Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Team Allan

Mountains are special places, but the people that you spend time with in the mountains are some of the best around.

For the past 2 days, I have been utterly spoilt by Team Allan - 3 generations of.  Kerry had absolutely no intention of bagging any hills this week but the offer of the Inaccessible Pinnacle was too big a lure.

Brian is discovering that navigation on Skye is often harder than the guide books indicates (especially in pea soup) - and despite thinking he had climbed Banachdich from the South, he was slightly shocked to learn that he had climbed it from the North.  No wonder the corrie didn't look overly familiar and all the conversations we had about the peak make utter sense now :)

In the end the weather won - the weather always wins on Skye and a traverse will have to wait for another time.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Two right hands

Brian said that if I don't confess to this, he will comment so...

... today I took 2 right gloves.  Normally this isn't a massive issue but to say that today was defo a glove day would be an understatement.  

Thank goodness that today I had numerous pairs of gloves so all was not lost.

2 Munros in the bag for the boys with more to follow tomorrow. 


Sunday, 21 June 2015

The Highland Cross

Over the past 32 years, the Highland Cross have gifted £3.8 million to local charities.

Being an invitational event, the chances of mere mortals like myself getting a place is not going to happen but due to a last minute drop out with work, Derek managed to get himself a place.

So, Alison and Di waved them off and then had a mad dash around some very remote corbetts/munros before whizzing back to the Beauly to see Derek and Lottie pass the finish line.

Fantastic party atmosphere in Beauly with a variety of ages and sizes beaming in their glory of making it over the finishing line.

Friday, 12 June 2015

The three amigo's

I love Scotland.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Summer has finally arrived ...

... because yesterday we climbed in t-shirts, had a barbie by the loch side and today I had a lolly pop.

Today I joined up with Jo & Roger who were wanting to push themselves and do some training for a Skye Traverse which is planned later in the summer.

There aren't many options on the Ben for snow free routes to be honest, so out of all the Classic Ridges, we went for the only snow free option that there is at present - Castle Ridge.

A superb route in an excellent situation.

The only other 2 people we saw today were skiers who also had an excellent day but that's not my story to tell but needless to say that the Tower Double got done today :)

Long may summer continue - which translates as:  if you have sent Di an email recently, you'll have to wait for a reply because she is far too busy enjoying a very slow coming summer.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Breaking all the rules

... "fitness will not be an issue" ...

Oh how I laugh at this little statement from Mr Chandler now.  It all began a few months ago when I was introduced to Paul and his brother Mark who wanted to attempt the Cuillin Traverse.  I was very professional and told them what to expect, blocked off a 4 day weather window (Thursday - Sunday) and said that I would be happy to take them along (without the build up day) the ridge.

Having spoke to Paul on Monday night I was fully expecting to re-schedule but said that I would speak to him on Tuesday night just to confirm that they weren't driving all the way North from Essex for a miserable time on Skye.  However, I have never met Paul and Mark before and had full heartily underestimated the Ratcliffe optimism.

So on Tuesday evening when I spoke to Paul it was with a shock that I discovered that they were on the A1 driving North and from the giggles heard, there was absolutely no way that they were turning around now and were bound for the ridge tomorrow and how "it would be great if you could join us".

I have never packed so fast for an attempt on the ridge and at 7am I was heading West.  On meeting the chaps, it was Marks footwear that was the standing joke - his options either his Scarpa Mojito's or his slippy Asolo's.  Despite attempts like "that's my going-to-the-pub-shoes", the Scarpa Mojito's were the footwear of choice.  So just before noon we set off for an attempt on the traverse.

When you spend time with people on the hill you get to know them pretty well and I knew straight off the blocks that Paul & Mark were not your usual client.  Both are Kayak Royalty - kind of like the Brownlee brothers but in paddlesport.  Paul is so famous that you can even buy a poster of him!  Mark has also climbed 8c so you can image what a tit I felt commenting on his footwear - he could wear a pair of flippers and he would still be fine.

Needles to say that the weather was utter pants and it was I who pulled the plug on the traverse at 5pm at the top of the Stone Shoot.  Not to be defeated, the following morning it was a return back up the stone shoot and as far as we could go before once again minging conditions stopped play after Munro number 8.

So, over 42 hours; I drove 300 miles; slept for 7 hours; ate 2 burgers, numerous wraps and jelly babies; never drank enough; bagged all the Southern Cuillin Munro's & met 2 amazing Gentlemen.

I will put my hand on my heart and say that I have never been beasted around the hills as much as the past 2 days.  Yes, they did need a Guide but if I could have strapped a headcam and directed from the valley floor they would be over the ridge in half the time that I take to do it - easily.