Monthly Archives: December 2013

The right sport for the conditions


Its a long time since I was in Scotland for this time of year.  In fact the last time was in 2004 and it has been great to see how wild it really is at this time of year.  Temperatures varying day to day up to about 20degC, wild storms sweeping in, snow, rain and wind.  At this time of year (actually most times of year) its all about choosing the right tools for the job.  The last couple of weekends have been great having Bob and Giles come visit and see what we can get up to.  First up was bob with a van full of kit – we paddled the middle and a bit of the lower Orchy on the Friday – the middle section is classic grade 4 and even though it was on the low side reminded me how great kayaking can be.  Bob was in his open canoe which was great to see.  Next we headed to another classic of the area, the Ring of steal, a mountaineering day around a ring of peaks high above the steall valley.  A proper mountain day with Snow, ice, great summits and views changing from nothing to amazing.  The next day we headed for a quick run down the Arkaig river – grade 2 and 3 with one great 4.

Bob cruising on the first of the grade 4’s “Chicken Shoot” – The chicken shoot wasnt open due to the water level!

fullpanLooking down towards Kinlochleven.  Being close to amazing mountains such as these was one of the reasons I wanted to move to Fort William.

Morning view back towards Glen Nevis


Sastrugi – Wind Sculpted snow high on the Ring of Steall

IMG_0539Bob nearing the last summit after a long day on the Ring of Steall.
DSC_0049Actually copyright Hannah Francis!  A rare photo of me Kayaking.  The main event on the Arkaig.

Next up we had Giles come stay for the weekend coming all the way from Hong Kong just to see Hannah and I.  (amongst other things).  We definitely had the right sport for the conditions on the Friday when we went to the indoor climbing and indoor ice climbing wall in Kinlochleven.  The next day we headed up Ben Nevis and soloed a just in condition “Ledge Route” (Grd II) for Giles’ first time ever on the Ben.  The next day we went looking for dry rock in Glen Nevis – mixed results!

IMG_0585Giles popping through the overhang on “Repton Slab” (MS) in Glen Nevis.

IMG_0606Giles having to try pretty hard soloing “The Gutter” (diff) in Glen Nevis

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