The Lowther Hills

The days I’ve had pencilled in for possible early winter climbing don’t seem to be lining up with conditions at the moment, so I’m trying to take opportunities to keep hill fit wherever I can.

The summit of Louise Wood Law.

Today I broke a dreich journey back up from Derbyshire by stopping at Elvanfoot and walking/running around some of the eastern Lowther Hills. The route took in Louise Wood Law, White Law, Dun Law and Glen Ea’s Hill. There was a scattering of snow above 600m although this may disappear tomorrow.

Loch Goil

With very strong easterly winds forecast at height today B and I headed west of Lochgoilhead to take in some lower hills. We visited Stob na Boine Druim-fhinn, Beinn Tharsuinn, Beinn an Lochain and it’s East Top. This avoided the worst of the precipitation and we only had a couple of showers although it was pretty windy even on these 2000ft hills.

B hanging on at the summit of Stob na Boine Druim-fhinn.

There was a covering of snow above about 800m visible on the hills further east and north; as we drove back through Arrochar Beinn Ime and The Cobbler had a good dusting high up.

Rocky Ridges and Routes

David and I have had a successful weeks climbing together. We have covered lots of excellent ground on limestone and granite. Routes completed;

  • L’Arete a Marion near the Col des Aravis.
  • Aiguille d’Entreves Traverse.
  • Traverese of the Pyramide Calcaire in the Val Veny.
  • The Voie Perroux Brunat on L’ Index above Chamonix.

Tomorrow we are off to La Duchere to look at multi pitch lead climbing skills.

Limestone Ridges and the Dom

I was out this week on behalf of Frost Guiding with Chris. We had a successful week completing the following;

  • Rock climbing at the Vallorcine Slabs.
  • The traverse of Pointe Percee via the Arête du Doigt and Cheminee Sallanches.
  • Arete Marion.
  • The Dom (4545m).
  • Skills day near Arolla.

Four Varied Days

Guy, Joey, Paul and I have had four varied days in the Alps.

On Tuesday we climbed Aiguilles Marbrees  and traversed Le Petit Flambeau from the Rifugio Torino before overnighting at the hut. The snow ridge on Le Petit Flambeau is currently icy and requires screws.

The next day we traversed the Aiguille d’Entreves in good conditions.

Yesterday we visited the beautiful Vanoise National Park and traversed the stunning Aiguille de la Vanoise which includes a very, very narrow rock ridge.

Today we went multi pitch rock climbing at La Duchere. There is some seepage on the crag after last nights rain.

On the amazing Aiguille de la Vanoise.

Matterhorn and Eldorado

John and I have had another busy few days. On Friday we walked to the Hörnli Hut before climbing the Matterhorn yesterday.

Today we visited the Eldorado Domes above Les Contamines. This excellent crag is 5/6 pitches high and rarely visited. Even though it is a Sunday in August, we were the only climbers there.

Bishorn and Gran Paradiso

John and I have been out in the Alps together the last few days.

On Sunday we walked to the Tracuit Hut before climbing the Bishorn on Monday. Conditions on the mountain were good. There are two areas of significant crevasses that need to be crossed. Having a good amount of rope out is important.

Yesterday we visited Servoz crag before making the approach to the Rifugio Vittorio Emanuel. Today we climbed the Gran Paradiso via the classic route. The snout of the glacier is getting icy as is the area around 3600m. Soon it may be better to go by the variation route described in Martin Moran’s 4000m peaks book.

 

MacGillycuddy’s Reeks and The Dingle Peninsula

Jen and I are just back from Ireland. Having visited family in Wicklow we headed out to Kerry for a few days and based ourselves in Killarney. On Wednesday we climbed Carrauntoohil in windy conditions from Hags Glen via Brother O’Shea’s Gully and descended via The Zig-Zags.

Helpful signage on Carrauntoohil.

Thursday we drove out to the Dingle Peninsula and after seeing the famous Fungie the Dolphn headed up Cnoc Breanainn (Mount Brandon) from An Baile Breac in wet and cloudy conditions. Friday saw us back in the Dingle area for an afternoon’s sea kayaking with Irish Adventures.

Jen and me in cloud on the summit of Cnoc Breanainn (Mount Brandon).

Saturday we were back in The Reeks with occasional heavy showers and strong winds climbing Cnoc na Peiste from Cronin’s Yard before taking in Maolan Bui and Cnoc an Chuillinn before returning over Maolan Bui and down The Bones. We had superb hospitality throughout and thoroughly enjoyed our time in Ireland.

Arolla and the Dufourspitze

This week I have been out with David, Mirsie, Mark, Micheal and Jack on behalf of Frost Guiding. We climbed the following;

  • Pointe 2940 above the Pas de Chèvre.
  • Le Serpentine (3789m) from the Col de la Serpentine in Scottish winter conditions. We accessed the mountain from the Dix Hut. Th conditions on the glacier were good.
  • Pointe du Pas de Chèvre (2991m).
  • The Dufourspitze (4634m). The conditions were good on the mountain.

Valais and Mont Blanc Massif

I have just spent 6 days with Sam, Richard, Fred and Frost Guiding. Here are the details of what we did;

  • Day one. Ecole de Glacé on Moiry Glacier. Overnight at Moiry Hut.
  • Day two. Pointe de Mourti in good conditions.
  • Day three. Crevasse rescue on the way to the Vignettes Hut.
  • Day four. Traverse of Pigne d’Arolla. There is a 60 metre section of ice that requires ice screw belays on the ascent to the summit.
  • Day five. Ecole d’ escalade near the Orny Hut. Overnight at Trient Hut.
  • Day six. Aiguille du Tour in good conditions.

There are more photos on the Facebook page.