Monday, 27 December 2010
Over state side in New Jersey for a few weeks visiting family for Christmas and New Year. Elbow's still giving me jip so hoping being miles away from Scotland and the Lakes will take the ice conditions out of my mind!
A big snowstorm blew through last night leaving about 6" of snow here but much more further east and in the centre of New York. Ventured out today and it was freezing cold but lovely blue skies and sunny - too cold to go running though (what a shame!).
Sunday, 14 November 2010
Back on the physio bench again :o(
Left elbow is back to its usual gammy state! Bit of a bugger as I'm pretty psyched on the climbing again after a bit of a low spell, so looks like I'm going to miss out on a bit of the winter bouldering and the start of the winter season. Already missed out on the majority of the Tooling comps north of the border but Steve Lynch is keeping up the side for the North East squad - 5 wins out of 5 so a cracking result! Check out the results so far on the Scottish Tooling website.
Been really slack in not updating the blog site for ages!! What's gone on since the last installment:-
Skiing in Italy at Easter.
A little bit of rock climbing in the UK
Climbing trip to Mallorca October half term.
Steve has been getting out a fair bit, check out Mixed Picks for details.
Nathan's been on the injury bench for the last few months, hopefully back into training soon!
More updates on the way.........
Monday, 15 March 2010
Headed down to the cove for an early morning training session with Ali, Alan, Nathan and Lucie. It was a beautiful morning, nice in the sun but chilly in the shade!
Aimed for the normal area as the tide was on the turn and we didn't fancy getting trapped in the 'Burl Cave'. Good session but I was tired from the comp at Climb Newcastle the night before.
Alan pulling on the steep!
Ali on the 'Warm-Up' traverse
Tuesday, 9 March 2010
Decided on a weekend on the slopes as a change from the climbing. The conditions were great so it made sense to grab the conditions while they were there!
It was a weekend of two halves it terms of the weather, Saturday was hot and sunny while Sunday was cloudy and cold.
Ali on the sunny slopes!
Opted for a weekend of climbing in the lakes for a change as the conditions were so much better than Scotland.
On Saturday Nathan, Steve Lynch, Wilkie and I headed to Dove Crag to climb a route Steve had been wanting to tick for ages. Inaccessible Gully (V, 5) was there but in the warm sunshine it was really running! Steve and Wilkie set off first with Nathan and I following behind, dodging the lumps of ice.
The ice was pretty detached on the first section which made it exciting even on the 'blunt' end of the rope!! The second pitch gave great (and strenuous!!) mixed/tooling moves round the big chock stone. Fantastic route!
Steve Lynch on the detached ice on pitch 1
Sunday saw us heading to Dove Crag in Grassmoor, the aim was Dove Crag Gully (IV/V, 4). Nathan was climbing with Steve Hartland (AKA The Machine). Steve Lynch and I climbed with Steve Roberts from The Mountain Boot Company out for his first route of the season.
It was really busy with plenty of teams on and vying for the same route. Amazing ice and a great weekend out with the team!
The Machine on the first pitch
Steve Lynch on the steep ice of pitch 2
Headed back up to the Ben again on a beautifully clear Saturday. It was a later start than planned due to a late arrival Friday night, so thought Waterfall Gully might be a feasible option as it was reported to be in condition.
As it turned out it wasn't in condition from what I could see so we had a pottering day on the CIC Ice Falls. It was really busy with climbers on most lines. Bumped in to a few friends on the ice today, Kev Shields who is still trying to recover from broken bone in his foot, and Gaz who was up from Manchester for a week in the hills.
Sunday ended up as a really steady day pottering down at Glenfinnan. It was another beautiful day, really wished we'd headed up to the ski area for the day. Next time maybe!
CIC Ice Fall
View down Loch Shiel
Monday, 15 February 2010
After the day on the Ben, Ali and I grabbed some dinner in the fort then headed round to Laggan to meet up with Kieron, Ross, Nathan and Steve at the hotel for a beer before heading to the car park and a semi comfy night sleeping in the car. Nathan and Steve were up and away for 6am, headed for Pumpkin. Check out Steve's blog 'Mixed Picks' for pics of their day! Kieron and Ross had a slightly later start and headed towards Staghorn again to climb the cascade on the left wall of the gully. Ali and I were tired from yesterday on the Ben and were pretty uninspired by the wet morning weather, so opted for a leisurely breakfast and steady walk to stretch out those aching legs!
Strange lichens on the trees in the woods of Creag Meagaidh
A semi early start saw Ali and I setting off from the north face car park at 7.30am in crisp conditions. An hour and a half later and we were having a brew at the CIC eying up the days objective. We opted for Comb Gully and set off following a string of climbers heading towards number three gully buttress (and ultimately Comb!). The queue in the gully led us to continue up Number Two to have a look at Comb Gully Buttress but the snow condition dictated continuing up Number Two and topping out on the plateau into a freezing wind via an unconsolidated cornice exit. Half the descent was in thick cloud cover, finally clearing at the bottom of the red burn.
View up to Number Three Gully Buttress
Ice formations in Number Two Gully
Ali topping out!
Sunday, 7 February 2010
Went for a quick tooling session at the cove with Nathan on Saturday afternoon in leu of any winter action. It was a rude awakening back on the axes after quite a while away from the cove!
We started at the standard traverse for a warm up then headed over to the burl cave for a couple of burns on the problems there. Will have to get some gas lanterns so I can keep up the training through the week.
Check out Nathan in action!
Headed up north on the Saturday evening with Kieron, Ross and Ali after Ross had finished work. Stopped over night in Newtonmore so we would be close to the mountain for the following day.
Things were a lot slower to get going on the Sunday as breakfast wasn't until 7.30am which left us a little behind schedule!!
Walked in to Meagaidh in a cold wind but relatively clear skies. Kieron and Ross were aiming for Staghorn Gully while Ali and I were going to try South Pipe Direct. As we got closer the views of the fat ice on Last Post were amazing. We all decided to climb Staghorn due to the time and the other climbers on and below most of the other routes!
The climbing was great, if a little tiring on the calves, with two brilliant pitches in the upper gully. We topped out on to the plateau into a really strong, biting wind and with the clouds threatening to close right in we set off down to the window and back to the car as the snow started to fall.
We finally got to the car park at 7pm and started the long trip back down the road!
Fat ice on the lower pitches of Last Post
Ali mid way up Staghorn Gully
A qiuck cuppa at the bottom of the window on the way out
Tuesday, 12 January 2010
Decided to head to the lakes for the weekend as the reports of the conditions were very good. Set off on the Saturday morning to Kieron's over at Carlisle. The journey over took much longer due to the snowy conditions so the venue was Borrowdale and the very frozen Sour Milk Gill. Had a great few hours in very alpine temps and conditions!
Blencathra in a wintery coat!
Kieron on the ice of Sour Milk Gill.
Ross nearing the top of the first ice sheet.