Saturday, 21 May 2011

Stone Valley Crags - 1st May 2011

A weekend with Elke and Roddy, and our first visit to the Stone Valley Crags...and now we can't stay away!!

The gang, with our playground in the distance 

Elke setting off

Jeanie topping out on 'Rum Doodle Arete'; and adding what may be a new and harder  finish to the route, submitted as:

Rum Doodle Crag
(NG 867 717) Alt. 220m. South Facing

Rum Doodle Arete – Variation finish VS 4c. J. Northover, S. Macfarlane. 1st May 2011.
Rather than walk off or climb a straightforward groove on the left a better finish is to climb the steep crack of the back wall.

Up at Flowerdale Crag we were bothered by annoying little flies that kept buzzing around us and settling on our skin. Only later did we discover that we were both badly bitten with trickles of black, dry blood from our arms (Stuart) and face and neck (Jeanie). This resulted in large magenta patches over the next week. We've been completely unable to identify these insects.

And to make matters worse, while Stuart and I had to dash back down the road on the Sunday evening, Elke and Roddy got to drive off into the beautiful sunset for lovely food in Gairloch and the promise of brilliant weather for their day off on Monday!

East Buttress, Beinn Eighe - 30th April 2011

After a long walk in, the Triple Buttresses loom up above the lovely Corrie Mhic Fhearchair. While a lovely day, the buttresses are north facing and, together with the high wind which had buffetted us around in the corrie and sent up large waves in the loch, this lent  a somewhat forbidding atmosphere

The crazed appearance of the rock (quartzite above an optional first pitch of Torridonian sandstone), while providing wonderful holds, also meant a lot of loose material on the ledges. Great care was in order...

We chose the 'Ordinary Route' on the East Butress, climbable in big boots. A highly satisfying 200m at Diff grade. Climbers to our right, doing a VS, sent a block crashing down - without harm. We were keen to move fast on this route as we didn't want any climbers going above us! 
Below in the boulders are the atmospheric scattered remains of an ancient aircraft

I somehow managed to end up with the most satisfying pitches...sorry Stuart!!

And the climb just went on...and on...

What a fabulous view, looking down into the corrie and loch below the hulking Sail Mhor

Up on the plateau the moss was like a tinder box. We went on to do the munro tops (Ruadh-stac Mor and Spidean Coire nan Clach) before a long descent to the south. A BIG day, but what a day!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Easter weekend at Reiff - 22nd to 25th April 2011

A club weekend staying at the newly (almost!) opened campsite at the Am Fuaran pub in Altandu, punctuated by beautiful weather, great company and great food at the bar


The exciting Black Rocks area, reached by abseil (below)

Always atmospheric at Reiff, with the sparkling sea and crashing waves. I had actually gone flying at one point, trying to dodge the waves to cross slippery rock to the start of the climbs. Result? Grazed hands, knee and pride

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Aztec Tower, Gairloch - 17th April 2011

A beautiful day spent with Elke on lovely friendly rock. Thanks to Elke for some of these photos!

Beinn Alligin, Torridon - 16th April 2011

We went up to Torridon with Elke for a lovley day on Beinn Alligin followed by a day climbing at Aztec Tower

The unusually shaped (but not for Torridon!) Beinn Dearg behind Stuart and Elke as we head up to the Horns of Alligin

More lovely views, this time north to Baosbheinn and Beinn an Eoin (Stu and I went up the latter from the north in October, but without any views due to the mist!)

The Horns

Wow! More of what we didn't see when we went back in October!

Where else but Torridon???

The mysterious and massive Eag Dhubh (Black Notch?) - a huge rockfall caused this; below is the view looking back - you can see the fallen rock spewed out at the base

You would never know it was windy up there!
Jeanie and Stuart on the summit of Tom na Gruagaich

Polldubh, Glen Nevis - 9th April 2011

A fine day's climbing with Ciaran