Glen Etive

Yesterday I was out in Glen Etive with a Falkirk Community Trust High Tops Team of Billy, Duncan and John. We headed up the Allt Mheuran to the bealach before traversing Glas Bheinn Mhor and Meall nan Tri Tighearnan before descending by the Allt nam Meirleach. The weather turned out better than forecast with slightly lower winds and less rain, possibly as we benefited from higher hills to the North and North East where the weather was coming from.

Meall nan Tri Tighearnan and Ben Starav from Glas Bheinn Mhor.

The rain was fairly steady for large parts of the day, with the granite in the area looking pretty wet. The lower sections of the approach were fairly boggy, even after the dry spring, so good boots and gaiters or an acceptance of wet feet are worth having if tackling these hills.

Muiravonside

On Wednesday Craig, Steve and I were at Muiravonside with a group of primary school children from various schools who are transitioning to Braes High School. We ran orienteering, stream walk and bushcraft sessions with an emphasis on team building, which seemed to work well and will help with the change to high school.

Petit Bargy

‘Escalade-aventure’ on the Petit Bargy yesterday with Paul. This 1200 foot rock face is a short drive from Saint Gervais where we are based.

The mist was down when we reached the lake at the base of the crag. This made it very hard to locate the approaches to the routes and the routes themselves. I would recommend going there for the first time in good visibility.

Details of the crag can be found in the Vallee de l’Arve guidebook but it is also worth doing some research online (camptocamp is useful) with regards the equipment required.

There was a spontaneous rock fall on the descent of the Col d’Encrenaz so it is worth keeping helmets on for this. The track is exposed to this rock fall area for two minutes in descent (where it crosses the obvious, open bowl).

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Learn to Lead

Yesterday I was delivering a Learn to Lead Outdoors Course for Andrew, Hollie and John for Falkirk Community Trust Outdoors. We chose to head to Creag na h-Eighe for the forecast earlier dry weather and to catch the light breeze to keep the midges down.

John selecting gear whilst leading Jugs.

John selecting gear whilst leading Jugs.

This worked well and we had a good day climbing routes such as Grant’s Route, Jaggy Bunnets and Jugs, whilst getting to try new or revisit old skills.

Benny Beg and Kirkton Gorge

The last two days I’ve been working on The Falkirk Community Trust Outdoors Schools Programme. On Tuesday I was at Benny Beg rock climbing with a great group from Carrongrange School.

Lesley, the Teacher with the Grangemouth High School group, enjoying the gorge and leading by example.

Lesley, the Teacher with the Grangemouth High School group, enjoying the gorge and leading by example.

Today I was Gorge Walking in the Kirkton Burn with another great group from Grangemouth High School. Really good to see these groups getting out and about and making the most of outdoor learning opportunities.

Creag na h-Eighe

Martin and I visited Creag na h-Eighe today in Perthshire. We had a good day which was unaffected by midges due to the light breeze and bright sunshine.

The crag has a good grade range although we both thought some of the new additions in the new guidebook were stiff for the grade.

There was no seepage.

Martin leading Knuckle Duster.

Martin leading Knuckle Duster.

Glen Clova

Out in Glen Clova today on a Falkirk Community Trust Outdoors Classic Climb Day with Linda and Andrew. We’d headed there to avoid wet weather further West and this worked well with generally hot sunny conditions and only the odd drop of very light rain, which didn’t impact on the climbing.

Linda topping out on Central Crack.

Linda topping out on Central Crack.

We climbed Three J’s Chimney, Parapet Route Direct Start, Flake Route, Central Crack and finished with the “tremendous route with exhilarating positions” that is Proud Corner. Over 500ft of climbing and a total of nine stars across the routes making for a pretty classic day in a beautiful setting. The crags were relatively busy, being a good choice given conditions, but the atmosphere was very pleasant with teams chatting and working around each other very well.

The Law and Robs Reed

Yesterday, Ivor, martin and I visited North Berwick Law and today we visited Rob’s Reed. Despite last weeks heavy rain both venues are still dry with very, very few routes seeping.

Both venues are easily doable in a day from Edinburgh and provide good climbing. North Berwick Law is easier for the tall while Rob’s Reed suits all heights.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Skye

Just back from four days on Skye with John, Craig and a Falkirk Community Trust scrambling team of Gillian, Imran, Joanne and Linda.

Joanne, Imran and Linda on An Diallaid.

Joanne, Imran and Linda on An Diallaid.

On Monday we travelled up and needed a short day, so made for the slabby North Rib of An Diallaid in Coire a’Ghreadaidh with the continuation up to the summit of An Diallaid, which has plenty of scope for harder and easier variations. On Tuesday there was low cloud and showers most of the day. Gillian, Imran and myself headed for An Dorus and scrambled up Sgurr a’Ghreadaidh via it’s North-North-West Ridge and then up Sgurr a’Mhadaidh by it’s South West Ridge. John, Craig, Joanne and Linda climbed the West Flank of Sgurr a’Ghreadaidh via Sgurr Eadar da Choire before descending via An Dorus.

Gillian enjoying the exposure on The Inaccessible Pinnacle.

Gillian enjoying the exposure on The Inaccessible Pinnacle.

Wednesday was an improving forecast so we all made our way up the classic mountaineering excursion that is Pinnacle Ridge on Sgurr nan Gillian before descending it’s West Ridge. Today Gillian and I ascended Sgurr Dearg via Coire na Banachdaich before climbing The Inacessible Pinnacle and then descending the South-East Flank to Coire Lagan. John, Joanne and Linda climbed Cioch Slab Corner to the top of the Cioch for the traditional re-enactment of “that scene from Highlander”. Four very good days on Skye.

Coasteerring, Climbing and Bonfires on the Beach

This week I have been out with my nephews coasteering at Elie, climbing at Blackford and toasting marshmallows on the edge of the Forth. It was great to get the boys outdoors and enjoying some activities.

Bonfire on the beach.

Bonfire on the beach.