Saturday, 29 October 2011

Nanda Devi Trek

Markha Valley trekking from 2008

I'm currently on my way to India to explore the region around Nanda Devi and Panchchuli for a few weeks. Looks like a stunning trek and hoping to do some scouting for a suitable unclimbed objective for an expedition in the next couple of years..... The photos are from my only other trip to India to trek in the Markha Valley of Ladakh and climb Stok Kangri.

An oasis in the barren Ladakh landscape

Descending from the summit of Stok Kangri

Friday, 14 October 2011

Windermere Canoe Bivi

Passing Brockhole on Windermere

I've again spent a couple of days canoeing on Windermere with University of Cumbria students. The forecast was far better than this time last week and we were able to paddle from the northern end of the lake to our bivi site 9km away. Despite a last minute capsize soaking our wood supply we were able to get a good blaze going in the fire box and enjoyed a comfortable and dry night out. Falling acorns were an ever present hazard but some of the students got a solid 12 hours sleep! The following morning we swapped boats with the sea kayakers and headed back to Ambleside under low cloud but without a breath of wind.

Important navigation as there are limited places to land on Windermere.

A bivi for thirteen!

A bivi for one with a view

Exploring some of Windermere's flooded islands

Friday night film - Norway Water

Friday, 7 October 2011

Wild & Woolly Canoe Bivi on Windermere

Enjoying the best of the Lake District!

I'm currently working for the University of Cumbria with students on the Outdoor Education & Leadership courses. Today's canoe journey and bivi on Windermere was a new experience for most of the group. With the wind gusting F4-5 paddling conditions were always going to be challenging so we opted to launch from the southern end of the lake and hug the western shore. The wind was whipping the water up from the surface of the lake and one boat was blown over in a heavy squall less than 10 minutes from camp. With the occupants safely back on board and their equipment retrieved we headed to the shore and set about building some weatherproof bivis. The other group of sea kayakers eventually arrived after a fairly epic journey in the conditions and also worked hard to make themselves comfortable. A tarp as a roof and a good fire in the fire box and things feel a lot better. After a good nights sleep day two dawned a lot clearer and brighter and with the wind behind us we had a pleasant paddle back to our starting point.

Sun light following another squall

Home for the night

Far better conditions for the second days paddle home

Friday night film - The Epic Tri

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Final Day on Shepherd's Crag

Focused on the traverse of Ardus (HS)

After a demanding week of ticking some of the Lake Districts Classic rock routes we opted for the short walk in and cafe of Shepherds Crag in Borrowdale. The rock was dry and we quickly cruised up Ardus (HS), Eve (VS), Little Chamonix (VD) and Donkey's Ears (D).
This week I have been working for Adventure Peaks.

The exposed traverse of Eve (VS)

The crux of the easy classic Donkey's Ears (D)

Evidence of rock fall at Shepherd's Crag - been here years and the tree is now growing around the boulder.