Good day at the Creag Bheag

We had a good day clipping bolts at Creag Bheag near Golspie in Sutherland yesterday, we arrived to quite damp and chilly conditions. But the weather improved as the day went on and before we new it we where climbing in t-shirts again. (Mid november and still in t-shirts, got to be happy with that.)

Even more routes now on this crag than shown in the topo, all around the 5 – 5+ grade.

Deziree, Sheila, Jon J, Simon and I just about ticked the crag in the four hours that we were there. Along with plenty of eating, chatting and of course the necessary piss taking!

This is a great crag for some easy to mid grade routes, all well packed on to the crag with an easy going grassy base and a five minute approach. Perfect venue for folks getting into bolt clipping as well as seasoned pro’s!

Off down to Grandtully this week for what will hopefully be a signing off for directing Swift Water Rescue 1 courses. Fingers crossed it all goes well.

Back to Blogging again…….

Hello Folks

Now that winters drawing nearer and I’m not bouncing around the place quite so much, I’m going to try and keep my blog more up to date. (well see!)

I’ve just come back from a productive nine days out in El Chorro, I’ve also been setting routes down in Glasgow for the final round of the Scottish Tooling Series (with some mixed results, more on this later…) and even fitted in a couple of pre winter rock climbing days up in Gairloch.

A nice walk along the golf course beach

It was a joy to be back up in Gairloch again with Deziree, we had time to have some stunning walks on both beaches, an evening at the new Wall in Gairloch and dinner at the Old Inn. All very nice and some good memories form my time growing up there.

West Coast sunset from Bigsands

The next day saw us at Stone Valley, waking up in the van to subzero temps and almost not going climbing. By the afternoon we where down to t-shirts and rolled up trouser legs. The views and climbing where again just breath taking.

A view back out West from Stone Valley to Gairloch

We tackled some of the routes that we had not done before on the Stone Valley crag, ticking off: ‘Stone Diary’, HVS 5a,5b; ‘Inside Information, 5a,5a and finishing off with ‘Melting Pot E3 4c,5c. All great routes and all well deserving there only star!

The 5b pitch on Stone Diary, excellent friction climbing

I’ll write more and put up some Photo’s of El Chorro and the STS dry tooling finals over the next few days.

Deziree starting up the jamming pitch of 'Inside Information'

Off up to either the Mound, Moy or Silver Rock tomorrow, any of these will provide a day of pulling on potatoes glued into vertical concrete. Scottish bolt clipping at it’s best!

Top pitch of 'Melting Pot' E3 5c, now on really good holds!

Alpine Bound

Well Folks,

This is it, just off the phone to Kenny G. and his van has been given the all clear by the garage. My bags are packed and I’m ready to go (I just know I’m going to forget something).

I’ve spent the last few days putting a new wooden floor down, sanding ceilings, weeding the garden and cutting the grass….. I now have the green light to be Alpine Bound.

Our plan is to tag team the drive down the U.K., I’m getting picked up in Dalwhinnie about 2000 and all being well, 12hrs later should see us on the Ferry to France. I wish I could say I’m looking forward to the drive…….

I received a couple of emails confirming rain out in the Alps just now, sounding like snow is down to 1500m around Chamonix. Good news is it’s still looking like a good forecast from Tuesday onwards. Rumor has it that some N. Faces are in excellent condition.  Good knowledge supplied by  Stu Macdonald, a Chamonix based Brittish Guide.

With all the traveling over the next few days I will probably  not get a chance to update my Blog but I’ll try my best.

Here’s some photo’s to keep you going:

Some well organised kit, ready for packing!

Bin Bivi! An enforced road side Bivi, hopefully none of these on this trip. Van power!

The mighty yellow van, winging past a village near you soon!

It will be worth the drive!

Some N. Face action

First Time Blogging !!!!!!!

Hey Folks

Well this is it, a start of something new, welcome to my Blog.

I plan to update this with news and reports from my times out and about playing and working in the great outdoors, as well as helpful posts on current summer / winter conditions.

I’ve just finished a few weeks of working in Scotland, paddling big swollen rivers and seeking dry rock in the far flung North West.

I pack for the Alps tomorrow, the plan being to drive out with Kenny Grant for some Alpine Action. It’s currently snowing down to 2000m out in the Alps until Tuesday but it’s looking good thereafter. Fingers crossed for some settled Alpine weather and some settled Alpine mountains. Don’t think we will be venturing anywhere near the Dru, having seen how much rock it’s shedding!  (Check out the report in ukclimbing)

Hope you enjoy my Blog and find it useful.

Here are a few Alpine photo’s to whet the appetite……

A Fine Alpine View

Some Good Times

Alpine Action