Up Cruachan Again

Today I went for a wonder up Ben Cruachan scouting for a venue for Sundays Mountain Rescue Team training. I took Ali out for some walkies as well. It was a stunning day again and still plenty of snow to play in.

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Heres Ali on the top

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Looking east

We just went up the normal route with a quick detor to Meall Cuaneil to check out the top of the twin gullies for Sunday.

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Just a couple of others on the hill today. Snow hard and frozen in the shade.

An amazing week….

After Stob Coire nan Lochan the rest of the week with Nicholas was just as amazing. Monday we went up Ben Nevis we covered some techniques and climbed North Gully on Craig an Coire na Ciste which was excellent. The hill was very busy with big queues on Tower Ridge.

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Tuesday we went to the wets face of Aonach Mor to climb in the sun! we did ‘Golden Oldie’ and excellent ridge/buttress in stonking weather and quiet to

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Wednesday there was a little cloud so we went inland a little and climbed Taxus a classic grade three route on Beinn an Doithaidh. Sorry only photo is on the summit.

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Finally we finished off by going to Creag Meagaidh this proved to be very busy. I was hoping for Staghorn Gully but we were beaten to it by at least six teams! So after wondering what to do I don’t like getting ice kicked on me all day. I turned around and saw this gully on Stob Point Coire Ardair

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It turned out to be an excellent little gully with no crowds.

So that was the end of the half term weeks, hope fully it might get a bit quieter next week!

Stob Coire nan Lochan

Had a good day today in Glencoe. The weather cleared to a warm sunny day. Nicholas and I ascended the zigzags on Gearr Aonach then on up to SCNL. folkimage were out on twisting SC gully and central buttress ordinary route. We ended up on Dorsal Arête which had a good trail up it.
The weather looks set fair for the week!

Well Vent-ilated

Saturday I was back over east. I was helping Martin and Ian crack an old adversary. The guys had tried and been repulsed by a route called the Vent in Coire nan Lochan in the Northern Corries of the Cairngorms. The weather was looking good so we rolled up to the Coire Cas carpark at 08.30 to find it heaving with skiers. so after squeezing into the carpar we headed off to Lochan. Luckily most of the climbers seemed to be heading for the other coire and walking into Lochan it was remarkably quiet.

The snow was in good condition the wind had been blowing up the face so the avalanche risk was low. We geared up on a nice wind drift under the route. The Vent is a classic grade 3 route and even appears in the book ‘Cold Climbs’. Luckily we had the route to ourselves and it was in pretty good nick.

The ice over the chockstones was a little thin in places but you could always get a good placement with a little work and I lead off up the route. Gear was hard to find as things were well rimed up so one ice screw and a wee nut later I found a lovely insitu belay.

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Ian cruised up second

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And Martin launched his way up what was left

Soon we were admiring the windless views on the top. The team at the top and a view of teams on No4 buttress

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A great route with great company

Ski Touring week-end in Braemar

Last week-end I was away with the Oban Mountain Rescue Team on a Jolly (team building) week-end. We were well away from our patch staying in Braemar Youth Hostel. Saturday dawned fine but a little windy. We were here for some ski touring so we set off for the Glenshee ski area which had some handy munros and excellent snow cover. We skiied off up the hill at a cracking pace lead by our team leader Damon. Through the pass betwen the Cairnwell and Carn Aosda and headed over to Carn a Gheoidh. This was a new munro for me and an excellent ski if a little spindrifty. After lunch we skied over to An Socach before returning through the pass.

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Sunday the weather was poor, very windy and grey. We decide to go back to Glenshee to try to get up another hill. We skied up through the ski area and struggled up Glas Maol in very windy weather and poor visability. After a short break by the cairn we decided to scuttle off back to the security of ski fences and lifts to get back down. A wild windy day.

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