Monday, 15 September 2014

Summer hangs on...

A lack of blogging usually means I've been out on the hill a lot and that's certainly been the case over the last couple of weeks. 

I had an enjoyable day on the Ben with Howard and his daughter Isobel. Howard had completed the 3 peaks challenge earlier this year so we had a more leisurely day and also went plant spotting for some of the rarer plants I'd learned about during the North Face Survey.
Next up for me was a smashing four days on the Ben with brilliant blue skies!
To kick things off I was out with Wilma and Maggie who put in a fantastic performance.

This was followed by a day out with Anne, Ian, Keith, Will, Evie and Ollie. Whilst the sun was out, the wind was bitter on top but we still had a great day out.

Another smashing day out with Pam and Michael and again, we took my new favourite detour towards no.4 gully and along the corrie rim to the summit.

Day 4 on the Ben was on the CMD arete and Rachel and I had a superb day enjoying the finest walking route to the summit of the Ben. Some stags were even kind enough to pose for us!

I had an MIA teaching day with Ollie, Evie and Will down in Polldubh and got the guys on their first ever multi-pitch climb and abseil.

It was time for me to head North for the week after all this and I headed to Ullapool to work for Wilderness Scotland on their 'Wilds of Assynt' trip. 
An absolutely outstanding week in which we managed to climb Suilven, Cul Mor, Quinag, Stac Pollaidh, Ben Mor Coigach and the Fiddler. Many thanks to Faith, Martin and Russell for making it a thoroughly enjoyable week.

Corrieshalloch Gorge en route to Ullapool

Cul Beag from Cul Mor

The Wall on Suilven

On Quinag

Stac Pollaidh

Ben Mor Coigach

The Fiddler

Inside the Bone Caves

Rogie Falls
Back home again and I was on the Ben working for Seren Ventures. It was a  bit of a misty day but I had great chat with Zena, Andrew, Christine, Janet and Paul and it was great performance by the team from Yorkshire. This was the same day that the Ben Race was on so the team were treated to some thrills and spills as the runners made short work of the Ben!

It had seemed like a long time since I'd been out doing some personal climbing so Andy and I headed to the quiet side of the Buachaille in Glencoe for an adventure. The aim for the day was a couple of routes on Blackmount Buttres, a crag that isn't very easy to get to! We scrambled up the start of the Chasm to Crowberry traverse, followed by a slightly wet 90m V. Diff chimney to arrive at the base of the crag. After climbing some enjoyably steep rock for VS on Whispering Grooves (VS 4c***) and Flamingo (VS 4c**), we continued on and descended Curved Ridge, a proper mountaineering day out!

An iconic shadow of an iconic mountain!
On Friday I had my first day out with this years new Degree students at WHC. We had a smashing day in Glen Roy covering various aspects of navigation and it was a very promising start for some of our future instuctors!

To bring things up to date, Glenda was back out guiding yesterday with Charlene from the US and Karrie from Canada. Charlene was celebrating being 70 years old in style by climbing the UK's highest peak- inspiring stuff!