Thursday, 26 April 2012

Stob Coire nan Lochan and a taste of winter.

Yesterday I was working for the West highland college with their first years on the Adventure tourism degree. The focus of the day was a leadership assessment. We headed into Stob Coire Nan Lochan and round onto the summit via the West ridge where we hit a good covering of snow. It was hard work up to the summit with a crust on the snow that wasn't weight bearing but the rock was riming up nicely although the turf wasn't frozen. We headed south and dropped into the Hidden Valley and walked out from there. The group did well and everyone passed there day with everyone showing appropriate leadership styles for each of their legs.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Sunshine and rough rock at Reiff.

I've spent the last couple of days up at Reiff with Martyn in a hope to try and avoid the showers that have been falling on the mountains. We didn't see much in the way of rain, the odd snow shower but there was a cold and biting Northerly wind blowing that ruled out a lot of the cliffs as it would have just been too cold. So we spent our time on some of the South facing cliffs out of the wind and trying to catch as much of the sun as we could get. We switched between the Pinnacle area, Sea cliffs and the Seal song area. Good rough rock but quiet steep climbing and it took a while to get used to the style.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

ML Ropework day

I joined Ian and Bill yesterday for a ropework day on a Summer Mountain Leader training that Bill is running this week. We made our way into the Bauchaille looking at navigation and the environmental aspect of the syllabus where we then spent the rest of the day looking at how a Summer ML can use a rope in an emergency. There were a number of showers that passed us by during the day but we managed to stay dry for most of the day until we headed back to the cars. Snow was falling on the higher summits and the snow line did creep up again as the day went on.

Looking at abseiling.

Confidence roping.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Snowy Skye.

The Bad step on Am Bhastier

A day on Skye today with Jon for Skye Guides. The drive up this morning didn't fill me with much hope as lasts nights heavy rain had fallen as snow on the highest summits. Thankfully when we arrived at Bealach a Bhasteir it was just just a dusting and wasn't going to cause us a problem. We ascended Am Bhasteir via the East ridge and came back down the same way then headed over to tackle the more difficult West ridge of Sgurr nan Gillean. When we arrived at the summit we were greeted with a fantastic view as the clouds lifted. We descended via the Tourist route and Jon has now ticked off two further Munros. There were a number of snow showers through the day but the snow was starting the strip back in the afternoon. 

The West ridge of Sgurr nan Gillean.

Monday, 9 April 2012

A soggy Easter Sunday.

I was working with Spike for West Coast Mountain Guides Yesterday. We walked up the Ben with a very nice and friendly group from Anselm's Prep school in Bakewell. The weather wasn't the best and we were in the cloud for most of the day with rain and even fresh snow on the summit but the young people did well and are now of sailing around Arran and Bute for the next three days. The tent from mid week has kindly been removed from the summit. 

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Quick trip up the Ben.

The plateau today.

I was out for Abacus Mountain Guides today with the Rodge Family who are doing the 3 Peaks over 3 days but had decided to hire a guide with the current conditions. We made good progress and were up and down in 5 hours and 15 mins. We were still getting snowed on at midday and were walking on snow for most of the day but the snow line did creep up as the day went on. It was busy on the mountain today especially for a week day. When we arrived at the summit it was obvious that a team had camped on the summit and unfortunately they couldn't be bothered to carry out their knackered tent and had just left it and the litter in it for someone else to clear up. Unfortunately I didn't have time to remove it myself but I am back up on Sunday hopefully with a bit more time on my hands.

The offending tent left next to the summit.