Still Too Warm

Neil, Craig and I headed up to Stob Ban in the hope that we would find some product on the North East Face. We thought the low temperatures overnight would have been enough to freeze the turf opening up some options for climbing.
After getting to the base route it was clear to see that our assumptions were wrong. The turf wasn't frozen and much of the snow is still unconsolidated, so we vowed to return when the conditions improve.

It was still good to get out and stretch the legs
Now my winter season will have to go on pause until Friday due to some last minute work coming in. Hopefully then the conditions will be much better.

Hopefully The Start Of Something

After spending a week in Glasgow and being busy with other nonsense, I have hopefully my winter season has officially started. I was out with Craig and my Dad today, to play in the white stuff again. Due to the snow having disappeared again we were on the Buachaille hoping to stick to the ridges again.
After going some of the way up curved ridge it became clear that crampons and axes were needed. The snow is still very slushy and the turf isn't quite frozen, this didn't stop us from having a great time on the ridge. On that side of the hill we were out of the wind so we got the best of the weather as well.


Finally on the Snow!

Well the crampons and axe got used for their first winter route this season. Neil and I headed down to Glencoe to do the Aonagh Eagach Ridge we picked a good day because the weather was stunning.
The snow up high is very powdery and is in need of some consolidation, some more wouldn't hurt either. Lets hope this is the shape of things to come
Jamie Hageman got a great picture of us

Looking over to Ben Nevis

Looking back along the ridge

Plenty of snow in Stob Coire Nan Lochan


Etive and Allt a' Chaoruinn

While everywhere was showing as a scrape on the water gauges at the moment. Alan and I headed down to meet other paddlers and hit the Etive. It was at a medium flow which meant it was quite trip down.
We took the boats up and hit Allt a' Chaoruinn which is always a laugh. It been a while since I have been on the rivers so it was good to jog the memory.

Plenty of snow and people

With all that snow the river was a bit chilly

Alan on Rock Slide


Bump and Scrape

After looking at the water gauges we thought that Nevis would have enough water. It wasn't as high as we had hoped but we still had a blast on it. We portaged Scimitar Gorge and got back in after the supply bridge. The river was quite technical and hard to spot a line most of the time but good fun.
As there is more and more snow on the hills I think the paddle will have to get put away for a while.

Plenty of snow on the hills
Dead Sheep Falls


Fresh Snow

That will be why the rivers are a tad chilly. I was out with Nevis Canoe Club, the orginal plan was to go to the Orchy, but with so much water around we decided to stay local and head to the Roy. We weren't the only ones to think the Roy would be a good idea, when we arrived we met Edinburgh Kayak Club.

Plenty of Safety
Keith B


More Assessments

I was out with West Highland College again today, although we spent the entire day in canoes. Going through lots of different paddle strokes. The weather wasn't the warmest but everyone did well to keep going throughout the day.
A couple of them were doing there two star assessment's which ment they had to take a dip! It's fair to say I didn't envy them but they did pass their two star.


2 Star Assessment

I was over at Loch Eil running a two star assessment at Outward Bound for the West Highland College. We went over the fundamentals and the basic skills ranging from forward paddling to capsizing.  A well done to all the candidates and I hope to see them on the water soon.

 John doing a T rescue
3 men and a boat


Moderate Water Assessment

Today we started at JJ's Cafe (opposite farmfoods) with coffee and bacon rolls alround. All the rivers had emptied over the weekend so Claire chose the Arkaig for Tom and I to do our assessment on.
Roger, Paul and Lewis were our guinea pigs to guide and coach down the river. We were lucky because they turned out to be very capable and rose to every little challenge we set.

Paul trying some surf
After swimming in the main event (Grade 4) and running the rest of the river, I was awarded with my Moderate Water Endorsement.


Back on the Spean

With even more water falling through last night we had to change plans from the Lower Roy back to the Middle Spean. Which was fine because it was like paddling on a different river compared to yesterday. There was plenty of us on the river, from West Highland College. Although I was just working with Keith and Dan going over three star skills.


Middle Spean

On the river again today, this time it was the middle Spean we were on, with students from the West Highland College.
There was plenty of us on the river which was pretty high. We focused on the foundation paddle skills while running the river and did a lot of peer coaching. Just before the day finished this section of the river gives one last piece of excitement which was a good way to end the day.

Mike Martin 

Ben Thomas



I was out with some of the West Highland College students and Jim Gibson. We went to the end of the Nevis to practice using throw bags and went over some rescues.

Recuing a pinned paddler
Ben going for a swim
The Nevis empties quick and I didn't want to miss out on the oppotortunity to this when it is nice and high so Dan and I came back and ran it before it got dark.

It went rather well


Nae Water

Keith and I decided to head out and find some water but unfortunenatly there wasn't much to be had. We tried the Roy first but had to head to the Spean which was also low but we managed to find our way down.


Tay Descent 2012

I went to help out at the Tay Descent again this year. As usual lots of wonderful sights, memories and the chance to meet up with some old friends. While enjoying the cold water.

Checkou the link http://www.canoescotland.org/NewsEvents/TayDescent.aspx


Gorge - ous!

There was a plenty of moisture on the ground today but none in the rivers yet. Everywhere river is a scrape at the moment. So we headed to the Spean Gorge which always has water no mater how little rain has fallen. 

Craig and Suzy on the Fairy Steps
When the river is low like this you paddle through all the nooks and crannies, see features that aren't normally there and and find things such as bits of cars at the very bottom. 


Easy Going

I was out with Craig and Alasdair on the Upper Roy today. It was quite low which was great for a few reasons. One being that neither Craig or Alasdair had been in a boat in a while and also gave me a chance to lead and practise for my moderate water assessment. 

Craig looking calm


Warmer Water

I was out near Arisaig paddling today with Nevis Canoe Club. We paddled around the islands exploring and messing around. The weather was kind to us and after Wednesday I was expecting to be frozen however the water was suprisingly war.  Also we spotted plenty of wildlife from stags to seals. I can't wait to go back to that area and paddle again.


Moderate Water Endorsement Training

I travelled over to Glenmore Lodge this morning to do my Moderate Water Endorsement. The roads were icy and the Northern Corries looked rather wintry so I am curious to see if anyone has tried to scratch up the rocks.
It wasn't just looking wintry with my fleece thermals and dry suit with belay jacket on underneath it was safe to say we were feeling the cold. The tune of the day was everyone was trying to play an imaginary mouth organ (badly) to keep their hands warm.
Our trainer was Doug Cooper who took us through the syllabus whilst providing lot of handy hints and tips for our coaching and paddling. I found this the course full of really beneficial stuff and I was quite inspired to go and practice some of the theories.


A Gentle Paddle

I took Anne out on Loch Eil for a shot on a Sea Kayak. The weather was absolutely gorgeous at the today, the air was crisp and the trees are well into their autumnal colours. Anne seemed to enjoy it so hopefully this could change her opinion on Kayaking.
From the Loch we were able to see the Ben had a dusting of snow at the top, however Guy was able to get a much closer look.

Anne trying not to capsize


A good day for a paddle

I have been fighting with a cold the past few days so haven't been that psyched for getting out. However since I had organised a trip out with the club I thought it would be rude not to go along.
I was glad I make it out because there was a good turn out and everyone had a good time plus we saw an otter on the River.

Nevis Canoe Club warming up 

Bridget leading the group


West Highland College

I was out with West Highland College today near Loch Treig. We were focusing on Navigation skills today but still managed to summit a Munro.


Plenty of Water in the Roy

To be fair there is plenty water everywhere at the moment. I was fortunate enough to make some use of it today when Ron, Dave, Ali and I hit the Upper Roy. When this is high it is a really enjoyable and steady Grade 3 with one wee hard bit at the end.
Dave was also able to try out his new helmet camera.



I was out with a few folk from Nevis Canoe club for a quick blast on the Arkaig. It wasn't particularly high but it was at a nice enough level to have some fun on. Everyone had a successful descent, which is a first because every other time I have done the Arkaig someone usually goes upside down!


About Time

Recently I have been spending most of my time at work so I haven't had a chance to get out in ages. I I was working this evening but I managed to get on the Spean Gorge with Henry.
The river was sitting below the gauge so it was guite an easy run but still good to get out after such a long time. I can also report that I didn't find any trees at the bottom of the fairy steps.
Henry on head banger Spean Gorge


Just for Funsies

A few of us headed down to the Ice Factor for some dry plastic. We found we weren't the only ones to have had this plan. The Ice Factor has done a good job in changing their routes with lots of variety and good climbs. I hope they keep this up because I can't remember the last time they changed the routes there.
However Johann and I were the only ones to go and play at Inchtree Gorge afterwards. It was pretty high but a good giggle.

The Falls at Inchtree

Johann Taking a Plunge

Me mid-fall

A Gentle Stroll

After finishing work today Anne and I headed for a walk in Glen Nevis. With the weather being so sunny it meant the water was actually warm which was a rare occurrence in the Glen.
Looking forward to some climbing tomorrow hoping it will be midge free!

A stroll in the Nevis


Aonach Dubh

After looking at the clouds on Ben Nevis. We thought it might be a good idea to change plan and head down to Glen Coe. After starting late we warmed up on Weeping Wall Route (severe) then we headed up to Hesitation (HVS 5a**). The start of this is tricky to find but offered some cool situations on the second pitch.

Craig on Weeping Wall
Felt great to be on rock again.


Day Off!

I have been busy with work recently but I managed to have a day off when the weather was actually really nice. So Anne and I had pleasant wee paddle on Loch Eil.
Anne on Loch Eil


Soggy Bottom

After having a nice walk in Glen Coe yesterday where the sun was out for most of the day. We had were met with rain all day today, completely soaked through before we even got to the Achintee. Fortunately it was a short day.