Monthly Archives: September 2014

Torridon – Is there anywhere better?

Next it was up to Torridon.  I met Scott in Fort William and sat in the kitchen hoping he wasnt listening to hard to Hannah telling him of our failure to climb “Central Buttress – VS route” on Beinn Eighe a couple of years ago.  Not because I was embarrassed by our failure but that I had hopes for a second attempt and Scott was coming too.  First up we headed to the Bealach na Ba for a route in the sunshine.IMG_1074 Scott gearing up for the crux pitch of Sword of Gideon at the Bealach na Ba.  A quick route here, some lunch and then the walk into Beinn Eighe.  We decided to head to the east wall of Beinn Eighe in the late afternoon to climb “The Sting”IMG_1085 Scott high on the first pitch of the Sting.  While only short (3 pitches) this route had an awesome big mountain feel (lots of loose rock, dubious gear and large amounts of exposure)IMG_1089 The sun was setting as we climbed the last pitch.  Stunning light as we headed back to our kit at the mouth of the Lochan.

The next morning we headed to the Central buttress.  I backed off the crux corner pitch of this 2 years ago.  I was baffled as the corner was full of black slime and hard climbing.  At “0nly” VS 4c I should have felt pretty comfortable!  This time I decided it couldnt be as bad as I’d remembered.  The first worrying thing was seeing the gear that I had left behind before.  Why would it not have been taken?  Why had the black slime not dried up?  As I pushed on up the corner I came across more and more gear left behind and it became evident that a lot of people bail off this pitch.  I dont mind a bit of wet rock here and there but after 60m (I only just got to the belay!) of pretty out there climbing I can only say that that pitch is harder than any of the E1 pitches I have climbed recently.  Definitely a classic though!IMG_1100Scott near the top of the corner pitch.  Good effort with the bag as well!  If you look carefully you can see that the left side of his (my!) jacket is sopping wet!
IMG_2557 At the bivy spot looking at the Buttresses of Beinn EigheIMG_2567 The view from the Bivi just after Sunset.IMG_2569 Coire Mhic Fherchiar and the triple buttressesIMG_2574Good nutrition is always so important in the mountains!

After a slightly weird night in Kinlochewe we headed up to the wonderfull Seanna Mheallan crag with a great outlook onto Liatach.  Just as we were leaving the sun swung aroung onto the crag lighting up some routes I’m coming back for.  Scott at the base of “Crack of Ages”.

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Shelterstone

I usually manage a climbing trip to some far flung destination every year but this year looks a little different.  I have so many places I still want to get to in Scotland and with the vote on independence this month (yesterday!) I decided to stay at home.  First up was the Loch A’an basin in the Cairngorms.  If you have never seen this side of the cairngorms scroll down to the last couple of pictures and I’m sure it will entice.  For me I really wanted to get some routes done on the shelterstone and managed to convince Adam into walking in at night to go for “The Needle” the next day.  Before the needle (and before Adam got up) I nipped up Afterthought arete and we headed back to Stag rocks in the evening to climb “Monarch of the Glen”.  The day after we climbed “Prince of Darkness” on Hells Lum – Same grade as the Needle but a fair bit harder in my opinion!

IMG_1043Adam starting up the first pitch of the needle.  This route was first climbed by one of my all time heros Robin Smith – Hard to picture him leading this stuff in 1960!
IMG_1068Adam enjoying another exposed pitch with Hells Lum crag in the background.IMG_2536Midgies!  Enough to ruin any climbing day but thankfully only in our camp for a wee while at dawn and dusk.
IMG_2537My wee yellow tent below the Sheltersone crag.  Just like Yosemite really!
IMG_2542Looking down the wonderfull Loch A’an at dawn.
IMG_2544Carn Etchacan, Shelterstone and Hells Lum from the head of Loch A’an
IMG_2556The trouble with climbing (or maybe its the best thing about it!) is that once you do the route you want to do you see another couple that look just as good or better.  I could spend a fortnight camped in the same place and climb every day, especially if I get to wake up to this view every morning!

Posted in alastair rose, ali rose, Cairngorm Rock Climbing, Cairngorms, Climbing, mountains to the sea, mountainstothesea, Needle, scotland, Shelterstone, The Needle Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Colours Changing

As some will know I am not the biggest fan of summer.  Dont get me wrong I love the long daylight hours where the evenings never end or sitting in the sun on a warm day but if truth be told I do find summer days a bit boring.  Give me a stormy day any day of the week and I am much happier.  August in Scotland finally sees the colours change to something a lot more exciting, golden bracken and purple heather across the hilss with the nights “fair drawing in” makes for a much more impressive landscape.  August was again busy for me and quite exciting as I finally bought a new camera body, something I have been planning for about 2-3 years!_MG_1681 Patrick with one of the smalles lobsters of the season_MG_2191 Adam at the base of the first fall in Cruachcan canyon.  This canyon is great if you like, wet slippy sharp rock, sketchy downclimbs, shallow pools, and awkward loose abseils.  A long day_MG_2194Matt at the base of the first fall in Cruachcan canyon
_MG_2246 The end of the summer means the Mackerel shoals are huge – 12 rods for 45 mins = approximately 200 fish.  Or if your the instructer = lost of killing, hooks in your fingers and blood everywhere!_MG_2260 Iona staring down the 200 fish ready for saltingIMG_1655 Falls of Orchy on the River Orchy.  I took this before a great day on the river with Patrick, Dave, Mark and MattIMG_2338

Heather and Bracken on the summit of Lunga looking North.
IMG_2428 The Sound of Luing by night.  I have been planning this shot for a while and we finally got some good clear nights in the middle of August.  The bright glow is Oban with the yellow patches the villages of Easdale and CullipoolLunga-pan Another panorama from the summit of Lunga looking WestrfsunsethouseSunset over the Caol in front of the main house at high tide – another shot I’ve been planning for a while.

September for me means a bit of time off so watch this space.

Posted in alastair rose, ali rose, mountains to the sea, scotland, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , , , , , |