Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Season drawing to a close...

Another busy few weeks have gone by as the Summer seasons carries on. I had a day on the Ben in the worst conditions I've had on a Summer trip for Maximum Adventure. We unfortunately had to call it a day at corner 3 as some of the lighter members of the group were almost getting lifted off their feet by the ferocious winds!
Out again the next day for Seren ventures and we managed to reach the summit this time although the weather was still pretty grim on top!
Joe and Clive warming up again on the way down!
I had a great couple of days on my First Aid Course run by the British association of Ski Patrollers (BASP). Duncan ran a really interesting course with a lot of realistic and useful scenarios in the area around Nevis Range to get us thinking about our management of casualties in the outdoors.

Later that week I headed over to Skye for a days work for Wilderness Scotland. Bruce from the USA only had one day on Skye so we did a mega tour of the island including the Old Man of Storr, the Cuillin at Glen Brittle and Sligachan, Dunvegan Castle and Trumpan. 
Back to Fort William and I had a superb day guiding David along the Carn Mor Dearg Arete and onto Ben Nevis. I cannot recommend this route enough, it really showcases the awe-inspiring North Face of Ben Nevis and as well as taking in the exciting Arete between CMD and the Ben. Days like that really dont feel like working! Well done to David for a fantastic effort and for being great company!

Next I was off on another 3 peaks in 3 days for Maximum Adventure. The team were raising money for Diabetes UK. We got a real soaking on the Ben but everyone soldiered on and reached the summit. Some nice weather with the odd shower on Scafell Pike and pretty dry and pleasant on Snowdon. A very enjoyable trip, a shame to be working for the last time with Dave and Carly of PJ Travel as they move on to bigger and better things! All the best guys!

Nice view over Rannoch Moor

Looking up to Scafell Pike
Rescue on Crib Goch

At the weekend there I was working for Wilderness Scotland with Laura on the 'Big Small Isles Challenge'. A team from Downs Syndrome Scotland were taking part. The plan was to get a high speed Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) to Eigg, stay the night there and then try and climb to the highest points on Rum, Eigg, Canna and Muck over the following 2 days. Unfortunately a worsening forecast meant not only a pretty choppy journey over to Eigg on Friday but left us on Eigg on Saturday morning too. Still, with everyone in good spirits we headed up to An Sgurr on Eigg, a striking volcanic feature. Smashing views over to the mainland and the other Small Isles. On descent, a small fall but awkward landing saw me having to assist one of our group off the island to get checked out in Fort William.
Top of An Sgurr

 A short stay at home and then it was on to Rum for day 2. Our objective for the day was Askival, the highest point on Rum and the rest of the Small Isles (812m). This fantastic peak may not be incredibly high but it provided an airy and tricky ascent and a fiiting climax to a great couple of days. Well done to everyone.

Morning Commute!

Top of Askival (812m)

With the first signs of snow on the Ben it seems that Summer is slowly drawing to a close. The next few weeks for me will be some climbing and training in preparation for my MIA training down at Plas y Brenin in Wales. After that, who knows when the ice axes and crampons might be getting looked out....