Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Boreal G1 Expedition Boots for sale...

A friend's selling a pair of nearly new Boreal G1 Expedition boots. Size 11.5 which fit a UK 10 - typical Boreal sizing! Perfect for 8000m or Polar trips. I've had clients use these on Cho Oyu and Mt Vinson so can vouch for their warmth. RRP £530.00 so feel free to make Pete an offer. If you're interested please get in touch and I'll pass your details on.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Expedition Medicine

Today was spent working with a group of medics on Expedition Medicine's Lake District course. The weather was almost spring like and we spent the afternoon in t-shirts on the fells above the Derwent Water Youth Hostel looking at navigation, evacuation procedures and steep ground ropework. A very interesting evening lecture was given by Chris Imray, part of the Cauldwell Xtreme Everest Expedition and the key contact for the UK Frostbite Advice Service.

Monday, 21 March 2011

A psychedelic Himalaya

A couple of stunning photos of the Himalaya by Oleg Bartunov
12 days to go...

Saturday, 19 March 2011

A final Curved Ridge

Plenty of snow on Curved Ridge (II)

With plenty of snow still around and a good forecast we opted to finish the week in style with an ascent of the classic Curved Ridge on the Buachaille (II). Both Sue & Jude had climbed this previously in summer and had a hazy recollection of copious amounts of exposure and steep climbing! In the event we cruised up it in fine style with the crux being the first pitch of the ridge proper. There were plenty of folk on the mountain including a number of teams on D Gully Buttress (possibly thinking they were on Curved Ridge!?) but we really only shared our route with Rob Johnson and his clients. Despite a number of folk accessing the ridge from Coire Tullich we opted to descend via Pt 902. The snow was very wet and heavy and we triggered a huge number of sunwheels / snowballs up to a meter plus in diameter, an obvious sign of a high avalanche risk.
Today was the final day of another excellent Scottish season for me. As recommended by Adele I now get to eat 'steak & cake' for a few days before departing for the North side of Everest on the 2nd April.

Rob Johnson in the office!

Jude with a friendly local in Crowberry Gap!

Climbing out of Crowberry Gap

Enjoying the sunshine high on Curved Ridge

The final snowslopes direct to the summit

Buachaille Etive Mor this evening

Friday, 18 March 2011

A windy School House Ridge

Enjoying the Ballachullish School House Ridge

Despite a poor weather forecast today dawned bright and sunny as we walked up towards the School House Ridge on the Ballachullish Munros. By varying our route we were able to pick out a number of grade II steps which Jude and Sue were able to solo with a bit of coaching. From about half height the wind began to pick up with plumes of snow streaming from the ridge.
We were followed up the climb by Adele and her client who opted to continue to the summit despite the worsening conditions. With big plans for tomorrow we chose to turn right at the top of the climbing and easily descend the north ridge back to the cars. After a quick coffee we opted to make full use of the sunshine in the valley by having a session on the Onich Slab looking at using crampons on rock and mixed climbing in general.

Jude & Sue beginning the descent in full on Scottish conditions

Jude wet tooling on the Onich Slab Traverse

Good footwork pays dividends for mixed climbing

Friday night film

Max's successful Everest climb with Adventure Peaks in 2010.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

5th Ascent of Dorsal Arete this season

Sue on a very snowy Dorsal Arete (II)

For the next 3 days I've been joined by regulars Sue & Jude to continue their Scottish winter apprenticeship. With far more snow to play with than at the beginning of February we opted to carry on where we left off and headed straight up to Stob Coire Nan Lochan to climb the classic Dorsal Arete (II). The teams of the last couple of days had done a good job and there was a reasonable trench to the foot of the route although the constant spindrift had done a good job of filling everything in. An early start meant we were first on the route and everything was going fine until the crux fin where I managed to drop an axe. We topped out just as a major squall arrived necessitating a quick descent to the corrie floor. While Sue & Jude enjoyed lunch in the sun I was able to scoot up and retrieve my lost axe from half way up Forked Gully before the long descent to the car and a coffee in the Clachaig.

The corrie was busy today with plenty of teams on Dorsal Arete and others on Spectre, Ordinary Route, Scabbard Chimney, Raeburn's Route and Crest Route. Some of the approach slopes were a bit suspect and their was plenty of additional loading taking place on the strong south westerlies.

Jude & Sue on the belay below the crux fin

Sue topping out on the Dorsal Fin closely followed by a number of other teams!

Sue on the steep exit moves

Team Glasgow following us up the route

Conditions in Stob Coire Nan Lochan today

More conditions with Dorsal Arete on the right.

The west face of Aonach Dubh this evening

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Ski Touring in the Mamores

Paul skinning up to the Mamores ridge in glorious sunshine

Amazing views over to the Buachaille

Stunning touring with Schallion in the far distance

The CMD Ridge & Ben Nevis - our route of yesterday

The Pap of Glencoe this afternoon

The West face of Aonach Dubh this afternoon