Winter Rock

I was out climbing today at Rob’s Reed with Martin and Ivor. Despite being mid November the crag was dry. It was however cold (take a good down jacket for belaying if visiting).

We climbed some superb routes on all different angles and hold types. Rob’s Reed is well worth a visit for those climbing F6a+ and above.

Photos on the facebook page.

 

 

Bowden Doors

Climbing today at Bowden Doors with Ivor, Simon and Martin. We had a good few hours before some unexpected rain set in. Many routes and problems are dry and clean with the odd green thing around.

Martin climbing at Bowden.

Arbroath Sea Cliffs

Nettle, Ivor, Simon, Martin and I visited the Arbroath sea cliffs today. It was one of the few crags that we thought would be dry.

The conditions were not perfect. The conditions are only good on crags with South facing aspects. If planning a visit here it is worth finding these buttresses as described in the sports climbing guidebook.

It was however very hot in the Autumn sunshine.

Nettle enjoying the Autumn sun.

Dovehole Boulders

Ivor, Martin and I were bouldering today in Northumberland. We visited Dovehole Boulders. It is at least fifteen years since I have been here. It was nice to return to this beautiful venue.

The venue is much greener than when I was there last. There is however still plenty to do. it is worth taking a toothbrush for the holds if you visit.

Dovehole is made up of free standing boulders.

3 Days with the Falkirk Staff Team

Over the last three days with the Falkirk Outdoors staff team I have been to; Benny Beg, Blackford Quarry and Beinn a’Chrulaiste via the Pink Rib. We spent time looking at the SPA, ML and MIA syllabuses. It is essential that once qualified instructors remain current hence days out like these.

Steve leading a trad route at Blackford.

Benny Beg

Benny Beg today with Catriona, Calum and Malcolm. This was a Falkirk High Tops Team day out. We looked at bottom roping, abseiling, movement skills and lead climbing skills. The crag was lovely and warm in the October sun.

Practising movement skills.

Impressive Performance at Kirriemuir

Today Martin, Ivor and I climbed at Kirriemuir. The condtions were excellent being dry and cold with autumn sunshine making the sandstone perfect to climb on. We climbed a number of routes including; ‘Slim Pickins’, ‘Flyboy’ and ‘By Hook or by Crook’. However, the stand out event of the day was Ivor climbing ‘A Touch too Much’ (F7A).

At the age of 70 Ivor climbed his first F7A at Rob’s Reed.. Last season as a team of four (Graham, Martin, Ivor and I), we concentrated on continental ice and mixed routes. We climbed sensational routes such as La Catterdale (WI5/WI5+) on Ivor’s 71st birthday. The autumn was spent in the USA climbing desert towers.

Ivor below La Cattedrale.

This year Martin, Ivor and I have been back in the gym lots as well as climbing on crags when the weather allows. Ivor, now 72 has climbed F7A again today at Kirriemuir. Very inspirational and all down to very hard work and determination.

Ivor showing great technique today at Kirriemuir.

 

The Final Week of the Season

David and I have just finished a great week together in the Alps. This was my final week in the Alps this season.  We visited both the Monte Viso Massif and the Mont Blanc Massif.

Below is a report on where we went and the conditions we found. The first three days were based from the very welcoming Rifugio Giacoletti. The second three days were based from the excellent www.gitemontjoly.com in Saint Gervais.

  • 13/09/17. Punta Venezia (3096m) via Cresta Perotti. Can be climbed in the same day as the walk in to the hut if you get to the car park early!
  • 14/09/17. Punta Roma (3069m) to Paso Giacoletti via Cresta del Colonnello. Traditional alpine AD ridge. Not a place to be in a storm.
  • 15/09/17. Punta Udine (3019m) via Cresta Est. Classic rock ridge right behind the hut. We wore rock shoes.
  • 16/09/17. Arete a’ Lauernce and Arete des Cosmiques. In excellent condtion following the recent snowfall.
  • 17/09/17. Aiguille Crochues (2840m) traverse and Aiguille du Belvedere (2965m). In wintery condition. Crampons would have been useful on the Belvedere.
  • 18/09/17. Multi pitch climbing at Les Gaillands. Lots of easy routes to do in mixed weather.

The crux move on the Arete des Cosmiques.

There are lots more photos on the facebook page.

The Mont Blanc Massif

Barry and I have been based from Saint Gervais les Bains the last three days. On Wednesday we climbed a seven pitch route at the excellent La Duchere near Les Contamines before travelling to the Rifugio Torino to overnight.

The view from the end of the Arete des Cosmiques.

Yesterday, we climbed Les Aiguilles Marbrees (3535m). We also tried to access Le Petit Flambeau traverse and the Aiguille de Toule but both were in terrible condition. Therefore, we dropped down to the Val Ferret and went multi pitch climbing at Mochet.

Today, we climbed the classic Arete des Cosmigues in good conditions.

Mont Blanc from the summit of Les Aiguilles Marbrees.

September in the Alps

September is an excellent month in the Alps. The huts and the mountains are quieter and the air temperature is also normally lower.

This week, Barry and I are climbing together. On Sunday we traversed the Aiguilles Crochues (2840m) and the Aiguille du Belvedere (2965m). There had been significant snowfall in the days proceeding which meant careful footwork was required. We saw two teams on the Crochues and none on the Belvedere.

Above the clouds on the Belvedere.

Yesterday we climbed on the Grande Falaise de Seloge in the Vallee des Glaciers. This is an excellent crag about 8 pitches high. The descent can be by either abseil or walk off.

In the afternoon we walked to the Refuge Robert Blanc to overnight. There was a warm welcome and great food.

Today we climbed Le Mont Tondu (3196m) taking in the summit of the Pain de Sucre on the way. There was nobody around.

Part of the Mont Tondu ridge.