Coed Brenin Enduro 2014

Coed Brenin Enduro 2014

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Classic Rock - Red Pencil Direct

Well maybe its a bit sad, but between being ill (man flu) and work I persuaded Ben to come and find the above classic rock route on Pen y Ghent in the Yorkshire Dales.

15-20 minute walk in Ben....!

Now where is the stable rock!?
What can I say.... well the actual climbing was very mediocre, and probably wouldn't get any stars if elsewhere, but.... walking to the top of Pen y Ghent was scenic while Ben moaned about being unprepared (I'd told him the walk in was 15-20 mins - well I didn't have a guide book... when it took about 45 + minutes).... exploring to find the crag (the emailed and printed single page was quite vague).. and finally climbing a route next to a previous big rock fall, and finding quite a few bit loose rocks on the actual route all led to a fun few hours on this glorious day.

Allegedly the best route of the crag (note big rock fall scar on right!)

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Highland adventure....

Well what an interesting week or so.... a trip up to the Highlands in Scotland to see Loz and Gemma, have a 'wee' job interview (eek) and look around the area so see if it could be home for a while.

The Black Isle

Loz did a top job in acting as tour guide to his local patch showing me the highlights of the Black Isle and some amazing surrounding areas.

McRigolos (Moy Rock)

Warming up on the pebbles!
He was also kind enough to take me to Moy Rock, and amazing conglomerate sport climbing crag that I will always now think of as McRigolos!! Really fun climbing here, before heading up a glen to look at some schist slab climbing above a deep river pool far below. I think it was called Scatwell River Slabs!?!?!

Now where are the clean routes....?!

Pic says it all!
The routes were very dirty, Loz assured me that they had been cleaned in 2005 or similar and were in great condition..... We abseiled in, did a bit of cleaning and ultimately top roped a route out which felt about E2 5c ish (very little gear - it might have been a hybrid route following the cleanest line on the schist). We didn't have the guidebook so no idea. But it was a fun climb, and the place is just scenically stunning.

Actually a great ?hybrid route

 Technical climbing between minimal features
So now just need to put my thinking cap on......

Sunday, 1 May 2016

?last hurrah (snow).....

After not doing the Dyfi Enduro (again) I ended up on trip to Scotland to hunt down some snow and hook up with Des and Cath for a wee tour.

The top of the Fiacaill Ridge

Skiers looking for steeps!

Cath and Des just before the Loch

A long after work drive on Friday night saw me sleeping in the car at the Drumochter Pass watching the stars at midnight through the car glass roof (beautiful)!

Lunch at the loch 

Diagonal Gully behind 

Zoom shot of a busy steep gully!
Another early start on the Saturday (- 1C in the car!) and I picked up Des and Cath from the Aviemore YHA at 8.30am. Given the great forecast, and that it was the Saturday of a bank holiday weekend I was worried that we wouldn't get parked at the ski centre..... lets just say there were plenty of spaces still at 9am (sorry guys!)!

Zoom shots of skiers in Castlegates gully (Shelterstone) 

We skinned up the Fiacaill ridge to point 1141m, and dropped down to Loch Avon (A'an) via Allt Coire Domhain next to Hell's Lum on some very interesting deep heavy snow that was pin wheeling balls of about .5-1m in diameter from our ski tracks !!!

Tourers approaching the summit of Ben Macdui 
Things were much calmer at the Loch and we had lunch and watched loads of people 'hitting' the steeper gullies (Diagonal and Gastlegates). There were loads of skiers out, but who can blame them on a day like this. What was surprising were the large amount of skiers who were just wandering around carrying ski's (I guess no skins) over the plateau seeking steeper lines to drop.

Heading up Beinn Mheadhoin 

Okay back to business we skinned up towards Loch Etchachan and then on to Beinn Mheadhoin (a munro I've wanted to visit for a while). It was bitter cold on the top, the weather slightly deteriorating.

But the 2km descent to the outlet of Loch A'an was fantastic with some of the best snow of the day (I whooped!). Obviously all over too quickly, and after fording the river we started the final big skin to get us back up to Cairngorm and a final drop down through the ski area. A bit of a killer climb, but I think Des worked out afterwards that the route was about 10 miles, with 1400m ascent!

Glad you wore the red trousers Des (love this shot!)

Wet foot Des?

back at the loch (outlet this time)
With tired legs we made the col, and dropped down through the freshly piste bashed slopes and made it within about 100m of the car before having to ditch the ski's. Another fantastic Scottish ski day, man this place delivers.

back up to the saddle

last shot of the day of other skiers (just like the shot!).