Study Break

My intentions were to 'crack on' and finish my reports' for college. However I was admiring the beautiful weather when I received a phone call from Al suggesting that I that a short study break and check out Steall Falls. After grabbing the kit, meeting Al and driving up to the car park in Glen Nevis it was about 2 o'clock.
On arrival we could see that the falls weren't completely frozen, which meant we had a right wet time of it.
Al on the First Pitch

Not quite a frozen water fall
Now back to work:-(

Smoking the White Owl

This was the plan; Early start, climb route, gondola back to car, back for college at 11. Although I was forgetting this is Scottish Winter and it is never that easy.
As soon as we pulled into the Gondola station we found out that it opens only at the weekends and doesn't properly open until the 17th of December.
Once we, Jamie Hageman and I, arrived  and were kitted up at the bottom of the route. Jamie kicked his crampon in and broke the toe bar. This meant he had to watch as I soloed up the route which I had talked myself into not looking that steep. Once I was committed with no protection and a long fall below me it began to look steeper but the ice was in good condition so every axe placement was a happy one, until the top that is.
Smoking the White Owl
Me topping out
Once back down I was only a little late for college.
I should point out that Jamie is a very talented Artist and Photographer, sometimes it can be hard to tell which is which. Check out his web page here and look out for his photo's usually in the Top Ten picture of the week on UKC.


A 999 Text Messaging

I heard about this service recently and I think it is a great idea for outdoor enthusiasts. It means you can contact the emergency services when signal isn't strong enough for a phone call and you can't lose signal halfway through  text message.


The Skraeling

It was a clear and very cold winter morning, Jamie Bankhead and I were mixing it up at Beinn an Dothaidh. The weather was absolutely stunning, with no clouds in the sky and blanket of stars that faded into the gorgeous pastel colours of a December morning. I had left my camera at home, brilliant!
Jamie had his eye on ‘The Skraeling’ (IV,5***) because he had to back off it last year, because he was unsure of the route direction. This time however he was on fine form and managed to climb a very delicate traverse which stopped him the last time. Jamie was also kind enough to give me the crux pitch. This followed a corner that had some pretty good hooks all the way up, however you had to leave the comfort of the corner and climb an icy slab which didn’t feel as nice and wasn’t as positive.
A great wee route with enough interesting situations to warrant its three stars. Also there was a team on 'Ménage a Trois' and a team on ‘Coup de Grace’.
Just can’t wait until I am finished with college for this term to make some real use of the winter season.