Information and photos of my mountaineering trips in Scotland,England and Wales:
Including hillwalking,scrambling and easy rock climbing.Also via ferrata, skiing and alpine trips in Europe.

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Sunday, 23 March 2008

Ben Lui, Central Gully, 23rd March 2008

Myself, Mark and Willy, drove to Dalrigh near Tyndrum on the A85, and set off on the 4 mile walk to the base of Ben Lui.

As you can see, the view of the mountain is quite impressive and you see it most of the way.

Looking up into Central Gully.

As soon as we got into the base of the coire, put crampons on, did an avalanche test (as best we could) and chose our route up Central Gully.
Again, this was grade 1 ground and like everybody else there, chose not to rope up. However we did stay to the sides of the gully for extra security.
As we got higher, there were never any real difficulties, although it did steepen in the last 5-10m or so.
Willy on the final short steeper section.
Myself, Willy and Mark on the summit.
Walkers on the other summit of Ben Lui.

View from the summit.
Myself and Willy building a snow bollard to practice some easy abseiling.
Mark having a go!
After successfully abseiling on easy ground, we chose somewhere a little more technical with snow, ice and rock to negotiate; not easy with crampons on!
Don't think it was as extreme as this photo looks! I did film Mark abseiling, but turned away the moment he head buttted the rock so there is no proof it happened. After messing about, it was back to the 4 mile slog back to the car park.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Y Gully Cruach Adrain, 16th March 2008

Myself, Mark and Stevie drove to Crianlarich to climb Y Gully on Cruach Adrain, our first outing after our winter skills day on the Ben. Our route, when we finally got there, was the left hand gully of the Y. I say finally got there, after crossing streams, fences and snow drifts!

And speaking of crossing fences! You'll need to play the video to see if Stevie makes it or not? The gully itself wasn't too challenging, in fact as a grade 1, we could've done it unroped. However it turned out to be great practice doing ice axe belays. Also turned out a glorious day with stunning views. And one of those views was of Ben Lui (above), which we planned to visit the following week.

360 degree view from the top of Cruach Adrain, including Ben More, Stob Binnein and Ben Lui.

Myself, Stevie and Mark on the main summit of Cruach Adrain.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Ben Nevis, Number 3 Gully, 2nd March 2008

After an overnight stay in Fort William, we had an early start for a day on the Ben. The rest of the guys met us at the North Face carpark to take part in our second winter skills day. This time courtesy of Mike Pescod of Abacus Mountaineering. We walked into the coire and up past the CIC hut and into Coire na Ciste, passing No5 Gully on our right. You can see a team of guys heading up the right hand side, probably on route for the Ledge. In the coire we practised ice axe and body belays, with lots of sliding downhill to see if the belayer could hold a fall. Then after a quick bite to eat in ever worsening weather, we headed up towards No 3 Gully. We headed up in 2 teams of 3 into deeper softer snow, which became really hard work as we went higher into the gully. Mike decided a direct exit through the cornice might be difficult due to all the fresh (and constantly falling) snow. The rest of the guys waited just below the cornice whilst I belayed Mike as he recced a more direct route out. This turned out to be more grade 2 and a little steeper then some expected!

Me being the Guinea pig as Mike belayed me up with me bringing the rest of the rope to bring the next guys up. Me ungracefully hacking my way to the top! Once I had built a "stomper" belay at the top, I then had the knackering job of belaying Mark and Stevie up, with the rest of the guys close behind on their rope. Bill and Willy at the top of No 3 Gully. Everybody safely up to enjoy another sunny day on the Ben! After a descent through the pea soup, we found a spot near the Red Burn to practice abseiling using snow bollards. Then it was crampons off and a "sprint" down to the North Face car park, and then back for a well earned pint!

Thanks to Mike's secret filming, we unknowingly became "stars" for an Abacus Mountaineering video! Another excellent day out with Mike, and hopefully we'll do some more winter stuff next year!