Monday, August 24, 2015

August Cragging

Here are some pics of a couple of recent cragging trips.

A couple of weekends ago Mark, Mary, Aaron, Bob and Jane went up to Logie Head at Cullen.  As the tide was out and the seagulls had left their nests we could have a go at the excellent VS routes on the Star Zone without fear of being attacked as we topped out.

A view from the sea of us climbing on the Star Zone at Logie Head

above - Aaron topping out
below - Mark leading Moray Eel VS belayed by Mary and Bob leading Fallen Star belayed by Jane

We were attacked from the sea by NESKy's, some more familiarly seen proping up the bar at the Fridgate or racing over the hills in pursuit of Scuz.  Thanks to Jane's friend who took some pics from the sea (see first photo).

Once we had had some lunch and the tide started to come in we retreated back to the Embankment where Aaron and Mary each continued their leading career on Sea Link and Bladder Wrack respectively.  We also did a couple of other climbs before the black clouds caused a hasty retreat in heavy rain.

Last weekend another group of Mark, Luigi, Manuela and Charles headed down to Dunkeld where we met Toby.  Again defying the weather forecast we had a good day's climbing at Polney Crag.

Charles topping out of our first climb of the day Bollard Butress Direct.

Manu giving her usual smooth performance on Dynamo VS 5a belayed by Luigi.

Toby well belayed above a 30m drop!

Mark belaying at the base of the Wriggle set of climbs.

  Below are a sequel of Toby doing an impressive lead of The Rut VS 5a (at least!)

The day was rounded off by coffees and beer sitting outside the Taybank and the rain even held off this time.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Remote Bagging

Last weekend Ann & John decided to make use of a reasonable forecast to delve deep into the area west of Linn of Dee on an overnight camping trip. Deciding an early start on Saturday would do, we duly woke to pouring rain instead of blue skies. So after a less tan early start we got up to Braemar where it was even wetter. Luckily the toy shop now has an excellent cafe which proved a perfect spot for some last-minute stalling.
With time running out and overheard reports of sun 30 minutes south, we geared up and did the cycle into White Bridge and were rewarded by the rain stopping. The original plan had been to cross the Geldie Burn but two days of rain had left it quite high and it was enough watching a foreign backpacker tackling it. Fed up with sodden boots on just about every walk this summer we decided to head up to Geldie Lodge to see if it was crossable there. It wasn’t, if anything it was worse. 
Towards Beinn Bhrotain from near Geldie Lodge
This brought on a change of plan. Instead of the grand circuit we had in mind we decided to press on over the watershed to the Feshie and follow it upstream. A short steep pull up an attractive little corrie got us to the northern slope of Beinn Bhreac, possibly the most remote Corbett, and a fine camping spot at 750 m.
Along the Feshie
Impressive peat-topped moraine
Tent up just before sunset

A chilly night meant we were too buried in our sleeping bags to hear the early alarms so didn’t wake until the sun turned the tent into a welcome oven. After a quick breakfast we did the dash up Beinn Bhreac with minimal gear as we lost the sun to a cloud sheet. Yet another forecast for a good day that that was turning out wrong. A fine summit though, and we contemplated that we were probably some of the most isolated folks in the country at the time.
Heading up Beinn Bhreac, Cairngorms behind

Summit of Beinn Bhreac

Chair-like cairn on An Sgargsoch

Heading back north we collected the tent for the ascent of Carn Ealar, Normally considered pretty remote itself, crossing it on the way home felt a bit odd. Then came the big drop and 300 m back up to An Sgargsoch, another prized remote bagging target. The choice of descent routes was tricky; out north to the Geldie and hope it had dropped or east along the Bynack Burn and a certain soaking lower down the Geldie but not far from the bikes. In the end we went for the middle route – a traverse of the undulating ridge between to two other options. This proved generally easier going than we had feared and soon got us to our river crossing. What an anti-climax. It had dropped 20-30 cm and we got across dry. A fine end to a pleasant little trip and great to be in the tent again.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Knoydart Meet

Team AMC on the pier in Inverie

Mat demonstrates his mountaineering carrier bag during the moist cross-country section of the walk-in
Druim bothy, home for the weekend. It's a private bothy run by the estate for groups.

On Saturday the largest party traversed Ladhar Bheinn to get to the pub...

Weather closing in at Mam Barrisdale

Just before we hit the cloud

Summit ridge

Getting into Inverie after it had got proper wet

Pub tea, Old Forge style

Sunday's hill was Beinn Bhuidhe, just above the bothy. Much better weather and would have stayed dry if I hadn't fallen in the burn on the way up. Not having the Monday off, Mat, Joe, Amy and Olly headed out to the ferry.

After Jess' first Munro on Saturday, here she is on her first Corbett

Inverie bay

Sgurr na Ciche making a brief appearance
Monday was back to low cloud and wet, so those of us left headed out to the ferry, except Bruce, who walked back out the way he came in - to Loch Arkaig.