Category Archives: Ardnamurchan climbing

Roadside Scotland

As the seasons change from winter to spring its traditionally my time of year to do a lot of driving.  While winter hangs on in the mountains but the sun starts to shine a bit more work spreads itself all over Scotland and there are a lot more options for outdoor activities to be had.  The best thing about going away from your home country is the appreciation of it when you get home so with the beautiful weather I have been making an extra effort to stop and check out some of the roadside views.931A2351The drive from Fort William to Glasgow is always amazing whether its blue skies of torrential rain.  I’ve stopped here (Loch Ba on Rannoch Moor) many times in the past to take photos but never in so much as a rush this morning.  Luckily there was lots of light and not too many photographers so I could get a couple of handheld shots.
931A2262The change to spring is also the change to rock climbing – Chucky high “volcane” on Meall an Fhir Eoin Beag at Ardnamuchan.  931A2284Caspar and Chucky shelter from a brief rain squall.  Ardnamuchan has lots of amazing Gabro that dries really quickly.931A2286Matt after his introduction to Ardnamurchan cracks!931A2290Before the clocks change!  Packing up after a great days cragging.931A2317Some locals coming to visit our campsite.
931A2323What Scotland should look like!  The view down to Ballachullish from School house ridge.931A2347As ever a photo doesnt tell the full story this was actually a very windy day!  Vertical spindrift on the ridge of Sgurr Dearg.931A2396The three bridges of the Forth from North Queensferry train station.  You can just see the new bridge on the right hand side.931A2399Looking back towards Dalwhinnie distillery.  I cant drive past this without hearing my dad say “highest distillery in the world”931A2406Loch Laggan at Sunset.  931A2421As well as all the driving I have still been doing some things closer to home.  Connor up high in Glen Nevis climbing Bewsey crack (in a t-shirt!)931A2430One final winter hit.  I took Jago and Sarah on the classic “ledge route” on Ben Nevis.  Sarah even convinced me to go to the summit so we headed down Coire Leis for a full tour of the mountain.  You could have ice climbed, rock climbed, skied and mountain biked all in one day on Ben Nevis this day.
931A2443The view down Loch Lomond.  I am always amazed how the scottish roads cut through some of the most impressive scenery.

Also posted in alastair rose, ali rose, Ardnamurchan, Ben Nevis, Ben Nevis ice climbing, Climbing, Creag Meagidh, gabbro, Meall an Fhir Eion, mountains to the sea, mountainstothesea, scotland, Scotland climbing Tagged , , , , , , , |

Big Changes

The last month has seen our numbers rise from twenty one to around seventy at Rothera.  The first aircraft were foreign planes heading to other Antarctic bases but these were soon followed by BAS’s “Dash 7” and “Twin Otters” loaded with staff for Rothera and Halley.  For the wintering team this means a lot of changes with base becoming a lot more vibrant with constantly coming planes and people as well as longer lunch queues.    I haven’t taken too many photos this month but have slowly got around to looking at some that had slipped through the net as well as processing a bit more of the timelapse I have shot over the winter.  Perhaps the random selection of photos for this month best reflects how work has felt over the last couple of weeks.  With it now not getting dark till 11pm it already seems like a long time since we had only a couple of hours of daylight.

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One that slipped through the net. The Milky Way over Ryder Bay and Mt Liotard. I think this was taken from a high bivy shortly after midwinter.

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The Dash 7 Landing at Rothera

img_8642After work beers on the veranda (yes that’s a T-shirt!) the week before the first plane arrived.

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The end result of a couple of hours work

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The digging continues – John making a start on the South door of the accommodation building.

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Another one that slipped through the net. Doc Tom about to do my midwinter dental checkup.

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Another big change! When your beard goes in your soup at morning smoko its time it went!

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Last days with the beard. Al took this of me on our winter trip – I was struggling to see my harness to tie my ropes on!

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Twin Otter facing North on the Apron. I have spent quite a bit of time recently on “fire cover” so lots of hanging around the hangar and apron.

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The start of Summer also means lots of training of new staff. Denzel – checking out an emergency shelter with the training tents in the background

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The new comms manager learning about emergency snow shelters (in this case a “snow-grave”)

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The arrival of the planes does mean some fresh fruit. My bag hanging of my peg in the bootroom. I think the Avocados have been the most popular.

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Busy times in the Hangar

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A very quiet Field Guide office with just Al on the computer. There will soon be thirteen Field guides based out of Rothera instead of just the four of us.

Also finally got around to putting some timelapse together.  A collection of stuff from around Adelaide Island post midwinter.  (Worth watching till the end for a laugh)

 

 

Also posted in alastair rose, ali rose, alligator, Antarctica, Ardnamurchan, Ardverikie wall, Arisaig, Arisaig Sport Climbing, Back of Keppoch, BAS, Belnahua, Ben Nevis, Ben Nevis ice climbing, Bioluminescence, bothy, British Antarctic Survey, Buachille Etive Mor, Uncategorized

Spring is here!

Its definitely the changing of the seasons here in Fort William.  Fresh snow out on the hill today but bright sunshine and long daylight hours.  I thought I would get a quick blog done before the end of the month as I have a few days work coming up and already loads of great photos from April.IMG_3907 I went bouldering!  Or rather I watched some friends boulder and drank some rather nice ginger tea.  Naomi cranking it out on the heather hat boulder.IMG_3915 It looks like they-re bouldering but really just sheltering from the rain and trying not to get dripped on!IMG_3928 Spring is also Duke of Edinburgh Award season. – End of another tough day at the office.IMG_3937 While on a DofE expedition I wandered down to the falls of Falloch in the evening to get this shot. IMG_3944 Loch Lomond from the West Highland WayIMG_3965 Stephen Beard cranking out one of the VS’s at Scimitar buttress.IMG_4002 My sister and Adam stopped in for a night after their honeymoon and I took them on the obligatory Fort William walk up to Steall Falls.  My sis on the bridge (only because our other sister had done it!)IMG_1988Just to prove it was in fact Spring we decided to go canyoning in the Allt Mhuillin.  Miles, Hannah and Andy feeling ready for some snow melt below Ben Nevis!IMG_1992Miles Abseiling while Andy goes for the jump

Next up Miles and I had planned to head to skye for the Cuillin Ridge.  The weather decided that it wanted to change our plans so we headed to Rubha Huinnish instead.

IMG_4030“The Lookout” Bothy at Rubha Huinnish.  As the most northerly tip of Skye we knew it was going to be good but it really was spectacular with big cliffs on all sides and amazing views.
IMG_4045 Miles in the doorway after a night in the lookout.  We had a leisurely start before heading out climbing.IMG_4051 Looking back along the sea cliffs to the bothy (the small lump in the upper cliff!)IMG_4056 Miles heading up the first pitch of an adventurous VS on the cliffs below the bothylookoutPanoramic viewsIMG_4080The next morning we headed to the Elgol sea cliffs for a quick couple of routes.  Miles traversing the bottom of the cliff with views to Rum and Eigg
IMG_4093Miles leading the crag classic “Jamie Jampot”  IMG_4137After the Skye trip I was trying to line up climbing partners with good weather days.  First up (above) a great day in Ardnamurchan with Brodie and (below) a great day at Creag Dubh with James, Andy, Masa, Steve and Scott. IMG_4146Andy Nisbet on the start of “The Hill”IMG_4154Another photo just to prove I do work! River crossing while out on a leadership assessment with the College – Mamores in the backgroundIMG_4201And finally a great day at the East Face of Aonach Dubh with Graham and Hannah.  After getting confused about routes early on we then managed to climb all three E3’s on the face and some quality HVS’s.  Above – Graham leading the “The Fly”

Also posted in alastair rose, ali rose, Ardnamurchan, bothy, Climbing, East Face of Aonach Dubh, gabbro, Meall an Fhir Eion, mountains to the sea, mountainstothesea, Rhum Cuillin, scotland, Scotland climbing

Good Weather and Bad

 

Summer has definitely hit Scotland in the last few weeks though as I write this I think that might have changed!  Have had some great adventures here and there – the trouble with living in Fort William is there is just so much good stuff around its hard to go further afield.  It does of course help that Lochaber has had some stunning weather recently.  First up this month I met Tim rather late in the day in Fort William and went for a quick blast up the Ben.
IMG_0687Tim on a rather misty “Observatory Ridge”
IMG_0693Tim on the Crux of Observatory Ridge – this was the first section I recognized from a winter ascent of the ridge a few months ago.
IMG_0713 A week or so later Hannah, Laura, Tim and myself headed to one of my favourite mountains, Garbh Bheinn (Ardgour).  Above – Tim leading the first pitch or “Golden Lance” and Hannah (to the right) leading the second pitch of “Butterknife”
IMG_0720Laura high above the clouds on the third pitch of “Butterknife”
IMG_0723On the summit!  Surprising that Tim and I are smiling after the route proving to be somewhat more difficult than the grade suggested.  I dont know if I’ve ever fallen off every pitch of a route!

The next day we headed to Ardnamurchan chasing the good weather.
IMG_0730Mark on “Star Wars”
IMG_0748Tim on the start of the slabby section of “Return of the Jedi”
IMG_0764Mark fiddling in some rubbish gear on Dome buttress
IMG_0774End of the day – Hannah finishing up “Krackatoa”
IMG_1593The fact that I have been working a lot is not really a bad thing!  An average night on the island enjoying the good weather.
IMG_1600 IMG_1603Tim, Laura and Hannah in the back of the van after a days climbing.
rfsunsetAnother great sunset from just outside my bedroom!

Also posted in alastair rose, ali rose, Ardnamurchan, Climbing, mountains to the sea, mountainstothesea, scotland, Scotland climbing, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , , , , |

The good life

As ever I feel incredibly lucky to live my life as I do and the last few weeks have been fantastic even with the mixed weather.  A gamble and a long drive to Ardnamurchan paid off with an amazing few days climbing with Adrian and Hannah a couple of weeks ago and lots of time hanging out in beautiful places have made it easy to find photos for this post…

 Adrian on perfect Gniess in perfect weather on the ring crags of Ardnamurchan (the route is Yir VS 4c on Meall an Fhir Eion)

 Hannah padding up the classic HS Leac Glas (i think) on the apron slabs

 Me taking a breather after the hard part of “minky” E2 5b

 Adrian and Hannah sorting gear halfway up the Apron Slabs

 Dolphin playing in the sound of Luing

 More dolphins

 More dolphins being followed by Iona in Goldeneye

 Dolphins showing off

 Ailsa and Stu storming through the corryvrechan to drop me off on the North end of Jura for another expedition

Theres a climber in there somewhere.  Meall an Fhir Eion

Also posted in ali rose, Ardnamurchan, dolphins, gabbro, Meall an Fhir Eion