Tag Archives: Bothy

Boats and Climbing

This spring has had some great weather for adventures in Scotland.  Over the last couple of months I have been trying to get to places that have formerly escaped me, its so easy to go back to places I love.  As the winds dropped and sun came out at the start of the month Adam and I headed to Skye for a couple of days.  I have spent a lot of time on Skye though had never got the boat from Elgol to access the Cuillin.  We had a very leisurely start with the aim of a two day traverse of the Cuillin with the Dubhs Slabs start thrown in for good measure.931A3023

Getting the boat in was great – cups of tea and shortbread with the skipper and stunning view of the full Cuillin ridge.931A3024

The last time I was in Loch Coruisk was about ten years ago on a sea kayaking trip.  We almost got stuck at the head of the loch in a force 6.931A3028

Adam trying to work out which one is the Dubhs Slabs.  In recent years there has been some hard climbs put up in this glen – theres a life time of climbing in just this one area if you get the weather and the time!931A3059

Still snow in the bivy cave below Sgurr Alisdair.931A3068

Our aim on the first day was to get past the Inaccessible Pinnacle and find a bivy spot.  With both of us happy to solo most of the ridge it was pretty easy going with the odd stop to realise how lucky we are and admire the views.  Above – Adam on Collies/Harts ledge.
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Adam soloing the East Ridge of Inaccessible Pinnacle as two other traversers gear up at the bottom.  After watching both of us they both decided to solo it as well – interesting decision making!931A3089

Bivy spot on Banachdich931A3095-Pano

Sunset views from the bivy spot back south along the ridge.931A3102

What its all about!931A3223

After a couple of days of work I managed to rustle up some friends for a trip I’ve wanted to do for a while.  Getting 5 people, 5 vehicles, 3 canoes and lots of climbing gear to the correct layby on Loch Maree was probably the hardest bit!  Above – Cecile, Tim and Chucky bringing the last boat down to the Loch.931A3229

We had opted for an evening paddle across Loch Maree followed by a 10km hike into Carnmore Crag in the Fisherfield Wilderness.  Above – Ceciles first time in a canoe!931A3237

Dark and broody getting over the hill and down towards the Bothy.931A3238

I had been into the Fisherfield area from the other side a couple of times but had forgotten how spectacular it is.  Tim on the approach to the bottom of the routes.931A3253

Cecile about to start the unprotected traverse on the main pitch of “Dragon”931A3284

Tim the red power ranger relieved to be across the traverse.931A3297

 

Cecile working out where the route goes.931A3314

On our second route of the day (Gob) we crossed paths with Al and Chucky.  Above – Al (with Chucky somewhere above) on “St George”931A3322

The landowner at Carnmore kindly leaves a barn open below the crag – Cecile and Tim chilling by the front door.931A3326

The bothy is not the nicest but it does have beds!931A3328

Sunset over the bothy931A3330

931A3362We had two brilliant days at Carnmore and then headed back to the boats in the evening.  I love how much you can pack into a couple of days in Scotland.  If you’re ever heading to carnmore I recommend the canoe approach over the 20km walk (you just need a friend with lots of boats!)

Posted in alastair rose, ali rose, bothy, canoe, Climbing, Cuillin, Fisherfield Wilderness, Jetboil, mountains to the sea, mountainstothesea, Scotland climbing, Skye, Uncategorized Also tagged , , , , , , , |

Return to the Norm

My first month back in Scotland in 16months.  I got back to Scotland and the usual round of people endlessly discussing conditions and weather, a fair amount of rain and some less than wintery hills.  This has not been too much of a burden really as there have been loads of friends and family to catch up with amongst remembering how to deal with banks etc.  It is awesome to be back.  I have spent a large amount of my adult years in different places in the world and the one thing that really makes you do is appreciate home.  As I mentioned in my last post, a lot has happened since I left and it has been great to catch up with friends old and new and of course revisit some places that I love.IMG_8757One of the first things I did on return home was go up to the place where my good friend Joe passed away a year ago.  This might seem morbid to some but I wanted to go up the path and try and put myself in Joe and Simons minds as they headed off that day.  I have walked that path many times with many people but I will always now think of those two headed of on another adventure as I wander into the high coire of Stob Coire nam Beith.  Above – a very damp Stob Coire nam Beith.  The hills had no snow on when I first got back.931A2171Spending time in the hills with friends is always the best way to catch up.  Ruaridh came over for the weekend and we headed out in the hills in some very wintery (and windy weather).  We headed west both days to try and avoid the worst of the wind but I still got picked off my feet at one point.  Above – Ruaridh heading up the long ridge of Garbh Bheinn (Ardgour).  931A2182Ruaridh giving his “its so windy” face.931A2184View from Garbh Bheinn back towards Fort William.  Winter has returned!

931A2193On the Sunday we were joined by Jago, Sarah and Gemma and headed off towards Streap.  Streap is only 15 mins drive from my house but I had never been up it.  We didnt really expect to be able to go all the way to the summit but actually the wind was not too bad on the top or the final grade 1 ridge and we were treated to spectacular views out to the Cuillin and back towards Ben Nevis.931A2205Looking South West.931A2218Final summit ridge as the weather changes.

IMG_8793I have been doing a few days of work as well.  Someone said to me recently that as a Freelancer you basically do the jobs the someone else doesn’t want.  If thats the case I’m fine with it.  I spent valentines day with a lovely couple climbing a grade two ridge in the sun as they planned their honeymoon on Skye.  IMG_8805There has been a fair bit of bad weather days this month.  Some days you just have to find a bothy, make hot chocolate and eat loads of brownies.  Linda and Miles chilling!931A2227In between bouts of work and play I have also been sorting out a new van.  Wee Katie Tayler looks on as I start to drill holes!IMG_8762 I have managed to get a little bit of climbing done – Caspar leading up behind the flake of “Flake Route Right Hand” on Church door buttress.IMG_8775 Caspar leading the pitch above the arch just before he did a bit of a slither back down the way he’d came!IMG_8809 Stu and I headed up the Ben with various plans.  We should have known the day wouldn’t go well when we had to dig numerous vehicles out of the snow, were late setting off and had to wade through thigh deep snow to get to the base of the routes.  Above – a happy Stu trying to work out where we are.IMG_8821 Turns out that we didnt know were we were (not bad for two MIC’s!) but climbed something about the right grade.  Stu coming up the initial pitch somewhere on the middle tier of Trident Buttress.IMG_8827 My friends Jago and Sarah are living with me just now seeing what the highlands have to offer for a winter season.  I insisted they join me for some mountaineering  a couple of days ago and we got one of those special days climbing in the sun with amazing views and finished it off in the Nevis range cafe!IMG_8836Jago and Sarah on one of the last sections of “Golden Oldy”  on Aonach Mor.
IMG_8839I can see my house from here!  Its tough living in Fort William but someones got to do it.

Posted in alastair rose, ali rose, Ben Nevis ice climbing, bothy, Climbing, Creag Meagidh, Cuillin, mountains to the sea, mountainstothesea, scotland, Scotland climbing Also tagged , , , , , , |

East to West

The rain has continued to fall on days off this month so as ever there has been a fair bit of driving to find dry rock or some adventure.  The last days off we had we headed to the Kyle of Lochalsh / Plockton area for a bit of adventuring.  Our friends Magnus and Helen had kindly given us the key to their amazing bothy, tucked off the road a few miles off the main road.  After a quick spring clean we were soon settled in with candles, a fire, some food and a little whisky.

Magnus and Helens Bothy on a damp morning

The next day Adam and I decided to do a wet and wild ascent of the wonderful Coich Nose of Sgurr a Chaorachain.  This was real adventure climbing up a steep nose of sandstone which was surprisingly out of the howling wind.

Adam setting off up the first pitch

Adam high on the third (crux) pitch of the route
We were soon back in the bothy trying to dry kit by the fire.

Susanna, Matt, Adrian, Laura, Adam and Hannah hanging out round the fire as the rain refused to stop.

Then it was back to work for a week and more staring at weather forecasts before deciding to head east for the last couple of days to the Aviemore area.

First up we went to the amazing Creag Dhu.  Picture above of Adam at the second belay of “Inbred” (HVS 5a)

Hannah pulling through the crux of “King Bee” (VS 5a) 

Then today to the very steep Huntlys cave – Laura climbing “Diaganol” (VS 4c)
Adam leading “Petes Wall” E2 5c.

It has now started raining again.  What a surprise.  One more week of work and then Hannah and I have a course off.  Hopefully in time for the rain to stop.

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Time Flies

I have just been literally blown out of the Torridon hills after aborted attempts on both the “Fisherfield 6” and “An Teallach”.  Not to worry, there was lots of time to take photos and wander around a beautiful area.  I have been on the road a lot in the last couple of weeks and have managed the odd days climbing and walking.  The problem with blogs is that they promote the idea that all the blog keeper is up to is exciting wonderful things.  This is not actually the case (or not for me anyway), there are plenty of days doing not very much or just trying to make money.  I say this as a couple of friends have recently commented on both the blog and the wonderful places I get to – so if its any consolation –  The last couple of weeks have seen me planting trees in the sleet, spreading fertiliser in the wind and rain, going through some driver training, sitting my minibus driving test, painting shelves, dog proofing a fence, sitting my Level  2 coach exam (for Canoeing) and a whole lot of driving place to place.  I may in fact try and write a post one of these days with only pictures of the less glamorous places I get to (the inside of the truckstop in Livingstone where I ate lunch two days last week comes to mind).  But for now here are the photos of the glamorous places I have been in the last couple of weeks….

 

I was driving away from Mull a few weeks ago and suddenly realised that I had time to stop and explore.  This turned into a long day of running and climbing first of all into Garbh Bheinn to solo the Great Ridge (diff) then up glen gour to check out Indian Slab Crag (an underated destination).  I took this as I ran down the ridge from Garbh Bheinn looking over Argour
The next day I climbed North East Buttress of Ben Nevis with Ruaridh.  In this photo Ruaridh is moving up the easy ground at the base of the ridge.  It was very warm making for some exciting sections with the sound of ice falling being fairly constant during the day.  We managed to climb quickly taking the “tough brown variant” (also IV, 4) rather than the “mantrap” and were on the summit in around 5 hours.

Unfortunately the day was very damp and we were trying to move quickly so I didnt get the camera out much!

After a weeks work doing some forestry stuff it was off to the lakes for my coaching assessment and then a days climbing.  It was too cold to hang around so Hannah and I opted for the soloing easy routes option.  Above – Hannah after the traverse pitch of “Little Chamonix” (Vdiff)

Hannah soloing the final moves of Little Chamonix.  She kindly agreed to down climb and reclimb the last moves so that I could get a photo!  We then went on to climb “Jackdaw Ridge” (Diff) and “Donkeys Ears” (Sev)

 

An inquisitive robin at the base of the crag

Then it was back to Mull.  On the drive home from Craignure we decided to check out Loch buie and the standing stones.  Above – me standing on standing stones

A busy day at Ben More post office

We headed to Eilean a Ghearrainn for a short days cragging.  Above – Hannah leading “Lee Vining” (Sev).  Anyone familiar with Gaelic will notice that this is an island.  It is not meant to get fully cut off from the mainland at high tide (always being wadeable) but unfortunately this is not what we found.  This turned our short day into a long one with a long wait (till 830pm) till it went out enough that we could wade back to the land drover.

Early on in the long wait!  Hannah all bundled up waiting for the tide to go down.  At least the stars were amazing and there was lots of things to “I spy” (like – rock, sea, buckle…..)

Not the best effort as my fingers were frozen… Heather burning under the stars on the way home from the benightment.
Couldnt resist stopping for this one!

Lastly I headed up to Torridon for the last couple of days.  Above – Shenavall bothy by moonlight shortly after my arrival at about 11pm

Salubrious accommodation.  Emergency shelter at the base of Beinn Dearg Mor

Shenavall Bothy with Beinn Dearg Mor and the Fisher field 6 behind.  The weather looks fantastic but actually it was incredibly windy!

An Teallach from the South.

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