Monday, April 20, 2009

Skye and the Cullin Ridge Traverse

I was on Skye last week and the weather was amazing. I completed my first traverse of this season and enjoyed sunshine, dry rock and a gentle cooling breeze (Kevin, email me for the photo's). The ridge was very quiet and no queues were encountered. The settled weather seems to be continuing till Wednesday where a front will pass over and then, fingers crossed, more good weather behind it.

I'm endeavoring to get the summer courses up this week... in the mean time email me for details.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Scrambling and New Snow

I was scrambling with Andy today on Creag Ghlas in Strathconon. This is a great crag and has fantastic climbing from VS upwards. We weaved around East buttress which can be a grade 2/3 scramble or a VS depending on the line you take. We tagged the summit at 686m and then scrambled down and back up another line before finally heading down. We looked at all aspects of ropework and quick efficient movement adapting our style to suit the terrain.

The weather was mostly dry and the rock started to dry off in the afternoon. Note the rock here is very very slippy in the wet.
We saw evidence of quite localised snow fall on the distant mountains. There was nothing near where we were and nothing to the East of us but over to the SW on Sgurr Fhuar -thuill 1049m and the surrounding areas seemed to have a very healthy covering (see picture). There are some high crags in that vicinity so there may be a short coda on this winters song, but i'm off tomorrow to go and help with the Lambing over the Easter w/e. Hopefully next week will either be full on winter, or lovely dry sunshine for summer climbing!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Escape and Evasion

Today, i amazed myself and managed to stay dry all day and found dry rock. I was at Duntelchaig and was climbing with Andy who was brushing up on rescue and problem solving in a single pitch and multy-pitch setting. We looked at simple problems such as a second can't get a runner out through to rescuing an unconscious climber and taking them down the crag in a multy pitch abseiling scenario.

I hope you will admire the very '80's' camera angle on one of the shots (80's = lots of tilt!)

Friday, April 03, 2009

Spring is released!

Since Tuesday it has been sunglasses and t-shirt weather in the NW. Ive been rock climbing and getting 'a bit of a dab on' hill walking this past week. It's been fun getting to grips with the rock again at the start of the rock season; if only strong legs and the ability to walk with a heavy pack all day could get us up those E grades! Alas, it's time to get strong again.

The snow cover on the NW hills has greatly reduced and in the Cairngorms many of the rivers are very high indeed and the usual crossing places now require care and attention.

There is talk of it getting colder this w/e and perhaps in several days but for my money the Fat Lady has sung in the final act of this years Winter opera.
As a parthian shot here is an image of Iain Small on the Cranium start to the first winter ascent of Metamorphosis. I'm looking forward to next winter already.