Monday, 22 October 2012

Balls out ...

21 October 2012

The team split for Sunday with Bill and Craig heading to the Witches Trails in Fort William for biking with John (Fish), and me heading into the North face of Ben Nevis.

I was at the CIC hut in 1hr 20min and caught up with Spike and clients with the same objective, Tower Ridge. There was reported snow on the summit, but it was misty, so neither of us knew if this was superficial or not. After exchanging some pleasantries and swapping what beta we had I was quickly on my way and climbing rock. Looking down into Observatory gully I could see what was left of last winter's snow and what new snow was around, it all looked quite white.

Just before the Eastern traverse I hit the snow line; the snow was easily cleared but extra care was needed. The ridge leading to tower gap looked very wintery indeed. I was glad to find the (usual) in-situ sling to clip as I swung round and down before stepping across the gap to climb out of the other side. The snow on the final section was deep and quite tricky, but firm enough for me to kick steps up the exit gully.

I dropped down to Glen Nevis to be picked up by the boys who had a great day on the trails. More info on what they did here at

The Douglas Boulder and The Great Tower in the mist
The Very narrow ridge leading to Tower Gap

Looking back towards the Gap from the other side
Heading to the Pony Track the sky clears
Looking towards the Carn Derg

Monday, 15 October 2012

Beat the clock...

Craig and Bill biked the devils to Kinlochleven then round to the upper Glen Coe cark park while I did the round of the zig zags on Gearr Aonach-SCNL-Bidean nam Bian before dropping into the lost valley and back to the car park in 4 hrs.

All in a good day, cold and windy in the morning above 600m but sunny and clear in the afternoon.

More here on the Simple Epic Blog.

Looking into the Lost valley

Craig and Bill heading to the upper car park


Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Name and shame...

A quick blast on my local hills on Saturday to stretch the legs. The Hills were busy; not surprising with this being the only dry and sunny weekend for a while. We chose different lines up the Cobbler, Narnain and Ime than anyone else, but still found some friendly banter, stories, and even managed to bum some cake on the way.

Not best pleased with the state of the hill after the recent upgrade works to the feeder dam coming off the back of the cobbler...


Monday, 1 October 2012

Dancing on the ridge ...

With more standing water on the A82 than I can ever remember it was obvious that our planned climb was out. Instead our CPD logbook kicked in with a quick traverse of the Aonach Eagach. This involved security on steep ground and some micro navigation.

The rain and wind abated but the rock was very slippery. We crabbed, down climbed and carefully picked our way across the ridge till the last munro Sgorr nam Fiannaidh where we headed straight off the hill to the Clachaig Inn junction . This is the best spot to thumb a lift back to the upper car park. It is only locals, other climbers or hill walkers that ever stop, as all the tourists must think you want to go all the way to Engerland with them. Thanks again to Moira for the lift.