Friday, October 27, 2017

Northern Norway and Lofoten Islands

 Lofoten Islands August 2017.  Skye on Steroids?
 Lofoten - view from Hermandalstinden
 Stetind - Norway's national mountain. 1400m straight out the sea.
 Stetind - summit ridge.
 Stetind - the exposed climbing pitch.
 Stetind sunset
Worlds Slab - a 2km long 1/2km wide smooth slab. Amazing walk (or a head banger bike ride?!)

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Summer climbing says goodbye!

Little bouldering session before a social BBQ at the last tuesday evening outdoors with the climbers of the AMC. It has been a rich summer of climbing at the cliffs. 

This summer brought to the club some new good climbers so the group has been growing. 

Thanks to all the climbers who attended the summer outdoors climbing sessions for the cheerful time and the effort put in climbing every time more and better. It is the best feeling one can share with other climbers!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Lewis trip

A few of us ventured over to Lewis last week to see how Holly was getting on and to enjoy the island.  With Juliette and her mother Morag and Rae along to provide a local perspective we had a great time.  Based at Kneep campsite at Reef Beach in the Uig area we explored the area and indeed the whole island from Ness in the north to Leverburgh in the south and took in some walks, climbs, swims, relation visits (for Juliette and Morag) and provided some evening distractions for Holly from her work in Stornoway. (we even avoided dropping rocks on her, although did force her to abseil towards an angry looking sea!)
                                            Holly enjoying (??) Lewis seacliff climbing
                                               Stuart and Juliette's van and Morag's tent

                               The view across Reef beach with the campsite on the right

                                                        Bhaltos beach looking great

          Butt of Lewis lighthouse and Judith looking pleased after spotting a pod of dolphins
Stuart, Melba, Rae and Judith enjoying the views of St. Kilda coming down from Mealaisbhal the highest point on Lewis

                                           the spectacularly located bothy at Mangurstadh

                                                             inside the bothy - space for 2

                                     the dogs enjoying another amazing beach at Uig sands
                               Stuart leading one of the 6 pitches of a severe on Griomabhal, if this was in the
  Cairngorms and south facing it would be mobbed!!
                                      Looking across at the 300m slabs we had just climbed
            The weather couldn't last forever but at least we had Losgaintir beach to ourselves.  This was followed by meeting up with Holly again and supper and a ceildh in Tarbet, Harris.  A a visit to the new distillary where large amounts of gin were purchased was also included.....

Friday, July 7, 2017

Lovely evening for bouldering at an unrecorded cliff. The boulder problems are mainly easy grades and slabby, partially tidal.
We had low tide in the evening, so we could climb EVERYTHING!

... and since there was anything more to climb (this obviously a joke, there is ALWAYS something more to climb!) we then enjoyed a good BBQ all together, with professional tools and an invasion of burgers.
See you at the next climbing-social. Bye!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Good fun and little satisfactions

     From Bob Elder:
A successful AMC visit to Pass o' Ballater on Wednesday evening with a variety of good routes climbed on the Western Section lower and upper tiers.
The highlight being  a return to Dod's Dead Cat (E2 5c) for Manu after a previous unsuccessful attempt. Good lead Manu !  Some pictures of a happy Manu, and Keith seconding the route.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Skipped the rain

Good fun at Clashrodney in our Tuesday climbing. 
The AMC has literally infested the cliff!

The showers in the afternoon did not scare us. We were rewarded with reasonable conditions and a good evening's climbing. Emma climbed trad for the first time, Rob lead his first trad route (well done!) and Manu and Keith ended the climbing session in the darkness.

We are good climbers, aware that the good equipment can really change the quality of the climbing.

See you next Tuesday somewhere else!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Rock climbing season 2017 has started!

Back on the rocks!
First social climbing at Alan's cliff. 
Nice to see someone starting leading with confidence.... 

Happy to have back the most photographed climber of the club...

...and honored to have two loved guests amongst the climbers!

See you next Tuesday!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Snow Holing Exploits

After a sociable Friday evening at Holly's leaving do, a sunny Saturday morning saw Ed, Scuz, Joe and Mark heading to Linn of Dee to try and find enough snow for a snow hole.

After a quick cycle into Derry Lodge we went up Derry Cairngorm in hot sunshine and with little sign of snow.

But as we approached the main Cairngorm plateau the snow levels increased and with Ed's previous experience we located a good bank of snow in a hanging corrie above Loch Etchachan. and the digging began at 2 points

Within a couple of hours of hard digging and a broken spade (who buys snow shovels at Costco??) we had a deluxe abode for the night, with Ed and Scuz on the ground floor and Joe and I on the mezzanine floor

Once the digging was done it was time for supper in the gathering darkness
After a good feed we went for a starlite wander up Ben Macdui to get Joe the tick.  Our return saw us tucked up in the snow hole with the candles on and the whisky out.

With the sun streaming through the snow hole door we awoke to another stunning Cairngorm day

Due to Joe needing to be back in Aberdeen we had an easy walk out via Loch Etchachan (literally) and the Hutchinson Hut

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Night navigation course

Just back from the course, it is night, I feel knackered, but glad to have learned a lot today. We started having satisfaction in finding out location at the Ballater car park (good effort guys!) but then the drill became more and more interesting.
Thanks to the clear and patient explanations of Derek we manage then to play finding the way in the dark. I think that everybody who participated to the course today feels more secure in approaching the mountains.

Judith and Mark working on the map

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

MODERATOR’S LETTER by Luigi Spezia (From the upcoming AMC Handbook 2017)

I have got this story from a friend who went to USA for his PhD in psychology. He was based in Santa Cruz, California, where there is a big surfing community.  He was a climber and did not know anything about surfing, but he was fascinated by this group of people and wanted to get in touch with them.  Thus, he started going to the places where they were used to meet up; then he approached them and began listening to their chats. He also wanted to be part of the conversation and so, once, asked an easy question just to break the ice: “Who do you think is the strongest surfer of the world?”.  The oldest guy of the group, an old, tanned, long white haired, wrinkled surfer answered his question without turning his head, and with a low voice, slowly said: “The strongest surfer is he who enjoys surfing most”.

I like this answer.  If this is the meaning of strength, I want to be the strongest climber in the world: enjoy what I do, and always get pleasure and satisfaction from my climbing.  Just climbing without any frustration or anxiety for the result: for the fun of it, without the stress of the grades.  On the other hand, this does not stop me wishing to improve and push myself, always enjoying it (unfortunately this did not always happen to me!): improving not to be best, but to be better and better, but “just” the strongest, following the words of the old wise surfer. When climbing, I would like to be able to do all things seriously, but without taking myself seriously: it is just climbing, for myself, for my pleasure, without any need of acknowledgements from the others.

To have fun being outdoors with your friends is important, and in the AMC I found a bunch of people with whom I can have fun, not only when I spend my time outdoors with them, but also when we train together or go out socially.

I wish you all a chance to be the strongest walker, climber, mountaineer, hill runner, skier of the year.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Best in the West

On Friday evening the Bothy Babes, The Bothy Chef and the Victim (aka Linda, Scuz, Ed and Mark) headed west to the end of Loch Arkaig and following a 2 hour moonlit walk over the luckily frozen pass arrived at Kinbreak bothy at midnight. (The Bothy Babes lived up to their reputation and carried in the coal).  We had a the place to ourselves and celebrated with a bottle of wine.

                                                                  A Bothy Babe outside Kinbreak Bothy

On Saturday we headed off on a Corbett bagging walk around the tops at the head of the Glen Kingie. With the ground frozen and snow levels at about 600m quick progress was made to the tops and some great ridge walking was had despite the wind levels being higher than hoped, and so it was pretty cold.

Skating Pond near summit of Sgurr Cos na Breachd laoigh

After the Corbett was bagged, Linda decided that the plan for the day wasn't long enough for an Ultra runner in training so went off west to bag Sgurr nan Coireachan.  The rest of us just completed the expected horseshoe over the Munro of Sgurr Mor before heading down in gale force winds to the bothy just before dark.  Along the way back we encountered a badger trotting along the track before noticing us about 5metres away!

The peak of Sgurr na Ciche sticking out from the skyline

Ed and Scuz enjoying the view from An Eag with Sgurr Mor in the background

                                                             View into Knoydart

Back at the bothy the Chef went to work on the 5 course dinner, washing it down with wine and whisky.

Dinning arrangements at Kinbrek in front of the fire

Sleeping arrangements

Sunday dawned bright and sunny and much to Scuzzer's delight the Corbett of the day -Sgurr Mhurlagain, started with a steep 400 grassy slope directed behind the bothy (not everyone was as excited!!).
View of Gairich across Glen Kingie

Blue Sky walking

The team relax in the sunshine on the summit of Sgurr Mhurlagain