Francis, Tony and Blair took me for my first day of rock climbing for the season today. Staffin cracks are fierce and pretty unrelenting so good body ache tonight.
Blair high on Gorbachov, E2 5b
Francis gardening the start of Lats in Space
Lats in Space E1, 5b
Tony on Woman of the Eighties, E3, 5c
Francis on Lat up a Drainpipe, HVS 5a
The beach was beautiful this evening as mists rolled across the Trotternish Ridge.
Highlight of the day however was finally finding my first dinasaur footprint set in the sandstone near the slipway itself-
Apparently footprint of a relative of Megalasaur circa 200 million years old!
Summer has appeared in the Cuillin so Lee and I went off to do Commando Crack- a classic 100m Hard Severe route on the South Face of Sgurr Alasdair. This top quality route has a mix of chimneys, chockstones and laybacks. The crags are all bone dry and well worth a visit if you have some time in the next few days.
A quick overnight freeze was enough to bring Thearlaich, my current favourite venue, straight back into good condition and another great new route as a result. The 50m line is obvious & immediately right of Gully E.
I led the first 30m and Andy took over the final (and crux) 20m. Blocks were thankfully well frozen in and the ice smears were pretty crucial in the crux where the cracks ran out.
Wee bitty tired so just a few shots for now.
Clouds parting to reveal the white stuff; ye ha!
Looking down the first pitch…..
….and zoomed in
Andy geared up & ready to go….
High step on good hooks
It’s amazing to finally be able to stand out and stargaze again tonight at last after an undeniably rough few weeks of weather. Despite this the guys earlier in the week proved how much fun and excitement can be had in the Cuillin with the right attitude.
Winter has well gone!
My brief was to give a revision of mountaineering skills for guys who have climbed mountains across the world. We rehearsed moving together indoors on Monday morning then put it into practice traversing from An Dorus to Banachdaich.
Roped up & ready to go
The rope was well managed and appreciated with buffeting winds and greasy rock on terrain the guys would have flown along in dry weather.
Concentration on the narrow ridge of Sgurr a’ Ghreadaidh
Next day we upped the anti and tackled Pinnacle Ridge of Gillean and down the West. The water on the lens seems to add to the atmosphere quite dramatically. Good buzz!
Traversing the narrow ledge at the start of Knight’s peak
Escape down the large snow fields to the east was uninviting so we pushed on to Gillean but dodged out to the West Ridge rather than summit.
Finishing the crux pitches
and the strain showing
Well, it is my job to be happy!