Archive for the ‘World Mountains’ Category

Sunshine at last

Friday, December 7th, 2012

Anyone interested in sports climbing, might consider Sicily. A brand new guide book is out and covers the very popular area around San Vito lo Capo. Don’t bother though if your tastes are long trad routes! There are some in this area, but according to a report from one team, they require considerable ‘gardening’. Another Sicily wide guide is also on the shelves and that could reveal many more options. My comments should not be taken too seriously, as this is my first short and very limited visit.

Most of the sports routes are very easy to access and often close to a road or track. The bolts are very closely spaced as well, offering mostly stress free climbing.

This camp site looks very good and good climbing from 2c upwards is close by. The grades are varied and offer plenty around 5 – 6 – 7, as well as a few even lower, so this is not just an area for hard sports routes. Also, plenty of scope for new routes by all accounts. A long 70m rope would be useful and a max of around 15 quick draws.


Plenty of exotic plants close to the climbing.

Bring your fishing tackle if you need a change of activity, or do not want to eat out every day!

Back home on 14th December, ready for another winter season, which appears to have started with a bang. Anyone fancy some ice climbing? Contact my good friend and work colleague, Spike Sellers. He is looking after base camp as Sue and I attempt to top up the tan lines, without much success! See you soon folks.




Not difficult to find the exact start to the climbs!

No snow on Vesuvius

Monday, December 3rd, 2012



The cold airstream over UK is stretching down to the Mediterranean. Better head south!

Expedition Grants

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Chris Walker Memorial Trust

On 24th February, 2010 Chris Walker lost his life when he was taken by an avalanche whilst descending from Buachaille Etive Mor. Chris was a highly talented, accomplished and popular mountaineer who loved to share his enthusiasm, knowledge and skills with others. He already held the MIC, was a full member of the Association of Mountaineering Instructors and no doubt would have fulfilled his life-long dream of becoming a British Mountain Guide. In order to assist other climbers who share the same passion for the mountains as Chris, the Chris Walker Memorial Trust has been set up.

The CWMT will award an annual £1000 grant to help fund expeditions to the Greater Ranges. We welcome applications from aspiring Greater Ranges climbers who need help to fund expeditions with the objective of establishing new routes, repeating rarely attempted lines, or visiting unexplored areas. The closing date for applications will be 1st December each year, after which the trustees will meet and make their decision.

The CWMT will also be providing and funding avalanche awareness courses each winter to support the continual professional development of guides and mountaineering instructors.

In conjunction with the CWMT, the British Alpine Ski School (BASS) are annually offering a free place on their ‘Ski Performance Course for Mountaineers’. The closing date for applications is 11th September each year.

More details can be found at

Reine Slab (Reinesvaet)

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Sea Breeze is in the top fifty routes of the Lofoten guide at around HVS 5a. However it has some pretty scrappy sections, plus an awful abseil descent. The route would benefit from some ‘significant gardening’ plus a new line of abseil stations down the crag. The good bits are very good though.




Presten Vestpillaren

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

Watching the ‘footie’ in Henningsvear after a great day out with Tony and Spike on Presten West Pillar, 467 metres of impeccable climbing. The easiest sections are VS, but very few and overall the climb is graded E2 5b, six to eight hours and allow two hours for a leisurely descent. Start early to avoid too much heat on a good day. We managed the first four pitches before the sun hit us. It is of course possible at any time at this time of the year! Spike and Tony also climbed Ypperstepresten E1 5b over four pitches of delectable and well protected climbing. This climb leads to a big ledge (Storhylla) from where it is possible to follow a simple bolt and chain abseil descent.














Sunny in Lofoten

Friday, June 22nd, 2012











Climbs on Pillaren, were Coley Smoke and Child’s Play and Bare Blabaer. Then Forsidia on Svolvaergeite.










Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Today has been fairly damp in Henningsvear and no climbing. Plenty of interesting things to do though if it’s a first visit. Accommodation is reasonably priced at around £20 each in a self catering Rorbu, for four of us.










Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Just arrived en route to Lofoten. Climbed Klubrutta, grade around Very Severe on Eidetind, S.E. Buttress, a good starter, south of Narvik and with six good pitches. This is a holiday trip with Spike, Dave, Tony and yours truly.

Our accommodation included old fisherman’s huts (Rorbus) at £20 each a night, wild camping or just sleeping out under the stars. Fly Norwegian Air via Edinburgh – Oslo – Narvik/Harstad and rent a vehicle. Other climbers we met, felt it had been cheaper to fly into Sweden as car rental and food supplies are a lot cheaper in that country. Do your own research.

More dry weather

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Thanks to Spike Sellers for the sunset shot from a bivvy on the Skye Black Cuillin, congratulations on a significant birthday, friend. Also Hannah Evans took the shots on the Five Sisters of Kintail. Both working for West Coast Mountain Guides over the Jubilee weekend. Very busy recently I’m pleased to say and still plenty of good instructors around to do the work.

Dear Alan,

Good afternoon! How are you? Once upon a time GANGARA Caves harboured shelters of pirates. No anglers visit the area harbouring sanctuary of a family of osprey and some other species of seabirds in this quiet Sunday afternoon.

Yasuyoshi Sakai

Thanks Yoshi. Winter has finally finished here, although yesterday icicles high on Ben Nevis were forming. These caves and surrounding cliffs look like good for climbing?

Gangara Caves

Sun Dogs

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

From a friend on the Greenland ice cap. Thanks Bruce.

Greenland ice cap sun dogs

Almost done! Streaking across the icecap at 9mph with a plane to catch in 10 days time, but only 340 miles to go so no problem! Looking forward to some tramping and MT biking. Day after day of spectacular sun dogs, of various types whilst we were at Summit Camp. Attached is a shot of one of them.