Saturday, 14 June 2008

Summer 2008 and a little book back at 2007

I'm off to the Alps for the next three months and home will be the Talisman Basecamp Motorhome!
Just to set the scene, here are a few photos from last year of the fantastic scenery we found in Bregalia and a photo of the first mole I have ever seen, so cute! The last photo is of Piz Badile and we plan to go back to climb the Cassin Route, weather permitting.
Otherwise, I will be in Chamonix and hope to explore the Ecrins area as well as this will be a new area for me and it sounds like the climbing is just fantastic .
The next three months offer loads of opportunities and with plans all very flexible, I cannot begin to guess how much I can achieve but my aims are high!
Posts will be added when there is the opportunity and internet access!
Also, well done to Cat and Amanda who were out in Chamonix last week. They climbed Gran Paradiso with Kenton Cool as their original objective of Mont Blanc was a bit too snowy and the avalanche risk too high for a safe ascent. Their website is here

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Aonach Eagach

I was on the Aonach Eagach today watching and learning from Al Halewood of the Ice Factor as he was teaching his clients, Vicki and Simon, all about scrambling. The weather was just right, some lovely warm sun and enough of a breeze to keep the vicious midges away.
We made our way along the ridge enjoying the exposed scrambling and fantastic views.
More photos from Al here

And just to catch up on what I've been doing over the past few days, I was working with Stuart Johnston with a Summer ML training group on Tuesday down at Aberfeldy . Then on Wednesday I was back in Aviemore working at Glenmore Lodge climbing wall with Ron for Tracey and Ian Pullen of Active Spirit We were glad to be inside as the midges in Glenmore were horrendous!

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Lairig Ghru, Angel's Ridge and a whole lot more!

Kim and I set off yesterday for a couple of days walking around the Cairngorms, bagging various obscure Munros that we had both missed out on previous trips.
We walked in along the Lairig Ghru then headed up into An Garbh Choire for a look at the little bothy then up Angels Ridge to Sgor an Lochain Uaine, the Angel's Peak. The weather was looking good so we continued on for a long walk over to Monadh Mor and Beinn Bhrotain, the two rather far flung hills that are probably only visited by folk "doing" the Munros! Anyway, we reached both of these and as the wind was picking up we chose to descend back down to the Lairig Ghru.
The next fun bit was getting across the river so it was off with the boots, socks and with trousers rolled up and trekking poles out, we paddled across. The cold water was actually very refreshing on our tired feet. As it was now getting quite late, we chose a very comfortable spot for our bivvi for the night.
Today we were up early and we had different hills as our objectives for the morning. Kim headed off to Carn a' Mhaim and I went up to Devil's Point. By mid-morning we were both back at Corrour Bothy and stopped near the bridge for a cup of tea before the beautiful walk back along the Lairig Ghru to Aviemore. On the way back, we saw some lovely, clean, pink-streaked slabs that had me looking for climbing routes and we actually spotted a couple of climbers on what I think, after a quick look at the guide book, was The Palette which is opposite the bothy. It looked fantastic! I think I have a photo which I'll post later.
The weather for both days was good to us as it was sunny and warm on the first day with just enough of a breeze, most of the time, to keep the midges away. Today started off a bit cloudy then it was sunshine and blue skies all the way back home!
Meanwhile, Ron set off on Sunday with a film crew and more details here of what he got up to

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Stone Valley 1st June

I had not climbed at Stone Valley before so I was very impressed by the number of crags, never mind the variety of routes!
Ron and I headed for the quality routes on Stone Valley Crag and climbed Open Secret, Bald Eagle, Touch and Go, Cheesegrater Slab and Inside Information.
It does seem to me that in the topos available locally, the routes are graded lower than in the new Scottish Rock Climbs guide but the descriptions in the guidebook seem a wee bit different to those in the local topos!
Also heaps of beautiful orchids all around

Polldubh 27th May

So I was meant to head back to Aviemore on Monday but the sun was shining again so why rush back. I climbed with Ron at Polldubh on Pine Wall and then Tear on Styx Buttress. Pine Wall was lovely, Tear was rather polished no doubt due to the number of groups that use it.

Tower Ridge 26th May

Back on Tower Ridge with Cat and with great weather once again! Cat was keen to climb Ben Nevis and we had thought of Carn Mor Dearg Arete or Ledge Route but in the end, we went for Tower Ridge and what a lovely day it was.
There are loads of photos as Ron came along soloing up the ridge as cameraman so once I have picked out a few of the best, I'll get them uploaded. He will be uploading a video clip I am sure once he has sorted through the many clips.
Cat heads off to Chamonix on Friday with the goal of reaching the summit of Mont Blanc so from the highest summit in Britain to the highest summit in Western Europe. Good luck Cat!