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
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.
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
Earlier that day
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!