Friday, May 28, 2010

Clac Glas, Blaven

It was wet this morning on Skye but we wanted to end the week in the style we had enjoyed the rest of it so headed to Clac Glas & Blaven to do the traverse. This is a top end scramble with sections of rock climbing giving a very technical and fun outing! We had a fabulous day out despite some wet weather and the clouds parted for us on the summit for a last glimpse of the Cuillin ridge. It has been a brilliant week and thanks very much to Sandy, Mick, Martin, Gez and Stu for good company and for organising the weather!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Snow on the Cuillin

Today the weather forecast warned us to expect the living end with blizzard conditions, high winds and snow and white outs on the cards. Martin and Sandy headed round to Elgol for some climbing and improvised rescue techniques, Stu decided to have a day checking out the talent in Portree whilst Mick, Gez and I decided to chance a day on Sgur na Gillean. We made our way up to the col on the West ridge in the snow and as we arrived the wind dropped and the skies cleared. We climbed Nicolsons chimney (Moderate) which was more sporting than normal under a layer of fresh snow and then made our way to the summit to enjoy some much unexpected stunning views. The days that hang in the balance and turn out great are often the best and today was one of those days. We descended the South East ridge (4) and then enjoyed a couple of pints in the Sligachan.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Inaccessible Pinnacle - Summit Success!

It has been another lovely day on Skye. With a few tired legs amongst the team this morning we decided to head up Sgurr Dearg and climb the Inaccessible Pinnacle. We treated ourselves to a lazy start with a full fried breakfast in the cottage this morning and then walked from the back door and onto the ridge. We had the Pinnacle to ourselves and climbed the long side and abseiled off the short side as another team arrived at the base of the route. We headed down for a spot of sunbathing at Loch Lagan before enjoying a barbeque and a few beers back in the valley.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dubhs Ridge, Skye

Today we had an early start and left Glenbrittle at 6:30 am to catch the early morning morning boat into Loch Coruisk. The early trip in is on a fast Rib and always provides an adventurous start to the day and plonks you into one of my favourite mountain spots in the UK. We headed up onto the ridge via the Dubh Slabs which provide nearly 700m of continous slab scrambling on wonderful gabro rock. A free hanging abseil off Sgurr Dubh Beag saw us heading up onto Sgurr Dubh Mor and then over to Sgur Alasdair via its South West Ridge. We descended via the Sgumain Stone Shute, happy with a day of over 3000 feet of grade 3 scrambling, 3 summits and some stunning views. The skies were clear all day with the odd shower of snow passing through but the rock soon dried out.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Isle of Skye

I am working on Skye all week this week on my Skye scrambles course. I have been joined by repeat clients Mick, Stu, Martin and Gez who have all done several climbing and scrambling courses with me and fancied a week of the best scrambling in the UK. To warm up today we headed up to An Dorus and onto Sgurr a Mhadaidh before traversing Sgurr a Ghreadaidh, Thormaid and Banachdich, all on grade 3 ground giving lots of exposure and some truly wonderful scrambling. We were in the cloud most of the day but the view from out cottage in Gelnbrittle as we ate dinner was gorgeous as we watched the sun set over the Cuillin.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Heading up to Skye

I have been at the British Mountain Guides open day at Plas y Brenin today and am now heading off to the Isle of Skye to run our annual Skye scrambles course. I will be home on Sunday the 30th and emails and phone calls will be fairly sporadic until then as the cottage we are renting has no phone signal and no wireless. Heres to a week of good weather!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cragging on the slate

Today I teamed up with my friend Bryn for an afternoon of cragging in the slate quarries. We ticked off a few routes in Vivian Quarry in the sunshine and of course did a bit of gear shopping and cafe visiting into the equation! It was nice to be out on the slate as the climbing is so positive and it gives a nice mixture of trad and sport climbing. A good day off.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Scrambling in the sunshine

Today I was joined by regular client and friend Stu for a days scrambling in Snowdonia in preparation for our course on Skye next week. We headed up Main Gully Ridge (3) on Glyder Fach, posed for photos on the cantilever stone and then descended the Gribin Ridge (1), the Cneifion Arete (3) and Seniors Gully (1). A great day in gorgeous weather moving quickly and getting loads of mileage in.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Lead climbing coaching

I have been out with repeat client Jason today and his belay bunny for the day, John. Jason booked me for a day of climbing coaching to crack the VS grade. He had never lead VS and was feeling nervous about doing so for the first time. We started the day off with a bouldering session at the RAC boulders where I provided some movement coaching before we headed off to the sunshine of Anglesey and Holyhead Mountain. I lead Black & Tan (VS4c) which Jason seconded in good style and so he then lead Tension (VS4b) with me alongside him on a rope offering support and advice. We then moved onto the New Boots area and again Jason lead Teaser (VS4c) and Birthday Passage (VS4c) with me alongside. A cracking day and really nice to see such great progression, well done Jason.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Moel Siabod

Today Alan, Will, Vic and I headed up the East Ridge of Moel Siabod for another day of scrambling. The forecast had predicted a drizzly day and it was spot on! Nevertheless we had a great day out, taking the most challenging line whenever we had a choice and maximising our scrambling time. We navved off the summit in poor visibility and toasted the end of a good week in the cafe with tea and cakes!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Scrambling in the sunshine

Today Will, Alan and I were joined by repeat client Vic for a couple of days of scrambling here in Snowdonia. It has been an absolutely beautiful day, the snow has melted off the tops, the wind changed to a South Westerly and we have enjoyed blue skies and sunshine all day. We headed up the Gribin Ridge (1) this morning onto the Glyders, doing some movement coaching along the way. We also looked at how to look after each other on steep ground and route finding on grade 1 scrambles. We then did the same in descent on Seniors Ridge (1), continuing down the side of the Idwal Slabs to Cwm Idwal. A lovely day out.