Archive for May, 2008

CIC Hut developments

Friday, May 30th, 2008

The CIC Hut is being refurbished and the work is now in full swing. Approximately 70% will be new-build, with a larger kitchen area separate from the sleeping bunks. A toilet is being installed as well.

Today at the foot of Observatory Gully

On Tower Ridge today with the ladies from Barcelona

More Hot Weather on the way

Friday, May 30th, 2008

After a short change to wet weather recently we are set to continue into warm and dry conditions over the weekend and into next week. Now is the time to head north for those big mountain classics.

Midgeless in Glen Nevis

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

Emily 10 and Olivia 8 enjoying some time scrambling and climbing in Glen Nevis

The Gutter on Pine Wall *** Diff grade. Probably one of Scotland’s most climbed rock routes. Originally dug out of the hillside by Klaus Schwartz in 1975. Before that it harboured a fine mass of moss and general rubble!

The West is Best – The farther west the better

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Hi Alan
I thought you’d like to see this nice shot of the islands of Rum, Eigg and Skye. Jim and I had a fab day yesterday climbing on the fantastically clean gabbro at the volcanic Ring of Ardnamurchan. Great views, sun and not a midge in sight! bliss!

By the way Alan, your forecast for last weekend when I took the boys to Arisaig, was spot on…. cheers!

Thanks Linda. Wonderful photos and what an inspiring location.

Arisaig sunset towards the Black Cuillin of Skye

Craters of Comfort

Fantastic Weather

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

After the euphoria of Moscow and the Champion’s League, back to the reality of some amazing weather in Scotland. The last couple of months have been just wonderful. Dry rock and blue skies are on the main menu and look set to continue until June. Midges are not fond of clear blue skies and a gentle breeze, so we are blessed with good climbing and few insects just now!

Looks like next Wednesday or Thursday before a break-down in the good weather.

Just a pity the Hawthorn and Cherry blossom is so short-lived.

European Champions

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Needless to say I’m a very happy Manchester United fan.

Ice Factor Goes Ape

Sunday, May 18th, 2008

Check out the latest additions at the Ice Factor

Fine and Dry

Saturday, May 17th, 2008

Allt a’ Mhuillin, April

For the first time, the birchwood not by night,

path-bogs not sealed by corrugated ice;

for the first time, pied wagtails in the corries.

Pink sunshine slants through innocuous sleet-flurries.

Here on the Hut’s rock-seats, snow-stripped, sun-warmed-

was it here we half-froze in the January storm?

Where the crampon drives through slush to brown-baked scree-

was that our icefall-route in February?

Did we tread here a snow that none had trod?

Did we glimpse here the hidden face of God?

Thanks to Tim Chappell for this memory of winter

Plenty of fine dry weather is leaving the rock warm and friendly.

Warm – Fine – Dry

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

Sgurr na Ciche and Loch Nevis
This week has produced superb weather. Only the very highest hills now have snow hanging on in the shadowy hollows. Fortunately the snow-melt is providing plenty of drinking water to top up water bottles for satisfying re hydration needs.

Yesterday I was out on the ‘Munros’ above Glendessary and east of Loch Nevis. A mountain bike is very helpful from the head of Loch Arkaig. Ours were left at Upper Glendessary, but on reflection it might have been better to peddle up the good forestry tracks south of the River Dessary. From both places good paths lead directly to the south-west ridge of Garbh Chioch Mhor and over to the south-west ridge of Sgurr na Ciche.

This is not the route described in the SMC guide to ‘The Munros’ but does provide ascent on good paths to around 700 metres, and completes the majority of the outward hike more easily than traversing the high rocky ridge. The return route follows this airy spine with fine views towards Ben Nevis. The bike is a welcome sight and a faster mode of transport along the rocky tracks, back to Loch Arkaig.

just wondering if you could help, A friend of mine lost a quark hammer
whilst climbing on green gully on the ben on the 22nd of April, and I
was wondering if you could post something on your site for him. along
the lines of:

“Lost on Green Gully 22nd April…One Quark Hammer – reward if
you can reunite it to Tony on 07748841647.


Thanks very much.

Warm and Southerly

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

Fiordland Reflections
Thanks to Andrew Stoke-Rees for his video clip from just a couple of weeks back. A south to south-easterly continental airstream has put paid to any ice climbing on difficult routes until next winter, I feel, although stranger things have happened!

Andrew’s copy of his teams adventures are typical of so many of you out there this year. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to my blog. Your efforts have added considerable value for everyone and are much appreciated. I’ll continue with Scottish summer and alpine postings, but if you want to send in anything, please continue to do so.

Climbers out with metal detectors last week have been seen beneath some of the major Nevis routes, checking within the snow pack for some serious ‘booty’. From experience I know this can continue through until September as the various layers reveal some expensive ‘trophies’.

My blog is aiming to catch up with those of you using youTube and video footage. Anyone with any ideas of good editing software, please drop me a line.

Once again, thanks for your help this last good winter.