Off to Skye

Late Wednesday evening I received a text message from my mate Ryan, suggesting we should take a trip to the Isle of Skye at the weekend. For anyone who does not know this island off the west coast of Scotland; Skye is the Mecca for every mountaineer, climber and hill walker living in the British Isle's. My first thought was, I need to get out of work on Sunday.
The next morning the phone rang. Ryan was wanting to leave that night, unfortunately my first thoughts weren't 'lets go!'
I was okay for the weekend because that would give me time to organize myself. Ryan informed me that the weather was good and that I wouldn't need anything, he had everything sorted down to the kitchen sink, and I just had to meet him at 7.
I phoned Anne, my girlfriend, and told her I wouldn't see her for two days. Off we went.

The back of Ryan's Ford Transit van made for very comfortable accommodation. Bed, stove, electricity and of course the kitchen sink with a working tap.

Day 1 Am Bastier

We woke up on Friday morning after spending a very comfortable night in the back of Ryan's Transit van.
After leaving my flat in a rush the previous afternoon. I didn't have time to do any food shopping. Ryan was kind enough and didn't seem bothered about sharing all of his food, which I was extremely grateful for. Living with a vegetarian, I am happy to eat a wide variety of food but there are a few exceptions. These are anything that lives close to or in the sea, nuts, Marmite, cous cous, humus and soya milk. I didn't tell Ryan this at first. When it came to breakfast that morning we had Muesli, which was full of nuts and we didn't have milk because it doesn't last as long as soya milk. It was okay because we had Marmite sandwiches for lunch, I insisted on spreading the Marmite very thin. I am not complaining about the food because I was just thankful Ryan was happy to share his even if it wasn't to my particular taste.
We headed to Am Bastier then to Sgurr Nan Gillean it was really windy which made the exposed sections even more interesting. After a quick scout around of this area we headed for dinner back at the van. The menu that night, was tuna and cous cous, which turned out to be really tasty!

Ryan on the walk in

windy conditions

Ryan on exposed sections of Sgurr nan Gillean
Day 2 Vulcan Wall

After another comfortable night, the weather turned quite bad and we changed our plan to go do a climb, Vulcan Wall HVS 5a. Ryan thought that this would give us some shelter from the wind.
After another long walk in we found the bottom of the wall.

The walk in to Sron Na Ciche

Ryan started on the first pitch and completely cruised it. I took the second pitch, the quality of the climbing was amazing and the Gabbro gives great friction.
When I reached the belay ledge, Ryan asked if the belay was any good. I told him that it was quite narrow and he asked if it was a 'one footer'. It was a 'one footer' in that it was the width of one of my feet and not 14 inches wide.
We intended to do the direct finish to the route, which goes at E2 5c. This was completely blank wall, with no cracks or features. Ryan (who has on-sighted E4 6a) didn't like the look of it and that was more than enough reason for me not to like the look of it.

Ryan on the first pitch

The one footer

Ryan on the third pitch

The walk off


S*!t Hole

Ryan warming down on Start the Fire (F6b+)
The locals
Deep S*!T soloing

Ryan and I headed for Forfar, to visit Balmashanner quarry. I'd been told by many people that the climbing there was great but the location of the climbing wasn't so great. This turned out to be very true. 
To warm up Ryan and I did a new variation of climbing called Deep s@!t soloing. This is very similar to deep water soloing except you climb above a mixture of mud, cow poo and pee. This activity was halted by a wee spat of rain, which forced us to take shelter under the quarry.
Once this stopped we warmed up on a route called 'Start the Fire' (6b+). This is a great route with good holds and 'reachy' moves. After this Ryan continued his warm-up on a 7a, La Bon Vacance, this gained the attention of the locals. Then went bolt to bolt on a 7c+, Gravity's Rainbow.
I went for the 7a but fell off at the third bolt. This became my project for the day however I was unable to get the one move I was failing on but I am very confident it will go next time. 


Kayaking at Stanley

Scott Puller surfing a wee wave
If you are wondering where Ross left his paddle. I was holding it for him in case he lost it.
Scott surfing

Ross demonstrating how to go down The Weir

Not bad for a ginger kid.

Today after college I met up with the Perth Canoe Club, to do a wee bit of kayaking. The weather was really nice and the water was very cold but that didn't stop us from getting wet. 
I was trying to practice my surfing but I was denied quite a few times by the big waves, although I was able to negotiate with the smaller one's. 
Pete did really well today, he managed to 'roll' his boat for the first time outside. After this Pete and I did a few practice rolls just to make sure he didn't forget. Next time he said he will learn how to do some cartwheels.  
Most of the night was spent watching Ross demonstrate that a kayak paddle is a waste of money and teaching Beaton how to use the levers on the outside of a car, I think he got the hang of it.


Nothing To Do With Climbing

These are the photo's from Anne's final degree show

Today my girlfriend Anne and my flat mate Emma received their results from University. They both did really well in getting an Upper 2nd Class Honors Degree. They were completely thrilled with their grades and glad the 4 year ordeal is over. 
Anne will finally have some time to update her blog, with all her work from the past year, now that she is finished. So keep an eye on that link to the right.


Ratho EICA

Today I was at the EICA (Ratho climbing wall) with Perth College. I was introducing some school kids and some of my college tutors to their first climbing experience. Everyone seemed to have a good time and really enjoy themselves. My tutors (Lisa and Daniel) who both had some pre-climbing nerves said they would do it again.


My first post

Me in Norway
The Sun setting on top of The Buchaille
The Seam, The Cairngorms.
Most of my experiences in a kayak.
My first trip to Skye.
My first E1 (E1 5b left hand crack, Kingussie).
Aonagh Eagach ridge.
The Hammer, Etive Slabs.

Welcome to my new blog. I thought my first post should contain a very small back catalogue of my favourite photographs, a wee bit about myself and how I got into the outdoors.
My name is Graham Boistelle, I live in Dundee with four girls, including my girlfriend of five years Anne Mcvey. Currently I am working as an instructor at A Vertical World Climbing wall.
I have been going into the hills since I was wee, I remember my first the first hill I climbed was Tinto Hill. Not long after this heroic ascent my Dad took me to Glencoe, to do the Aonagh Eagach ridge, after this I was hooked. My apprenticeship started with my dad taking me up scrambles all over Glencoe, trips to the french alps and out in the snow. This eventually introduced me to rock climbing.
I moved to Kinlochleven to work for the Ice Factor Shop. This is where i met a bundle of great like-minded people including Guy, Ed, Jamie, Al and Henry. These chaps introduced and taught me how to rock and ice climb.
After my stint at the Ice Factor I made a hard decision to leave and go to college to do a Certificate in Outdoor Adventure Leadership Education. I met another great bunch of people and learned how to Kayak, Canoe, and Ski. I am now nearly finished an HNC in Sports coaching with the Development of Sport and have been accepted onto the second year of a degree course in Adventure Tourism Management at Lochaber College in Fort William.
This Blog will follow my progress from now on. Watch this space!