The Hawkcraig Aberdour

I’ve been working at EICA Ratho the last few days, but Nettle and I managed to sneak in a few climbs at The Hawkcraig in Fife after work yesterday. The sun moved off the crag around 8:00pm, but the rock was warm and dry. The tide was out, which gave easy access to all the routes on this excellent tidal cliff.

North Berwick Law

Yesterday, Graham, Martin, Bomber, Ivor I had a day out climbing at North Berwick Law. The weather forecast was for 8 degrees, windy and showers. This venue is a great location in cold weather as it is very sheltered, gets any sun going and the rock dry’s very quickly. The new guidebook, ‘7A Max’ has a good topo of the crag.

Ivor McCourt cruising at North Berwick Law.

Ivor McCourt cruising at North Berwick Law.

 

Rhum

Jen and I have been on the Island of Rhum for the last few days. After arriving and settling in to the hostel in Kinloch Castle we went for an afternoon wander up Mullach Mor, which proved to be very rough pathless terrain with lots of tussocks, but gave great views of the island and across to Skye.

The accomodation - Kinloch Castle

The accomodation – Kinloch Castle

A late start the next day allowed us to traverse the Rhum Cuillin over two days with a bivvy high on Trallval. The bivvy was planned to let us hear the 1000s of Manx Shearwaters returning to their burrows after dark. This was an amazing experience with the bulk of the bird’s noisy activity seeming to be around midnight. The ridge gave an excellent walk with easy scrambling or more difficult options if desired, the final descent down from Sgurr nan Gillean is steep and a cup of tea in the well mainatined Dibidil bothy was most welcome.

Jen on Ainshval with Askival and Hallival behind

Jen on Ainshval with Askival and Hallival behind

On Tuesday we headed west via good tracks and stalker’s paths and walked up the granite hills of Orval and Ard Nev, which give great views of the Rhum Cuillin. A representative of the Lochaber Geo Park gave a very good, free and well attended talk on the geology of Rhum in the evening.

View from the bivvy site on Tallval with the Skye Cuillin in the distance

View from the bivvy site on Tallval with the Skye Cuillin in the distance

Our final day saw us out to the beautiful beaches of Kilmory and Samhnan Insir for some attempted swimming and excellent bouldering/short solos on the Torridonian sandstone in an idyllic setting with great views to Skye. A quick walk back to Kinloch allowed time for one last tasty cake in the Community Hall tea shop before catching the ferry back to Mallaig.

Bouldering at Samhnan Insir

Bouldering at Samhnan Insir

Interview with ski website

On a recent ski tour with Scott and Tina.

On a recent ski tour with Scott and Tina.

I have recently completed an interview with the website, www.ski-accommodation-finder.co.uk. To read the interview follow this link; http://www.ski-accommodation-finder.co.uk/blog/2013/05/live-the-mountain-adventure-with-climbnow/.

The Cuillin of Skye

For the past few days, John, Keith, Martin and I have been on Skye mountaineering in The Cuillin. Conditions on the ridge at the moment are quite difficult for this time of year. Each day it snowed putting down wet snow which increases the difficulty of the summits. We wore crampons three out of the four days at various points although if trying to do each of the peaks in isolation this may be avoidable. Despite the difficult conditions we still managed to climb eight Munros and two other summits.

It was a great week and the summits felt even more alpine than normal with the large amounts of snow that are still present.

John climbing on The Cuillin.

John climbing on The Cuillin.

Keith and John scrambling with Sgurr Alasdair behind.

Keith and John scrambling with Sgurr Alasdair behind.

 

ML Practice in the Drummochter Pass and on Dunkeld Crag

Steve and I have been out today looking at the Summer Mountain Leader syllabus. We began the day in the Drummochter Pass ascending A’Bhuidheanach before practising micro navigation skills. Following this we visited Polney Crag at Dunkeld on the way home. We spent time here looking at the ‘security on steep ground’ section of the syllabus. Large sections of the crag were dry and a good number of climbers were out.

Steve on the summit of A'Bhuidheanach.

Steve on the summit of A’Bhuidheanach.