Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Tunnel Wall

Still injured but I felt an desire to see how my ribs are healing.  I headed down into Glencoe with Kenny and Blair for some sport climbing on Buachaille Etive Mor.  It was no surprise that my ribs still haven't fully healed and climbing was sore, pulling hard and making dynamic moves was not a good idea.  Taking falls isn't a good idea so I opted to just top-rope instead which was fine.  I was trying to remember the moves on Uncertain Emotions (7b) so when I regain fitness I can get back on it before the summer is up.  The beauty about this route, in my current condition, is that there aren't any big stretchy moves and also your generally on your feet most of the time so minimal strain to my upper body.  However, to say it is pain free would be untrue!  Kenny was working the moves in the Railway Children (7c) and Blair was working Admission (7c+).

Monday, 24 June 2013

The Camel

Since I went to Pabbay and Mingulay there has been a slight lack of activity.  Unfortunately on my first day on the Islands I tore my intercostal muscles which affected the rest of the trip quite alot.  I still managed to climb but in a great deal of pain, masked with pain killers.  On return to the mainland I went to the phisio who confirmed what I had thought and gave me instructions to active rest and stretches.  Today I had enough of resting and headed to The Camel with Blair and Kenny with the intention of climbing but decided not to.  I pulled onto a few hold at the base of the crag and knew that I shouldn't be doing anything tricky.  With the easiest route at 6c+ I decided take photo's and went for a wee explore around the hill.  I was meant to be working all this week with John, which would of been fine, climbing upto E1 is still ok but climbing at my limit is out of the question for a couple of weeks. Unfortunately John had some work to be getting on with and couldn't make it.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Forcan Ridge

Today I wasn't a mountaineering instructor.  Today I was Graham's best man.  And the start of the stag do was to climb the Forcan Ridge, Glen Shiel.  Armed with a bottle of the finest Talisker!  After sumitting and carrying down the empty bottle of Talisker, we made our way to a bothy, had a BBQ, a fire and lots of drink....the rest is blurred memories!
Me, Craig, Craig, Big Ben, Lee, Graham and Phillipa Hole.  And Codie the dog

Graham practicing his moves for the first dance!

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Last technical section before the summit.  Next stop.....Talisker stop!

Monday, 17 June 2013

Pabbay and Mingualy

The team en-route to Pabbay
I've just returned from 10 days in the Outer Hebrides, climbing on two uninhabited islands.  Our team of 10 departed from Oban in spectacular weather. It seemed a shame to lose such a nice day to travelling.  Fortunately the high pressure dominated for several days.  Pabbay was our first destination. My climbing partner bailed at the last minute so I was climbing with Nona, which was great as neither of us had climbed on the island, so we could do whatever we wanted.  Day one was on the Poop Deck.  I climbed 8 routes leading up to E3 before seconding Murdoch up The Raven, a steep E5.  Unfortunately I had to weight the rope to get a stuck nut out and to let my forearms de-pump!
Nick hanging out on some E2
Nick and Gaz on an ace E3
Donald seconding on Endolphine Rush
Airy pitch on Endolphine Rush
The next day we went to Banded Walls and climbed two mega multi-pitch classics; Spring Squall (E1 5b) and Endolphine Rush (E3 5c).  Day 3 we went to Hoofers Geo and climbed 4 routes with  Hoofers Route (E1/2) and Fracture Clinic (E1/2) being the highlights.
Donald starting up Spring Squall (E1 5b)

Tim on a cool looking E1
Nona loving the arete action
The weather then turned, so Donald, Tony and I spent a day exploring and sea level traversing.  The seas were moody.  On several occasions we were all almost swimming but managed to keep a foot on land.

Fun on a wet day
Im sure I heard something rip...?!
Wet slab climbing in sandals
Happy as can be!
The 5th day we had a couple of hours so Nona and I went to a small crag close to the camp site and climbed 7 routes before jumping on the ferry to Mingulay.  Although the weather was hit and miss again, we managed to get a route on the mighty cliffs of Dun Mingulay.  We climbed the 4 star classic of Sula...absolutely amazing!  Unfortunately that was the only route I climbed on Mingulay due to the weather and picking up a wee injury so I just went swimming in the sea for a day!  Yes it was very cold!

Nona seconding up Sula (E2 5b)

Ian getting lost
A super trip and can't wait to get back out there next year!

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Back to the UK, straight to the grit stone

Great to be back in the UK
From polished limestone to grit stone.....  Results were mixed!  We went to Stanage for two days with the intention of climbing loads of routes, especially some of the classics.  We ticked off many classics - Left and Right Unconquerable, Flying Buttress Direct, Inverted V, Mississippi Buttress Direct, The Link, Congo Corner, Centre Stage, Queersville plus many more up to E1.  I think about 20 routes over the two days!
Left and Right Unconquerable

Mike loving the jugs

Kirby dispatching Right Unconquerable

What a route

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Holiday climbing on the French Riviera

One day!
So our destination was chosen after 4 days of dodging showers and heavy rain.  We checked out Gorges de Loup, Avon Gorge, and eventually Monaco.  We stayed just outside Monaco for the last week or so as there was some great climbing, beaches and an amazing bivi spot for the van.  We climbed pretty much every day but also had a look around Monaco to see if we could chip together and buy a yacht.  Turns out we couldn't even afford a mooring rope at this luxurious venue.  On arrival at Monaco, we found that the F1 was on at the weekend, so we stayed to watch that!

Mike loving the 9 pitch 6c

Best view of the F1

Crag with a view

Sweet 7a (we think - it wasn't covered in our guide.)

A view of the track from the crag

Porche super cars

Topping out on the multi-pitch route at St Jeanette