Saturday, 23 February 2019

Mountain guiding around the cairngorms

I have had two weeks of nice private guiding around the Cairngorms. The weather has been really fickle with sometimes good snow cover then amazing warming events which thawed away much of the snow. The lower graded gullies have remained complete and the snow pack surface has remained quite hard and first this in the morning ice axe placements have been reliable  enough to allow some good climbing,skills training,  and experience enhancing fun climbing. The advantage of the thaw is that its much easier to place running belays and anchors as the rocks are clear of snow and the cracks easy to see. The down side is that many of the rocks are unfrozen so the rock fall potential is very high and some cracks which are sometimes frozen solid in the cold and freezing winter conditions are much weaker now that the terrain is wet and unfrozen.
Peter and Luke

Peter topping out on the Seam

Franke in Spiral gully

Frankie on belay

Central gully with Frankie

Frankie  topping out after some mixed climbing.

Sunny in the background but much cooler where we were!

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Andy Nisbet and Steve Perry

The Telegraph newspaper
From the Times Newspaper
 On the 6th February 2019 my best friends had a fall on Ben Hope and are no longer with us. It has been a sad time and my thoughts go out to family and friends. Many thanks to the rescue teams and RAF mountain rescue and Coast guard helicopter crews and support teams who were involved. Rest in peace guys, you will be sorely missed.

Andy and Steve on Ben Hope.

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Lurchers crag, Cairngorm

Andy Nisbet

Andy and Steve in the distance

A nice light on the way home.

A few days in the Alps

Kicking around in Chamonix


The amazing plasticity of snow!

Mont Blanc looking good


Adam Watson RIP

Adam Watson, Mr Cairngorm - an inspiration to me. It, s sad to say that Adam died on the 23 January, he was a good age and had an amazing life. He was an extraordinary man. When I was16 years of age walking alone in the Cairngorms I met him on one of my long walk when I spent lots of time walking and exploring on the Cairngorm plateau. I used to have long chats with him and he always seemed interested in what I was up to. At that 'young' age I was to shy to ask his name and really had no idea who he was but eventually I found out.
Adam will be sadly missed. He was a very humble man with vast knowledge of everything to do with the Cairngorms and also snow.
Adam Watson: 4 April 1930 - 23 January 2019, FRSE, FRSB,FINA, FRMS, FCEH mountaineers, biologist and ecologist.

Ben Hope

Superb Ben Hope

Andy arrives at the Ridge Crest.

One of the many interesting pitches.

Brian Davidson on the summit, in the far distance is  the Orkney islands with snow on the tops.
Over the past years we ( Andy Nisbet, Steve Perry and I)  have recorded some fine winter lines on Ben Hope, Andy and Steve are the ones who have done the bulk of the research. We were up there just over a weekend ago and did a direct route to Petticoat ridge, it gave some superb climbing. Brian Davidson was up for a few days and we climbed together.