Friday, 29 May 2009

An absolute scorcher

It was an absolute scorcher today. It felt more like climbing in Spain rather than Strathconon, north of Inverness. Fi and I climbed the aptly name Salamander, Creag Ghlas on sun baked rough slabs. The route is an absolute cracker by the way and the stunning 5th pitch should not be missed. Today dehydration and heat stroke being a real issue due to the heat. We got back to our sacks and my scotch egg was nicely cooked, my Spanish chocolate mush along with a nice burning hot bottle of coke to quench our thirsts! The good weather is to continue through the weekend. See Fi's blog for more photos at


Sunday, 24 May 2009

Nice sunny climbing in the NE

Pleasant climbing today at Cummingston though compared to a few years ago very few folk seem to be leading these days but were bouldering or top-roping... More info at
Over the past few days I've been looking out some of the old Winternet Scotland photos and have uploaded a few onto my UKC photo album at
I've still to add a few from our alpine trips - the problem being way to much choice and well in excess of 50,000 photo's and video clips due to digital camera technology!!
Saturday, 16 May 2009

Last weeks hot Cuillin capers

On Saturday the 9th of May it was wild and very snowy on the Scottish hills but by Monday the 10th of May it was completely calm, sunny and very hot!
As promised earlier during a lovely meal in the Sligachan Hotel, David had organised the good weather for us and the snow cleared off the main ridge leaving lovely dry hot rock for us all to enjoy...
On Monday we again met up with David and Liz and Alistair and Jane. Before heading off with David and Alistair for a climb up the Skye Cuillin's famous 'In Pin' - the hardest Munro.
We've climbed a number of times with David but it was Alistair's first time rock climbing with ropes and a harness.
An early start meant no queues and a pleasant hike up onto the Cuillin ridge. We then put on our harnesses and tied onto the rope before Fi under my supervision guided everyone up the In Pin - before the crowds and the BBC film crew arrived with Nick Crane! Nick was being filmed climbing the In Pin for the production 'Munro: Mountain Man' which can be seen on the BBC in September 2009 at and on the BBC iPlayer at
After abseiling off we had plenty of time to enjoy the fantastic views, weather and bag a few Munro tops before heading back down off the Cuillin ridge for tea.
During the week I was mentoring Fi for her MIA and had the the video camera to hand. A few YouTube videos including climbing on the Inaccessible Pinnacle (In Pin) the UK's hardest Munro summit will no doubt appear soon!

The weather forecast was good until Thursday so ideal for Fi and I to do lots of Scottish hot rock climbing. First on Shangri La and a few easier routes.
On Thursday we waited until the warm sun hit the cold NW facing cliffs of Sron Na Ciche at around 1.30 pm and then climbed Cioch West, Cioch Corner and the Integrity combination giving over 300 metres of sustained climbing on imaculate warm sunny rock before abbing back down.
On Friday the warm stable weather system broke down as the winds increase and the rain arrived at our campsite. The weather had turned colder, windier, wetter so we returned home to the Eastern Highlands, Aviemore and the Cairngorms where on Saturday it felt like winter had returned!
For guiding on the Cuillin ridge, hiring a gude for the Inaccessible Pinnacle (In Pin) or scrambling and rock climbing on Skye see


Sunday, 3 May 2009

It's May so winter returns!

Looking at the Cairngorms this morning you would be forgiven for thinking it was November or December rather than May! No doubt the remaining snow fields and gullies will be very icy.
There are still large snowfields below and on the approach to several of the classic rock climbs...
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