Roy and Loy

I spent most of today hunting for a good amount of water. First Dan and I headed to the upper Roy which was at a medium flow and the water temperature wasn't too bad. After having a fun run down the Roy we headed for the Loy which was sitting at Level 1 on the Camron Gauge (gauge found underneath the left hand side of the road bridge). At this Level the river is pretty much a scrape, so much so that I was trying to use my head to roll. 
Me looking for my boat on the Upper Roy
Dan seal launching on the Upper Roy 
Dan on the Loy


No snow, No dry rock but there's always plenty of WATER

For the time being, I have given up on winter. So Henry, Ron, Dave, Fraser and I decided to go Kayaking on the River Spean. The gauge was sitting at about 2.5 and the water was very wintery which is why I was glad Henry lent me his dry suit.
Henry looking for his boat

Ron checking out constriction

Danger Strainer
This is at the bottom of the Fairy Steps it is visible from the top before you commit.
Could be serious at different levels plus if you were upside down! 



I headed over East today to hopefully get the best of the weather turns out we managed that but it was still pretty awful. My dad and I headed to Coire an t-Sneachda to have a look at wavelength. As we began climbing we noticed it was disapearing pretty fast so we decided to stay in Spiral Gully.
It was turning to mush and had a mixed pitche of grade III in the middle of it.

Looking down Spiral Gully
By the time we had topped out and began to head back to the car park everything was turning into slush.
I think this was the last chance to get some winter done for sometime.



Richard, Gill, Guy his two clients and I headed up the Ben track crushed into a Ford Mondeo. We had good weather and the Ben was looking very wintery considering the recent weather we had been having. We had chosen to go and do something out of the way of the crowds which was a good idea because I counted well over 100 people in and around the North Face of the Ben.
We climbed Jacknife (V,6) however it turned out we weren't alone in our choice. Another team had got there before us but they didn't hold us up.
The real meat in this route is the middle pitch which offers some really nice climbing which is well protected.

Richard Parker on crux pitch of Jacknife

Carn Dearg Buttress


Comb Gully Buttress

Johann and I headed up the Ben today with uncertain conditions and a holiday day we didn't have much in particular in mind. We just knew we were heading high up and had forgotten how long that takes. After watching all the other parties head to the popular gullies, Green and Comb, we decided to head for Comb Gully Buttress (IV,5***) which no one and we got the route completely to ouselves.
The main dificulty is in the third pitch 'the ice bulge' which at present is very steep but short lived and offers a good bit of sport.
Johann on the First Pitch
Just finish the 'Ice Bulge'

Sunny weather to the top

Busy intersection

Glen Sheil

Craig MacDonald and myself headed up to Glen Sheil today for a change of scenery. I always had it in my mind that it was a much longer drive heading up this way. Turns out its less than an hour from Fort William, we planned to tick a few peaks off North of Loch Clunie.
We started off with Carn Ghluasaid which led us round to Sgurr nan Conbhairean, a very impressive looking hill. Once there a spot of lunch then down to Sail Chaorainn and back to the car, good day.
Enjoying the view from Sgurr nan Conbhairean

Walking above the cloud

Sgurr nan Conbhairean touching the cloud


Stob Coire Easian

I had a day free today so I went for a wee walk next to Loch Treig. I went up Meall Cian Dearg and bagged Stob a'Choire Mheadhion and Stob Coire Easian. Since it was a saturday the hills were rather busy on the way back down I passed thirteen people.
You can see from the picture the views were stunning!


A Girly Day Out

I was on the Ben with Gillian and Theo, they were kind enough to let me tag along so I could enjoy more of this amazing weather the way it is supposed to be enjoyed.Theo wanted to look at Wendigo to see if it would be suitable for her clients. Again many other teams were out due to an MIC assessment taking place. There was also two teams on the white line which looked in great condition.

Theo showing off her bridging ability

Looking towards Tower Ridge

Gillian finishing the second pitch.


Flutted Buttress Direct

Craig, Guy and myself were headed east again today, following the weather forecast. It was a very leisurely walk into the crag and we were able to gear up before the crowds started coming in.
I was very keen to take the crux pitches so Craig and Guy were nice enough to let me have them. Having nearly the whole crag to ourselves we decided on Flutted Buttress Direct (IV,5). The conditions made the climbing a bit more challenging in that it wasn’t easy to get good axe placements in the powder covered slabby rock. However you could get good feet which helped make the progress quite steady.
Once we had finished the first pitch the rest of the teams began to come in their masses, which was quite surprising considering it was a week day. 
Many teams were over in Hells Lum reporting that conditions were quite good over there.  



This is the second time this season I have been stopped from going on a hill walk due to the fact we couldn't get the car along the road.


Brimstone Groove

There wasn’t a breath of wind or a cloud in the sky, which meant it was absoulutely perfect for climbing. I am still over in the east and this time we went over the back to Hells Lum passing many parties on their way to Corrie an t-sneachda.
The crag was in better condition than the last time we climbed on it however it wasn’t confidence inspiring. I attempted to tackle Salamander (IV,5*). After passing a hard vertical start I was on a thinly ice covered slab of rock which as breaking under my feet however I was able to traverse left and get onto Brimstone Goove (IV,4). This had a team on it however they decided to go left after thinking that the ice wasn't in great condition. The ice was better on Brimstrone but not by much I was only able to get two screws in the entire crux none of which I was willing to take a fall on.

Walking up the back of the Coire

My dad finishing off the route
 All was okay a ggod day was had after topping out, we enjoyed the sunset all the way off the hill.


Out For a Stroll

It was the annual Strathclyde Police Mountain Rescue Team winter week and my dad and I were up visiting the team at Kingussie. We had planned for two days climbing with the weather being quite favourable.
Today we had plans to meet up with Alistair to go and climb in Hells Lum but due to other circumstances we went for a long windy walk around the Northern Corries instead.

Looking into Coire An Lochain