Category Archives: Ardverikie wall

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.


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.


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.


The end result of a couple of hours work


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


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


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


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!


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.


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


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


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.


Busy times in the Hangar


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, Ardnamurchan climbing, Arisaig, Arisaig Sport Climbing, Back of Keppoch, BAS, Belnahua, Ben Nevis, Ben Nevis ice climbing, Bioluminescence, bothy, British Antarctic Survey, Buachille Etive Mor, Uncategorized

Fast Transistions

As ever I did not give myself much time to transition from one job contract (and country) to another.  My last few weeks in Scotland saw the seasons change to a definite Autumn and the super breed of midgies (no see ums for the americans out there) appeared as well.  I managed to fit in a couple more adventures before leaving even with the high winds, rain and midgies.  The first was a group effort in too Ardverikie wall on Binnean Shuas with the hope of another climb the next day.  In true style we walked in around 3pm to pitch camp and have a go at the route as a party of 5.  Amazingly the midgies and rain held off most of the time we were actually climbing (except the second belay spot) and we were soon back at our beautiful camp getting eaten alive by midgies….

 Walking in to Binnean Shuas, Hannah up front and Joe behind – note the cheeky bottle of Rose wine on the side of Joe’s bag.

 Looking down the route at Hannah and Laura on the second Belay.  I dont think they were particularly impressed with me taking photos while the midgies swarmed.

Laura after her first ever outdoor climb.  Drinking wine through a midgy net – Classy!

 The camp below Binnean Shuas.

The last adventure was my last full day in Scotland for a few months.  Ruaridh agreed to meet me at the northern corries car park in the Cairngorms even though the forecast did not look too impressive.  What was impressive was that Ruaridh had not climbed in a couple of years but was happily flying up the classic Magic Crack (HVS) with frozen fingers and toes and some very windy belays.

 Ruaridh trying to work out the wet lower pitch of the climb.

 Ruaridh looking fairly happy in the middle of the crux on the upper pitch.  (With cold fingers and toes this pitch felt a lot harder than HVS!)

 Ruaridh cruising the final few moves of Magic Crack.

Then the next day I was in Hong Kong and today had my first day out climbing.  A bit of a change from Scotland.

James (top left) on one of the warm up routes on Bunker wall.  I only climbed three routes today due to sweating so much..

 At least there’s something to do when it gets too hot!

 Climbing access Hong Kong style.

 And of course the sunset on the ferry ride home.  It is as ever a shock to jump between two such radically different places but soon the busy season will be in full swing in Asia and I will soon be back in Scotland for the snowy and icy stuff.

Also posted in Hong Kong Climbing, Hong Kong outdoors, Magic Crack, midgies, Scotland climbing