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.

Learn to Lead on Ice

The lads and I visited Stob Coire nam Beith today. We found some shelter from the ferocious winds and the team did a great job leading a four pitch ice route near An t Sron at about grade III.

There are lots of single and multi pitch ice routes currently present in the coire that are not in the guidebook. These provide great opportunities for learning to lead without the commitment of being on a big route.

Climbing ice in Stob Coire nam Beith.


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.

L’Aiguille du Belvedere and La Duchere

Yesterday Paul, Hector and I climbed L’Aiguille du Belvedere (2965m) which is the highest summit in Les Aiguilles Rouges above Chamonix. It provided a great route with only a few other teams around.

Paul and Hector on the summit ridge.

Today we climbed a nine pitch route at La Duchere before Hector did some lead climbing on the lower tier.

Hector near the top of La Duchere.

Kingussie Crag

Today the team and I have been at Kingussie Crag looking at lead climbing skills. Many of the routes on the upper crag were dry with seepage on the odd route.

Little Wall at Kingussie.

Little Wall at Kingussie.


This week I am rock climbing with a team from Ballachulish. After spending yesterday at the Ice Factor, today we visited Glen Nevis and climbed at Polldubh.

We spent the day looking at trad climbing and lead climbing skills on routes such as The Gutter and Tear before, during and after heavy rain showers. Many of the routes in the Alp area of Polldubh were drying quickly during the dry periods and  some were possible during the rain.

Stacey and Mark belaying on The Gutter.

Stacey and Mark belaying on The Gutter.

Aberdour and Rosyth

Over the last couple of days I have been at Aberdour and Rosyth. Firstly, on Thursday with Lucy and Doug looking at lead climbing skills and yesterday staff training with the Falkirk Team.

Rosyth was mostly dry with some seepage on the odd route. The second pitch of Fish Head Arete at Aberdour is loose at the moment, particularly in the middle section.

Three craws sat upon a wa.....

Three craws sat upon a wa…..

Traprain Law

I was at Traprain Law today with Craig working for Falkirk Community Trust. Craig had a team of three for a crag day, whilst I was doing a learn to lead on trad gear course for Andrea and Marco, who are both sports climbers.

Marco leading near the top of The Vertical Ladder.

Marco leading near the top of The Vertical Ladder.

It was cool and cloudy in the morning, but the sun came out in the afternoon and the crag was dry and worked well as a venue.

Rosyth Quarry

I was out today with Bob at Rosyth Quarry looking at leading on rock. The venue worked well as although we had a couple of quick showers the rock dries quickly and we were able to climb all day.

Bob leading The Sickle with a "ghost" rope.

Bob leading The Sickle with a “ghost” rope.

Glen Clova

Amy, Dawn and I have been up in Glen Clova today. Amy & Dawn were using the leading skills they looked at yesterday with Euan and taking them to a multi-pitch environment. We spent most of our time around Twenty Minute Route on the Lower North-West Crag and this gave plenty of options for leading and also for practicing retrievable abseils.

Dawn and Amy below Twenty Minute Route

Dawn and Amy below Twenty Minute Route

The crag was quite busy today with teams on a lot of the classic routes. The rock was dry and we had plenty of sunshine, although the wind was fairly strong and it was cold when the cloud came over or in exposed locations.