Back from another short stint of work on Skye for Skye Guides and there's not a lot to say really other than the sun is shining, the ground is dry and so are the crags. So get out and enjoy the Highlands at their best!
Saturday, 8 June 2013
Monday, 3 June 2013
Saturday morning started wet but was due to dry up as the day went on so Stuart, Vincent and I had a plan for a late start on the first day to give the ridge a chance to dry. We start the walk in at about 11am and thankfully only had one shower on the way round to Gars Bheinn. By the time we hit the ridge the cloud was lifting and the crest was dry. We made very quick progress to coir' a Ghrunnda and made the detour out to Sgurr Dubh Mor and back to our bivvy below Sgurr Sgmain for an early night ready for our big second day.
A 4am alarm saw us fed and ready for a 5am start, we headed up onto Sgurr Alasdair to be greeted with a view of the cloud clearing from the ridge and it all looked good for a quick day. Unfortunately it was at this point that Stuart started to feel unwell and it was long before he was bent over throwing up. He decided to continue and did very well to keep going considering but he was struggling to eat anything so was going to run out of energy at some point. We made steady progress North over the In Pinn at about 9am and enjoyed the great section of scrambling over Sgurr a Ghreadaidh but it was decided at this point that we should leave the ridge at An Dorus. A good effort by Stuart who really was battling on and well done to Vincent who was very understanding. I was working this traverse for Skye Guides.
Approaching Sgurr nan Eag.
The cloud lifting off An Stac and the In Pinn at 5.30am.
A slightly damp abseil off the In Pinn.
On Friday afternoon I was joined by Tom and Fiona for an introduction to rock climbing. We headed up into Glen Nevis and climbed the Gutter in four pitches and then headed over to Right wall to climb it in another two. The guys did well and we covered placing gear, building belays and some rope work. Once I'd finished it was a quick change and a drive up to Skye for a traverse attempt over the weekend.
Wednesday, 29 May 2013
I'm just back from three great days on Skye working with Pete and Ray for Skye Guides. Sunday saw us ticking off the southern two Munros in great weather for most of the day but the cloud did come in later in the day with a couple of light showers but thankfully we made it back to the car before the wild weather really hit.
Sunday night was a wild night on the Island and the weather was due to clear later Monday morning so we had a late start and headed up to An Dorus to get the middle two Munros and our plan worked as it stayed dry and the cloud lifted.
Yesterday we headed up the Sgumain stone shoot and over the top to Sgurr Alasdair and continued along the ridge north to Sgurr Mhic Choinnich and down the An Stac screes. Pete and Ray are having a rest day today before they head out again tomorrow with Jon.
I've got a couple of days off now before a ridge traverse attempt over the weekend, lets hope the weather holds out.
Ray and Pete enjoying the views from Sgurr nan Eag.
Friday, 17 May 2013
I've had a break from the blog over the last month as I've been doing some centre based work and had a great little break to north Wales with Gillian so haven't really had anything useful to report. This week though I've been up on Skye working for Skye Guides. The weather and conditions have been challenging to say the least but we still managed to get out. There is still some big patches of old snow lying around on the North facing cliffs and in some of the gullies. Most of them are avoidable or are small enough to run a quick pitch up it needed. An Dorus and the great stone shoot still have a good amount of snow that will be there for a while and Coire a Bhastier still has long approaches over snow slopes and will need winter kit for a while. The ridge itself is free of old snow and anything that has fallen this week should be melting off in today's sun.
An Stac and the In Pin on Wednesday.
The great stone shoot and Sgurr Alasdair
Coire a Bhastier.
Thursday, 11 April 2013
The forecast for today was light winds, 80% of cloud free Munros and the odd snow shower. It certainly looked like it was going to be a fine day as we walked in but the wind soon picked and just above the CIC hut the snow was starting to blow around. We carried on up into Observatory gully and up towards our plan A but now it was snowing at reasonable rate. Conditions weren't optimal for our plan A so we had a think and decided to head up Tower ridge instead.
The ridge is in fantastic condition at the moment with good firm neve and ice from bottom to top and with the new snow and wind today it felt like it was the middle of February. The rocks high up were riming up nicely and there is more snow on the ridge in places than I have seen before, banking out some of the more awkward steps. We had snow on and off all day and a lot of it was getting shifted around and we did come across some pockets of very unstable wind slab.
Carn Dearg and Castle ridge area this morning.
East gully Approach
Neil throwing some shapes climbing out of Douglas gap.
The end of a great day.
Wednesday, 10 April 2013
I've had some time off in the last week or so to rest after a busy winter and have been enjoying the sunshine with a bit of mountain biking and time with the other half. Today though it was back to work in the winter with a trip along the CMD arete with Jack for West Coast Mountain Guides. We never quite got the amazing views that this route can provide but they weren't bad. We made quick progress thanks to the good covering of firm snow along the arete itself and the descent down Red burn is so banked out there isn't even a waterfall at the bottom to look out for.
This pair kept us entertained today.
Ben Nevis from the CMD.
Descending to the arete.