Category Archives: Neist Lighthouse

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, gabbro, Hebrides Climbing, mountains to the sea, mountainstothesea, Rhum Cuillin, Rum Cuillin Traverse, scotland, Scotland climbing, skiing, Skye, Tower Ridge, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Spring

While spring is meant to be here winter does seem to be hanging on in the Highlands.  Despite turning to rock-climbing and sea kayaking and working on “Summer Mountaineering” courses I keep getting snowed on!  Its been a pretty wild April and this seems set to continue – a few photos from some good days out on the rock and the sea over the last few weeks.931A6872

On a marginal forecast a few of us ended up at Reiff – I struggle to get excited about small crags though the routes at Reiff can pack a punch.  Above- Adam on one of the classics – “The Executioner”931A6887Above and Below – Seb trying hard at Seal Song area931A6904

 

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Cecile on the awkward first move of “Jim Nastic” – Matt (belaying) is probably laughing we werent sure Cecile (who’s French) had understood the joke in the route name.931A6946

Canoeing on Loch Lomond.  I have been out on a few DofE expeditions and trainings in the last few weeks.  This was a particularly brutal one with high winds and driving rain.  This was the only picture I took.

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Cecile on the first pitch of “Secretaries Super Direct” in Glen Nevis.  The Glen is brilliant at this time of year and is right on my doorstep.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sea Kayaking through the Raasay – Rona gap.  After a few years of saying I would do more Sea Kayaking work this year I am.  A three day expedition around Raasay with some wonderful clients saw sunshine, hail, high winds, golden eagles and a high speed rescue (thanks Alison!) when we deemed the winds too strong to get back up the west coast.

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5 minutes before this photo we were in driving hail.  Three of my group looking NW to Skye

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Matt and Adam paddling over to Ailsa’s birthday party.  “A quiet catch up with some old friends” – yeah right!931A7125-HDR

Theres a reason why the road to Neist is so busy!  I’ve sat and watched (and photographed) this view a few times – it never fails to impress.931A7139Reflections in Loch Lomond on my drive to a stint of work in Inverness.  In a lot of ways this photo looks a lot more like Autumn than Spring and that is how the last few weeks have felt too.  Despite the occasional sunny day its still felt cold and windy.  Maybe the rest of May will bring more settled weather.

Also posted in alastair rose, ali rose, canoe, Climbing, mountains to the sea, mountainstothesea, Reiff, Scotland climbing, Scottish Sea Kayaking, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , , , , , , |