Archive for January, 2017

A wee solo jaunt up some Munros

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

The Club meet was in Wales this month but I just wasn't feeling motivated for it, and needing some fitness I headed up to Southern Highlands to bag some more Munros. I was alone this time as everyone else was on the meet, so I packed the car with tent, bike and a usual stuff and drove up to Glen Lyon

I pitched up later than expected after a delayed start and a detour around Stirling due to roadworks, and missed the Callendar Chippy (closes at 9 for info) but Tescos was open, and they sell wine , and chicken wings – read it and weep Jamie! I Camped by the dam I got an OK nights sleep and was on the hill for 8.30ish, just after white van man in running shoes.

Taking 1.30 to get up Stuchd an Lochain in absolutely stunning conditions I was soon back at the car for a brew and some wings. I headed up for the 2nd of the pair of opposing hills, Meall Buidhe escaping the cloud after 100m. Hard to describe the views, beauty and sense of peace up there. One of my best ever days in the Scottish hills.

Back at the car I made my way to the Wigwam campsite a mile south of Tyndrum, and I was the only camper! This place is great it has mini huts, great camp field, clean warm showers and toilet block and a fully kitted kitchen and dining areas and a little shop. It was like being a hut, 8 quid a night

Sunday was misty and after a return visit to the campsite to collect an allen key I set off at 9.30 cycling up the estate road to Beinn Mhanach I am not a great mountain biker, took me a while to work out how my gear changers worked! I cycled up the track in about an hour including some stops for route choice and poking about and pushing. A Straight 1.15 slog up the hill brought me to the summit cairn, and I was back down the hill in 40 mins and cycled back to the car in another 35min (no pushing downhill!).

A cup of tea or two and a shower after packing up my tent and gear and I was 'away down the road' as we say.

Top weekend if lacking a little sociability

More Pix

Beating the thaw

Monday, January 16th, 2017

Ingleborough and Pen-y-GhentAfter a dump of snow on Thursday night and some excellent-looking conditions on Friday, we were due a cold and clear day on Saturday before the warm and wet conditions returned a day later. So Carmen and I concocted a last minute plan and headed for the Dales.

Things didn't look promising as we passed Harrogate and all the snow had disappeared; even at Bolton Abbey there was very little left. But by the time we got to Arncliffe, the hills and valleys were all at least vaguely white – not what you'd hope for at this time of year, but enough to look pretty!

by Fountains TarnWe walked along the valley to Litton, then a rising traverse to the road between Pen-y-Ghent and Fountains Fell. A left turn led steeply uphill, preferring the wall to the path as this leads direct to the summit. The views from the top were dominated by Ingleborough and Pen-y-Ghent to the west, and Great Whernside and Buckden Pike to the east, the clear air unfortunately ending at a big blank of clouds over the Irish Sea preventing us seeing further.

Fountains Fell South TopWe descended via the south top of Fountains Fell (with a small stack of stones acting as a summit cairn) to pick up the Pennine Way. From the road we'd intended following the PW down to Malham Tarn, but the sun was getting low so we decided to stay high as long as possible to make the most of it. So we headed up east over Back Pasture – somewhere I've not been before, but well worth a visit for its unpolished limestone pavements. We then picked up the bridleway which we followed back north to Arncliffe just as the last light started to fade.

Back PastureUnfortunately we didn't have time to pop in to the Falcon, but by all accounts it hasn't changed a lot since its recent change of landlord and still serves beer from a jug (though these days has a couple of pumps in an attempt to enter the 20th century)!

Good to be out, and despite the fantastic weather we only saw 3 other people all day.

Some more photos here

Last minute lakes dash

Monday, January 16th, 2017

IMG_20170114_133511429_HDRWith winter making a fleeting appearance and complicated arrangements (when is it ever simple) K and I decided to head to the lakes for the w/e. Paul was in at 00:06 and Mike at 01:08 Sat morning !

A bit delayed we left York and headed across to Brown Cove Crags hoping for snow in the gullies to play in not expecting much in the way of ice. Leaving the car at 11 it's a short but steepish pull up to the cove in fantastic weather but not great snow. We had a rope and scrambling rack, single axe each and no idea what to head for. The gullies, as we had been warned by a walker, were pretty bare, but the buttresses were rimed up and looking good. Turf varied between rock hard and soft and smears of ice were visible across the crag.

starting up
After some chatting we decided to have a look at Right Buttress Crack, a really obvious line today up the clean middle lump. We geared up, left the rope in the sac in case and quested off up the grooves. Nice route with some good ice, some good turf and lots of good hooks. The rock was really clean and not verglassed so I used my hands in preference to the axe quite often. The main middle pitch has chockstone which proved awkward with poor turf above so Paul and I ignored it. Karl and Mike went around with an interesting traverse back into the groove. The top section K followed the footsteps and make quick work of a short steep section with a great hook but little else. This proved problematic for the rest of us and Paul ended up wandering around it with bruised ego, amongst other aspects.

Topping out in sunshine we did a bit of hill spotting before we headed the short walk upto Helvellyn in the cloud with very few people about. We returned via White Stones doing some excellent nav practice along the way. So good was the nav that we eventually emerged into the public bar of the Thirlspot Inn.

I had booked us into Grange CC hut and we all slept long and well after the curry and booze, as we knew the forecast was poor. Sunday was a tentative start and after much debate whilst drinking tea and watching the rain we headed upto Newlands Hause and bagged a couple of Wainwright's (Knott Rigg and Ard crags in the mist) a fun little jaunt. We took a look at the waterfall on return and tried to imagine it well frozen.

We returned to the hut for tea and our lunch and were home by 7 after cleaning up, nice little last minute trip.

Christmas & New Year Meet 2016

Sunday, January 15th, 2017

P1070868The advance team set off Crianlarich on Boxing day – with the others arriving on the 28th.  Conditions meant it was very much a walking or cycling trip, with the usual excess of food.

27/12/16 – Simon and I went off to do Beinn Mhanach and Beinn Mhanach – Beinn a'Chuirn summit  as we had not visited the munro top previously.  Recent rain and snow melt meant that water was reasonably deep in the numerous fords required to reach the hills.   Annie and Pete E overtook us (on their bikes) as they were heading up the same P1040625valley but intending to cycle around the loch.  We were surprised to see them cycling back towards us only 30 mins later!  Annie's bike had a terminal break – doh!


28/12/16 – With a bust bike Annie was P1040641now limited to walking.  We all went to do the Tarmachan ridge.  S & I had not done it since 02 and hoped to have views this time – but didn't.  But it was quite fun doing the whole ridge anyway – still snow on the ground – bit P1070781icy in places.

29/12/16 – Karl, Rob, Gav, Esther & Jamie went up Beinn a'Chroin & An Caisteal.  Annie came Corbett bagging with S and me – Creagan na Beinne.  We were pleasantly surprised to find ourselves out of the cloud whilst traversing the summit ridge.  Rather windy-so were glad we found an isolated small crag to give us a bit of shelter for a late lunch.  Pete E P1070796with a functional bike enjoyed the cycle around the loch (abandoned route from 27th).

30/12/16 – Seriously wet and windy.  Esther & Jamie got dropped off at Bridge of Orchy and cycled back to the hut; Gav walked along part of the West highland way.  We dropped Rob off – so he could do Ben Challum.  Annie, Pete and Karl went touristing to Aberfeldy and shopping.  S and I did an easy Corbett tick – Meall nan Subh – taking in all the various summit cairns.

31/12/16 – Even wetter and still windy.  Esther & Jamie sensibly headed home.  Karl, Rob & Gav did Meall Ghaordaidh and seemed to enjoy it despite the weather.   S & I went and did Meall Odhar (a Graham) – downsizing in hills!  A group of kayakers looked like they were having fun in the rapidly flowing river.

1/1/17 – S, me, Annie & Pete did Stob Binnein (taking in a couple of extra summits) and Ben More.  Don't walk through the forest at the start – path is blocked by fallen trees etc – there is a vehicle track on P1040709the other side of the river (for hydro-scheme).  Great day out – made interesting by the strong winds – and cloud free summits.  Karl, Rob & Gav  did Meal nan Tarmachan summit – but abandoned the full traverse due to the wind – and enjoyed a pub visit instead.



2/1/17  The others headed straight home after cleaning the hut.  S & I stopped off to do Beinn nan Imirean on the way back -a Corbett we had failed to get to the summit of 2 years earlier.  No problems this time – but no view from the summit.

Cwm Glas Mor – new meet, new hut

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

15326606_1349349478422170_3886202714005874998_nFor the first time we had a early December meet to compliment the upcoming extended Christmas trip, and held it at the CC hut in the Llanberis Pass.

As it was a first we were worried about attendance, Id been banging on about sucha meet for ages so stepped up to organise it and suggested the compact and bijou CC hut slap bang in the middle of the pass. We needn't have worried as we easily filled the 9 places and then some, relying on Peri and Karl to sleep in vans at the large hut (Ynns). The Hut is not on the road and involves a 400m or so walk from the parking at Ynns, unless you are Paul or Peri in which case add another 400m or so Brownian Motion to that. A cosy hut requires some organisation to not trip over each other but it all worked out ok, even the one shower and separate toilet block,

Despite the late three teams headed for Tremadog and grabbed a bit of sunshine (Pete B, Karl, Jamie, Peri, Mike, Dave W and I)

A smaller team (Paul, Simon, Carmen, Pete W ) walked up behind the hut to the Parson Nose scramble and onto the summit before heading down Y Gribyn ridge.

Given the time of year we were all back quite early and we had Petes Moroccan treat to look forward to but not until we had scoffed some soup (I think !) Peri produced excellent homemade mince pies and tons of cream, so we were as usual, stuffed.

Sunday was cold and windy but bright blue skies. Simon & Carmen headed along to Pen-Y-Pass and up on the glyders with fantastic views.
Paul and Jamie also headed onto the Glyders but from the Nant Peris end enjoying sunshine and views and avoiding the wind


riverside bimble in beddgelert

The rest of us headed for a bimble around Beddgelert in lovely conditions and a cup of tea post scotch-egg-in-one for the prof.

We all somehow managed to be back at the hut at approximately the right time and after some car shuffling and hut cleaning were away home before 5.

Great little hut in a stonking position and with requests to book it again for a summer climbing trip.