jan 2015

Two days over East

It's been a bit of a mad two days. Was meant to be heading over east with uni for 4 days of climbing, walking and maybe skilling. But with the bad weather forecast they besides to canals the trip. Witch was far to do.  I head over none the less to see if anything could be done. First day headed out with Ed to Coire an t'Sneachda, tho it did not start off well the snow gets where shut so meant a nice was up the road. Getting up to the car park we fond that some winter skill groups had made it up. Witch meant lots of people to brake trial. There where so big brief but easily avoid. We planed on doing Hidden Chimney but a team where heading up the direct. So as The Haston Line as it looking good. Climbing was great fun with tricky bits in places and needing small hips for bits too. On the walk off we meet the team that had been avalanche down the goat track so helped brake trial from them on way out. Bit of a lucky boy. Hope he gets better soon.

Along road ahead
Trail breakers
Ed on the first Pitch
The second head out with Lou and James. Lou has her MIC coming up in March and need to practice teaching skill to people and as they say you ever stop learning. We planed on heading to Creagan Coire Cha-no on the walk up the wind so a bit wild at time feeling like 40-50mph but we battled are way on. Getting to the top on the crag I found out the hard way use you need to check you have done things up tight. I had lost 2 bolts out on my axes.

Fighting the wind

Something missing here?!?!

So after some words to myself and say sorry (some many times). Change in place to head to try do snow anchors on the walk back to the mighty Ciste crag. This sadly did not work out as the snow where we planed to do it was winds slab. So moving on to Ciste crag where we go on and practice tying using fig 8s and placing pegs. There where lots on groups from Glenmore Lodge the Coire too. We pland to have a bit of food and find a place to do snow anchors after but the day got cut short so I could get a lift home.
James on the lead with Lou

Groups about
In all a great 2 days out climbing if a bit of a mess up on my part. Now time to find from the winter storms and get ready for the Strathpuffer this coming weekend it looking like it going to be a fun time.