Posts Tagged ‘Climbing’

Blackrock cottage Glencoe. 24-26 May 2014

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Another Bank holiday weekend at the end of May gave the chance to travel a bit further afield to Blackrock cottage in Glencoe. This is the picture postcard cottage often seen on highland photos, with Buachaille Etive Mor looming large in the background.

Looking west towards a cloudy Glencoe

Looking west towards a cloudy Glencoe

It has a rustic feel to it and once we’d opened up it was time to enjoy a cuppa by the fire after the long drive from York. The banter continued into the early hours, aided by a glass or two of port and Karl kept us all entertained with stories of tigers (trust me, it was very funny!).

Saturday was sunny and dry so after a big fry up we headed out for the Buachaille, keen to get some climbing done and make the most of the good weather. Pete and Adam headed up to Rannoch wall to climb Agag’s Groove (VDiff), a great multi pitch classic finishing on the top of Crowberry ridge. They then continued up onto the summit of Stob Dearg, desending down Coire na Tulaich which still had a slippery start over the remains of the winter cornice.

Peter and Adam on Agags Groove

Peter and Adam on Agags Groove

Rob, Karl and Jamie headed around to the ‘classic rock tick’ of North Face route (S, 220m), another great multipitch day out, descending back down curved ridge. Meanwhile Sarah and Rona were enjoying the excellent visibility across the highlands as they walked the ridge of the Buachaille and ticked some munros off the list. Back at the cottage, Karl’s spicy bean dinner went down a treat, followed by apple pie and custard. The legendary YAC portions meant no one had room for the optional cheese and biscuits afterwards.

Sunday dawned a bit more overcast, so after another epic fry up (Karl seemed to have taken the need for a good breakfast before a day in the hills very seriously!) we headed out for a walk up Lairig Eilde.

Hiking up the Lairig Eilde

Hiking up the Lairig Eilde

Sarah and Rona opted for a shorter walk, finishing in the Glencoe Ski centre café before heading back to Edinburgh. The rest of the group continued up the excellent scramble of Sron na Lairig (nose of the pass) at the top of the valley. Donning waterproof trousers at the bottom was the right decision, as once the scrambling began, so did the rain. The wet rock made things more interesting and the scramble finished with an exposed ridge above spring snowchutes, during which eagle eyed Rob spotted and retrieved some winter crag swag via a quick abseil. Pete and Adam continued to tick the Munro of Stob coire Sgreamhach before descending via a very wet Beinn Fhada and the ‘bad step’.

Scrambling on Sron na Lairig

Scrambling on Sron na Lairig

Rob does his 'Usain Bolt' impression

Rob does his 'Usain Bolt' impression on the final ridge

Monday was overcast with showers threatening again, and with everyone else having made an early exit home, Pete and Adam closed up the cottage and then headed west over the Corran Ferry to Ardnamurchan. A steady walk up the valley led them to the base of Pinnacle ridge on Garbh Bheinn. After lunch we were pleased of the rope and small rack we’d packed, as some tricky (poor?!) route finding led to steep rocky and heather covered ground. Once back on the main ridge, an airy, atmospheric finish in the clouds ended a great scramble.

Adam high on Pinnacle Ridge

Adam high on Pinnacle Ridge

During the snack stop at the top the clouds lifted to reveal cracking views west to Loch Sunart, and across Loch Linnhe to the south and east. A walk back down the SE ridge, spotting a small herd of deer on the way, followed by a meal in The Inn at Ardgour by the ferry topped off a great weekend in Scotland.

 

 

Midweek escape to Curbar

Monday, October 8th, 2012

To make the most of the midweek sun before the uni term began, Rob, Pete, Tony and I met at Stanage last Thurs for a day's climbing in the peak. Following some sophisticated weather forecasting (i.e looking where the clouds were then heading in the other direction) we headed off to Curbar.

Apart from a pair of boulderers and a paraglider that scared the hell out of me by appearing suddenly over Rob's head whilst I was belaying (and to which he was oblivious) we had the place to ourselves.

An empty Curbar in the October sun

Pete and Tony set off to attack Pete's ticklist, whilst Rob kindly continued my education in trad gritstone by sending me up the easiest(!) chimneys, offwidths, slabs and cracks he could find. I can now recognise the verb “to udge” and have the bruises to prove it. Every climb I seconded was enjoyable in different ways – I hadn't realised before the variety in styles you could have within a grade range along a short stretch of crag, and learnt a lot along the way.

I may be sticking my tongue out in concentration, but look, I'm using my feet!

I learnt the perils of relying on guidebooks after failing to trust (and falling off) the large and loose-feeling flake at the top of 'Slab route' an S route in the rockfax guide, that Black Rock to Froggatt grades harder and recommends be avoided as a finish as its decidedly dodgy. I agree!


Pete started his way carefully up the classic Elder Crack, until placing a massive Cam of Doom ™ allowed him to retreat. Deep in the crack, this then evaded retrieval via abseil, a tense scenario, finally resolved to the relief of all (but particularly Pete's wallet).

We ended the day on a pair of Severes, one of which I seconded then led on preplaced gear. I really struggled with the top section the first time up, and nearly wussed out of leading it at all, but glad I did as was so much easier once I knew where the holds are. Sounds obvious but I hadn't twigged this before. Rob's last suggestion was that I lead the adjoining route. I was nervous because I've only led a handful of routes on my own gear, (M-VD) but sodded it and had a go.

It went fine until I got to the top section (which I had already climbed as it was shared with the previous route) and got a bit stuck. Knowing that I had placed the gear I was above freaked me out. (It was a bomber nut, but I didn't know that :p ) I was too scared even to swear (my usual coping strategy) but with the sun setting and everyone else getting chilly I talked and tiptoed myself up it cleanly and was proper chuffed in the end.

We then packed up and descended down the wrong path in the twilight, but found the car park eventually and headed for home. An excellent quick trip, definitely beats a day in the office.

Three crag day

Friday, March 6th, 2009

The omens were not good as we drove in the M1 drizzle & then more A625 drizzle as we climbed up the hill out of Sheffield.
Six of us sat glumly in the cafe, Jim was accepting calls from late starters & advising it looked like the climbing wall.

Instead of another brew we drive round to the Outside shop browsed then make the decision to call in at Lawencefield on the way to the Foundry.
At Lawrencefield we meet Matt & Steve from the Leeds Club they are starting Three Tree Climb as it looks slightly drier than the rest of the crag.

We quickly team up Jim/Kirk, Peri/Ewan & Tuze/Guido, Jim jumps on Pulpet Groove Vdiff another less dry route. Across to Gingerbread slab Snail Crack Vdiff is free, its very wet, greasy & difficlt, Team Peri/Ewan join us & climb the route next to us Nailsbane Vdiff.

It does not take long before we exhaust the routes doable in these conditions & decide to move onto Horseshoe Quarry.

Team Tuze/Guido arrive first and decide to pitch up at the end wall an area neither of us had climbed at.
Team Jim/kirk & Peri/Ewan turn up minutes later & are not happy with we the venue so they decide to go off to sample the delights of Stoney Middleton.

Within minutes of the others leaving, Howling Baboon turns up & so we are now Team Tuze/Guido/Baboon we all lead a great route called Excavation f5,its a very sustained, delicate wall at bottom end Hvs in uk terms.
Moving onto the main wall we do Schools out another class route 6a+ in some books 6b in others, this equates to a good E1 5b in english terms.

Its getting late now, Tuze is going to the Metallica concert in Sheffield & needs to meet up with friends, so we go down to Stoney to see the others.

As team guido/baboon arrive at the crag Elvis is entertaining the crowds.

My hands are shaky and my knees are weak
I cant seem to stand on my own two feet
Who do you thank when you have such luck?
Im all shook up
Mm mm oh, oh, yeah, yeah!
Watch me watch me!!!!

With a great performance from Elvis, warm dry rock & quality climbing everything was right in the world – so right that we adjourned to the Moon to review the day.

Climbs done on the day(I think)

Team Jim/Kirk-Pulpit Route Vdiff, 3 tree route Hs, Parachute Vs, Gabriel Vs.
Team Peri/Ewan-Snail Crack Vdiff, Nailsbane Vdiff, Parachute Vs, Gabriel Vs.
Team Tuze/Guido-Snail Crack Vdiff,Pulpit Route Vdiff, 3 tree route Hs.
Team Tuze/Guido/Baboon-Ecavation Hvs, Schools out E1.
Team Guido/Baboon-Padme Hvs

Lochnagar

Friday, December 26th, 2008

With the maxim ‘Any winter climbing is a bonus before January’ in mind we planned a possible trip to Scotland. None of us had been to the Lochnagar area before so it was all new to us.

The weather as usual was not perfect & several of the people who were originally interested bailed leaving Dave, Brockers & I. I booked Braemar hostel last minute & we set off on a clear Sunday afternoon.
Monday morning, clear skies & very warm conditions, there were a couple of climbers in the hostel who had been there several days & they were very pessimistic about the conditions, they had resorted to going walking.

We drove to Spittal of Glenmuick & made the decision to not take climbing gear just crampons & one axe.
It was a clear day very warm but as we reached the col a very cold 35mph wind hit us, we quickly descended into the coire where it was sheltered & warm.

We decided to do the Black Spout a classic grade 1*** & we eventually did the LH variant which was slightly steeper, the gully had good snow & ice conditions.

On our way up we passed under Raeburns gully, where a couple of climbers dropped some gear, we picked it up. When we reached the summit they were just finishing so we had a natter, they said the gulley was just doable but very slushy.

Tuesday morning we awake to find similar conditions as the day before & made a decision to take the climbing gear up to try Raeburn’s, today when we reached the col it was like a summers day so we deemed it not worth going down into the coire & headed back getting back home at a reasonable time for a change.

Despite the warm conditions we had a couple of great days on the hill sussed out a new area that has a lot of worthwhile climbing & walking potential for the future, after all it is only December.

Brimham

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Typically, after glorious sunny weather for most of the day, the heavens opened at about 4 and it rained/hailed/thundered on and off for the following hour.  A few foolhardy souls (Simon, Carmen, David D, Peri, David K and Gordon) ventured forth regardless and were rewarded by a dry (though cold) evening climbing on remarkably non-slimy rock.

Routes climbed included Hawk Traverse (a rather fine 22m HS), Castle Corner (a nice though short-lived Diff), Turtle Rocks Chimney (VDiff, the exception to the 'non-slimy' generalisation), plus the old standards of Cracked Corner and Lovers Leap Chimney.

Ornithological note – there's an attempt at a nest on the first chockstone of Righthand Crack, constructed by an enterprising but foolhardy bird of unknown origin.

 

Route Setting starts again this week

Monday, April 28th, 2008

after easter break tuesday morning is back on!