Archive for October, 2009

Don’t be fooled by this mild weather

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Whilst it may be more like summer temperatures at the moment, keep an eye out next week for a very wild, windy and wintry snap of weather.

For those of you who prefer an armchair with your mountain adventures at this time of the year see below:

Matt Helliker and Jon Bracey are doing a lecture tour around the UK in late November and early December, about new routing in Alaska. Should be fun , lots of video and photos to get everyone inspired for the upcoming winter!

The dates are as follows:

Kendal Mountain Festival – Nov. 22nd
London – West Reservoir Center (near to Castle climbing centre) – Nov. 25th Shrewsbury – The Gateway Arts Centre – Nov. 26th Oxford – Town Hall – Nov. 27th Bristol – The Climbing Academy – Nov. 28th Manchester – Manchester Climbing Centre – Dec. 1st Sheffield – Sheffield Hallam University – Dec. 2nd Leeds – Leeds University – Dec. 3rd Edinburgh – Ratho – Dec. 4th

Here’s a video taster:

New Routing in Alaska

And you can book tickets at:

Booking tickets

Winter is Coming

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Cold Air Blasting South

Keep an eye out for an early start to winter folks, after next weekend. Let’s hope it continues.

Cairns on Ben Nevis – Better placed

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Cairns on Ben Nevis positioned more safely

The line of some cairns on the summit plateau of Ben Nevis have been positioned differently on a 300 metre section from the top of Gardyloo Gully towards Maclean’s Steep, to aid map and compass navigation in poor visibility, especially under snowy conditions. A good and welcome move on the part of The John Muir Trust and Nevis Partnership.

Cairns relocation map This map shows the line of the relocated cairns on the excellent Harvey Ben Nevis map.

Where did the bad weather go?

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Menacing clouds over Loch Leven yesterday morning and a poor forecast, led me to believe that a very bad day with really strong winds was coming in.

The tricky pitch at 2/3rds height on Curved Ridge. There has been a big rockfall just below this and a fair amount of loose rock remains.

On top of Crowberry Tower with Rannoch Moor behind and a pretty good day so far.

We even managed a trip out to Stob na Broige and no rain all day. The wind was fresh, but manageable. Still plenty of clouds associated with turbulent air and strong winds aloft. Loch Etive beyond.

We had left a car in Glen Etive and descended south from Stob Coire Altruim to avoid the steep rocky ground above Dalness. This is a much more obvious route, but no path and the tussocky grass requires care in order to avoid twisting ankles. The younger members of the party found it far easier to slide down on their backsides!

Terrific in Torridon

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Rich Hill. Thanks for the pictures and story Rich. Looks good and a well met partner in Shaun. Often mountain days are enhanced by chance meetings and a good partner can make all the difference.

Possibly the best weekend in the hills yet.

12 years I have driven along the Torridon road looking up at the terrifying spectacle of the ‘Teeth of Liathach’. It looks completely unclimbable.
at last a fine spell, warm for the time of year so little chance of been blown from the traverse.

I left my bike at the western end of the hill near Ben Alligan and drove off to the start. 08:55. I set off actually on the wrong path if you go by my guidebook, but a path which then cuts up to the eastern end of the ridge proper. Some fantastic Torridon sandstone buttresses greet you on arrival at the crest. Big holds and not too exposed. then the first top not bad 1h55m. I met a lad from Cambridge called Shaun on his 11th Munro, we both respected the mountain and were aware of its reputation so we teamed up for the forthcoming (challenges).
arrival at the first Munro gave way to views of the Teeth. They look very intimidating in my view roped climbing is fine or scrambling Up feels secure, but walking along a narrow uneven crests with 400m drops is unforgiving if you trip. You only trip on a scramble once so anticipation and anxiety were blended to give us the nervous giggles as we climbed on.
After a while you arrive at the point of interest. A friendlier path heads off left as another faint path keeps to the crest we went for it because close up it was a boulderers dream, scrambling in comfort of grooves and broken corner cracks.
Shortly after though we were aware of the exposure and the challenge level rose beyond our comfort zones so we opted for the chicken run which itself has several airy situations, very exciting. Then you arrive at the grassy broad ridge and with the horrors gone our pulses returned to normal. We didn’t have too much time to think about the exposure as we had to rescue a lassie mid way cos she became lost and cragfast somehow?? She was down a gully below us.
Superb views from the second summit, we left several others to continue on easy ground to the Loch and my bike. 8hrs 10mins van to van. Any way the Torridon mountains remain the highest quality of geology and inspiring landscapes I have ever seen. Can’t wait to do Liathach again.

19th Oct 2009
Thanks to the Torridon Inn for the best burgers and pints of sheepshagger ale and drams…We slept well.

The Weather is changing

Monday, October 19th, 2009

The summit on Vorlich just before Sunrise on Saturday captured here by Ken Christie. A cracking morning and what’s better is that nothing hurt! I’m ready for Winter now. Hope you like the pics.

Thanks Ken. Unfortunately the stella autumn weather is about to cave in this week with storms, rain and much wind:( Looking forward to Orion Direct sometime. (AK)

Cape Wrath – Sandwood Bay

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Just back from Sandwood Bay a few miles south of Cape Wrath. A friend of mine has been nibbling away at the Cape Wrath Trail in sections for a few years and this last weekend was the culmination of a load of effort, walking from Fort William to Cape Wrath.

Sandwood Bay is a truly awesome and inspiring spot. The open Atlantic Ocean to the north and west and nothing in between until North America or the Arctic, Iceland and Greenland. These photos were taken last Saturday after a wicked storm had swept across Britain.

Am Buachaille, first climbed by Ian Clough and Tom Patey.

Tidal and sea state restrictions make this stack a problem to access.