Tag Archives: Mull Climbing

Warming the House

The house warming at Ardachy continues but I thought that I should get a quick post in before more people arrive and more exciting things happen.  There have been hoards of people at Ardachy enjoying Tony Francis’s hospitality on Mull and getting up to some amazing adventures.  People have come from all over and it has been amazing to be with friends old and new in such a spectacular place.

Just before the house warming Hannah and I went to see my family who were staying at Duntroon.  We went for a walk and got some unique views back across the sound of Luing (where we work in the summer) towards the Ross of Mull

The latest member of the Francis Clan – Fingal (Finn) attacking Hannah

First day of the house warming – Main Wall at Erraid, brilliant single pitch climbing on immaculate pink granite above the sea.  Climbers on “Oliver” (VS 4c) and “Walls without balls” (E1 5b)

It might be sunny but its still not too warm – Ruaridh happy in his down jacket.

Jo on “One Dead Puffin” (HVS 5a) at Erraid – the route on the front of Scottish Rock guidebook (probably had more ascents than the rest of Erraid put together because of this!)

The main evening of the house warming with music and whisky in full flow in the Yurt

View from the top of the Yurt

Charlie and Matt in full swing

The next morning was a bit hazy but Ruaridh and I went and climbed “White Shite ” (VS 4c), one of the only multipitches around.  Great fun and better (and harder) than the name (and grade) suggest.  – Climbing purists might be able to spot my quality gear hanging on the rope, this is not a route to get your gear wrong on!

Ruaridh on one of the cruxes of White Shite

Steven scaring us as he goes for it up the upper flake of “Troglodyte” (HVS 5a) at Scoor, Dune Wall (for the climbers – his last gear is underneath the overlap!)

The beautiful Dune wall in the late afternoon sun

Next up Robin, Clare, Bob and baby Anna showed up with a few sea kayaks….

Hannah, Tony and I headed around Iona for the day.  Above – the boats pulled up on the beach at our lunch break (you can just sea snow on Ben More)

Yesterday Bob, Robin and I paddled out to Staffa to check out Fingals cave.  Above – Bob and Robin in the mouth

of the cave

Bob “This is so good I never need to go sea kayaking again” Taylor looking happy – you can just sea robin coming through the small sea arch behind him

Its a long way home!

On the way home with Staffa behind

An HDR shot of my new sea kayak on the beach at Staffa

Today has been a bit more restful with some good food and playing on the beach – Hannah trying to control Bob and Clares Powerkite..Under control.  You can make out the paps of Jura above Hannah.

Now theres a few more people to show up to make sure the house is properly warm and then I should really do some work next week!

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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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