Friday, 13 May 2016

Back to Skye

First peak - going to be a good week
Approaching the top of Sgurr Alasdair
Having had a few brilliant days on Skye this winter I have been really keen to get back on the hills once all the snow had gone.  This week I have had a nice gentle introduction to the season with a Munro course for West Coast Mountain Guides.  4 days, 11 Munro's, not a raindrop.  It was too easy this week.  We completed our task with a fantastic group of very able members.  The transition from hill walkers to mountaineers through the week was evident as all member picked up heaps of confidence as the week went on and were moving over technical ground very efficiently.

Ascending out of Coire Lagan - the easy way!

Pinn day!

Top team!

Foot soak at the end of 3 Munro's

Day 3 and look at the weather!

Day 4 we had some snow on the North end

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Back in Scotland

Perfect conditions in Glen Nevis
After a little time away from Scotland I was glad to get back and find some relatively settled weather.  Enough to get out climbing before the work season starts.  On my way back to Fort William I headed over East to climb at Weem Rock which is a fantastic sport climbing crag with a nice variety of styles.  Weather stopped play the following day so a day at Ratho was in order which is always brilliant fun.  Once arriving back in Fort William I managed to climb in Glen Nevis twice, Creag Dubh twice, had a day in the brilliant new Three Wise Monkeys climbing wall and also a day climbing on the Buachaille.  I'm ready for a busy summer of new clients, Cuillin Ridge and further afield.

Climbing on the Buachaille



The wind changed direction and soaked our route after we climbed it

Kenny running up Engineers Crack

Monday, 2 May 2016

Setting up for the summer

They might be small but The Lake District has excellent crags and mountains
With my planned winter work well out of the way I'm now looking forward to the transition into the summer season.  With winter still stubborn in the mountains I will still be carrying axes and crampons on some of my objectives.  No light weight summer bag just yet.  I have been looking forward to 2016 I turn 30.  As do several of my friends and between two birthday weekends last month, one at a beer festival in Stuttgart and a surprise party down south, I have been trying to regain some rock climbing fitness, see friends and family and do a little exploring.  Whilst being in the Lakes we managed to get some days climbing at St. Bee's, Langdale, Borrowdale and near Thirlmere.  The nice weather has been surrounded with wet days so I have made use of The Ice Factor, Kendal Wall, Keswick Wall and Ratho.  Unfortunately, I'm weak as a kitten after winter.  The new wall opening in Fort William might help build up a little strength for the coming climbing projects this summer.
Can't go to a German beer festival without wearing a Leiderhosen and drinking a few Steins
Another course done, another signature in the book
Whilst in the Lakes, I embarked onto my first training course (after the inductions) to become a IFMGA Mountain Guide.  The course, Rock One Training, focussed on all aspects of British summer mountain guiding.  It was a great week with a wide range of fellow candidates, some with instructing and guiding backgrounds and some new to the concept of managing and guiding novices.  I have been asked to write a course report on the week which will be put on the new British Mountain Guide website soon so feel free to have a read.
Mountain cragging on Pavey Ark
We had fantastic weather

The milestone of turning the big 30 this year will be marked with some interesting climbing trips with friends, family and clients, both old and new.  I hope we all have dry rock and full chalk bags.  I left my camera up north so only have a couple of picture of my phone.

Bouldering ayt St Bee's whilst the crag dried
We were pretty lucky with the weather
Got very close to this little fella