Friday, 1 June 2018

BDO...


19 May 2018

A couple of pics from the Inaccessible Pinnacle, Sgùrr Dearg on the Cuillin a couple of weeks back.  I have the high res version guys if you want them (just laundered your email addresses).






Monday, 28 May 2018

Taps Aff...

Saturday 19 May

Craig and Mark saw the sun and went for Observatory Ridge on Ben Nevis as part of a hopeful plan for the Matterhorn this summer and a good training ground for moving together on steeper ground. Neither has done it before and it was fun 'route finding' on the steepest bits we could find.


It's a wonderful route and well worth a visit but there are some interesting bits which would be more challenging in winter.   That said, it would need a proper alpine start in winter as its a long way with proper route finding challenges no doubt - that's what happens when you don't look at the guide book!


It gives wonderful views over the Minus Face and Orion Face, with a great view of Point Five too - plenty of water running in it!

A very wet Point 5
It's a route that just keeps giving and when you think it's about to level out, another steep wall appears in front to go at.  More challenging than Tower Ridge but just as enjoyable with perhaps a more claustrophobic feel, as TR is not walled in the way OR seems.

Anyway, we enjoyed it immensely and will go back soon to the Ben for training and fun.




Tower Ridge in all its glory
Wintery exit slope :)

Monday, 5 March 2018

Mano Destra Italiana...

3 March 2018

Craig and Mark have had a good couple of weeks climbing...

Raeburn’s Ordinary Route Hand (IV 4) is far from ordinary and is a favourite of ours, we went left from the second belay to make the route even better.

Curved Ridge (III 3) in good but powder snow cover.

Shelf Route (IV 6) (bailed) due to the amount of snow and lack of good placements en-route.

Chockstone Gully (II) suited the high winds and avalanche forecast being low down on the Cobbler.

Original Summer (IV 6) Cairngorms, Dan came along to make it a rather sociable day out.

McLay’s Crack (III 4) on the Cobbler got another visit on a better than forecast day that happened to be Mark's Birthday so Craig carried the rack in and out!

Crowberry Gully (IV 4) in fat easy conditions with views to America from the top.

Italian Right Hand (IV 4) great but short route on a very windy day.



Original Summer Route
Italian Right Hand

Mark topping out on Italian

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Chasing Ice...and sometimes rain

Craig and Mark have been out chasing conditions recently and have had some success and some good days without a route to bag.

We bailed from Shelf Route in soft heavy snow but have also had great days on the Cobbler, Gorms and the Coe.

We've ricked off Chockstone Gully and McLay's Crack on the Cobbler, SummerRoute in the Gorms in nice nick and Raeburn's Route and Curved Ridge in the Coe.  We sought days on routes around Bridge of Orchy without success and await a chance to get on the Ben this season.

Routes on the card include Moonshadow and Shelf Route (Coe), Seam and Patey's Route (Gorms) and Hadrian's Wall and Orion on the Ben; we remain ever optimistic conditions will allow at least some of the action.

Notwithstanding, it's been an interesting winter with much early scoping of conditions, weather patterns and avalanche warnings helping to inform on suitable and safe routes.  We have turned round from some objectives and continue to build on our skills to stay safe in winter...as we always say, 'no dead heroes'; the climb will be there for another day.

Mark on Curved Ridge

Mark high on Curved Ridge

Chockstone Gully
Mark on Summer Direct Alladin's Buttress

Craig on McLay's Crack


Thursday, 4 January 2018

Christmas Frolics

Over the Christmas period, the team have tried to get out and do some stuff but generally the weather has acted against us.  Despite that, we got out a bit, got wet, climbed a bit and had fun.

Craig and Mark got out and swam up the Zig Zags in Glen Coe...a fun 'go to' route in poor weather and it was poor that day with water gushing down the route after a turbo thaw.

Mark on the chimney...wet
Next up was a trip to the 'Gorms and finding something to climb.  We got onto Original Summer Route on Alladin's Buttress and found soft unhelpful snow but we had fun and it actually felt like winter climbing for the first time this season.

Craig on P1 


On 30 December, Craig and Mark headed for a very wintery Cobbler and found lots of snow (comparatively) and some wld winds.  We kept to lower ground on Chockstone Buttress area and climbed something at its far end.  It felt a bit thin in the wrong places with plenty snow on the easier angled slopes.  All in, a great wee climb which we thought went around III (4? maybe) with some interesting moves on steep steps.  

Mark getting into the heart of P1t
Earlier in December, we also got into Stob Corrie nan Lochan and got onto Twisting Gully but conditions were soft and thin and after P1 we dabbed off and went for a walk.

Mark coming up P1



A thin gully line!
The NY hopefully brings some colder snaps to freeze the pack and get us climbing some new routes.  This weekend is looking cold and should brings us some nice conditions to get swinging those axes in earnest.

Happy New Year to one and all...let's hope it's a good one.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Optimistic Optics

Craig and Mark went for the first outing of the season to the 'Gorms in the hope of some action.  The usual early start saw them at the carpark around 8 and a quick walk in saw them at the Snechda lochans looking at black rock.

The walk in was more positive looking but the wind has scoured the upper corrie with pockets of windslab in abundance and well frozen ground in scoured areas.  The windchill was making it very cold and wind blown snow was making visibility difficult at times.

We chatted with other parties and went for a walk to see what conditions were like on Aladdin's Buttress.  It was very black and not much looked in but Patey's Route was the whitest of the lot and we went to scope things without much anticipation as it is more of an ice route but we wondered if things would work in mixed conditions.

We rocked up and Mark set off up the first pitch; sadly, the deeper protection of the gully meant the snow was way too soft, turf not sufficiently frozen and things all a bit sketchy.  After battling up part of the first pitch, common sense prevailed and we decided to bin the day for coffee and cake in town.

The tools, rack and ropes got a walk and we're stoked for some better condition in early course.
Some pics of the day...



Mark on first pitch 




Spiciest moment of the day

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

The DEVIL is in the detail...

Saturday 2 September

With time running out to Linda’s next birthday Mark was under pressure to magic some fine weather for a day out on Tower Ridge. With the help of some contacts it was agreed that the sun would shine on Saturday. So at 4:30am they left Glasgow and drove in the dark to Fort William.

Mark takes up the story...

Mist and low cloud greeted us as we walked into the CIC with Linda questioning if the
Douglas boulder was actually a boulder! Eh, no, I guess not, but then I have never really given it any thought!

We played leap frog with the boys from Newcastle and headed on up into the mist meeting
Marc  Chauvin and wife at the little tower.

Linda was trusting her feet and climbing well so fast progress was made to the Eastern traverse and the fallen block chimney. Next up, walk the plank and get lowered into the gap. All done without hesitation or deviation. Summit sarnies and news that the Ben Nevis race was about to start made us decide to take in the CMD arête just as the sun burnt through, giving us fantastic views of the North Face.

A Simply Epic day leaving Linda looking forward to her next birthday...




Linda McFall



Linda McFall