Sunday, 22 April 2012



Jane needed some fresh mountain air so we headed down Glen Luss and climbed Beinn Eich and Doune Hill, both hills just over 700m. The weather and visibility were good so we made good time and dropped into Glen Mollochan for the 4.5k march to the car. A great day with some interesting early alpines, split rocks, frog spawn and 8 dead sheep all within 5m of each other (very odd). The nearest farm house is called Edentaggart... I was tempted to see if he was in.


Easy Uphill

Split Schist

Raptors cough-up these 'fur balls'. When you break them open they often contain bone fragments

Spooky melting ice

Alpine Violet

Looking back towards Eeinn Eich from Doune Hill

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Victoria sponge...

8 April 2012

Typical bank holiday weather, rubbish, so we (me, Craig and Bill) headed into the hills to try and get lost in the mist. It didn’t happen. Bill lead us up 'hand-railing' the line of the wood above Ardlui and then Craig and I took over, contouring in the mist to different points on the map. Soup, and then we decided to get the rope out to practice lowering and securing clients on craggy steep ground. More navigation in the mist and rain to get back to the car for some well earned cake, thanks Val.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Mind the Gap...

31 March 2012  

Craig and Bill headed for Kirroughtree for round 1 of the SXC race calender ( and I headed to Ben Nevis for a lap of Tower Ridge. This gives 1000m of climbing (Mod summer grade and IV,3*** Winter grade) over 500m ascent and is the most famous of all the Nevis ridges. With the new path I was at the top car park in 28mins and the SMC hut in 1hr 22 mins. The rain turned to light snow as I climbed the first 20m groove/chimney out of Douglas Gully to the ridge proper. In the mist I heard two teams above and knew that as I was soloing I would quickly catch them. Rope one was two lads from Fife and rope 2 was two RAF lads from Leuchars. Crampons and an axe was need for the Eastern Traverse as the neve was bomber hard. Being on my own I clipped the 'controversial tat' at Tower Gap as the snow was lying, the rocks slippy and my hands cold. I bridged the gap, un-clipped and made the committing pull across with the drop of Glover's chimney puling at my heals. Crampons and axe again needed for the exit to the plateau in 3hrs 45mins.

Gear off, I head for the zig zags, the red burn and sprinted past the Halfway Lochan, picking up the path and arriving with a jog back at the car in 5hrs 41 mins. Another Epic Day...

SMC Hut, Douglas Boulder & Tower Ridge with The North East Buttress on the horizon

Looking back to the Douglas Boulder from the lower part of the ridge

Happy face but cold hands...

The infamous arete leading to Tower Gap
From the Gap looking down Glover's Chimney (Grade III,4**)

RAF boys bringing up the rear...
Exit moves

And the sun comes out on the TAB back to the car, typical.