Loch Ordie Crag

Pamela and I had a very pleasant day climbing at Loch Ordie Crag north of Dunkeld today. The routes probably don’t see much traffic, so some care is required with the odd loose block and vegetation, but there are some very nice lines in a beautiful setting.

Pamela setting off up New Order.

The pick of the routes we climbed were “New Order”, which was very good for the grade, and “Ordie Crack”. It’s worth climbing the lower wall of Ordie Crack from the left to avoid some possible loose rock above the lower thin cracks before reaching the main straight crack. We also climbed a possible new line left of Leo.

Weem

Euan, Ivor and I have been cragging at Weem today climbing a mixture of sport and trad routes. It was hot in the sun and shaded routes were a good choice for the day.

Euan and Ivor warming up on Crowing at the Enemy.

It’s worth noting that if you climb the excellent “Back to Basics” there is no lower off if you move right at the overhang as described in the new Highland Outcrops South guidebook. To avoid a vegetated top out and some bushwhacking to set up a belay/abseil it’s probably best to move left at the overhang and head up to the lower off on the sport route “The Real Mackay”.

Euan leading the steep High Pitched Scweem.

Good to bump in to Jonas and Lennart at the crag putting in to practice some of the skills they covered with Euan at Bennybeg last week.

Euan setting off on Back to Basics with me belaying.

Skye

I have just had a good few days in the Black and Red Cuillin of Skye. Firstly Rob, Andy and I had three days. We climbed;

  • Window Buttress and the SW face of the In-Pinn.
  • Little Gully and Slab and Corner to the summit of the Cioch.
  • A days scrambling on Sgurr man Each near Blaven.

Secondly, I was out on the Cioch with Tim and Shelley. We climbed to the summit via Arrow Route and Collie’s Route.

The summit of the Cioch behind Rob and Andy.

Buachaille Etive Mor

Gib and I had an excellent day in Glen Coe in the sun today. We climbed Curved Ridge up to the summit of Stob Dearg on Buachaille Etive Mor before descending via Coire na Tulaich.

Gib on the upper section of Curved Ridge with Rannoch Wall behind.

There was no snow on the route or in the gully behind Crowberry Tower and just a very short patch of soft snow to be crossed at the head of Coire na Tulaich. A stunning day in great company.

Glen Lednock

John and I had a brief evening cragging in Glen Lednock today. We’d intended to check at Balnacoul Castle, but having walked in there was a lot of activity from nesting birds, so we changed plan and climbed a few routes at Creag na h-Iolaire.

Photo of me leading Deuxieme last year, which John led today. No camera today unfortunately.

The crag was dry and it was very hot in the sun as it faces South-West; not a great day to be battling up the strenuous Sultans of Swing as I chose to do.

Bennybeg, Muiravonside and Perthshire

On Thursday and Friday I completed working on the Antonine Primary School Activity Week for Falkirk Community Trust Outdoors. I visited Bennybeg with David and a climbing/abseiling group and helped set up for their overnight camp at Muiravonside before delivering orienteering sessions on Friday.

Jen looking at some of the work of the beavers near Mill Dam.

Yesterday Jen and I visited the Dunkeld area watching the ospreys at The Loch of The Lowes and walking north of Dunkeld to see signs of the extensive beaver activity in the area.

Learn to Lead

Jonas, Lennart and I were at Benny Beg last night looking at the skills required for leading sports routes. As well as skills such as re-threading anchors, we also looked at building anchors at the top of venues such as the Arbroath sea cliffs.

Bennybeg and Kirkton Gorge

The last couple of days I’ve been working with Falkirk Community Trust providing an activity week for The Antonine Primary School Bonnybridge. On Tuesday I was with a group climbing and abseiling at Bennybeg. Today Craig and I were with a different group gorge walking in the Kirkton Gorge near Balquhidder.

Craig demonstrating one of the jumps in the Kirkton Gorge.

Both days have been dry with broken sunshine and the crags were nice and dry.

Ski Touring in the Troll Peninsula (Iceland)

I am just back from ski touring in the Troll Peninsula with Scott and Tina. We had an amazing time skiing great snow in remote valleys and on coastal peaks followed by a super friendly experience in the café at Dalvik on our return each day.

I would highly recommend Iceland for those who want to ski tour late April and May in a magical place where solitude can easily be found.

Could Inversion on the Troll Peninsula.

Navigation Course The Pentlands

Glorious weather in The Pentlands today for delivering a City of Edinburgh Council Adult Education Navigation Course. Navigation progressed through the day finishing with legs through open hill country away from paths. The ground was generally dry and there was sunshine most of the day and a light breeze.

Some of the team using maps and compasses away from paths.