Posts tagged Glen Etive
Summer Mountain Leader Training
This week I have been working for JSMTC (Joint Services Mountain Training Centre) in Ballachulisch with 6 military personnel going through their Summer Mountain Leader award.  It has been brilliant to be working back on these courses as it gives me an opportunity to spend a prolonged amount of time in the hills whilst sharing local knowledge, teaching leadership skills, delivering current practice and inspiring more folk to do the job that I love.  The military version of the award is slightly different to the civilian award, for starters we only have 5 days instead of 6.  Despite this we covered all aspects of the syllabus in a pretty unsavoury week of weather.  As I said to the group, it was a great opportunity, as the weather couldn't get much worse!  Due to this weather I left my camera at home so found some old pictures.  Day one we made use of the hill side north of Kinlochleven, great for some micro navigation and a lovely place to identify all sorts of wildlife and landscapes.  Day two we went onto Buachaille Etive Mor for 'security on steep ground' day, introduction to mountain leaders rope work and finished the day with a river crossing exercise.  Day 3 we went up Buachaille Etive Beag for the mountain leadership day and our two day expedition went over the Black Mount, from Bridge of Orchy (Victoria Bridge) to Glen Etive.  A stunning set of hills.

Common Butterwort

Devils Matchsticks


Spartan Slab
As Alan hadn't been climbing all year he was keen to get back out today.  Linda was happy with yesterday but liked the sound of the Coffin Stone for some sun bathing whilst we climbed Spartan Slab.  Alan was a little nervous about climbing a VS 4c but made it too the top without too many stresses.  It was too easy to have a good day, the weather was perfect, the place was so peaceful (except when Alan belched), the company was great and the climbing is brilliant.  Today was the first time I have been to the slabs this year, I wonder if I can squeeze another trip there before the winter..

The Long Reach
Again we were blessed with more fantastic weather so I suggested to Graham and Neil that we hit the Etive Slabs. Give it a couple of months and this place will be swarmed with midgies and no doubt wet! I was really keen to climb The Long Reach (E1 5b) and as none of us had done it before we got it sent. It was classic Etive Slabs climbing, bold and fun! It was fantastic. Climbing in a t-shirt in April in Scotland is always a great experience. We had the whole place to ourselves, which was a real shame as every route was dry and it was perfect Etive conditions, Hot sunshine with a light breeze. After topping out we headed back to Fort William where I packed up my bags and headed for Skye.
Spartan Slab
Today Izzi was keen for more mountain cragging so we took a gamble and headed down into Glen Etive to the mighty slabs. On approach there were several wet streaks running down the cliff but on arrival it was clear that Spartan Slab (VS) was dry. So we headed off with me leading the first, Izzi took the second and I took the crux. Didn't even draw blood this time! I led off on the next but unfortunately we got hit by a rain shower which turned the slabs into glass. After a wee break getting wet we decided that we would just bail off while we could. If we had hung around on our ledge for an hour we might have been able to carry on after if had dries off. Still plenty of substantial wet streaks on the crag and for other route I think it could do with a few more dry days.