Coed Brenin Enduro 2014

Coed Brenin Enduro 2014

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Easy day on the Ben

Day 2 on the Ben started with a lie in until 6.30am! The weather was great and we decided to start with a bumble up Ledge Route (II). It was fun, and quiet (surprisingly) putting us on top of Ben Nevis by 9.30am.

'Stecking' up Ledge Route!
Weirdly there seemed to be fewer climbers out today even though the weather was better.

On the top of Ledge Route by 9.30am (1hr 45 mins from CIC)

On the way down we spotted Conan going through (?battling/digging) the cornice on Central Gully (III.IV)

We headed down to the hut and cleared up our kit as a group of Italians were arriving for the week. We drank tea for a while and finished off the wine (well not carrying it out!) before heading home.

Night shot (about 9.30 pm) from the CIC hut - by kind permission of Tim Kearsey 
P.S. Whilst at the CIC hut I tried to get some cool night shots with my new camera and failed (need to learn more about photography). Tim (Kearsey) took some cool shots, see above.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Day 1 on 'le Ben'

Just back from a fun 2 days winter climbing on Ben Nevis...

I was lucky to get a place (by club lottery) at the famous CIC hut nestled at the base of the north face of Ben Nevis this weekend. We took a leisurely drive up on the Friday so we could walk in during daylight hours. Its quite a knackering walk in with food/gear and supplies etc, but we were only packing stuff for 2 days compared with a group of Italians we saw coming up for the week when we left. They had 160 ltr haul bags, which even included Bialeta expresso makers (one between 2 I think!)!!!

On the walk in great views of Orion Face (plastered). Note the queues on NE Buttress (ridge lower left) at the 'man trap', and lots of people (ants) on Orion Direct (further right)!

The CIC hut is a great place (never been in before). Its warm (note - don't need 4 season sleeping bag next time), with gas fires, electric lights, sleeps 26 (it was packed) and even has stinky toilets! Brilliant.

CIC luxury - don't worry that mans not got a bandaged head. He's french, and cool...
Friday night people were arriving all night, in fact Loz and Shaw (who'd come up earlier), only got back at 10.30 pm after an epic time on Minus One Gully (VI, 6). They were happy but knackered! There were 8 of us from the Kendal Mountaineering Club and we enjoyed wine (thanks for carrying in a wine box Paul!), 'posh' Vodka (nice one Pete), and Whisky (thanks Shaw ;-) ).

An early (for me) start on Saturday, after limited sleep (dorms) saw us heading up into the clag trying to find a route to climb. It was fairly poor weather initially so we took Conan's advice, found Garadh Gully (II), went up this (fun little gully) as it finishes just at the base of Glover's Chimney (III, 4). This was a great marker, but also luckily the weather did clear as we got to the base of Glover's so we knew we were in the right place. Amazing views as the cloud dissipated, queues on Comb Gully +++.

Weather starts to clear and we see the start of Glover's Chimney

Looking up to the tower gap - check the people (ants) just on the left of it about to cross it
 We started Glover's at a perfect time, because the route was clear ahead of us, and there were 3 teams slogging up to join us on the route.

Being chased up the route. Note all the people heading diagonally left up towards Comb Gully
What a great route, nice first ice pitch, followed by lots of easy ground in the middle. All the way up, we could see a continuous stream of people crossing 'tower gap' above us. The last, crux pitch was brilliant, a 35m mixed chimney. It was choked with ice so gear was slightly limited on the top half - but brilliant fun. Its great finishing/pulling out into 'tower gap'. All the passing traffic had gone so we didn't see anyone on Tower Ridge when we yomped up this to finish our days climbing.

Paul in the chimney, note the teams below!

Paul nearing the belay and top of the chimney pitch

On the summit with 1-2 hours daylight left, it was a hard call, another route, finish in the dark, or tea and cake at the hut!?!?!

On top..... (lomo style pic)

The weather improved during the afternoon and as we descended we got great views of Glover's Chimney.

Glover's Chimney, helpfully marked for non climbers to spy our route!

Peter and Fiona had carried in a chilli for all 8 of us (heavy?), so another great social night was had by all. I slept much sounder Saturday night.......................

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Tour de Pen Y Ghent - mountain bike

Today was the first outing of the summit monkeys (!

One of the classic mountain bike routes in the area is the 'tour d'Ingleborough' , you've guessed it a circuit around Ingleborough, one of the Yorkshire 3 peaks. Its quite long (45 + km), so I thought that an easier route that I've not done before would be the 'tour de Pen Y Ghent'.

So the masses (4, plus Benji the dog) assembled at Horton in Ribblesdale for today's "easy" ride. The weather was fantastic as we set off, sunny and cold - perfect.

Its strange how your mind changes details, softens pain over time! I had informed Abi and Rachel that the first climb to the shoulder of pen y ghent wasn't too bad - wrong! It was very long.

Still a long climb to pen y ghent! Keep going Abi and Rachel!

Nearly there - the bulk of pen y ghent looming ahead

Going around the far side of the mountain we dropped down into a beautiful Dales valley. It was really warm and sheltered - great.
Finally the first big climb over - enjoy the descent with pen y ghent behind Steve

So half of the ride completed we did the final road section and all felt quite fresh before having to do the second big climb to complete the route. I thought this was going to an easy high crossing back to the start - erm, wrong again!

Foxup! Just about to leave civilisation again to start the crossing back to Horton

We faced lots of snow drifts, and although quite small they were impossible to ride through, so it was cycle 10m, walk 5m, cycle 10m walk 5m for about 4 miles. Then we missed a turn and had to 'hike a bike' to get back on track. Not ideal when we were all getting pretty tired. Thank goodness for the emergency snickers.

Abi enjoying the snow (grrr)
Oops, need to carry the bikes for a bit! Abi got a tick from here we think!

Finally we hit the stone track near the Hull Pot (a big hole in the ground - google it if interested!), and we were all very pleased as we glided (or was that shaken to bits Abi?) back to the cars after 5 hours on the trails.

Finally all the way around the mountain (behind!). Quick photo of the happy team before the final descent!

It was a great day out, completing what felt like a big and satisfying ride! I need a rest before the next one though......

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Fun morning on Sharp Edge

Ben wanted to go for a Birthday wander today, so an early start saw us on top on Blencathra by 10.30am this morning. We trundled up Sharp Edge, the icy bits kept us on our toes! I found my new Kahtoola microspikes very useful! We spotted quite a few folks heading up as we were descending.

The walk in (Sharp Edge right hand side)
Nearly on the ridge now - looks idyllic but icy cold wind!

At one point we heard a very strange panting/gasping sound similar to Darth Vadar. A few minutes later we found the source, a walker heading up with some kind of strange face mask on that was restricting his air supply (on purpose), making it much harder to breathe and walk etc. When we quizzed him, he told us its a training device for altitude and he's in serious training for.......... a trek to Everest base camp. Okay then!!!!!

Looking back down the ridge, can you spot the person?
Icy scramble - Ben on the cold side, me trying to stay in the sun

On top, 2 runners head off across the snow....