Category Archives: Creag Meagidh Ice Climbing

Winter

Finally now that winter is drawing to a close I have time to look at some of the photos from the last couple of months.  From my return to Scotland in early February the skiing and winter climbing seasons have been truly spectacular.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The themes for my winter have definitely been climbing routes that I never thought I would (for various reasons) and climbing routes that were only just in condition (while everyone else seemed to always be on routes in perfect condtions!).  Above a photo taken by Joe Rochford of me leading the big ice pitch of Raeburns Buttress direct a rarely climbed ice route to the right of Boomers Requiem.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Climbing as a 4.  Very shortly after getting back Malcy, Chucky, Scott and I headed to the Bridge of Orchy Hills to climb “Farenheit 451”.  I mainly didnt think I would ever climb it because of how busy it gets.  Turns out if you climb it just after it forms on a bad weather day theres no queues.  This was also the start of another of my winter themes – Hot chocolate and chips in the Bridge of Orchy hotel.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

One of my funner weeks this winter was with Mel and Sharna who mainly sung songs from Frozen on the belays or their own special rendition of “If you like it then you should have put a sling on it”.  We had an amazing week getting to lots of different venues around Lochaber and reviewing the hot chocolates of a variety of hotels.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Abseiling of the arch of Church Door buttress.  Church Door on Bidean Nam Bian is one of my favourite crags it was amazing to climb Crypt route with my clients on one of the stormiest days of the season.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Brian on the second pitch of “Gully of the Gods” on Beinn Bhan.  We woke up on Skye this morning to heavy rain – funny when one of your dream routes becomes a consolation prize.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Mark Chambers and Chucky soloing the first section of the infamous “Crab Crawl” on Creag Meagidh.  We had high hopes for this but again changed from one brilliant objective to another.  We only did the first 5th of Crab Crawl (400m!) before we decided to do “Smiths Route” instead.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It wouldn’t be winter without the hot aches.  Rachel had just finished two weeks of nights as a doctor but still insisted we go and climb ice in the pouring rain.  She paid for it (as did I) with some pretty bad Hot Aches and a lot of wet kit.

Also posted in alastair rose, ali rose, Ben Nevis, Ben Nevis ice climbing, Buachille Etive Mor, Climbing, Creag Meagidh, mountains to the sea, mountainstothesea, Scotland climbing, Torridon, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , |

Winter Wonderland

The last time I was in Scotland at this time of year was 2004 and I truly had forgotten what a wonderful time it is to be here.  There has been lots of sunshine, crisp cold days and the flowers are beginning to come up at sea level.  In the last couple of week I have spent my time between the Ross of Mull, Ben Nevis and Creag Meagidh making the most of the good weather.  Having written the Isle of Mull off for years it has been a revelation to see what a brilliant part of Scotland this truly is.  We have been surrounded by amazing beaches, birds of prey and lots of climbing (new route potential everywhere).  Anna (my sister) and Adam came over for a weekend and we headed out on a wild and windy walk to the Carsaig Arches – some of the most impressively weird geology I have ever seen.  The next day Hannah and I did some bouldering and some soloing of easy (new?) routes on Ardalanish beach in front of the house and then headed off to join Hannah’s mum and partner Daj for weeks ice climbing.  Then it was back to mull for more climbing and house sitting.  
Hannah Bouldering on the beach at Ardalanish

Clare Francis topping out of “The Wand” (V,5) on Creag Meagidh while Hannah looks on.  (Has anyone else been on a weeks ice climbing trip with their girlfriends mum?!)

Frozen hair mixing with a wooly hat on the second day having just completed “South Pipe Direct” (IV,4)

Clare and Hannah at the end of the first day.

Hannah coming up the start of Comb Gully (IV,4) on another beautiful clear day.

Hannah leading out the top of Comb Gully

Me Leading the “rogue” pitch of the most famous ice gully in the world – Point Five (V,5) in near perfect conditions (the pitch below was a nightmare as I got stalled with no gear for about 10mins and the spindrift poured down.  Photo – copyright Hannah Francis

We headed over to Back of Keppoch, Arisaig (one of my favourite places in the world) for a rest day and just had to stay for the sunset – making us a little late to meet friends in the pub…..

Earlier that day

Having lunch in the Nuns Cave on the way to the Carsaig Arches.  Should really be called Dead Goat and Goat Poo Cave!

The Carsaig Arches – must get back hear early one morning in good weather.  Some better shots on Hannahs Blog – http://manyhappyadventures.blogspot.co.uk/

Its been an amazing couple of weeks, life in my van made better by Clare and Daj letting us shower and sometimes cook at the bunkhouse they were in at Roy Bridge.  We also could not have been luckier with our route choice last week.  We only climbed classic ice routes and for some reason never had to queue – even on point five and Comb gully on some of the busiest days of the year for Ben Nevis.

The next couple of week I have to try and make some money and fit in what I can as well as an assessment or two.  Hope everyone else is enjoying the good weather!

 

 

Also posted in alastair rose, Arisaig, Back of Keppoch, Ben Nevis, Ben Nevis ice climbing, Climbing, Comb Gully, Creag Meagidh, mountains to the sea, mountainstothesea, Point Five Gully, scotland, Scotland climbing, Staghorn Gully, Uncategorized