Pentlands Navigation

A soggy team towards the end of the day.

On Saturday I was delivering a Navigation Course for The City Of Edinburgh Council Adult Education. It was a cool dry morning, but the rain arrived in the early afternoon a little before it was forecast.

Glen Clova and Arrochar

Last week I was out in Glen Clova with Nettle and Arrochar with a Falkirk Outdoors Classic Climb team of Holly and Neil.

Nettle clippin a runner as he sets off on Central Crack.

Nettle and I climbed Parapet Route Direct Start and Central Crack before drizzle started and we changed to fell running kit and headed up Jock’s Road to Cairn Bannoch and Broad Cairn before descending via the South Esk.

Nettle running towards Cairn Bannoch.

On Thursday Holly, Neil and I went up to the crags near the summit of Beinn Narnain and climbed Spearhead Arete and Restricted Crack in cold and windy conditions.

Holly climbing Restricted Crack.

Limestone and Granite in the Alps

David and I have had a great week in the Alps together. We completed the following;

Day 1. Rock climbing at Le Fayet and the walk into Refuge Col de la Vanoise.

Day 2. The Traverse of the Aiguille de la Vanoise.

Day 3. The Traverse of the Grand Perron.

Day 4. Via Corda Alpina near Chamonix.

Day 5. The Traverse of Pointe des Verts in Les Aravis.

Day 6. The descent from the Refuge Gramusset and rock climbing at Col de la Colombiere.

Far North-West Scotland

John and I have spent the last four days based in Inchnadamph with a Falkirk Outdoors climbing team of Amanda, Jakub and Devon. The weather wasn’t great, but we had some fun adventures and managed to get the team a good amount of climbing. On Thursday we drove up and headed to the Rhue Sea-Cliffs just north of Ullapool and climbed and top/bottom roped 8 routes on the Trawler Walls starting in the rain and finishing in sunshine. 

Amanda on the Tyrolean back from Split Rock. Photo credit: D. Russell.

The weather forecast was better in the afternoon for Friday, so we had a late start. We toyed with the idea of heading out to the Old Man of Stoer, but as it was still raining at the car park we made for a Plan B of Split Rock at Clachtoll. This is reachable with care at low tide, but requires a Tyrolean to get back dry at high tide. It’s worth noting that the anchor positions for the Tyrolean mean that on spring high tides you’re very close to the water if there’s any swell.

Devon at the top of Lynx, Split Rock.

John lead up Polly Puffin, the easiest route on the south face, to access the top of the stack and we rigged top ropes on routes on the south and east faces as the everything was damp and we had light showers coming through.  On Saturday we decided to embrace the rain and made a very wet ascent of Lurgainn Edge on Cul Beag. On Sunday with an improving forecast we headed to the Pinnacle Walls area at Reiff as it takes very little seepage. It stopped raining as we drove out and we got a good number of routes climbed, some even in sunshine, before we had to head back south. 

Jakub on Moonjelly, Reiff.

Creag na h-Eighe

Robin and I were out again today with a Falkirk Outdoors climbing team of Amanda, Emanuelle and Gillian. We headed for the quick drying Creag na h-Eighe and had a good day climbing in the sunshine.

Amanda near the top of our warm up route.

In the morning Emanuelle, Gillian & Robin looked at learning to lead, whilst Amanda and I climbed a bunch of routes. In the afternoon we mixed the teams up and climbed a few more lines. Through the day various teams made ascents of Jugs, Grant’s Route, Aline’s Route, Sarah’s Route, Sloth’s Climb, End in Sight, A Votre Sante Dickie Direct Start, Woodworm, Jaggy Bunnets, Knuckle Duster and Separation.

Glen Coe

I was out today with a Falkirk Outdoors scrambling team of Alison and Dave. The original plan was Aonach Eagach, but with a forecast of 50mph gusts and heavy rain for the afternoon we decided on something lower and quicker. We climbed Dinnertime Buttress on Aonach Dubh taking in a number of excellent short harder variations on the upper buttresses on the way to the summit of Aonach Dubh.

Alison and Dave high above Glen Coe.

We finished scrambling before the rain set in, but it was pretty heavy on our walk out and there was plenty of water running off the hillsides as we drove back through the glen.

Traprain Law

Robin and I were out with a Falkirk Outdoors climbing team today of Brian, Emanuelle and Lynsey. We headed for Traprain Law; the crag was dry and the rain held off until after we’d finished climbing, which made for a good day.

Emanuelle leading on a ghost rope with Robin jugging along side.

Lake District

Just back from a couple of days in the Lakes with Andy, Harry and Rob. On Saturday we went for some scrambling on Central Buttress and Stepped Ridge on Brown Cove Crags, Helvellyn. We had the odd shower and the rock was slippery where wet, but a fresh wind and some sunshine dried things out as the day went on making for a good day.

Harry, Andy and Rob on Stepped Ridge.

Today we were walking in for some wet climbing on Shepherd’s Crag in Borrowdale when Rob walked in to a jutting out rock, which curtailed the day. The things some people will do to avoid wet rock! Heavy showers were coming through all morning and the crags were running with water.

EICA Ratho

Wet weather forced Kenny, me and a rock climbing team from the Falkirk Community Trust Outdoors Summer Youth Adventure Programme indoors to EICA Ratho today.

One of the team high up on the big slab at Ratho.

Climbing, Coasteering and Gorge Walking

I’ve been working on the excellent Falkirk Community Trust Outdoors Summer Youth Adventure Programme the last couple of weeks. I’ve mostly been involved with the climbing, coasteering and gorge walking sessions.

One of the jumps coasteering with me in the water below. Photo credit: Craig McLaren.

The weather has generally been warm and sunny, but with heavy downpours and thunderstorms. If you’re heading out climbing check the weather forecast and think about quick drying crags.

A climbing team at Blackford Quarry. Photo Credit: Craig McLaren.