Posts tagged glen Sheil
Duff(y) the Munro Slayer

Now Grahame is no Sarah Michelle Gellar but he certainly can get his way through several mythical beasts in one week.

Slioch NW buttress with Loch Maree in the background

Our plan way hatched a while ago to spend some time in the North West to climb some of the munro's he is yet to climb.  We didn't want the easy options so when the weather forecast was perfect it was game on.

Grahame trying to see the island on the loch which is on the island which is on Loch Maree ... We could just make it of a kind in Scotland.

A loch with an island, which has a wee lochain which has an island on!

First up was Slioch via the NW Buttress  - A great route with a long and scenic approach.  The ground was dry but I suspect it is really boggy after the usual rainfall.  This week it was so easy to walk in.  The route itself is worth seeking out.  The crux is the first wall and then its nice scrambling over a combination of solid and loose rock at around grade 3.  From the summit we descended the regular route to make a really nice 7 hour round trip.

Super pace to climb - East Buttress with  Loch Coire Mhic Fhearchair behind

Day two we walked into Coire Mhic Fhearchair and climbed the brilliant East Buttress (VDiff).  Totally amazing route and one on my favourite on the mountain.  With stunning weather and Grahame keen to tick Ruadh-stac Mor and Spidean Cnc, we pressed on and traversed the mountain.

Super climbing

Day 3 we opted for a slightly shorted day and climber the A'Chioch Ridge on Beinn Bhan.  It weighs in as a Corbett but the scrambling is great and as its only a 5.5 hour day we were ready for another giant tomorrow!

Grahame's unique smile...or is it fear?  A'Chioch Ridge providing some cooler conditions

The top of the A'Chioch Ridge

Day 4 was one of the best.  A traverse of Liathach via the Northern Pinnacle's.  Just superb.  Two hour walk into the base and we had brilliant scrambling, again with the difficult section near the start.  With everything being bone dry we didn't experience any 'greasyness' as mentioned in the guidebook and just had pristine rock.  Some looseness in the upper parts of the Northern Pinnacles though.

Start of the Northern Pinnacles

Just fun!

Nobody else

On the main traverse

Final munro of the day

Day 5 we were due some different weather (no photo's today).  The cloud came in, the rain fell but that didn't stop us.  We drove down to Glen Shiel and finished our week on the two munro's by the Forcan Ridge which brings Graham's munro count down to the final 50!  I'm sure these will fly by and best of luck with finishing them off.

A week I won't forget in a while, truly brilliant routes and weather.  Thanks Grahame.

The traverse ledge to get into the start of East Buttress


Glad I had my ice screw on my harness

The whopper I caught on Loch Maree on evening

Another brilliant week in the North West
Ice axe arrest practice
I always look forward to winter and when it arrives I always look forward to working and climbing in the North West.  Why, because of its vast variety, lack of people and sheer beauty of the mountains.  I have been blessed with two healthy clients, one is an iron man competitor and the other is just young so a pretty good combination.  I have also had Mike shadowing for 4 days as he prepares for his Winter Mountain Leader award.  Day one was our skills day where we headed up to Fuar Tholl and did much slipping and sliding, digging and assessing, burying and tieing and then finished the day by climbing a grade II gully called Access Gully.
Martin's team heading up Access Gully ahead of us.
Windy but nice day
Wild topping out of Access Gully
Our second day was the nicest of the week so we thought we would get up high, put some of the skills into practice and grab some great views.  We headed up on to the Liathach Ridge with our high point of the day being Spidean.  A great Munro with stunning views.  We didnt traverse the ridge as this was the teams second day in crampons but it gave them a few things to aim for in the future.

A front coming in from the West.  Beinn Alligan looking great.
Team on the summit of Spidean
The day
Heading down, we turned left here and went the long way down as it was such a nice day.

 Day 3 turned out a wee bit poor so as a wee rest day we went to a local training crag for some more skills before getting back to plan and pack for a overnight snow hole expedition.  The weather was ideal.  Super cold and with plenty of snow there were sure to be some good snow hole sites.  We climbed the Forcan Ridge, which was in stellar conditions.  We summited at 3ish and started digging just after.  We had a palace by 6pm and ate and drank all evening.  It was a great night, snow holing conditions were great.  Digging was easy so we made a comfy hole and made a nice large cold sump for the cold air to sit in whilst the warm air stayed tight.  The second day we exited early to get onto a nearby Munro at sunrise.  It would have been spectacular but unfortunately the clouds were rolling in but was still stunning non the less.

Plenty of Navigation
Plenty of mountaineering

A spot of abseiling

Alot of eating and drinking
Lovely morning views
The the cloud came in
North West Highlands
Team summit shot
For the last week I have been based in Stratchcarron working for Martin Moran.  I was working on and Introduction to Winter Climbing course with Dawn, Cassie and Charlie.  All with varied experiences we covered lots of routes, venues and skills.  We visited Skye, Glen Shiel, Fuar Tholl, training crags and the dry tooling crag for a broad experience of what winter climbing is all about.  The snow conditions were pretty limited but we got plenty done with the Forcan Ridge being a particular highlight..quite a ridge!

Its great to be back in the North West.  Looking forward to my next two week stint up here..

Chaz enjoying a bit of mixed

Dawn and Chaz in the white room

Cassi and Chaz on the Forcan Ridge

Photo time on the summit