Tuesday, January 20, 2009

North West on Monday

Mark and i tried to go back into the Northern Corries on Monday but the ski road was shut and we were told that it was unlikly to open on Monday.

So we drove north to the North West and after a second breakfast we had a very late start on Sgorr Ruadh. We started climbing at about 2.30 and changed the focus of the day to night navigation! Mark and i climbed a probable new route 'To late to Tango' at about IV, 5. The turf wasn't great as it was buried by heavy snow but it improved the higher up the mountain we went.

Cairngorms on Sunday

I went to the Cairngorms again on Sunday intend on more performance mixed climbing coaching. The ski road was closed in the morning but opened after 9.

We went in Sneachda and found the buttress climbs to be very buried and concerned about avalanches we opted for a route on Mess o Pottage. We did Honeypot and noted another team on Messenger. A team was on Doctors Choice area but otherwise many teams turned back and it was a quiet day.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A new website

Well, in celebration of the fact that http://www.highmountaineering.com/ version 1.0 is up and running now it seems that I'm rewarded with a temperature rise of 9deg C this morning! I've been working on this for the past few weeks to launch in time with the publishing of my latest article in CLIMB magazine about Performance Winter Climbing. There is a section in the site about the Coaching i offer in regards to improving performance http://www.highmountaineering.com/index.php?id=125
There is also an articles section on the site which i will update every week or so with a new piece. http://www.highmountaineering.com/index.php?id=93
Update your book marks!
There was significant snow up high above about 600m 24 hrs ago in the North West, but some warm rain fell in the night and with high winds and pretty solid cloud cover i wouldn't expect the lapse rate to be too significant and would expect the snow to have gone soggy.

However, it is due to get colder on Friday and with stormy weather and rapid thaw freezes then North West ice should grow in the drainage lines up high.

I'm out this weekend doing more performance mixed climbing coaching and will report back. I have availability next week till Saturday for short term bookings but am not available the week after.

In the mean time have a look at the new site, if there are any glaring mistakes please email me and tell me! I know that in many places an apostrophe has been replaced by a question mark and am trying to hunt these gremlins down!

Lastly, a HUGE thank you must go to Geoff Neill for the design and building of the site. If you want a site built, get in touch and I'll pass your details on, he is fantastic and even managed to get a Luddite like me to get stuck in.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Mixed climbing coaching in the Northern Corries

Ive been spending far too much time staring at a PC developing the new website ready for next week (hopefully!) so was relieved to get out for a day today.

Today Phil and I went into Sneachda with a focus on coaching for advanced mixed climbing. We chose the line of Stirling bomber for this and found excellent turf and great winter conditions. The corrie was quiet with a party on Messenger, several mooching about Red gully area and other easy gullies and a party on Fluted Buttress direct i think. Several cannon balls of rock came from the fluted buttress area that were incredibly close to a winter skills party below.

There is some slab build up in the corrie high on the slopes and is resting on an old icy layer of snow. There will probably be an instability period tomorrow with the rising temp and then hopefully some consolidation.