Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Cairngorms, Skye, The Cullins and West coast sea cliffs

I'm 'between computers at the moment and so haven't been updating this blog. Ive been in a variety of places recently, the heat (and the midge) drove me to the high cairngorms where there are still decent size snow patches in the north facing corries. The biggest is on the west flank of Corrie an Lochain. The picture shows the corries of Brariach.

Other venues that i have been going to have been the sea cliffs of Reiff and Rhue just north of Ullapool. These short sandstone cliffs can provide pretty fierce challenges, quite similar in many ways to gritstone.

I've also been over to Skye where is has been in the high 20's C and climbing in the high corries has been pretty warm. I've been teaching multipitch lead climbing and have also been guiding classic routes on the magnificent 300m high face of Shron na Ciche, including as Arrow Route, Wall works route and the Cioch.

I'm going to be in the Lakes till the 10th July, but will try and post when I'm there if Internet access is available. Whether the weather will hold i can't say, it feels like we will be due a big thunder storm in the Highlands at the moment.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Dodging the raindrops

It has been a mixed week weather wise; sunshine bright enough to hurt your eyes followed by torrential rain in some places. In other places we were chased off the cliffs by the midge!
However, one is generally onto a winner at places like Reiff and the Stone Pig cliffs. These perfect hard sandstone cliffs are 30mins north of Ullapool and have hundreds of fantastic lines from 8 to 40+m.
Pictures show me (yellow helmet) leading up a new route at the Stone Pig cliffs. Man and Buoy, 20m is just left of the E5 Clatterbridge on the concave face that gently overhangs at the top. The route was not climbed on sight unfortunatly as i had to abb down and push off a very large block to make it safe but was done ground up on the lead without any practice.
The other picture shows Martin Hind seconding with a buoy tied to his harness just to demonstrate that he is much stronger than i am!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Training for the Cullin Ridge

Ive been working with James recently preparing him for a forth coming trip to Skye. We focused mainly on good practice in abseiling completing several single abseils then a more complicated 3 pitch abseil descent down the crag. Oh, and we also climbed several routes in the process!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

'Summer' Navigation in the Cairngorms

Plans for Summer navigation practice up on the tops were re drafted with the fresh snow we have had in the Cairngorms over the last few days. What a contrast to last week where the temperature has been in the high 20's.
Instead we switched to low and medium level altitudes and suffered hail and rain rather than sleet and snow. Thank heavens for little mercies. I'm teaching rock climbing and absailing and personal rock climbing this week hopefully we may see the sun again this week.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Skye ridge and the Cullin traverse

More perfect weather and sunshine in the Cullins. Ive been doing the sections of ridge on different days rather than the whole thing in a push. This allows for a more relaxed approach and, perhaps more importantly the chance for a hot bath and a couple of pints each evening!

Ive heard a rumor that the weather will break mid week, I'm hoping that it is unfounded as the weather makes the Ridge one of the best places in Europe at the moment.

I'm over there again this week and will try and report back at the week end.