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.
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!
Amazing scrambling on the ridges.
Al and Matt running off the last main summit. We carried onto two subsidiary tops from here.
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.
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.
Pools walls, Ard Uig. An amazing crag above a tidal pool with an array of brilliant routes. Theres 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.
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.
Classic Scottish spring skiing. I was introduced to a new word – to “sprackle” appears to mean skinning across grass, heather and rocks!
Relaxing in the sun outside the Hutchie hut.
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
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.
Matt Rowbottom on another classic crack in the sun.
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.
Getting ready for bed
Chris making one of the exposed steps across the eroded dykes of the Cuillin
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.