Tuesday, 30 June 2015

More Glencoe Mountaineering

Out with Ruairidh today. He's been developing his climbing and mountaineering and today we let him find the route to the base of North Buttress on Buachaille Etive Mor before getting on the sharp end as we moved on up. It was wet in the steep chimneys and we pitched some sections with R leading his share. We arrived on the summit in hot heavy mist and probed our way back down to the top of Great Gully Buttress with care. Together we soloed down each preparing 1 of the 2 abseil that make the a more straightforward scrambling descent. 1 heavy shower caught us just before we hit the car but now the sun is out and feeling powerful and I can see the top of Ben Nevis for the first time in ages.
 Ruairidh working on his route finding
 And upwards
 AMI and Rab a great partnership and the Sawtooth Hoody was great today!
 R cruising
 Last bit we pitched
 Dry with views!
 R sorting the second ab on Great Gully Buttress
Clouds seeming to reflect the u shaped glen below

Sunday, 28 June 2015

A proper mountain day

I'm spending the weekend with MIA Trainees Jess, Gordon and Lena. Today they wanted to look at what they will be assessed on on their mountain day. I offered them a pretty standard up and down day on the Buachaille or a 'serious' challenge. They opted for the latter…
We started up B Buttress on the West face of Aonach Dubh in Glencoe discussing some of the local botanical life on the way. After Gordon negotiated the team over the greasy steps to the middle ledge Lena took over and traversed the Middle Ledge into No.4 Gully. From the consequential but easy path along the ledge things got steeper, looser and damper in the bed of No.4 Gully. We paused to admire the amazing rock architecture of this quiet part of Glencoe (once upon a time the rock climbs here saw regular ascents now they are less frequented) before Gordon took over again to take the team up the slab, north along Rhyolite Romp and down into the Ampitheate at the top of Dinnertime Buttress. I jumped in for a short way to give an example of how I move a roped team around the mountain before handing things back to Lena for the last couple of slippery tiers as we dropped back down the Buttress.
The weather was on, off as were the waterproof trousers. We could often see sun over Ballachullish whilst we were being rained on but it was rarely too bad.
The guys stepped up to the mark with a day designed to stretch them all round. Despite not reaching a top its a 'proper' mountain day.
 Geared up, ready to go
 A rare spike on B Buttress
 Jess and Lena
 High above Glencoe
 Starting out on the Middle Ledge
 Lena on the sharp end
 Small ledge, big exposure
 In No. 4 Gully
 The 'spike' belay
 Lena on the rib
 Great scenery
 Jazz hands- Lena's Michael Jackson gloves (are these yours Max ;-)
 Big rock architecture
 That way!
 Gordon getting some friction
Last steps
 Top team!

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Dry and a little midgey but DRY

Today I was at Polldubh with Lena, Gordon and Jess who are all working towards MIA Assessment. They wanted a good long look at the problem solving aspects of the syllabus so we went up and down and occasionally round and round. We had rock fall, sea cliffs, fainting, knots, damaged ropes, dislocated shoulders, cramp, mountain crags,  sudden torrential rain storms, and unconscious people.
Actually it only trained once and although the midges were present the bright light, smudge and a breeze did the trick!
 Lena and Jess
Further assistance on the assisted hoist 
 Come on! She's not that heavy
 Cross 3
Hanging around

Friday, 26 June 2015

Soggy but happy on the Aonach Eagach

Today I was working with Martin for Steve Fallon taking a group of 5 people across the Aonach Eagach. We were joined by Steven my MIA Trainee of the day!
The forecast was for a poor morning with an improvement mid late afternoon. Not quite correct as we and 8 other folk enjoyed a merely drizzly approach with some views and by mid afternoon with the quite greasy scrambling behind us the heavens opened until about 4.30!
Soggy but happy mountaineers!
 Oh dear forecast but actually it was quite pleasant at 11….
…merely moist as teams tackled the scrambling at 1...
…but raining pretty hard at 3!

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Tuesday up Lagangarbh and down Great Gully Buttresses

On Tuesday I let Michael and Elaine lead me up Lagangarbh Buttress and then I took them down Great Gully Buttress. A fine day with enough sunshine and breeze to keep the midges down and great Glencoe views to be had. Bludgers Revelation was dry and a team were enjoying their day out on it too. Top day to finish my 4 days with the MCofS and some great students!

Monday on Stob nan Cabar

Monday was clearer after a drizzly start and Rachael (you guessed it- working towards her MIA) was along to help as I went to Buachaille Etive Beag  with: Elaine, Tony, Perry and Michael. Like Saturday the thrust of the day was helping them become more independent on scrambling ground by increasing their understanding of movement and routefinding with a bit of simple ropework thrown in for good measure. We climbed a route near to the NE Ridge of Stob nan Cabar which although broken fit the bill for us whilst giving some great views I’d never seen before.