Monday, 30 April 2007

Sandy on the Cioch Nose

Here's some photo's from my camera of climbing on the Cioch Nose.

The Cioch Nose, Applecross

The Cioch Nose
This wonderful climb on Sgurr a' Chaorachain was first climbed by C.Bonnington and T W Patey in 1958 and is a six hundered foot climb of delight and brillant adventure. To climb this true classic route in April is a brilliant start to our Scottish climbing season. Yesterday the clmb was in brilliant condition with perfectly dry sandstone. Red Stags were roaming around grazing fresh greenery. Like us they seemed delighting with this fantastic spell of unseasonaly warm and wonderful weather.

Friday, 27 April 2007

Industrial Rope Access Day

Another IRATA assessment day, this time Sandy was in Aberdeen at Talon Specialised Training Limited at the Bridge of Don, Aberdeen where there were IRATA level 1 and level 2 trainees to assess. Michael Brushneen was the trainer and everyone else must have also worked hard as everybody was sucessful.

Back from France now

We have had a great few days away in France, where we visiting several interesting climbing areas in the Ecrin, spring is there and the ski slopes have all closed now. I still have to down load one of the cameras, but I hope these do for now. On our return to Chamonix we climbed at Rochers Blanc which has superb technical, steep but slab like and frictionless limestone, all routes are polished and the local climbers who know the place seem to mange fine with some interesting grunting and falling onto the solid bolts. For people new to the crag anything above 5C+ is well hard especially for on an aging ice climbing hippy like me! The slate quarrys of Wales came into to mind although Rocher Blanc has nothing so intimidating! Rehearsing the moves was necessary for me..., its well bolted so its fun.... and it's then that one realises how handy bolts can be! But oh, now we are back in Scotland, the weather is looking good for this weekend. Looking forward to going back to traditional climbing, bolts have their uses! ( Although I do feel we should try and keep them on the other side of the Channel!) Anyway, there is nothing better than working out the best line and placing your own protection...... so thats the plan for this coming weekend.

Saturday, 21 April 2007

Irata Assessments and rock climbing

Yesterday 20th April we carried out an Industrial Rope Access assessment at the Petzl training centre in , Switzerland... it was an interesting day and the IFMGA guides doing their level 3's all passed at a very high standard. Today (21st) we have been rock climbing but forgot to take the there are no photos today!

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Ski Touring to Col du Tour Noir

What a perfect day, From Grand Montents ( 3293m) we skied down to teh Argentiere Galcier and skinned up and along this to go steeply up the Galacier des Amethyster. It was incredibly warm, but the ski descent was so ace it was worth it!

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Chamonix Ski Mountaineering

Here in Chamonix the weather is perfect and ski mountaineering conditions are good. Last night was spent at the Cosmiques Hut and then today we skied and skinned down, up and around into the Cirque du Maudit and then skied out by going down the Vallee Blanche, just superb!

Monday, 16 April 2007

What a lovely day here around Aviemore, spring has sprung. Climbing at Creag Dubh, Laggan,Newtonmore was quite good.Here are some photos of King Bee, a three star VS. This is a fantastic climb first climbed in April 1965 by Dougal Haston, J. Moriarty and A Ewing.

Sunday, 15 April 2007

A quiet spring day

A quiet Sunday in Aviemore. It's the last day of the Scottish Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) field work.Kathy has been on the hill doing her last snow pit and profile of this winter season. For me, it's the first Sunday off in ages which is worth celebrating, Alvie church first thing and driving through Aviemore one can see that the electioneers have been busy at each and every lamp post displaying their Scottish National, Scottish Conservative and Liberal party signs, similar to dogs, marking teritory. It's been a hazy but warm spring day in Aviemore... just perfect!

Saturday, 14 April 2007

Great Day in the Cairngorms

We had a great day today, perfect sunshine in the Cairngorms, some gullies are broken and beginning to get really thin with loose rock exposed. This morning we started early but the snow was still soft which means that you have to be extremely aware of objective dangers such as rock fall. The freezing level was high above the summits, so while there is still some gullies to climb you need to look closley at the forecast. Start early, move efficiently, keep your eyes open for loose blocks, belay in protected areas and generally take care in the thawing conditions. Cairngorm Mountain was half-full and there were a few people out doing basic skills on the head wall and lots of walkers on the tops.