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.

Like this blog!

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Mallorca, Villa Rafal, V Diff Sunbathing, 13th - 20th September, 2008

A strenuous week was had in Mallorca, during myself and Lorna's stay at Villa Rafal near Pollensa, or to be precise - Polencia. The weather played a major part in our route choices on each day. However as we had generally good weather, daytime temperatures averaging around 26 degrees C, clothing choice was straightforward!

Of course there are loads of opportunites for climbing and scrambling in Mallorca. Even the surrounding hills of Pollensa and Porto Pollensa looked ideal. I would imagine though the best place to start would be in the Cicerone guides such as, "Walking in Mallorca - Classic Mountain Walks in Mallorca", by Paddy Dillon and June Walker, and "Walking In Mallorca", by June Parker.

As it was we managed 6 days, mainly practising moving together between villa and pool area. A couple of times we made a stop at the terraced eating area before moving off for the final leg via the sun loungers to the pool.

View of one of our neighbouring villas and surrounding rocky outcrops.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

The Ledge Route and CMD Arete, Ben Nevis, 7th September, 2008

After a relatively early night, we left the bunkhouse in Fort William for the North Face car park and an 8-0-clockish start on the walk in to Coire na Ciste. See map.

You can just see (behind Stevie as he arrived at No 5 Gully) the rebuilding work still going on, even on a Sunday, on the CIC Hut.

Number 5 Gully, the way to the start of the Ledge Route, looked very different from when we saw it in June when there was still a couple of metres of snow covering the large boulders in the centre of the gully. Although fairly straighforward, the slab at the start of the route was very wet and slimy, though there are plenty of holds and cracks to help you across. After we used the rope, it was felt that we probably could've crossed it quicker without it! Still, it was good practice and gave us chance to think about how we would do the same in winter.

As you get higher up the route, you get great views of the Douglas Boulder and Tower Ridge. Stevie, Mark and Willy having a break on the grassy section before the scrambling starts again. You can make the route as easy or as hard as you like, especially on the short wall like section!
Gordon on the broader section above the "wall".
The final section is easy grade 1 ground up to the cairn marking the north-west summit of Carn Dearg. We then took a tour of the gully tops and buttresses, proving how easy even in broad daylight to confuse one gully or butress from another! As soon as we met the zig zags, we joined the masses en route for the summit. Stevie, Gordon, Mark and Willy enjoying the sun (but no view?) on the summit, before we set off for Carn Mor Dearg Arete. Unfortuneatly, the cloud came right down over the CMD so we didn't get the views of the Ben we had hoped for.
Of course, as usual, the cloud started to lift a little when we got back to the North Face car park!

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Ice Factor again, 6th September, 2008

This was to be the start of "Stevie's big weekend", as he decided to call it! So myself Mark, Gordon, Stevie and Willy spent a couple of hours in the Ice Factor in Kinlochleven after driving up from Edinburgh.
Willy high up on one of the bigger walls trying to get to the dry tooling board; not bad for his first time!

Stevie, bridging his way up the difficult corner, which is more suited to his "sticky out" feet!

Gordon on the left hand wall trying get higher than Willy!

Stevie testing the rope whilst Mark belays, with Willy belaying Gordon in the background. All in all, a worthwhile couple of hours which everybody seemed to enjoy.