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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Wednesday, 23 September 2009

What we didn't do on Mallorca, September 19th - 26th 2009

Saw this on Mallorca, between Porto Pollensa and Cala St Vincenc.

The Cavall Bernat Ridge; makes the CMD look like a walk in the park!

From the Cala St Vincenc side, where the cliffs plunge 400m vertically down to the sea.
Information is hard to find on the net, although it is the Cicerone guide to walking in Mallorca. Having said that, I've read people's personal accounts, ranging from a scrambly walk, to requiring a rope!!!
So we will just have to do it ourselves next year :)

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Curved Ridge, Sunday 13th September 2009

I finally managed to persuade Lorna back out having not done any walking/scrambling since our week in Coniston earlier in the year. Taking advantage of the forecast good weather, we drove up to Glencoe and Buchaille etive Mor with no real plans as to what we would do. With a boot full of climbing gear, we opted for a lighter day and headed for an old favourite, the grade 2/3 (?) Curved Ridge. The Rannoch Wall in the centre of the picture with Curved Ridge rising right to left just below it. Lorna making her way up the ridge, with the Rannoch Wall on the right and Crowberry Tower just visible through the mist at the top. The only "slightly" tricky section up the corner about two thirds of the way up. Looking back down the ridge with climbers just visible gearing up at the foot of Agags Croove, (V-Diff) on the Rannoch Wall. Looking up at Crowberry Tower from the end of the ridge.

View from the top of the ridge over Rannoch Moor.

The short climb up to Crowberry Tower was a bit greasy in the slightly sheltered corner of the tower.
The last time we climbed the North Buttress, we got speaking to a guy who recommended an alternative descent to Coire na Tulaich. He spoke of going down to the western ridge if the corrie, and then slightly North East to drop down a wide grassy gully to rejoin the path back to Laggangarbh.
En route we discovered someones handy work on a seemingly not well used path (what path?).
Personally, although it may be useful in winter if you can find the route, in summer we didn't find it any easier or quicker than the normal path in the corrie.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Chamonix Week, Friday 4th September 2009 - Via Corda

With little prospect of getting to the higher mountains today, we opted for the rocky, scrambly, route of Via Corda above the Arveyron River. Gordon on the lower slabs of Via Corda, some of which despite the grade, anything up to severe higher up were occaisionally greasy, or as Mike did say, "it's all a bit round up here!" The route is great fun though with bolt runners most of the way and climbs several hundred metres. Looking down the gorge on the left of the route.

The route eventually finishes with a fine view above the foot of the Mer de Glace at a small Buvette below Montenvers, which was shut!!!

Would've been great to have a quick beer and enjoy the views! The higher reaches of the Mer de Glace. The Aguile le Dru at 3754m rising out of the mist.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Chamonix Week, Wednesday 2nd September 2009 - Mont Blanc?

We arrived at the Aguile du Midi cable car station in Chamonix, to be told that there was a power cut in the entire valley! So along with the other guides, clients and coachloads of Japanese tourists, we had to hang around for a while, waiting for any news on the cable car restarting.

Camera frenzy as the cable car finally gets under way!

View across to Mont Blanc du Tacul from the Midi.

At the top station, the Aguile du Midi (3842m), we had a quick look around before heading to the "snow cave" to gear up. We now had an extra guide with us as required on Mont Blanc; Paul who was an aspirant guide and a good laugh too!

Stepping out of the snow cave is a bit nerve racking for the uninitiated, ie, us! The snow crest has a bit of "down" on the Cosmiques hut side, and A LOT of "down" on the Chamonix side! But you also get your first views of the hut below Mont Blanc du Tacul. Looking back up to the Midi and the snow crest from the plateau. Close up of another team descending the crest. We had planned to traverse the Points Lachenal, but the weather was definitely changing, so we headed back towards the Cosmiques Hut and the ridge scramble that leads directly to the balcony. Overnight the weather really did change and it soon seemed inevitable that our chance of reaching Mont Blanc was off. In fact there was some doubt as to if the cable car would even operate! The strong winds and snow showers had kept up all night and we even told by the hut guardian to leave asp to try and get down in the only planned run of the cable car. Even the guardian and his staff abandoned the hut! So it was with some disappointment that we, along with the rest of the climbers, geared up and headed back to the snow crest and the Midi station.
Every one getting ready to leave the mountain.
The top station was rather bleak, eerie and empty of tourists as we waited, and waited, and waited for our eventual trip back down to the valley.