Sunday, April 24, 2011

Climbing, Beinn A'Bhuird last Sunday

Myself and Drew decided to go out and try Beinn A'Bhuird last weekend. We were a little concerned that our fingers might freeze and fall off. As it turned out, the buttresses were in very Alpine condition with the sun gently warning up the granite. We decided to go for Mitre ridge.

The cycle in
Mitre Ridge
Drew up the first pitch: feeling quite tricky for the first rock climb of the year!

Drew up the final tower - fantastic exposure

The hike in is not that bad if you are ready to bike: ~2hrs bike in + 1.5hrs walk and only ~2hrs to get back to the car from the summit!
In all, a great day with stunning situations - would really recommend it.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Roy Bridge 8-10 April

The first camping meet of the year yielded a fine weekend of weather in the west. Several members enjoyed a couple of nights under canvas in advance of the arrival of the midges.

Denis provided the following summary of events...

A convivial weekend of glorious weather, the clouds burning off the tops, on a gondola-assisted ascent of the Aonachs.

The hard men: Biffa went bashing, and Austin a Nepalese-inspired trek over several Corbetts and Grahams.

Up the Aonachs, with Ben Nenis and Carn Mor Dearg behind

Monday, April 11, 2011

A delayed report...

…from the club meet to Ullapool a few weeks ago on the 18-20 March. Breezy but largely dry weather was taken advantage of for a full weekend in the hills of the northwest.

Sgurr an Fhidhleir nestled amongst its more rounded neighbours
Several of us enjoyed a fair bit of sunshine and a whole lot of wind up Ben More Coigach on the Saturday. We ascended via the entertaining ridge which leads up from the west, giving fine views of the Summer Isles way below.

Steve, finding the extreme in every situation
Even when taking photos
Or just standing still!
Working our way along the ridge
We continued round to Sgurr an Fhidhleir before dropping back down out of the wind at last and on to catch some of the rugby in the Summer Isles Hotel.Other groups went up neighbouring Beinn an Eion or further inland to Bein Dearg. 

Steve Miles draws attention to the next objective

Keeping low avoids the wind
We all assembled for a meal that evening in the Ceilidh Place where many an ale and whisky were sampled. The following morning revealed cloudy skies and perhaps one or two cloudy heads. With no cooking facilities at the associated bunkhouse, we were once again grateful for the cups of tea provided by Denis, Stuart and Juliette in their campervans, while we assessed our options for the day. 

Some folk headed off on a geological walk (guess who!), a few to the sandy lochan behind Stac Pollaidh and Cul Beag, two up Cul Mor, and three of us up Cul Beag itself. The clag fortunately restricted itself to the upper hundred metres or so, and the wind, while still enthusiastic, was less abrasive than the previous day. 

On the descent of Cul Beag
A surprisingly approachable pair of ptarmigan provided the penultimate interest to the day, before Yvonne and Steve Miles’ misplaced steps through a rather soft bog nicely capped off an enjoyable weekend (well, for me as a spectator at least!).

Friendly ptarmigan
Photos by Yvonne, Gunnar and Alex.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Out and ASpout Again

After a month of not getting into the hills, John and Ann were out on Sunday for a quick trip up Lochnagar. We arrived to find the Glen Muick car park possibly the quietest we've ever seen it - obviously hill goers are a thoughtful breed who were all taking their mums breakfast in bed. A pleasant sunny wander up the track was finished with a fine view of the joys to come.

Lochnagar, with Black Spout just R of centre

Given the forecast of high winds and possibly a couple of hours of snow we decided on the easy option of keeping our heads down by staying in the corrie as long as possible. Given the rim of dodgy looking cornices and lots of meltwater around we decided on a scoot up Black Spout, which would put us on the plateau very close to the summit. A good plan, but getting to the base was a tedious plod through deep soft snow over the boulder fields.

On the Approach

Entering the Spout. Note the avalanche tip that had come down Parallel A (which now has a stream down it)

The Spout itself was as entertaining as ever although the soft snow made it quite hard going. Things improved a bit higher up but too late as we were now getting into the wind, and it was snowing on and off. The transition from sheltered gully to exposed plateau was as brutal as ever and we scooted up to the summit for shelter and first lunch.

Negotiating the Cornice

After that it was a rapid descent by the Glas Allt waterfall and a return to spring with a pleasant walk back along the loch in a mix of warm sun and the odd sleet shower (and second lunch).