Posts Tagged ‘Winter’

YAC go north – Achnasheen February 2017

Friday, November 30th, 2018

Long overdue, but I've finally got around to catching up with some blogs, and what better timing to get you in the mood than when we're just getting ready for another round of winter trips!

The club Scottish winter trip to Achnasheen headed to the Jacobites MC hut in the Lochcarron valley. This was a 3 night trip so we made the long drive north on the Thursday night, and soon settled in.
The weather for Friday was looking like the best day of the weekend, so we all headed out keen to make the most of the winter conditions, which were threatening to break later in the weekend.

Pete, Dave and Nan headed for Beinn Damh, parking at the Loch Torridon hotel, hiking up through the forest and then following the path up the valley to stay low and out of the winter wind as long as possible. After summiting, they followed the ridge NW and got some great views on the way down when the clouds briefly lifted.

Over on Liatach, Mike, Rob, Karl, Paul, Mark and Russ were having a big day out, which began with some slippery boulder fields as they left the valley and passed the snowline. This soon turned into a powdery covering as they headed up, making progress slow. Never the less, they completed the ridge traverse and made it back after an epic day knackered but with smiles on their faces and ready for the usual food fest! Richard and Phil headed out to do the A'Chioch ridge on Beinn Bhan, Applecross while Simon and Carmen ticked off the snowy Beinn Eighe Corbetts of Meall a'Ghiubhais and Ruadh-stac Beag.

Saturday brought the thaw as forecast, and after the big winter days out on Friday, people were keen to take it easier. Dave, Paul and Rob headed out to tick a munro in the Cuillin forest, Carmen and Simon walked up the corbett An Ruadh-Stac, Mike, Mark and Russ headed low for a walk around Loch Torridon, while Pete and Nan did the same, checking out the coast around picturesque Plockton. Richard and Phil were more adventurous, climbing up the munro of Fionn Bheinn not too far away from the hut.

Sunday it definitely didn't feel like winter anymore, with the thaw having flooded a lot of the land around the hut, thankfully the raised walkway took us over most of it, and across the swollen river without getting our feet too wet.
Most of us headed south for the long drive home planning for a food stop on the way, Richard and Phil however got the prize for being the most keen of the weekend, scampering up the Sow of Atholl on their way down the A9. So a good selection of routes, summits and walks done over the weekend, making the most of the changeable weather.

Snow Swims on Great End

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

Crofty, Guido, Rob and me headed up to the lakes on a bit of a punt for Friday, not really sure how much would be in condition. We settled on Great End as one of the most reliable crags, I was specially keen on Great End as I have had Window Gully on my wish list since seeing it last year.

Arriving at Seathwaite there did not seem to be much snow although as the sun rose Crofty remarked hopefully that there was a sprinkling on the tops. By the time we arrived at the crag it was clear this was something of an understatment. The whole crag was plastered and some of the gullies appeared to be banked out, I could hardly recognise Window Gully despite thinking I had a clear picture of it in my head from last year.


Jim and Guido made a beeline for Central Gully Left Branch, mentioning they might follow us up Window Gully after, we headed straight for Window Gully. Despite reports on rotten ice elsewhere in the lakes on UKC we found the ice here very good, after a cold night it was hard and on the brittle side, both of us were sending fusillades of icy shards down the hill and I have a fine bruise on one knee from failing to dodge one of Rob's incoming missiles. We soloed the first few pitches but I was lured sideways by the upper icefall which was really fat and blue, I chickened out of soloing that as the initial bulge looked steep and it was a long way to the bottom of the hill.

Topping out we found we had made good time, it was still only 11.30 so after descending Cust's Gully (very banked out, lots of spindrift coming down) Rob suggested One Pitch Gully, which was, suprisingly, just one pitch. What a swim the approach to that turned out to be, it was three steps upwards two steps down through thick soft snow. Rob had done this route last year so I led. It was quite nice to have the variety of a mixed pitch after our earlier ice pitches. I found the moves left onto the ridge quite tricky but there was a reassuringly solid nut to protect it and some really nice axe torquing.

Topping out once more we were met by howling blasts loaded with ice crystals and I mutated into a yeti as my hairline turned into a fringe of icicles. It was clearly Pie O'clock so we headed down to consume said pies while waiting for Jim and Guido to finish. Eventually we saw two familiar looking figures which seemed, surprisingly as it was now 3pm, to be heading back up for a final route. "They're keen" we thought and shouted to them that we were heading down to the car. They waved back happily but God knows why they thought we were informing them as it was not Jim and Guido at all – they were, as we discovered, waiting back at the car.

With the climbing done the only remaining possibility for an epic was the journey back, and this was duly supplied as the A66 turned into a shaken snowglobe and Jim did his Ice Road Truckers impression all the way back to the A1 – well driven Jim.

Rob's other pix here

Team Magenta do Brimham

Saturday, January 10th, 2009

Team Captain PeriWith the weekend plans in tatters due to high winds up north a last minute mail/text had ‘Team Magenta’ homing in on Jim’s house early Saturday morning. Unfortunately Jim had not checked his emails or phone & was still in bed when we arrived. Luckily the kids got him up & he quickly arranged his schedule to fit in a bouldering session.

The venue was set as Brimham, team captain Peri had been there the week before & reported it to be in good nick so off we went arriving about 10.00 we had the place to ourselves but later in the day more boulderers arrived including a LMC team.

Cabin boy Jim

First area visited was Small Roof, we then moved onto Cubic block, Acme Wall, Trackside Boulder & Lovers leap.
The day was very cold but the team were well armed with food & plenty of hot drinks, one important point is that the Café did not open all day so it,s best not to rely on it for supplies.

Seaman Tuze

The ground remained frosty all day but mid afternoon the wind picked up & the temps dropped significantly so we decided it was time to go.

Captain Kirk

Loads of problems done & some noticeable failures on very easy problems!!!!!

Corporal Clot

Today ‘Team Magenta’ consisted of Peri (captain), Jim, Tuze, Kirk & Guido despite visiting a local venue we all managed to find new problems we had not attempted before.

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.