Archive for August, 2008

Path to Nowhere?

Friday, August 29th, 2008

The Nevis Partnership are looking for opinion on the new path which leads from the Pony Track past the ‘Halfway Lochan’ towards the Torlundy, North Face car park. Currently this excellent path finishes abruptly at the northern outflow of the Lochan. It has always been planned to extend this very important link and finish what would make a logical route, not only for climbers, but day trippers.

In the winter this traditional and essential route is heavily used by climbers, but the section from the Lochan to the Allt a’Mhuilinn still remains very wet and boggy underfoot. The issue appears to be which side of the stream to put the path. For years now the logical ‘desire-line’ has been on the eastern side of the outflow. What do you think? Let us know, and also email Nevis Partnership at the link above.
Lagangarbh, yet another of The Scottish Mountaineering Clubs excellent huts

Brian McDermott (Master Mason) at work on the extension to the CIC Hut. Anyone heading up the hill should take this team plenty of cake and T-Bags and milk. The hospitality is wonderful and the Craic is outstanding! Brian is one of the best stone-masons around and his attention to detail shines through on this project.

New Weather Forecast Project for Nevis

Sunday, August 24th, 2008

CIC Hut is looking good

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

The modernisation of the CIC Hut is coming on well. It is now weatherproof and starting to take shape, ready for the upcoming winter season. Check out CIC Hut courses

Safe on Ice

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008

Check this out folks Don’t forget a large picnic and plenty of batteries in your headtorch. Oh yes, please do not consider it for Point Five Gully on a busy day!

Food and Drink

Monday, August 18th, 2008

Claire Macleod Apart from filming her husband Dave Macleod on his significant new climbs on Ben Nevis, and occasionally belaying, Claire Macleod runs a very tidy little Scottish food and drink business. So, if you are considering something different as a special gift, try the website above.

Are we unique?

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

Has anyone out there heard of a bunkhouse or hostel in UK with a climbing or bouldering wall on site? Is Calluna unique?

Belay Devices

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008


Have you had any one report any hang ups using the petzl reverso in guide mode on a direct belay?
The problem I experienced yesterday using a wet 11mm single rope is that the leader belaying a second and the second falls. The leader then cannot release the fallen second unless you get the weight off the rope. This was witnessed by an experienced MIA, who said this has happened to him. Also speaking with a team just back from the Alps who where in the Hornli Hutte, spoke to a mountain guide who had exactly the same problem with a client. Only rope tricks or ditching the unit and use the good old fashioned Italian hitch gets you out of trouble.


Derek (sherpadel)

Hi Derek,

All I have heard is that it is the best one so far. However, I have not used it myself. I have copied this to two mountain guides, one of whom (Mark) says it is a pretty good new tool. Roger is the Mountain Safety Adviser for MC of S and may have a view. You have spurred me into buying one now to go along with all the other devices I seem to be gathering in my kit store. Maybe Roger and I can go up to Glen Nevis and try it out, once the midges have gone away!

Watch this space and I will also put your query up on my blog to see if we get a response.



Just saw on your blog there about the reverso the old style used to lock up if fully loaded but the knew one is suppose to solve it there is a very well made Petzl video short here on the use and applications of it !


Danny Goodwin

Thanks Danny.


Just to let you know I up running with the new reverso3 and it works fine. Just got to be very careful if you are belaying two climbers at once and one falls. It releases fine and the krab locks into the slot nicely, but the ropes pass through the device quickly, dropping the other climber if they are not tied off or secured….beware!!! Therefore it needs lots of practice but feels similar to belaying with a gri gri when used in that mode. I used the method in the link to try and unload the rope and it didn’t move. So now its Italian hitch and reverso3 depending on the route, clients etc.

Thanks for the help and advice.



Still Snow on Ben Nevis

Sunday, August 10th, 2008

Thanks to Blair Fyffe for these two pictures.

Hi Alan, thanks for the note.

As you may or may not be aware (due to your sojourn to the Alps!), the amount of snow still present at the start of June on Ben Nevis was substantial: the most for a number of years by all accounts. The situation persisted through June, with good photographs from contributors keeping us well appraised of the conditions. Indeed, there was fresh Snow on Nevis on the 20th(?) of June (if I remember correctly), and fresh snow on Braeriach (and doubtless MacDui, too) a couple of days after that.

We carried out a survey from Glenshee on the 1st July and agreed the situation was as good as it’s been (in terms of snow remaining) for quite a few years. Unfortunately, mid-July onwards was very very warm, with the dreaded “hairdryer” winds and incessant rain (towards the end of the month) putting a very substantial dent in the patches at Nevis/Aonachs. So much so, in fact, that Aonach Mor – despite having larger deposits than last year – is now in worse nick than it was this time last year.

The Cairngorms are fairing altogether better, however, and I intend to go there on the weekend of the Bank Holiday. Indeed, I shall be doing Nevis/Aonachs with a fellow called Mark Atkinson (Fort William) who is a keen contributor, and possibly Blair Fyffe. If you are around that weekend then I would very much like to meet you.



And from Blair Fyffe:

I was up the Ben the other day (Tuesday the 5th), and took some pictures of the snow patches in Observatory gully. Find then attached. There were a some patches left in the Ciste, the biggest one being below Two step corner area. There was also a patch below Zero Gully, Orion Face, but that is starting to look quite thin. Will last another fortnight at a guess. In Observatory Gully there was a patch below Point 5 gully, that was maybe 40m across and 30m up-down. However it will soon split into two as there is a tunnel going underneath it (seen in one of the pictures). Also there is still a large amount of snow up around the Tower Scoop area.
Hope that helps

November might be cool

Friday, August 8th, 2008

Midsummer might be dominating, but lets cast a glance ahead to November

Thanks Ken for sending this in. All good and interesting stuff. On another topic. Has anyone got any advice on a good hard-drive camcorder for the hills? My tape model Canon MV940 takes a long time to load onto my PC and searching for individual clips is tiresome. What do folk know about SD card or internal hard-drive models?

High Altitude Mountain Boots

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

A friend of mine is interested in obtaining some size 12.5 (UK) high altitude mountain boots for a trip to Denali. Is there anyone out there looking to sell a pair?