Category Archives: gabbro

Scottish Spring

Its no secret that Spring is the best time of year in Scotland.  Whether you’re into Climbing, Skiing, Whitewater kayaking, Sea Kayaking, Mountain Biking or Hill walking its merely a case of having the right clothes for the job and being able to read the weather forecast.  As ever I have tried to hold onto some time for personal adventures in the spring and this year have managed some adventures I’ve been planning for many years.IMG_5221

Rum Cuillin traverse with Al and Matt.  For years I’ve wanted to do a traverse of the Rum Cuillin peaks between ferries.  This is only possible on a saturday as its the only day with a morning ferry and an evening ferry – the only thing that has stopped me in the past is that I dont really do much running and 31km with 1900m of height gain always seemed a long way!   IMG_5202

Amazing scrambling on the ridges.
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Al and Matt running off the last main summit.  We carried onto two subsidiary tops from here.

IMG_5158Al making things hard for himself on the way up Askival

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Mark with An Sgurr of Eigg behind him.  Another thing I have been planning for years is to climb on the Sgurr of Eigg.  As one of the most prominent landmarks in the Western Isles and one of the most photographed and painted places in Scotland its just crying out to be climbed.  A good forecast had Mark and I on Eigg for two days of amazing climbing with even a bit of mountain biking (purely to access the crags) thrown in. 931A5795

Kilometers of rock and only a few recorded ascents.931A5809Mark on the steep start to Oceans Wall

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Hannah and I also chased the sun out to Lewis for 5 days of exploring.  Anyone who hasnt been climbing on Lewis is going to get very bored of me describing how good it is.  Above – Hannah soloing an easy slab on our last day before getting the ferry home.931A5752

Sunset from the van on our third evening on LewisIMG_4954

Pools walls, Ard Uig.  An amazing crag above a tidal pool with an array of brilliant routes.  UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_4e5Theres still winter somewhere.  Malcolm Airey and clients on Tower ridge at the end of March. I managed two brilliant days of ice climbing on Ben Nevis before packing up my ice tools for the season.

 

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Another trip I have been planning for years is to ski over to the Hutchinson Memorial hut in the Cairngorms.  While planning a couple of days scrambling with Jago and Sarah we suddenly realised that lots of snow had fallen in the East and it was a blue sky forecast.  We had an amazing ski from the summit of Ben Macdui to within 100m of the bothy door.UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_4e8

Classic Scottish spring skiing.  I was introduced to a new word – to “sprackle” appears to mean skinning across grass, heather and rocks!

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Relaxing in the sun outside the Hutchie hut.

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It doesnt always go to plan.  Scot and I had planned to ski the Grey corries traverse in Lochaber but a broken binding after the first summit saw us drinking coffee in the cafe instead

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I’ve had some great days climbing as usual.  Luca, Matt, Mike, Al and I headed to Neist point to escape the wind for a weekend.  Al Docherty cruising one of the many classic cracks at Neist point.  Its been pretty cold for climbing so far this spring but if you find the crags that arent in the wind its not so bad.

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Matt Rowbottom on another classic crack in the sun.

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I have managed to do a wee bit of work this month.  For some reason I dont have any photos of the lovely sunny days out sea kayaking – just a cold but beautiful traverse of the Skye Cuillin with Chris and Sam.

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Getting ready for bed

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Chris making one of the exposed steps across the eroded dykes of the Cuillin

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First day in the Cuillins this year for me and the first ever for Chris and Sam – the Cuillins never dissapoint!

It continues to be a fairly cold spring in Scotland so I think I’m going to continue to pack two jackets and wave my hands around a lot.

Also posted in alastair rose, ali rose, An Sgurr Climbing, Ben Nevis, Ben Nevis ice climbing, bothy, Cairngorms, Climbing, Comb Gully, Cuillin, Hebrides Climbing, mountains to the sea, mountainstothesea, Neist Lighthouse, Rhum Cuillin, Rum Cuillin Traverse, scotland, Scotland climbing, skiing, Skye, Tower Ridge, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

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, Ardnamurchan climbing, Ben Nevis, Ben Nevis ice climbing, Climbing, Creag Meagidh, Meall an Fhir Eion, mountains to the sea, mountainstothesea, scotland, Scotland climbing Tagged , , , , , , , |

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, Ardnamurchan climbing, bothy, Climbing, East Face of Aonach Dubh, Meall an Fhir Eion, mountains to the sea, mountainstothesea, Rhum Cuillin, scotland, Scotland climbing

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, Ardnamurchan climbing, dolphins, Meall an Fhir Eion