May has seen a lot of changes, both in weather conditions and Covid restrictions and guidance. The month started with winter still being very present in the Scottish hills, which allowed us to get a couple of last wintery outings.
Focus changed for us through the month to rock climbing in both North Wales and Scotland; delivering National Governing Body Award training courses, such as Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor, Mountain Leader and Lowland Leader.
The highlight was probably Paul popping up with Finn to complete a traverse of the Skye Ridge in pretty favourable conditions.
Ivor, Nettle and I met up for a morning’s climbing at the tidal quartz dolerite sea cliff of The Hawkraig at Aberdour in Fife today. The sun was shining and the seals were singing out on the islands, which made for a very pleasant back drop as we climbed a bunch of easy to mid-grade routes.
The climbing at the crag is generally very good, although a bit of care is required with loose rock/soil/sand higher up on some of the routes. It’s definitely worth checking tide times if visiting the crag as the access to a lot of the crag is much easier at mid to low tide.
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.
I have been at Aberdour (The Hawcraig) and Rosyth Crags today with Wilson and Bob from the Falkirk High Tops Team.
We managed a number of routes at Aberdour before the rain started. Once it did begin we headed to Rosyth Quarry to climb routes there as the rock has more friction in the wet.
During the day we had the opportunity to look at the skills required for multi pitch climbing in preparation for the upcoming summer climbing and scrambling season.
Yesterday, I visited Aberdour with the Falkirk Staff team. The crag was dry and we had a good mornings climbing in the sun.
For the next couple of days, I will be reporting on ski conditions in Saas Fee and Saas Grund. Martin will be reporting on conditions on Ben Nevis.
I spent yesterday (9/7/13) at a variety of Fife crags. During the morning Eilidh and I took a group from the Falkirk Community Trust Summer Programme to The Hawkcraig at Aberdour for some climbing. It was very hot in the sun at the crag, so in the afternoon we opted to go to Rosyth Quarry for some abseiling on a section of crag in the shade of the trees. The Falkirk Community Trust summer programme provides a wide range of outdoor activities for kids and is well worth investigating, as are their outdoor activities for adults.
In the evening a team of Eilidh, James, John, Nigel and me headed to Limekilns for some personal climbing. Limekilns offers some of the only limestone climbing in southern Scotland and although somewhat polished has some excellent routes.
On Wednesday this week (26th) I was shadowing the second day of a Single Pitch Award (SPA) Assessment being run by Cliff for the City of Edinburgh Council. Amongst other things those being assessed were setting up bottom and top ropes and group abseils as well as being asked to solve problems that may occur on group sessions. The day was at Rosyth quarry and some of the less frequented sections of crag were utilised. It’s worth noting that there’s been a very recent gorse fire above the Heathy section of the crag and this may impact some of the belays; on the day some of the stakes were unusable as the area was still smouldering.
This afternoon I was out at the Hawkcraig, Aberdour, with Pamela and Mike. A little breezy in the Westerlies, but the crag had dried quickly after this morning’s rain and we cimbed 6 routes and spent some time looking at options for climbing in series when teaching leading.
John and I have been out today at the Aberdour (Hawcraig) sea cliff with Cathy, George and Gayle. The forecast was for rain at 1pm but this did not materialise and we had sun all day. A few of the routes have nesting sea birds which are best avoided.
Out at The Hawkcraig at Aberdour again this evening with David, James and Nigel. The crag was busy with lots of teams enjoying the good conditions and the evening low tide.
We did a number of routes including Cranium Crack, the top pitch of which requires some care with loose rock on the easier upper section.