Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Lakes

I have been down in the Lakes during the mini heat wave and enjoyed some CPD time down there. I don't usually go to the lakes for work or play, but everytime i do i seem to have idle thoughts about how nice it would be to live there. Hoever then i see the house prices and the crowds and i scuttle back home to the Highlands where i can leave my car at a crag and not worry about break ins and have a few hundred routes to choose from on mountain crags. But then again the local ice cream was nice...
I'm starting a week on Skye but will try and get to a computer and report on the conditions whist i'm there.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Skye Ridge and Munros

The weather on Skye has been much better than expected. However, the pessimist in me still packed a water proof rather than sun cream. The rock was dry and the May crowds have not yet arrived. It was quite a contrast to last week where there was a couple of inches of snow about. The new SMC Skye guidebook is progressing, any of you that want to get a cheeky new route in you have a mere couple of weeks!
The forecast looks reasonable for the next few days with a possible 'weather event' at the weekend.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Creag Ghlas bird alert.

Folk might want to know that there IS a nesting Golden Eagle pair on Creag Ghlas (one of my local crags). I went there today and met a party from Glenmore lodge who had also read the MCofS's website and didn't gleam much from its ambiguous info (probably not their fault in any case). I believe that similar ambiguous info was published in CLIMBER mag also (possibly but not sure a i don't read it).
Well yes there is a mating pair there for sure who put in an appearance for a while when we were half way up the crag. They scarpered and so did we. I'm unclear as to whether it would be ok to climb on the side of the crag (which is big) that doesn't have the nest as i have no idea how spooked they get, it would be a great shame if they abandoned it. Indeed, i'm not even sure i should be posting this?! Do eggers trawl the blogosphere? If there is an etiquette then please email me and let me know. I'll email the MCof S and update them and i have already contacted the local ranger and filled him in. What would be ideal would be a sign at the start of the track as climbers wouldn't have wasted any time on approaching and could just turn around and drive to another crag, but would this draw unwanted attention? Answers on a postcard.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Skye, Ben Nevis and Rock climbing

Nearly a month since the last blog. I am a bad man!

Iv'e been over Ben Nevis way, the NW and on Skye these last few weeks, oh and a final tour on the planks in the Cairngorms just so i can be in the May club! Indeed speaking of the May club, Point 5 has recieved at least 2 ascents in May this year, sadly not by me though. The other climbable ice ice route has been Good Friday climb which has seen several more ascents. The grade 1 gullies will still be there for a bit more if you are looking for some alpine lung busting preporation. Speaking of Alpine prep, Tower ridge has been very good lately also with dry rock till the little tower then crampons on for the rest.

However, this past week or so things have changed with precipitation at night falling as snow sometimes down to 300 - 400m and being a good inch or so up top. This has mostly burnt off each day but it has lingered in the shade. The MWIS forcast has showed its limitations in predicting this snow fall and plans for a Skye ridge traverse with two folk were curtailed when we realised that we were looking at pretty good winter conditions! We did in the end lighten the sacks and opt for a quasi winter ascent of the In Pinn.

Cragging at various NW locations has been a better option and venues such as Diabaig, Seana Mheallan, Ardheslaig etc have been good options if at times cold when the sun hasn't been on them.

The weather should improve next week and i'll blog again soon (ish)