Another Great Trip to Skye

I am just back from another very successful trip to Skye with the Falkirk High Tops Team.

On Thursday we visited the beautiful Spar Cave. As the tide was in we abseiled into the inlet which gives access to the cave. Following our visit to the cave we jumared back out.

We made use of an improving forecast for Saturday by climbing the North West ridge of Sgurr a Mhadaidh on Friday before making a water and food drop in preparation for Saturdays activities.

On Saturday we left the Sligachan at 4am for Sgurr nan Gillean. We then spent the next 20 hours completing a one day traverse of the Cuillin Ridge.

Following a long lie this morning we had a full Scottish breakfast in Broadford before returning to Falkirk.

There are many more photos on the climbnow facebook page.

Near the summit of Sgurr nan Gillean.

Near the summit of Sgurr nan Gillean.

Blackford Quarry

Nigel & I were out again today with another group from Grangemouth High School for Falkirk Community Trust Outdoors. We were rock climbing and abseiling at Blackford Quarry in Edinburgh. This works well as a group crag and although Mike was also there with a small group and there was another group it didn’t feel too crowded. There was plenty of climbing for everyone, particularly as we worked with each other and also rigged lines away from the main face.

The crag was dry and it was sunny with a light wind. The group and teachers worked well together, which made for an excellent day.

St Andrews Blokarting

Nigel and I were out Blokarting at St Andrews today for Falkirk Community Trust with a group from Grangemouth High School.

Blokarting at St Andrews (photo not from today, but similar conditions)

Blokarting at St Andrews (photo not from today, but similar conditions)

It was dry with a mixture of sunshine and some cloudy patches and a West to North-West breeze. The group got on well with the Blokarts and had fun learning how to use them.

Glen Clova

Amy, Dawn and I have been up in Glen Clova today. Amy & Dawn were using the leading skills they looked at yesterday with Euan and taking them to a multi-pitch environment. We spent most of our time around Twenty Minute Route on the Lower North-West Crag and this gave plenty of options for leading and also for practicing retrievable abseils.

Dawn and Amy below Twenty Minute Route

Dawn and Amy below Twenty Minute Route

The crag was quite busy today with teams on a lot of the classic routes. The rock was dry and we had plenty of sunshine, although the wind was fairly strong and it was cold when the cloud came over or in exposed locations.

Aberdour and Rosyth

Amy, Dawn and I have been out in Fife today climbing at Aberdour (The Hawcraig) and Rosyth. We spent the day looking at the skills required to lead traditional rock climbs.

The weather was perfect and both of the crags were perfectly dry. Aberdour was a popular choice today with lots of other climbers around.

Amy leading at Rosyth.

Amy leading at Rosyth.

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Dawn climbing at Aberdour.

Blackford Quarry

Just in from an evening at Blackford Quarry with Marian looking at some of the skills for her upcoming trip to Skye. We covered abseiling, including stacked abseils; lead belaying; seconding, including removing and racking gear and some movement skills. A pleasant evening and the venue worked well for what we needed.

CPD and Rock Climbing at Dunkeld

Yesterday I attended a British Mountain Guides CPD day. The day was based at Bendrigg Trust near Kendal and focused on placing bolts and assessing the strength of existing bolts. It was a very useful day with lots of interesting material.

Today I have been climbing in the sun with Gayle at Dunkeld. Even with the forecast air temperature of 9 degrees the crag was lovely and warm. We climbed 10 pitches at the Polney Main Crag, Ivy Buttress and Upper Buttress areas.

The crag was mostly dry with only small areas of seepage around some cracks.

The second pitch of Ivy Crack. Missed out by most climbers who abseil of the tree part way up the route.

The second pitch of Ivy Crack. Missed out by most climbers who abseil of the tree part way up the route.

 

Buachaille Etive Mor & Stag Rocks

The last two days I’ve been out with Andy & Rob. We were based in Fort William on Saturday night, so headed for Buachaille Etive Mor on Saturday and climbed Curved Ridge. A later start meant we avoided the worst of the wind. It was raining in heavy showers lower down, but on the route it was just the occasional snow/graupel shower and these were only settling from around 850m. An ice axe was useful for the snow field before the Crowberry Tower gap and for the initial lip back in to Coire na Tulaich.

Rob on Curved Ridge

Rob on Curved Ridge

Overnight there were heavy showers in the West and these had fallen as snow down to around 650m. Given the forecast we chose to head over to the Cairngorms and after walking up to pt. 1141m we nipped over to the top of Stag Rocks.

Rob and Andy on snow near Crowberry Tower

Rob and Andy on snow near Crowberry Tower

We descended the left fork of Y-Gully, looking up, with snow at the lip and in the lower section before climbing Afterthought Arete mostly on dry rock, but with the odd graupel shower. The fresh snow wasn’t really settling in the Cairngorms, except in sheltered locations or on existing snow patches.

Descending Y-Gully, Stag Rocks

Descending Y-Gully, Stag Rocks

A couple of good Scottish Mountaineering days in great company. Not really typical May weather, but then what’s typical. The larger North or East facing high gullies in both the West and East are still holding snow and would give good climbing after a frosty night.

Andy on Afterthought Arete

Andy on Afterthought Arete

St Andrews Blokarting and Muiravonside

The last two days I’ve continued working on the Antonine Primary School Activity Week for Falkirk Community Trust Outdoors. On Thursday Nigel and I were at St Andrews with a group blokarting. The winds were perfect and the group got the hang of the blokarts very quickly.

Blokarting at St Andres (photo not from Thursday as I didn't have my camera).

Blokarting at St Andres (photo not from Thursday as I didn’t have my camera).

After the kids had camped overnight at Muiravonside Country Park the groups all had a go at orienteering, river walking and bushcraft today. It’s been an excellent week and the kids, teachers and parents involved were a pleasure to work with. Generally dry today, but with rain and snow high up forecast for the weekend.

Glen Clova

Gayle and I were out climbing in Glen Clova today. This is an excellent venue with routes graded from Moderate to E8. There are both single pitch and multi pitch routes.

We had a good day climbing Twenty Minute Route (with the Severe variations), Flake Route and Parapet Route. Most routes are dry at the moment and the rock was warm today in the sun.

More photos can be seen on the facebook page.

Great moves at Glen Clova.

Great moves at Glen Clova.