Posts tagged Summer Walking
Curved Ridge
Simon was up for Curved Ridge.  To be fair we had both hoped for a winter ascent of Curved Ridge but as the topsy turvy winter continues to stip the mountains, we had to settle for a summer ascent.  Warm and wet, it felt like July.  Fortunately for simon, he had limited scrambling experience and we made a great day of scrambling skills and Simon did some leading up the route.  Andy Hogarth was out behind us with his two clients and Grant was out with his group bagging some summits.  So a pretty quiet day on the hill.  I couldn't see into the corries in Glencoe as I drove through but there is snow still up there in the gullies.  Still a couple of days until it gets cold.


A sunny summer update
Heading up onto Sgurr Alasdair
The past month seems to have flown by, I suspect it has something to do with the fact the weather has been so good and I have been so busy.  I we flick back to my last post where I was on Skye in the sunshine, this post picks up from there.  I stayed on Skye and worked with Nick Carter and we took 8 keen walkers onto the South End of the Cuillin.  We could tell the weather was on the turn from last week but we had a dry day with some great views and good craic.  I was working for Moran Mountain.
Heading down
Girl Power on the Cuillin
Good view on the Pinn
The next week started with a 4 day Munro course for West Coast Mountain Guides and this time I was working with Ken Applegate.  The weekend saw the change of the weather and this week we didn't get a view from any summit.  Despite poor conditions, we all dug deep and completed all the Munro's on the Cuillin, spurred on by some enthusiastic members of the group.  Our final decent marked the end of my two weeks on the misty Isle.  I packed up, fixed up and made my way south to Wales.
Digging deep!
More learning for me!
So as I arrived in Wales on Sunday, I went straight to the sea cliffs of Gogarth and climbed 4 routes to shake off my mountaineering legs and get the forearms working.  The following 4 days were spent on my second training course in my advance to become a BMG based at Plas Y Brenin.  We worked with Martin Chester and a host of local Guides to develop our personal skills, our coaching processes and looked into the psychology of guiding which was very interesting.  We had guest speakers and a great deal of input from everyone involved.

Getting 'Chestered'

Assessment prep
High on Idwal Slabs
After the 'Rock 2' course I was straight into work with regular client and all round good guy Sean.  Luck was on our side.  The weather was to hold.  The mountains were dry, a nice cool breeze and we both had heaps of enthusiasm.  Day one we had a great day linking up five classic scrambles in Ogwen.  Day two we we did a couple of laps on the East face of Tryfan, one up and down in the dry and another up and down in the rain.  But 4 great routes.  Our final day was bone dry again so we romped into Ampitheatre Buttress on Creig yr Ysfa and took pole positions.  This was a fantastic finale to a brilliant 3 days.  I'm not sure how much mileage we made but everyday was oozing with fantastic climbing and locations.

Cneifion Arete
A busy Tryfan
Getting rays on Ampetheretre Buttress
Great Alpine prep
After 3 days of work I have just come back from 5 days of personal climbing around North Wales with a whole host of friends.  I was super keen for some mileage, so I climbed at 7 different crags in Llanberis Pass, had a day at Clogwyn Bu'r Arddu (Cloggy) and a day at Rhoscolyn.  Its been such a good week and currently on my way back to Scotland via the Lakes for a couple of days.
Amazing weather at Cloggy

Kev engrosed

The final top out

I think this summer is going to be great!
Back to Skye
First peak - going to be a good week
Approaching the top of Sgurr Alasdair
Having had a few brilliant days on Skye this winter I have been really keen to get back on the hills once all the snow had gone.  This week I have had a nice gentle introduction to the season with a Munro course for West Coast Mountain Guides.  4 days, 11 Munro's, not a raindrop.  It was too easy this week.  We completed our task with a fantastic group of very able members.  The transition from hill walkers to mountaineers through the week was evident as all member picked up heaps of confidence as the week went on and were moving over technical ground very efficiently.


Ascending out of Coire Lagan - the easy way!

Pinn day!

Top team!

Foot soak at the end of 3 Munro's

Day 3 and look at the weather!

Day 4 we had some snow on the North end
Summer Mountain Leader Training
Sundews
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

Harebells

Skye season has started
Munro number 1!
This weekend has seen me back on Skye and it was great to be back.  Unfortunately we have come back with no traverse cigar but instead had 3 great days in the hills.  Claire has had her sights on the ridge traverse fro some while and with 5 kids and limited time off, we were really keen to make an attempt.  Despite the horrendous forecast.
Not clearing up.  This is the vis we had all day.
There was a slight glimmer of hope that it could clear on Friday evening but unfortunately we got to a potential bivi spot 4 hours to early for the clearing.  We were far to wet and cold to sit it out.  Down we went.  From Car - Sgurr nan Eag - An Dorus - to Car was 11 hours and we were glad to get back to warmth.  Only 2 photos that day!
Heading up Pinnacle Ridge
Heading off Pinnacle Ridge
Day two had an unpleasant forecast so we stayed low and climbed the brilliant Spur on Sgurr an Fheadain for a short day.  No photos as left camera in drying room.  To finish off we decided Pinnacle Ridge would be a good shout but half way up we were hit by some snow storms and decided to traverse off of some easier pleasant ground.  A good call we felt.  We traversed off and made our way over to Sgurr Beag for some well needed views.  I hope my next few trips to Skye bring good views and dry rock.

Cold...

Windy...

Cloudy....Skye, we just love it!


Dad's and Lad's do Ben Nevis

Today I was back on Ben Nevis, out with a great team from London.  4 dads and their 6 boys all aged 12.  They were super keen for Ben Nevis.  Fortunately they had wind of the North Face and wanted to go and check it out.  So we explored our way up to the CIC hut when we all went inside for a lunch stop.  The boys were super interested in the history of the hut and some of the great climbers that have been here.  The weather had closed in, very unpleasant in fact but after much Haribo and chocolate we made way for Coire Leis and made our way up the back head wall.  The boys were fantastic at moving around the boulders and the rough terrain, not an easy feat for even experienced walkers.  The summit had its usual mob so after a few photos and some food we made our way down to the Lochain and back to the taxis.  A brilliant day but no views and no shots from my camera.  I was working for West Coast Mountain Guides.
Guiding on the Isle of Skye

Red Cuillin in the background
Pinnacle Ridge
After a fantastic break in the Alps I was back to Skye for my final stint of work.  I managed to smuggle the sunshine through customs and threw it into the sky as I crossed onto the Island.  This week I was with Greg and the aim was to have some good days in the hill’s on some routes and summit’s he hasn't done before.  Quite a tricky task for someone who has done all the Munro’s and significant peaks and most of the classic routes.  We managed to fill 3 good days, 2 on the Cuillin and one out on MacLoed’s tables.  Or final day didn't get going as customs caught up with us and took the sunshine away and our punishment was some very wet weather.  Greg decided enough was enough and with 3 good days under his belt we called it a day.  I was working for Moran Mountain.


View of the Cuillin from the Macloeds talbles

Greg on The Spur

Greg after the Spur
Best and worst of Skye
Sue and Steve on Sgurr Alasdair
Sue and Steve had everything.  I'm talking about the weather.  Firstly glorious sunshine, almost too hot, a day of super high winds, a day of constant cloud cover and a day of torrential rain and more high winds.  Their objectives was to gather as many Munro's as possible via the easiest routes as they have very limited experience in the mountains.  They started with 15 Munro's under their belts and no scrambling experience and finished with 23 Munro's after leaving Skye.  A great effort with several long days on the trot.  A well earnt rest for them is required and a tent repairing session for me...it got very windy in the camp site too! :( This work was for Skye Guides.

Sue and Steve weaving pinnacles

Lowering off the In Pinn

Early morning sweat fest
Leg stretch
Final day with John today and were were in the Lakes District.  Today was a beasting day!  We were to get lots of milage over the hill before getting back to the Kendal Film Festival to watch the world Premiere of Distilled!  We sett off from Langdale at 9am, over  Great Knott, Crinkle Crags, Bowfell, Esk Pike, Ill Crag, Broad Crag and finished on Scafell Pike.  We returned via Angle tarn.  I had to navigate all the way over the tops as the clag was in heavy and we had a quick march out along the Cumbrian Way but we still made it too the film with time for showers!  A brilliant day and brilliant finale to a great couple of weeks with John.. He's fit and ready for his next challenge.  Aconcagua!
Snowdon via the fun route
Look happy!
Today was always going to be a mountain day but we definitely didn't have any choice. I think it stopped raining for about 5 minutes today! Nonetheless, it was a brilliant day. We parked up at Pen y Pass and traversed into Llanberis Pass, navigated our was over the top of Dinas Mot and up to the base of The Parson's Nose (D) on Clogwyn y Ddysgl. This great scramble was brilliant in the wet, greasy in places and made the tricky bits....well....even trickier! Some power screams echoed around the cwm now and again! We continued up the Arete to join the main ridge which led up onto the summit of Snowdon. This was the first time I have been on this summit and never saw another person...pretty unsurprisingly to be honest! Despite being soaked to the skin and with a 3 hour drive ahead we opted for a little more than walking down the Miners track. We headed SE and then NE down a nice wee scramble at about grade 1 which led u eventually to the Miners track for a brisk walk back to the car. A 7 hour round trip, a quick change then a drive over to the Peak district for 3 days rock climbing!

How this weather really made us feel!