Ski Touring in the Drummochter Pass

Martin, Ivor and I have had a great day out today in the Drummochter Pass. We ski toured Meallan Bhuide (879m) which is accessed from Dalnaspidal Lodge. The cover was excellent on the ascent. We wore skis for the majority of the ascent with only a ten minute carry at the start.

We found good snow on the descent. The snow was pretty soft near the bottom. If we get a refreeze the conditions will be excellent. On the descent we took a different line but still only had a twenty minute ski carry back to the car.

More photos can be seen on the Climbnow facebook page.

Ivor and Martin on the ascent of Meallan Bhuide.

Ivor and Martin on the ascent of Meallan Bhuide.

Navigation in Glen Brerachan

The Falkirk staff team and I have been out today in the hills north of Glen Brerachan. Glen Brerachan is located on the A93 near Pitlochry. The road gives high access to a vast moorland area which gives the perfect terrain for practising navigation skills.

There was a good covering of snow today from 250 metres upwards. The ground was not frozen.

Steve and James navigating in difficult conditions near Carn Liath (609m).

Steve and James navigating in difficult conditions near Carn Liath (609m).

CWA Training and Training

The last two days I’ve been working with Euan and Nettle on a Climbing Wall Award (CWA) Training Course for the Royal Marines Reserves in Glasgow. We used the wall at HMS Dalriada yesterday and The Glasgow Climbing Centre today. The guys were great to work with and everybody seemed to be having fun whilst learning or revisiting the required skills.

Working on looking at feet to improve footwork

Working on looking at feet to improve footwork. Photo Credit: J. Foden

A good emphasis on how to coach movement skills today, with lots of improvement in personal climbing as a side effect.

Progressing precision footwork by traversing without knocking corks off

Progressing precision footwork by traversing without knocking corks off

This evening Euan and I trained with Ivor, so now both my brain and body are in need of a rest.

Ivor working hard on chin-ups

Ivor working hard on chin-ups

 

Ravelston Dry Tooling

Feeling somewhat thwarted by recent conditions and circumstances I persuaded Ivor to join me for some dry tooling at Ravelston Quarry this afternoon. This small quarry in Edinburgh isn’t bolted; gear would be marginal at best and it it’s not a beauty spot. However, it provided a couple of hours of fun bottom roped dry tooling in a location sheltered from the winds and gave a bit of a work out.

Ivor on the warm up route

Ivor on the warm up route

We warmed up on the obvious corner and then climbed another couple of lines with Ivor cruising lines around D5. The rain arrived as it turned dark.

Ivor about to cruise the overhanging pegged crack

Ivor about to cruise the overhanging pegged crack

Neilston and Snow Factor

Gayle, Paul, Wilson and I have been out today at two venues. This morning we visited Neilston Quarry near Glasgow. It is an ideal venue for those new to leading with lots of easier routes to climb.

Gayle Paul and Wilson climbing at Neilston.

Gayle, Paul and Wilson climbing at Neilston.

This afternoon we visted the Snow Factor at Braehead. We had a good time looking at skills for efficient movement over ice.

Gayle and Paul climbing ice.

Gayle and Paul climbing ice.

 

Creag MacRanaich

Out today with Jim, Patrick and Santiago from Adventure Edinburgh. We parked near the head of Glen Ogle and ascended up rough heathery ground on to Creag MacRanaich returning via Meall Sgallachd.

Jim Crossing an Area of Flat Ice

Jim Crossing an Area of Flat Ice

There was a dusting of wet snow from the road height and some amazing icicle features on the small crags on the ascent. Some good small areas of flat ice around 750m allowed us to look at chopping steps to get across such features without having to put crampons on.

Westerly wind with the odd light shower and thawing all day with the snow cover being much reduced at the end of the day.

Return to Kyloe

I returned to Kyloe today with some different members of the Falkirk High Tops Team; Gayle, Josh, Tam, Paul and John. We spent the day looking at lead climbing skills.

When we arrived a shower had just passed over making the crag damp. However, after a 30 minute ropework session a large number of the routes were dry. We had no further rain.

Lots more photos can be seen on the ClimbNow facebook page.

Gayle leading with Josh belaying at Kyloe.

Gayle leading with Josh belaying at Kyloe.

Pentlands GPS Refresher

Euan, Davy Virdee of MountainActive (http://www.mountainactive.co.uk/index.php) and I were out in the Pentlands today doing a refresher day on the use of GPS. A good day with all of us learning some new skills.

Reservoir Dogs?

Reservoir Dogs?

Sunshine today and a cold Westerly wind. The frost remained all day in shaded areas and even at around the 400m height the turf was firming up where not exposed to the sun.

Disagreement over the location of the summit of Capelaw Hill

Disagreement over the location of the summit of Capelaw Hill

More SSPCA Photos

I had to head south straight after the second day of the SSPCA Course for the Low Port Centre and so am only just getting around to posting a few photos from the 21st November. We spent the second day looking at abseiling to a casualty, picking them up continuing the abseil and then finished the day with a couple of scenarios requiring setting anchors with stakes, abseiling to a casualty, hoisting the casualty and re-ascending the abseil rope.

The team at the top of a hoist

The team at the top of a hoist

 We used the steep south side of Cockleroy Hill, which has some loose rock but can be used with care for this sort of training. We had the unexpected bonus of having a chat Tony Stone, who was out for a quick breath of fresh air whilst in the area.

The other end of the abseil and hoist

The other end of the abseil and hoist

St.Sunday Crag

Tam, Alec and Gayle on Pinnacle Ridge

Tam, Alec and Gayle on Pinnacle Ridge

The Falkirk High Tops Team and I visited the Lake District today. The original plan had been to visit Glencoe but with forecast torrential rain we opted to go south. This proved to be a good choice as we had dry weather all day.

We completed the classic scramble Pinnacle Ridge on St. Sunday Crag.  The rock was dry. The crux corner is currently very green and requires care.

People often have difficulty locating this route. The best way to locate the route is to look back down into Grisedale. Directly downhill from the route is a large sheep pen which appears to be part of a wall. Just underneath the ridge is a large fan of scree.

As the guidebooks suggest, this is one of the best scrambles in the Lake District.

Wilson, Bob and John enjoying Pinnacle Ridge.

Wilson, Bob and John enjoying Pinnacle Ridge.