Mullach Nan Coirean

The climbing conditions were really quite rubbish so Craig and I headed to the Mamores for a wee walk. We headed up Mullach Nan Coirean however the weather didn't inspire us to hang around and enjoy the view. 


The Ailort

I recently got a new part time job in the shop on aonach mor. This can be very useful because when the winds reach a certain speed you get sent home early which meant I could meet up with Henry and Oscar for a quick blast.
The river levels are running very high at the moment so we headed to the ailhort. Hoping to find some good interest however after a short paddle we were very disappointed. At its hardest part it was grade 2, not 3 which it gets in the guide book.
Henry on Ailort
So after packing up and heading home we realised we got in below the major part of the rapid, Doh!


The temperatures haven’t been very low recently, so Jamie and I decided to go high in the hope that we might find some product. However we had to be careful due to the avalanche forecast.
On arriving in Stob Corrie Nan Lochan we could see that there were some cornices forming on the tops and the buttresses weren’t quite there in some cases. After much deliberation we thought we could do one of the direct starts to dorsal arĂȘte for some sport.
It was my turn to take the first lead, after a poor hex placement lower down and an old peg I arrived at the climbing. It did look difficult but I knew once I had some good gear all would be fine. After not finding any gear I could trust I tested the axes in the snow. They held pretty well so I went to make the initial my axes slid through. I readjusted went for it again then my foot holds collapsed.
No good gear, no good placements, no use!
Jamie on the walking in

Jamie about to attempt the climb (amateur finger)


Stob Ban

I didn’t have much time today so I headed into the Mamores for a quick hit up Stob Ban.
Looking up towards the Summit of Stob Ban


It's Been Too Long

Its been a while since my last post but there has been a simple reason for this. Work and weather working on the nice days rubbish weather on my days off. So last night when it came to packing my rucksack, for my first trip in the snow, I had no idea had to put in it. After two hours though I was sure I had still forgotten everything.
I was meeting up with Craig at Torlundy to go check out the conditions on the Ben and have a little warm-up route. So we headed to South West Ridge on the Douglas Boulder so that we could stay low and avoid any potential avalanche hazard.
Craig coming up the first pitch

Climber Descending off the West Side of Tower Ridge


Tay Descent

Today was the day of the infamous Tay Descent. This is an annual event which see's all kinds of padlers in all kinds of boats descending the River Tay. I was volunteering as a rescue boat but thankfully the river was really high and I wasn't kept too busy and had plenty of time to play at thistlebrig.


Kidney Research UK

It was a really wet, cold and early start this morning (6.45am). Me and some others, Kidney Research UK, were on Ben Nevis for a charity walk. My job for the day was to walk up and down the path with collecting the people that didn't make it to the top.
The rain didn't stop at all however that didn't stop everyone having a good time and putting a great effort.

Kidney Research UK


5 Star Training and an Update

It's been a while since I last updated the blog and in some cases a lot has happened and in other cases not much has been happening. Due to the constant bad weather on the days off work has meant I haven't been out on the rock so much. I did squeeze a trip down to the lakes to Tranearth Mountian Hut for a friends birthday and also graduated from my course in Lochaber.
The past two days I have attented my 5 star white water training with Chris Dickinson. The weather was rubbish which was great for us. On the first day we ran the Pattack which was at a very high flow but Chirs was showing Dave and I the tricks of trade which helpled us to cruise down the river.
The second day we ran the Upper Roy and the Gorge luckily the water level which meant we could run the whole rive appart from the syphone.  

 Dave and I on the right hand line of 'Wish You Were Here', Roy Gorge

Dave and I approaching 'the ledge', Roy Gorge

Hazard at the End of Roy Gorge
This could a substantial problem at higher flows!


Garry Boat Commander

After saying my goodbyes I met up with Henry and Dave for a quick descent of the Garry.

Henry punching through the last stopper

Getting Lost

It was my last day with the lads and they decided to have a more relaxing day. So we went for a wander up to the Lost Valley. The weather stayed nice for us and the midges were bearable so it turned out to be a very pleasant way to end their holiday.
They said they were coming back next year so I will look forward to seeing them again.  
River Cross
On the way home


It's Not That Cold

Nothing like starting your day with a cold shower
Another walk in the Glen
After yesterday the guys were after some more excitement. Therefore we woke ourselves up in a Gorge then went for another stroll in the hills to warm up again. After getting back the decision was to have a more relaxed day for their final day.


Can't Feel My Toes

I went for a stroll up Glen Nevis today with Connor, Billy, Daniel and Nick. They're up to visit Scotland and see the sights of Lochaber, so while in Glen Nevis we took some detours via the River Nevis on our way up to Steall Falls. After lunch we crossed the wire bridge to get a closer look at Steall falls. Then it was back home to prepare for the days ahead.
When the picture looks this daft I don't need to try and add anything funny

Lunch at the falls


Arkaig and Awe

Not been out in the boat much but I manage to get a run down the River Arkaig lastnight and on the River Awe today. I was with Dave, Henry, Oscar, Andy and Bridget for my first time on the Awe which is a fun and safe river for beginners if you know where the obstacles are but my camera is down in Glasgow so no photographs.


Quick Blast

Been working more and more over the past few weeks so grabbed the first opportunity to get out on the rock, when it came. I went out with Drew and took him up Pinnacle Ridge and The Gutter, after which we couldn't handle the midgies anymore


Back In Wales

I was down working for Outward Bound in Aberdovey again this week, I had another day to spare so I met up with Guy once more and we avoided the weather by heading down to Tremadog. Guy started by leading up The Plumb (E1 5b), after which it was my turn so I headed up Leg Slip (E1 5b). Guy decided to spice it up a bit by trying Venom (E3 6a). After watching him struggle up the route I knew I was in for a good time. We finished the day by doing The Fang (HVS 5a)


Storm in the Sun

Fort William seems to be in summer mode for the past few days, I have been drowning myself in sun cream and still managing to get a good Scot's tan. I was working today at Outward Bound and spent the day Canoeing and Gorge Walking.
I finished at five which was more than enough time to drive up the Glen and get a quick route done. Craig and I headed up to Cavalry Crack Buttress to have a shot on the direct finish  to The Storm (E1 5b*).
Craig on the Second pitch
The last pitch was brilliant and horrible all at the same time. You find yourself in a slanting crack with nothing for your feet where you want it and to commit to the crux moves a little faith is needed. The holds aren't found until after you're out there but they soon appear.
I'm heading back down to Wales next week and hopefully will find sometime to squeeze some climbing in between working there and here.


Dry Rock

I think you just have to believe it exists before you can find it but it is there. Kenny and I headed in to the Glen with the Sun shinning and still managed to find some dampness but after hitting Gorge crag we were on to a winner. It was bone dry and the midgies weren't attacking us so we climbed some routes we had done before; All Our Yesterdays and Conscription before top roping Captain Kevlar.


Outward Bound Aberdovey

I have finished my week at Outward Bound Aberdovey and had an absolutely great time and enjoyed the sun. My group summed the week up with this picture for a presentation they had to give on their weeks activities.


A Day of Firsts

I am going to be working in Wales for the rest of the week but before I started I wanted to climb in Wales because I haven't climbed there before. I met up with Guy in Llanberris, unfortunately the weather in the pass wasn't the best it could be so we headed out to the sea cliffs at Gogarth. I haven't climbed on what I would class 'real' sea cliffs before so climbing at one of the most famous sea cliff locations was a good introduction.
We started off with an HVS which I have forgotten the name of, it was that good. Then went on to climb an absolutely brilliant route called resolution direct (E2 5c).

Checking out the crag

Topping out on Resolution


Blade Runner

Made some use of the good weather and my dad was kind enough to give me a belay at Auchinstarry Quarry. Messed around on a top rope then decided to lead Blade Runner E4 6a**.

Also this has been circulating round the internet thought I better post it as well.
Cioch Direct on the Sron Na Ciche Skye is a no go area until further notice. After recent rock falls resulting in the death of a climber and the serious injury of 2 other climbers on the 31 May the climb has become unstable, especialy at the base of the 3rd picth. Further rock falls are immenent. Climbers should not attempt this route until the large boulders in the gully have been removed.
Please display this message on your web site and help us prevent any further injury/death to climbers.
Conformation of this message can be obtained from Northern Constabulary Portree Tel 01478 612778.


Nevis Canoe Club

I was out with the Nevis Canoe Club to go over some two star paddle skills for an upcoming assessment. Everyone was familiarizing themselves with Canoes and we looked at steering the boat and did some solo paddling.
Andy looking out West along Loch Eil



I joined the same group again today, it was their last day at Outward Bound and they had the option of doing something a little more fun.



Train Spotting

I was on another expedition with Outward Bound, this time we caught a train to Corrour then spent two days walking to Fersit. We were really lucky with the weather in that we expected much worse and also didn't get eaten alive by midgies.
The reaction from the group after the train left Corrour Station and once the realisation set in, that they were in the middle of nowhere. I think is an experience that will stay with the group for a while.

The most remote train station in the UK
The long road home

Our camp for the night


Ardverickie Wall

With a spot of dry weather Johann, Eve and I headed up to Binnien Shaus to do a classic climb called Ardverickie Wall. Due to its classic status this route does get quite busy, even with the hour walk in there was three teams on it. The best way to beat the queues is to cycle, this makes the cycle out very easy as well.

Approaching the Wall

Eve seconding the 3rd Pitch


Outward Bound

I have spent the last four days working for Outward Bound at their Loch Eil centre. Which is a organisation which has contributed to outdoor adventure education for over 60 years. While at the centre I was with a group of young people from Fettes College. It was an absolute pleasure to work with such a great group, who did themselves and their school proud. I had a great time kayaking, canoeing and on the last two days I headed out on expedition with them and played a rather infamous game of telepathy snatchy grabby.

Rowing to our destination

Heading into the wilderness


Sport Cragging in Glen Finnan

Johann and I headed out to Glen Finnan for a bit of bolt clipping. We climbed various routes graded between 6b to 7a and Johann was putting the moves of a 7c together although I think I have hurt my finger paddling so I might take sometime off before I try anything too strenuous.
Johann Cranking Hard

Looking Out West


Another Evening on the Garry

I was out on the river with 7 people mostly from Nevis Canoe Club. Most of which were doing some crazy moves in the play spot. I think I will put a wee video together on the last Garry Release of the season.


Weather Window

Well there was a small gap in the today and I managed to get out and make some use of it, although i didn't manage to find a climbing partner. I headed up to Poll Dubh all the same and climbed Damnation (VS 4c**) and Ressurection (VS 4c***). I honestly think Damnation is a better route and I wont be in a rush to solo ressurection again!
The rest of the day was spent at Heather Hat falling off boulder problems.
Styx Buttress


After Work Jolly!

I was working at the Ice Factor today but as soon as Ian and I finished we headed up to go play on the Garry. We played around and did one descent of the river, then off home again.


Venting Frustration

After spending my entire day speaking to 6 different people from one insurance company (for legal reasons I shall call them biggreymamalswithtrunksandtusks.co.uk) about my car and finding out that I have been driving illegally for three months was not a particularly fun way to spend the day.
After having to cancel plans for climbing with a friend (one of my pet hates) I had to go out and do something as to not waste the day so I headed up to Poll Dubh and climbed the Old Wall (VS), Pinnacle Ridge (Severe), Three Pines (Severe) and Damn Nation (VS).
It made me feel a little better.


Finally Free!!!!

I have been stuck in the library since the my last posting almost with the odd trip to the River Garry every now and then. As of friday I handed in all my assignments and completed my First Aid qualification with BASP.
Then on saturday I was out hill walking on Ben Vrackie with my mum and fer work collegues they had a pleasent time and managed to get the best part of the weather.

The Group on the Summit

Ben Vrackie


Warmer Water

Well the weather has really crapped out but it is looking good towards the end of next week. Therefore Kev and I decided to hit the Ice Factor to remind our fingers what to do if we came across some rock needing to be climbed.
Also due to the fact it was Saturday I decided to head to the local for a quick drink with some folk from college plus Dave and Henry.
Al Kells

Dave Parfitt

Ben Rowe, First Grade 3 river and padled it clean