Winter Mountaineering Course - Scotland


ROCK CLIMBING - CUMBRIA (Lakes) (1 to 4 days),
SNOWDONIA (3 to 5 days)

NAVIGATION Courses - CUMBRIA (Lakes) (1 or 2 days)

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Rock climbing on mountain crags in Cumbria - April 2011

We've been making the most of the dry spell to get to some of the remoter mountain crags in Cumbria;

High Crag, Buttermere
Borrowdale - Shepherd's Crag - 3 routes including 'Kransic Crack Direct' (5a)
Ennerdale - Boat Howe - remote, fantastic rough rock, limited protection, and beware the grades!
Buttermere - High Crag - a fantastic crag. 2 routes including 'Foul Play' (5b) a superb route.
Wasdale - Buckbarrow - 2 routes including 'The Mysteron' (5b)
Langdale - White Ghyl - another 2 routes, including 'Do Not Direct' (5b)
and a quick trip to Trowbarrow - Assagai Wall (5a?)
High Crag, sheltering from strong winds!
The rain arrived yesterday which meant it's time to do some paperwork.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Recce routes on Ben Nevis

Headed up Ben Nevis with Bryn from MLTA to check out climbing routes and areas.

 Whilst sitting eating a late lunch, contemplating the great views and planning a casual walk down to the car we heard "Help. Hey can you rescue us" Two guys had got stuck on some slabby rock without any protection so Bryn and I headed over to help them down to safety. I climbed across to one of them, put a rope over him, hammered a medium hex in and then decended out of the way whilst he was roped down. 

My Hex is just above him, if you find it I'd be pleased to get the Krab & Hex back

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Glover's Chimney IV, Ben Nevis

Today Ian had a quiet day whilst Ann and I headed up Ben Nevis to climb Glover's Chimney IV

Number 3 buttress, Glover's climbs the dark, steep area on the middle/right
Pitch 1 of Thompson's
Pitch 1 of Thompson's
 This great route climbs the buttress to join No 3 Gully buttress for the last pitch. I feel the direct finish is the best finish.

Final direct pitch, after joinign No. 3 Gully Buttress
Whilst sitting on the summit, taking in the rope for Ann, a helicopter came in and collected a climber who'd fallen on North Gully and broken his ankle. Chatting later over food it turned out another instructor, Dan Robinson, who I was eating with had witnessed the fall and arranged the rescue.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Aonach Mor - the Web and other excitement

Today I was working for Alan Kimber and took Ann and her son Ian climbing at Aonach Mor.

There's been lots of snow blowing around so we headef off to The Web (Grade III) and did the first pitch before heading off to the main area where the wind had been moving more snow around.

Soon we saw worring snow "sloughs" coming from the cornices above and down the gullys.
Take care tomorrow folks, we saw 4 small avalanches and heard a few "crumps" before we decided to exercise caution and take a safe route out.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Leading in winter - Aonach Mor

Today it was blowing hard, but we went out to climb and explore the area near Golden Oldie, a route Kai would like to lead someday soon.

 The winds got stronger and we reverted to plan B, and practiced winter skills and shelters.

In the Gondola going down
The descent in the Gondola was the windy-est, most swaying I've ever experienced.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Leading in Winter - Curved Ridge

Today Kai and Claudia climbed Curved Ridge on the 'Buchail.

We topped out in poor visibility and practiced using a Satmap navigation system for the walk off. Very impressed.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Practicing leading in winter - The Nid

signpost on Aonach Mor
Today I was out with Alan Kimber of West Coast Mountain Guides and 2 clients, Kai and Claudia.
I've never seen so much Arcteryx kit on one person - if they make underpants, boots and socks maybe Kai would've been 100% Arcteryx-man.
This was Claudia (Kai's girlfriend)'s first experience of Scottish winter and she's a fast learner.

We headed off  to the Nid area to practice basic winter skills and to ascend up the gently mixed groud, learning techniques.

We did a stacked abseiled into Easy Gully and climbed up out from the rocky buttress.
in Easy Gully
On the walk out we met some Dutch climbers who were using their Lowe Carry-On bag as their winter packs.
Alan Kimber with the new Alpine Attach pack from Lowe

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Technique practice

Ian making the moves on steep ice
Yesterday was a long day for Ian, Paul was ill, and today the weather wasn't loking good, so we headed to the indoor ice to practice footwork, using 2-tools, and other steeper climbing techniques.