Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Skye and the Cullin ridge

Well what can i say about the weather! It has been quite spectacular indeed with several inches of snow and at times near hurricane force winds. Not surprisingly the Cullins were quite over the weekend even though this is the Edinburgh bank holiday weekend and usually spare tent space in Glen Brittle is hard to come by. This weekend there was loads of space; some spaces were recently vacated by dint of tents being blown away!
Coin was on standby for a rematch of his previous 1 day traverse attempt on Sunday but we wisely postponed until a time when crampons and two sets of water proofs are not mandatory. However it must be said that Andrew and Moira managed to remain smiling on their recent ascent of the Inaccessible Pinnacle which would better be described as grade III. I'm told that the snow has mostly gone as of today (Tuesday) but there is just accumulations of pockets of hail in the hollows. What joy!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sea cliff climbing and Creag Ghlas

The weather has been decidedly moist in the hills and particularly so in the West and NW. Sea cliff climbing and low level craging in the East has been good though, even whilst the dark rain clouds have been looming close. In some ways abbing into a new sea cliff and having a poke around can be just as 'exciting' as pushing it out on a high mountain crag, but with more sunshine and often an ice cream at the end of the day. What's not to like?!
Also of note is that Creag Ghlas (home of excellent mid mountain easyish access quality multy pitch routes) is ok to climb on. I thought the Golden Eagles were nesting there this year, but it seems i was wrong and the RSPB have agreed that the nest is not in use this year so we can all go and play (when it dries out).
I'm on Skye at the end of this week and may stay for the weekend if any more work comes in. Fingers crossed for the weather.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

NW Climbing and Skye

The fine weather continues. However every silver lining has a cloud and many places are suffering from large heather and vegetation fires. Glen Torridon is quite bad at the moment and it seems that some folk on Liathach had to get choppered off as they were trapped by the fire. I don't think that it is under control yet. It has also been a busy weekend on Skye with 3 calls to the mountain rescue on Sunday. I don't have any specific details of these but it is very important at this time of year to not be too trusting of the rock as it may be loosened after the freeze thaw of the winter.
I have been dodging the heather fires and have been investigating new sea cliff venues and going back to old haunts such as Ardmair near Ullapool. Ardmair is a venue that takes no prisoners and does not suffer fools. I like to go there at the start of the rock season for a real working over. I have been climbing today at my local sport crag, Moy Rock trying the new lines that Andy Nesbit and Ian Taylor have bolted. I found two of them (both quite easy, 4+ to 5 terrain) and was pleased that one of them was a line that i had done before on a top rope and thought it would make a good bolted line. There is still a lot of scope for development at this crag and other easier lines are still waiting for ascents. It has the potential to be one of the best sport crags in the Highlands. Well done to Ian and Andy for their hard work.