I have been out today with the Falkirk High Tops Team in Northumberland. We visited Kyloe Crag. This was a good choice as the crag was dry and we had good periods of sunshine.
We spent the day looking at a number of skills including; lead belaying, tying into anchors and leading traditional rock climbs.
Working today and Thursday for The Low Port Centre on a course for SSPCA staff. The course has been running all week and looks at familiarizing the team with climbing/abseiling equipment and techniques as they might be used in their work with animals. It takes them from the basics through to abseil and hoist based rescues with the emphasis on personal safety.
Today we were looking at hoist systems and scenarios. In the afternoon we were outside using a local venue for the practical elements. A really interesting course with an enthusiastic and motivated group.
A cool day with a westerly breeze and snow visible on Ben Ledi.
Out yesterday, Saturday, with Nettle and a group of Scout Association permit assessors. We used the area from the Ben Lawers car park up to the bealach between Meall Corranaich and Beinn Ghlas to look at navigation legs. In the afternoon we covered skills for steep ground.
Fairly strong South-West and West winds and driving rain made it quite unpleasant at times and the group showed great enthusiasm in the conditions. A really interesting day with some great discussions.
There are some sizable wet snow patches above 850m, which will freeze hard if the temperature drops.
The Falkirk High Tops Team and I were out today in the Arrochar Alps near Loch Lomond. We climbed the South East Ridge of the South Summit of The Cobbler (Moderate) before abseiling to the col after a very brief stop on top. Some of the team continued to the Central Summit while others returned to the valley.
It is worth noting that all the abseil tat required to descend from the South Summit in anything but perfect conditions has vanished! We have put a new length of 10 mm rope through the thread anchor which will hopefully remain in place.
The weather was very challenging today but all members of the team did a great job in the conditions.
A couple more photos below from Tuesday’s trip with Ivor and Euan to Rob’s Reed.
Ivor, Martin and I have a had a grand day out today climbing at Rob’s Reed. This excellent crag is located near Forfar. The climbers who developed the crag have produced a good number of well bolted sports climbs between F5+ and F7C on vertical walls and roofs.
Today, the forecast temperature was between 7 degrees and 10 degrees (depending on forecast) and for sunny periods. As the crag faces south the temperature of the rock was pleasant when the sun was out making it a good option for some autumn or early winter climbing.
The last two days I’ve been running navigation courses in the Pentland Hills for Edinburgh Council Adult Education Programme. Saturday was aimed at those wanting to navigate on low level walks and Sunday was navigation for hillwalking.
The courses were well attended and everyone seemed to pick up a lot of new skills and get the chance to put them in to practice.
Both days started frosty and on Sunday the north facing slopes stayed frozen all day with icey areas on the paths down to 200m. The views on Sunday were excellent and there appeared to be good snow cover on Ben Lomond and hills eastwards around Loch Tay and Loch Earn. Snow could just be made out on the Angus hills and it even looked like there was a dusting in the Moorfoots.
I have been out today in the Cairngorms with Wilson, Bob, Paul and John from the Falkirk High Tops Team. We walked into Coire an t-Sneachda with the aim of doing some scrambling.
We were greeted by lots of snow and rime on the rocks so opted for ‘The Slant’ on Mess of Pottage. In the conditions we found, the route was interesting and provided some fun moves on rock linked by grassy ledges.
The turf on the buttresses is not frozen. This will have to improve before winter climbing is an option.