Try That Instead

The weather is about to crap out and I am about to go back to college so Craig and I wanted to get in a last bit of 'routeage' before we run out of opportunities. We headed up to look at 'Glovers Chimney' (IV,4), the bottom section is getting thin but still climbable. As we were kitting up to go, we were being buried by powder avalanches as each avalanche got longer. We began to think that this maybe isn't the best route choice.
We backed off with our tail between our legs writing the day off prepared for home when we bumped into an MIC (don't know who he was but I owe him a wee thanks) who suggested we try South West Ridge (IV,4) on Douglas Boulder. It turned out to be a great little climb with lots of interest The only issue I had was dealing with the rope drag due to the nature of the route. 
Craig McKay
Doesn't take long for the conditions to get grim.
East Side of Douglas Boulder with a team coming off Tower Ridge


What a Difference a Day Makes

After thawing out from yesterday and saying good bye to Alasdair we decided to go for something a little easy and have a shorter day. We packed light and headed back in to Coire An t-Sneachda and found the weather to be a bit better than yesterday.
Almost every route had a team climbing on it with reports all saying how great the conditions were.
After topping out on the Runnel (II**) and getting back down to the bags we went up Aladdin's Couloir (I*) and took the longer walk out to enjoy the gorgeous views.

Steve on the walk in

Coire An t-Sneachda

Soloing the Last Pitch of the Runnel (II**)

I don't think I have ever seen the Cairngorms before


We Really Wanna See Those Fingers!

I am over in the Cairngorms for a couple of days staying in Inverness with the MRT. So making use of the horrible weather we, my dad Steve, Alasdair Drummond and I headed into Coire An t-Sneachda to look at the a classic called Fingers Ridge (IV,4****). The visibility was really poor but luckily I bumped into Bill Strachan who was able to point us in the right direction for the start of the route.
As you climb higher the route gets better and more difficult but also offers lots of opportunities for good gear making the experience a really pleasant one, that is apart from the icy winds and zero temperature's.

Steve and Al on the 2nd pitch

Peeping through the fingers

When ice meets face

Which way is up?


SC Gully

Today I was hoping to try something a little spicy however the conditions in Stob Coire Nan Lochan were not the best I have experienced. We looked at Ordinary Route but it wasn't fully in nick so we decided to go up SC Gully which wasn't really in the best of nick either but it was still climbable. On the descent we came across loads of teams in broad gully and a few on Dorsal Arete. Whilst waiting for our Lee and Craig to finish the route we quickly went up Dorsal Arete.

Stob Coire Nan Lochan


Just Keep Swimming

I was up on the North Face of the Ben today and going by the avalanche forecast we had to be careful. We went to go and take a look at gloves chimney bu the conditions under foot and the snow didn't feel great so we went and had a look at Number 3 Gull buttress.
Approaching the route was a nightmare up to our chest in horrible soft snow that wouldn't support any weight and for every step taken we must have went three back.
Once on the climb it was very pleasant nothing too difficult and an interesting final pitch. Unfortunately number 4 gully didn't look welcoming at all so we took the long way round before we could get to the car. 
Approach to number 3 gully

Craig walking off the summit



Another beautiful day today and another epic route this time  Guy and I were on the Buichaialle on North Face Route (V,6). This was a tad out my league so Guy put in an outstanding performance leading the whole route, which was relentless in offering hard bold climbing in every pitch. This is probably why it doesn't get many ascents.

More hard climbing

Getting stuck in.

The final pitch


Scabbered Chimney

Managed to finally get out and make use of the winter conditions after a month of no exercise and eating my body weight everyday, it is fair to say I was definitely feeling it. It was good to get out though and I was with Guy who had his sights on Scabbered Chimney (VI,6) in Stob Coire Nan Lochan. The conditions were great underneath the snow and there was plenty of people making the most of the conditions.
Guy Steven on the last Pitch