Monday, August 30, 2010

Lead Coaching and Ardverikie Wall

We were supposed to be doing the Skye Cullin ridge traverse this weekend, but as the weekend approached the forecast got progressively worse and finally promised gales and snow on the tops (is it really August?).
So we make an executive decision and decamped to the Mainland and gambled on the Roy Bridge area.
On Saturday with a poor forecast we stayed low and looked at multy pitch climbing organisation and multypitch absailing and covered lead coaching and belay construction and management. We finished the day (which was mostly in the rain top roping some dryish rock which was blooming hard (polished and damp) but apparently written up as vs 4b!
On Sunday with a slightly better forecast the four of us went into Binnein Shuas and climbed the 6 pitch route Ardverikie Wall. This was a guiding day and the team were quite relieved i think that i was the one leading. The new guidebook discourages the climb in the wet. I have climbed it several times and have once (before the new guide came out) previously climbed it in the rain. As it turned out we had a few showers but most of the pitches were dry, if a little cold, and only the top two 'easier' pitches were wet. We finished the day with a walk up to the windy top of Binnein Shuas where Paul amazed me with his iphone on which he has loaded multymap and using the in built gps showed us exactly where we were. I am feeling the need to get one, but at the rate i seem to break handsets i'm wondering how long it would last.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Skye Ridge Update and Improvised rescues

Well it has been wet! I've uploaded a couple of pictures from my previous post and a sample of the other days out that i have been having; see if you can spot the difference! I have also been down south delivering improvised crag rescue practice. This looks as solving simple problems on the crag such as a second can't do a move to more complexed ones such as a climber on a traverse has fallen unconscious and is dangling in space. Hopefully we all will never have to use these skills for real and problem AVOIDANCE pays a major part in many days out but it is a good idea to know how to do it all.
I'm back over to the Skye ridge this weekend and into next week. I'll blog next week (hopefully reporting dry rock and a chance meeting with the the Swedish Bikini Abseiling Team which are rumored to be training on Skye next week ;)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

No place like home...

I'm back in the UK now. The remainder of my time in the alps was generally wet; there was no danger of sunstroke.
I've moved over to Skye for a spell of work now and the weather was fantastic today. We made an ascent of the Northern end munros on the Skye ridge. We only met one other party on the top of Am Bastier who were heading for the tooth none of whom, including the child, were wearing helmets and the best course of action for my team was to stop dead whilst they wandered about underneath us seeminly oblivious to the small stones that my party were inevitably dislodging. You do what you can but there is nowt as queer as folk sometimes.
It is suprisingly quiet over here at the moment and whilst the campsites seem busy, the hills are quiet.
Pictures tommorow when the internest conection is faster.