Tuesday, 29 March 2011

a lonely place

I think I am getting old because this past weekend I bought a packed lunch box.

No longer will my sandwiches and cup cakes be subjected to the joys of living in Di's rucksack.

Should start a sweepstake to see how long it lasts before I probably sit on it and probably break it.

Never saw a sole all day and I could see for miles ...

Monday, 28 March 2011

no grey man on ben macdui today

OMG, I can't believe I went on the hill with 2 people wearing black...
Heather & Bill had made plans to ski to Ben MacDui and Di completely jumped on the band wagon.

Amazing snow cover on the plateau - and if you get the conditions just right you are rewarded with very forgiving spring snow.
Looks like tomorrow is the last day of niceness for a while...

Sunday, 27 March 2011

cheesecake and mhor

It doesn't even sound like cheesecake, but cheesecake it is.

Its a bit hard to top a ski traverse of the lairig ghru, but one does her best.

Now, the good [or bad depending on your outlook on life] thing about setting a date for the official 'last munro' is that you have some incentive to tick off the remaining stragglers.

So, Bidein a'Choire Sheasgaich & Lurg Mhor ("among the most isolated Munro's in the country) finally fell. 

A quick drive around to Glen Shiel saw the remaining two of Saileag & Sgurr a'Bhealaich Dheirg finally bagged after a return visit to Aonach Mheadhoin - just because we could.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

the summer cragging season officials starts

On Tuesday morning I drove to Aonach Mor to meet Rich for a couple of days up on the Ben.

A temperature reading of +9 at 0630 is a little bit of a sign.

Needless to say, I drove home ....

Yesterday, Andy & Di drove to the coast for the first day on the rock.

Fab fab fab...

Smashed my mobile phone so natural cull of mates about to happen, one very wet shoe as the tide slopped over it, and nearly lost a sock.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

one of those unforgettable days...

Went for a bit of an adventure yesterday with Heather and Derek.

Needless to say, we are not doing much today...

For more information on this amazing day visit the main website.

well i never....

Friday, 18 March 2011

vertical swimming

I feel as if I have paid a lot of money for a skin exfoliating session, but those in the know, know better.

Matt & Di battled into the corrie of no people today and after adopting a stealth approach to the buttress, adopted a variety of swimming techniques to climb Hidden Chimney. 

Uber quiet in the corrie and uber quiet on the plateau - where have all the people gone?

Oh, they're on planks....

Thursday, 17 March 2011

two jolly climbing days

Dave asked if I fancied a couple of mellow days on the hill.

Fabby me thinks.....

Yesterday we followed the meandering trench into the Ben.

We opted for the Douglas Boulder and if I am perfectly honest I will say that I haven't a clue what we climbed.

Lets put it this way, if it is in the guidebook we probably climbed a bit of it with a little bit of Hollinger variation in between .....

Right Hand Chimney

Left Hand Chimney

North -West Face Route

South West Ridge

Some many hours later and 8 pitches of rather "cheeky", "complicated" and down right "scrittery" climbing we finally got to the top of *cough* the boulder. 

Today, I asked for an even mellower day so we headed into Stob Coire an Lochan.

Scabby Chimney was the route of choice and we even managed to get back to the cars without our headtorches - bonus.

The next time Dave asks if I want a mellow couple of days I might be a little bit more prepared :)

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

the bad karma pixies

Yesterday, there was a prospect of yummy descents on the phat ski's so Andy and Di headed onto the Cairngorms.

They were wrong....

Today, there was a prospect of yummy climbing in the North West so Andy and Di made the pilgrimage up North.  There probably was yummy climbing but not for Andy and Di.

At Contin, a stone chip nearly took out Andy's windscreen.

At Torridon, we were welcomed with a rather snowy ascent.  It took us (OK, I will be perfectly honest and say that it took Andy) 1 hour to trailbreak a total height gain of 100m.

I spat my dummy out way before Mr Cool and we bailed.

We then stopped in at the Contin Village Store and I bought 2 bottles of Sprite, 1 packet of minstels and a Fry's peppermint cream and asked for £20.00 cash back.

I forgot to pick up the £20.00 cash so paid a whopping £24.00 for 2 drinks and 2 chocy bars.

I have gone home to lock myself in where no more damage can be done and sulk for the remaining of the day.

Sunday, 13 March 2011


The general theme of yesterday was snow.

We left the very spring like carpark just as the stags were stirring, and headed into the mighty Lochnagar.

We were a little bit surprised how much snow there was.

If fact, we were a lot bit surprised how much snow there was.

As always in Queenie's corrie we never got onto the route we had planned to do, but instead opted for Shadow Buttress A - "A first class mountaineering route and a good choice for strong parties in poor conditions".

The crux of the day wasn't the 'notorious' crux as the guide book described but the drive back down the glen road.

So... no winter tyres, no snow chains and no shovel. 

What do you do when the van doesn't get up the hill?

Well, you send Di out who throws car mats under the tyres for traction.

1 hour later - 6 miles done.

A monumental 7 hours for Glen Muick car park to Grantown on Spey - a new record!

Oh, and don't ask what conditions are like in the corrie - never saw a bloomin thing all day :)

Monday, 7 March 2011

wearing my mountain motion hat

As I lowered Jo into Easy Gully, it dawned on me that I had left my camera in the rucksack.

I thought about making Jo climb back up the 50 metres he had just been lowered down so that I could run back and collect forgotten camera.

I then thought that Jo wouldn't be particuarly impressed by that.

As it turned out, it made no difference what so ever.

Thought I done pretty good to find any route in the pea soup, let alone the route we were planning on climbing....

Friday, 4 March 2011

the frog murderer

 I didn't have any friends to play with today so I thought I would indulge myself in one of those munro things.

Sgurr a'Mhaoraich - which translates as something like peak of the shellfish but will always be known as the peak with the metal footholds - is located deep in the motherland.

There were times today that I thought I was the only person on this little island.  I never saw a sole all day - not even a wiff or a boot print.

The only company I had was the hinds that are established back on the mountains and the stags, doing stag things.

And then there were the frogs....

I will now confess to being a very careful car driver (note: specific reference to car and not bike) sitting on rather alot of points. 

As I pootled back along the road to the A87, I saw a frog lolloping across the road.

I rammed on the brakes and waited patiently as little frog continued on its adventure.

Feeling very very smug, I then continued pottling along the road - after all, not much to rush home for.

Turned next bend and saw #2 frog lolloping across the road.

Unfortunatley, my reflex's weren't that great this time and frog #2 in now a very squashed frog ....

Do they not know that it is still winter and that they really shouldn't be out lolloping across roads?

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

the new set up

Out with the ladies on the hill today.

Fran and Heather skied 12km with 808m of ascent.

Di done exactly the same route but skied at least 20km with 1200m of ascent.

The reason?

Well, I wanted a ski set up that would let me move fast in the hills and opted in the end for a very sexy pair of fishscale green ski's with posh chilli bindings and fabby T4 telemark boots.

Invincible me thinks.

However, the sexy green ski's are utter sh*te on anything more that [what left like] 10 degrees.

So, as Heather & Fran were putting the world to right, Di was in her own little world of utter suffering having to skin a bzillion miles further with ski's that refused to work.

On a positve note, it was bloomin' gorgeous on the hill and although the ski descent wasn't pretty, I never broke anything.

God, its good to be home...