Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Sun, floods and lots of 3 peaks!

I've been really busy the last few weeks. I was guiding on two 3 peaks challenges last weekend back to back, which was certainly a test of staying awake and trying to get some sleep on the minibuses! We had very contrasting weather with cloud on Ben Nevis, low cloud and rain down to about 300m on Scafell Pike with very poor visibility in the dark and then on Snowdon we seemed to leave the summit just as the sun came out!

Low Cloud on Scafell Pike- It's there somewhere!

Snowdon clear of cloud- once we're on our way down!

The usual crowds on Snowdon!

On round two we had stunning blue skies and sun on Snowdon and Scafell followed by some sleet on Ben Nevis!

Great views from Scafell Pike

Once back home I had a quick trip up Bohuntine hill in Glen Roy and a wander up Sgurr A Mhaim in the Mamores.

Stob Ban from near Sgurr A'Mhaim

Looking towards the Ben from Bohuntine Hill

Was back on 3 peaks this weekend too. A few cold showers on the Ben paled into insignificance down in the Lakes as we couldn't get down the road to Wasdale Head due to flooding! Even from the road though, we could see that the river crossing on Scafell Pike would have been dangerous at best and had to abandon our plan for this. Not too dejected, the group made good time up and down Snowdon. Sometimes 2 outta 3 ain't bad!
Was out on a short walk in Kintail yesterday up Druim Shionnach with Glenda and managed to get down just as the forecast heavy rain arrived. The complete South Cluanie Ridge is definitley on the ticklist for the summer!

Monday, 11 June 2012

A Productive week...

The rain has stayed away for a while now so on Sunday Kev and I headed to Polldubh to look at some routes. On Monday, Jenny and Alison came up to do some filming for Kev. Have a look at it below!

On Tuesday, we headed to Rannoch wall on Buachaille Etive Mor to give me a shot at my first E1 lead. I chose Engineer's Crack (E1 5b) after having a look at it when up to do Fracture route a few weeks ago. Despite some initial nerves the holds were there and the gear decent when placed! I then had a go on Dingle(HVS 5a) next door which was less technical but a bit more strenuous. A quick ascent up to the summit of Stob Dearg finished a great day.

Wednesday was a slight change of events if not scenery as Glenda and I attended Dave and Sam's wedding at Lagangarbh Hut. This was a truly superb day which had to be the most unique and original wedding venue!

We awoke on Thursday to some low cloud in Glencoe but clear tops so decided on an morning scramble up Curved Ridge to make the most of the day. Again, great views from the summit!

Friday was a look at some venues for possible new routes with Kev which turned out very promising.

Saturday was back to work on Ben Nevis for a 3 peaks group who did really well and were up and down in about 5hrs 30 min. That's been the last 6 times for me up Ben Nevis that I've had a clear view! If only it would last...

Saturday, 2 June 2012

3 Peaks and a week in Knoydart

Last Friday I was up Ben Nevis with a group of three peakers. We left Glen Nevis at 5.00pm in 30 degrees C heat! A little warmer than we're used to in Fort William. Needless to say we found the first couple of hours fairly hard work, particularly for those of us who find their optimum functioning temperature between -10 and 15 C! However, we all made it to the summit and back in just over 5hrs and got some stunning views and clear skies.

On Monday I headed to Knoydart for the week, working for Wilderness Scotland. Oz, Elise, Brad and Thomas had a week of wild camping and wilderness walking planned. We headed from Mallaig to Inverie on the ferry and then hiked over the Mam Meadail pass to the head of Loch Nevis. High temperatures and heavy packs certainly put us through our paces! Tuesday we headed up Sgurr na Ciche to bag Thomas and Brad's first Munro! A bit of cloud on the summit but a stunning day. Wednesday was a great day of getting off the beaten track to eventually join the pass leading to Barrisdale. After fighting a losing battle with the midges we camped at the bay area to an awesome sunset. Some rain on Wednesday night and a cloud base of 200m Thursday morning canned our plans for Ladhar Bheinn so we headed along the south coast of Loch Hourn. Friday we headed up to the Mam Barisdale pass and managed to get to the summit of our second Munro, Luinne Bheinn (affectionately named Loony Bin by the group!). We had 360 degree views to the Cuillin, Torridon, Nevis and beyond, amazing. A great feed in the Old forge in Inverie topped off a truly memorable and thoroughly enjoyable week.