Dartmoor

Jen & I were down in Devon for the last couple of days catching up with Chris, Jane, Jen and Patrick. On Saturday we went for a gentle wander around Dartmoor, which took in Hound Tor and Haytor.

Haytor in the distance

Haytor in the distance

This allowed a little big boot bouldering on the delightful rough granite. The rock was a little damp in places, but there were plenty of climbers out enjoying a better than forecast day.

Bouldering at Hound Tor

Me bouldering at Hound Tor

Today we walked around the Otterton area taking in some of the coast and of course the compulsory cream tea.

The team near Black Hill

The team near Black Hill

Traverse of The Cobbler

Yesterday, I was out on The Cobbler in the Arrochar Alps with the Falkirk High Tops Team. We completed the traverse of the South Peak and the Centre Peak which gives some nice moderate rock climbing and one abseil.

The abseil tat at the top of the South Peak had vanished so I replaced it. Hopefully it will remain where it is!

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Glenmore Lodge Mountain Training Scotland Seminar

Yesterday I was up at Glenmore Lodge, the National Outdoor Training Centre, for a Mountain Training Scotland (MTS) Provider, Course Director and Staff Seminar. This event provides an opportunity for those providing and working on Mountain Training Awards in Scotland to share thoughts and experiences and give feedback to MTS.

One of the posters from the seminar

One of the posters from the seminar

The main areas of focus for the day were an MTS Update; presentations and discussions on some of the newer awards/courses and pathways for supporting newcomers to delivering/providing Mountain Training Awards.

The newer awards/courses such as Lowland Leader Award and Hill and Mountain Skills were discussed in some detail and there was some good input and feedback from those who’d delivered these courses and assessments.

A surprisingly lively day with plenty of discussion and energy.

Rosyth

Last week I was running an SPA course. We spent the third day of the course at Rosyth Quarry. This quarry is a good choice at this time of year as it is sheltered and dries quickly after rain. It can be climbed on throughout the whole winter.

Seb climbing at Rosyth.

Seb climbing at Rosyth.

Pentlands Navigation Course

I was out today in the Pentlands with a group from the Edinburgh Council Adult Education Programme. We were looking Navigation for Hillwalking. We used the area just South and West of the ski area, which has some excellent featured ground for looking at contour interpretation and managed to take in the tops of Caerketton and Allermuir Hills as well.

Descending at dusk with Arthur's Seat in the distance

Descending from the Pentlands with Arthur’s Seat in the distance

No rain during the day, broken cloud above the summits and only light winds. The ground is saturated, but paths and tracks weren’t too muddy.

SPA Training Day One

Yesterday I was out at Aberdour running a SPA Training with Nic Crawshaw, Kenny Lacey and nine trainee instructors. The crag was dry and warm in the November sunshine.

The team enjoying the climbing at Aberdour.

The team enjoying the climbing at Aberdour.

Arbroath Sea Cliffs Abseil

I was up near Red Head on the Arbroath Sea Cliffs today running and abseil for Ian, Coleen, Stuart and Lewis. The abseil was a big one; 40m of vertical/overhanging terrain followed by another 40 or 50m of steep ground.

Stuart jst commencing the abseil, Ian is on the right at the bottom for scale

Stuart jst commencing the abseil, Ian is on the right at the bottom for scale

The team all got on excellently, particularly as some of them hadn’t abseiled before and this was something of a baptism of fire. The rock was dry despite the recent weather and there was a strong South-Westerly wind.

Ratho Quarry and Tinto

On Monday Cameron and I tried to get a few climbs done in Ratho Quarry before the rain arrived. However, we only managed one route before having to move inside to the climbing wall to avoid a proper soaking.

Cameron after having climbed Peashooter in the rain

Cameron after having climbed Peashooter in the rain

Today Nettle and I went for an early nip up Tinto Hill before having to head off to other things, but good to get out despite the drizzle and wind.

Nettle next to the new indicator on top of Tinto Hill

Nettle next to the new indicator on top of Tinto Hill

Costa Blanca

Graham, Damien, Derek, Euan, Ivor, Michael, Nic, Niv and I are just back from a few days in Spain climbing on the Costa Blanca and celebrating Graham’s upcoming wedding. On Tuesday we climbed at Sella, mostly in the Techo del Rino area.

Derek warming up on Pequnecos II at Sella

Derek warming up on Pequnecos II at Sella

On Wednesday Euan and Graham climbed Direct de UBSA and Derek, Ivor and I climbed Via Valencianos with the upper corner pitches of Polvos Magicos. Both these lines are on the impressive and atmospheric Penon d’Ifach near Calpe and give 8 to 10 pitches of climbing. The routes have some bolts and fixed gear, but a light rack and some cord for threads are definitely worth taking. The crux pitch of Via Valencianos is very polished and not a soft touch for the grade.

Euan on Direct de UBSA

Euan on Direct de UBSA

Meanwhile Damien, Michael, Nic and Niv headed to Toix, again near Calpe, for some routes and deep water soloing.

Derek on the upper corner of Polvos Magicos

Derek on the upper corner of Polvos Magicos

An very good, if short, trip in excellent company. Euan will put some photos on Facebook when he gets the opportunity.

Ivor on the summit ridge of Penon d'Ifach with Calpe a long way below

Ivor on the summit ridge of Penon d’Ifach with Calpe a long way below

Curved Ridge

John and I were out today with a Falkirk Community Trust Team of Gayle, Isobel, Lorn, Mary, Sarah and Wilson. We climbed Curved Ridge on Buachaille Etive Mor including taking in Crowberry Tower.

Sarah, Mary and Gayle on the lower part of Curved Ridge

Sarah, Mary and Gayle on the lower part of Curved Ridge

We descended via Stob Dearg and Coire na Tulaich. There was rain on and off all day and a fresh Southerly wind. The route was sheltered until Crowberry Tower, which made for a pleasant ascent even though the rock was wet.

The team descending Coire na Tulaich

The team descending Coire na Tulaich