Saturday, 23 May 2009

Scotland...

...what a place. Just back home after a fantastic week of walking/scrambling/climbing/running!
First stop - Glen Nevis: With low cloud, drizzle and wind we stopped off on our way up north for a stroll down this lovely glen. The rock climbing up there looked good but unfortunately damp! Walking up thorugh the woods with the river roaring through the gorge beneath us really took me back to some of the walks I have done in New Zealand.


Steall Falls, Glen Nevis

Next stop: Skye
Its been an ambition of ours to do the Cullin Ridge traverse - often described as the greatest mountaineering day out in the UK. It features 10 km of tricky scrambling, route finding, sections of climbing up to severe, several abseils and 3000m of ascent... then there is the walk in and out! With a poor forecast we decided to do some sea cliff climbing on sunday at Elgol.


The Cuillin Ridge from Elgol

We did 4 good routes as the weather turned out grand - but we couldn't help wishing that we were up on the ridge. We headed round to Glen Brittle to prepare for a 4am alarm call and a full day on the ridge. The day started well, if not a little cold and we made good progress over the first half of the ridge. Just as we were thinking the full traverse was on the cards rain clouds appeared on the horizon! By 2 we were over 2/3rds of the way round but had to bail off as the rain set in for the rest of the day - gutting. We heard the next day that some one had fallen in the wet conditions futher along the ridge and died - this just shows how dangerous the mountains can be in bad conditions.


Jen on the Inn Pinn

With futher bad weather forcast we got one more sunny sea cliff climbing day in on the north of the Island before we headed south and east to Perthshire for some more laid back walking, climbing and running around the town of Pitlochry.


The River Braan

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Tremadog Tree Felling

Great day at Tremadog yesterday - climbed 7 E1's at Bwlch y Moch with friend Sylvia. What fanatastic rock and movement. The climbing is always involved, technical and rewarding - and whats more the sun shone all day!!!

Bwlch y Moch is undergoing a bit of a revival at the moment thanks to the BMC. Crag clean up days have meant that routes formerly choked with ivy and vegetation have been rendered climbable and most recently a programme of tree felling has occured. They have removed a lot of the invasive sycamores (scary when they are dropping big trees down the fang gully whilst sat at the bottom of the plum!) which has made the jungle much more open - meaning finding the bottom of routes easier, the routes will dry quicker and there will be more sun for belays! There has also been work on some of the paths which is well needed!

For more info on the state of play at tremadog visit the wiki at www.tremdaog.wetpaint.com

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Pete and Viki's big day out!

video

Hope on a sunny day



The sun came out for Vikki and Pete today, which made a nice change after the cloud and rain of the past week. We headed up to the Idwal Slabs - a fine multipitch play ground - to climb a 4 pitch V Diff called Hope. Both Vikki and Pete climbed fluidly and quickly, they also picked up some belaying and rope skills on the way. Our speedy ascent meant that we had time for some abseiling practice on the way back down. After a quick lunch we climbed the first pitch of Tennis Shoe Direct, VS, to give the team something a little bit more challenging. They passed with flying colours!

Friday, 1 May 2009

True Grip E4/E5 6a


I definitely was beginning to feel slightly gripped. I'm 15 foot above my last runner having just made a tricky move. Feet on smears, fingers curled tightly over small, sharp crimps. I need a number 3 wire... i search frantically through my rack. Shit where is it. Realisation - they're both in the rock beneath me. Shit. Look around. Breathe. A reasonable rp goes in near my feet. I relax slightly. Then I see the light - Jims micro friend. It fits into the rock 3 slot perfectly. Job done. Climb now, shake out that pump. A big move via a pocket leads to the good rest on Left Wall. Only E3 from here...

Dinas Cromlech what a crag!