Posts tagged Mountain Biking
A week of Alpine rock
With a week off between Part 1 and 2 of our Alpine Training, I teamed up with fellow trainee guide Jack Geldard for some rock climbing and acclimatization.

Our first day we decided on a sport climb in the mountains and headed up onto Brevant and climbed the brilliant 8 pitch La Fin de Babylone (TD+ 6c) of the South face.  I remembered how to climb granite with sun on my back so I was keen for more routes in the mountains but with less bolts and more trad gear.

Day two we climbed on the Red Pillar on Aiguille de Blaitiere.  We opted for Majouette Thatcher (TD+ 6b+) British money we thought it was E3 6a.  Superb route with 5 brilliant pitches after an 1.5 hour walk in. (no pics from the first couple of days)
Day 3 we climbed on the South Face of Aiguille du Midi.  We climbed the Contamine Route given ED1 6c+.  In british money, we thought E4 6b, it was a fight.
Jack on the crux pitch of Contamine

After 3 days of sore feet in climbing shoes, we ditched the torture devices and went mountaineering with Emily on the Clocher Ridge (PD+ 4a).  A great mountaineering ridge which is a brilliant introduction to the Alps.  I suspect I will work on that route quite a lot.
Mont Bianco, Emily and Jack...cruising.

Day four Jack and I went back to the Blaitiere and climbed the classic L'eau rance d'arabie (TD+ 6b), probs around E2 5c.  8 superb pitches of pristine granite cracks and a few testing slab for good measure.  A great day out.
...after pitch...

...after pitch of excellent climbing.  Superb Route MT
To conclude the week, Jack, Emily and I teamed up with Kenny for a day on the mountian bikes which was brilliant fun up at Le Tour.  Lift assisted Mountain Biking...what's not to like!?

Now for Alpine training Part 2...
Autumn catch up
It has been a wee while since I have had a sit down to write a wee update, which is great as it has been such an action packed few weeks.  I guess the brilliant weather has helped.  Fortunately I haven't had to travel around too much as the rock has been dry and work has been local.  A couple of visits to Brin Rock and Tunnel Wall helped kick of Sport Climbing season, given that I haven't had a great summer of rock climbing, I felt I was doing ok.  Really enjoyed the routes I tried.  Really pleased to climb Uncertain Emotions in Glencoe after a couple of visits.  I also made the most of some nice days with cragging at Creag Dubh, bouldering at the Skeleton Boulder in Glen Nevis and mountain biking at Wolftrax  before work kicked in.  I have just finished my 3rd week working at the Joint Services Mountain Training Centre in Ballachulish (the military version of Plas y Brenin and Glenmore Lodge).  I have been working on a host of instructor training courses, two weeks of rock climbing instructor training and assessments and a week of Mountain Leader Training.  We visited a whole host of single pitch climbing venues, some with a lengthy drives but worth it for the dry rock and the climbing.  Its been great working Monday to Friday 8am-5pm, feels like a 'real job' with time to spare and weekends to catch up with folk.  With an upcoming trip away sport climbing on the Greek Island of Kalymnos I have been trying hard to build some fitness to get the most of the trip.  So a few trips to Ratho (best indoor wall in Scotland...if not the UK!) and mid week bouldering have been doing the trick.  This week I am working on Mountain Leader Assessment so will be out on the hills for the week which will be great, before flying out at the weekend.   I'm hoping that when I return at the start of December I will be straight into winter climbing so watch this space.
Brin (Zed Buttress) with Mhairi and Murdoch

Good views in Glen Nevis (above Skeleton Boulder)

Creag Dubh...beaut day!

Kingussie Rock training

Group abseil

Setting up climbing at Glen Nevis

Team at Kingussie

Where is the Loch?

Inversion on the Buachaille

Mountain Leader ropework

Walking out of the Buachaille

Good navigation training in Glencoe

Dream team loving learning new skills

Training at Dave Mac's wall
Mountain Biking
A room with a view
A bicycle
I know, double take needed.  We'll you only live once and given that a collection of my best buddies have moved all around Europe, we thought we should all meet up and hit the trails in Morzine and Les Gets in the French Alps.  It was my birthday after all!  John, got the train in from his home in Germany, I flew over from Scotland and Kirby picked us up as he lives in Chamonix.  Now we have all done a bit of MTN biking but we certainly are not experts so we didn't hit any black but had super fun on the blues and reds and had a great laugh, a quick 4 day hit and a great way to spend my birthday!  Cant wait to go back.

Not me

Still not me

My bike getting big air!
Downhill at speed
Today Laila, John, Gary and I all headed up the gondola at Nevis Range for a quick shot down the red run.  It was fantastic, nice and flowing with some good tricky sections.  It didn't take long for us to get down and after a quick coffee we met up with Kenny and Rhona for a burn around the witches trail.  Today was the trails for the world cup so there was lots of brilliant bikers, lots of labels and lots of caps tilted to the side!  Good vibes at Nevis Range.  Blair was up creating an avalanche forecast of all the fresh snow that has fallen and said he was ripping up the goose with some sweet turns!
2 punctures and 1 fall
Today Dan and I set out for a long ride on the mountain bikes but we also wanted some technical sections to ride. We opted for Ullswater Single track and more. We parked at Sandwick and rode around Place Fell to Boredale Hause, this section was really good (I fell off), quite technical and quite quick. Dan got a puncture on the way down. From Boredale Hause we went along to Hartsop, rode up to Hayeswater (I got a puncture) and pushed up to Rampsgill Head (792m). From here we rode over High Raise (802m) and over onto High Street. We rode all the way along to The Cockpit and then turned and headed back down above the lake to Howtown and back over to the car at Sandwick. A great day, In fact the best days riding I've had in a long time!
Today Al and I went down to Grizedale for some biking action along the tracks. I wanted to climb Totalitarian (E1 5c) at Raven Crag but unfortunately there were bird restrictions. So back to the car and we headed for Castle rock. Al suggested doing some biking instead so I agreed and we drove to Griesdale Forest and did 2 circuits of the North Face Route.
Biking today
As it was damp today, Dan and I left the ropes and rack at the house and loaded up the bikes and headed up to Hawswater. Dan had biked a couple of sections up there before but wanted to try out some other lines. We hiked up from Mardale Head car park to Gatescarth Pass and rode down the other side to Sadgill. From here we retraced our steps for a great downhill finale! From the car park we went for a little warm down over to The Rigg and back. Loads of great single track routes there if your prepared to push up the hill a little.