Glen Clova

Euan and I took a gamble today that the ice and turf would have remained frozen in Coire Farchal, Glen Clova. We also thought that less snow on the ground would mean less wading to get to the crag than in some areas and the lower height would mean lower winds.

Euan climbing ice on the right of the second steep step in the lower gully.

Thankfully, the gamble paid off with a snow line just below crag height and although the air temperature was above freezing the turf was frozen and the ice was hanging on. We had a great time climbing The Art of Growing Old Gracefully, which has a good amount of climbing in lean conditions.

Euan near the top of the final chimney.

HML Training

On Friday and over the weekend I was working with John for Falkirk Outdoors on an HML Training for Gene, Jane, Kate and Ross. We visited the Touch Hills; Ben Gullipen/Beinn Dearg near Loch Venachar and John’s Hill and Lamb Hill in the Ochils.

John and the group on to of John’s Hill.

Lurcher’s Crag

Last Wednesday Euan and I had an excellent day climbing Husky on Lurcher’s Crag in the Cairngorms. We approached from the top and abseiled down the route before climbing out as the crags were fairly heavily loaded with snow.

Euan on Husky.

Glen Coe, Menteith Hills, Ochils, Peak District and The Pentlands

This is a bit of a catch-up Blog Post. Between the 31st of October and the 12th November I was out and about with a variety of groups.

John, Linda and Olesya on Sron na Lairig.

This included a very Alpine style scramble in Glen Coe, an HML Assessment in Central Scotland, rock climbing at Birchen Edge in the Peak District and Navigation in the Pentlands.

Andy and Rob at Birchen.

For more photos and details see the ClimbNow Facebook page. Wilf.

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.

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.