Thursday, December 13, 2012
Coire Laogh Mor
Monday, September 24, 2012
The three of us climbed Longs Peak via the Loft Route and back down by the Keyhole Route. 7 Hours round trip. The weather was with us, it's raining this morning and snow is forecast for Longs Peak; winter has arrived in the mountains.
|Alec Sharp on the Loft Route|
|On the Loft Route|
|Ice on the Loft Route|
Saturday, September 22, 2012
|Low on Freeway, Boulder behind|
|A bit higher up|
|Near the top|
|A canny arch (Biffa)|
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Hi Andy, I just injured my shoulder a few days ago. Nothing too serious, inflamed bicep tendon area; not the first time but a bit worse than last time. I expect to be not climbing for a couple weeks or so, maybe until end of September before anything very difficult.
Bring on some 14er bagging.
Hey, Andy, I took a 50 foot fall yesterday. Rappelling down a canyon. The anchor knot unravelled and I made it to the bottom in record time. However, due to my haste, I broke a few ribs and had some nice internal bleeding. I also saw my right elbow bones and tendons. It's not broken, just cut wide open. I'm in the Grand Junction hospital, St. Mary's. So I regret that I will be unable to make it to go climbing with you this week.
The Grays, Torreys combo offers two peaks linked by a high saddle. I would have liked to have climbed Torreys by the Kelso Ridge (class 3) but strong winds and fresh snow put me off.
|Climbing Grays Peak|
|Looking down the Kelso Ridge|
The Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, Bross combo is a neat four peak horseshoe centred around Kite Lake. Climbing Bross is discouraged because it is private land!
|Looking south from Democrat|
|Aspens near the Hoosier Pass|
|On the way to Lincoln|
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Super Worthy at the Voo
Our crack technique may have been lacking but not so much as our essential Voo lexicon. As luck would have it, local crack meister Lenore Sparks was on hand to put us right.
Essential phrases added to our crack climbing vocabulary now include 'clip that shit', 'stick that shit', 'it's so sick', ' man pants' and of course 'super worthy'. No more embarrassment at the crag for us dudes!
The day finished with an extremely rare sighting of Black Moose. It must be a sign!
Big thanks to Lenore Sparks and Paul Hock for fantastic afternoon at the crag.
Monday, September 10, 2012
The guide book is bit crap. Lots of wasted space devoted to introverted Ted Nugent style weirdness. You get the picture with sectors such as Vietnam and Sex and Drugs. Route names; 'Bikini Girls With Machine Guns', 'B1 Bomber Dude', 'Insane Hound Possie'.....
Go there, it's cool (as they say).
Monday, September 03, 2012
Hot and slippy. Flaring cracks, not much for the feet. 10a feels like E2. Yes, we're having a hard time on Boulder Canyon cracks (not to mention Estes Park). Did I really climb that large piece of rock a thousand miles to the west, in-a-day? Feels like another life time now. Feels like a long way from Neist!What I do remember about crack climbing (US style), is that you have to bang your head against it for a few days to reach some level of efficiency. Feet are key, trust them, and trust those slippy jams and perfect cams; easier said than done.
More of the same tomorrow.
Sunday, September 02, 2012
I contacted a couple of old friends living in the Bay Area before leaving the UK to see if they had any climbing contacts in Boulder; shockingly neither of them knew anyone at all. How could that be? Main stream climbers from California not knowing anyone out of thousands of climbers resident in the Boulder area? Those Valley boys need to get away a bit more.
First on the list was a shopping trip down town on the push bike. After waving and nodding to a couple of hundred cyclist the task overwhelmed me; there's just too many of the buggers. I was feeling like Crocodile Dundee on his first day in New York.
A visit to the Patagonia Store, REI and the Apple Store. Those shop assistants are just so friendly! I was more than happy to hand over substantial amounts of cash in exchange for premium priced clothing and IT equipment and, even feeling up-beat, positive and communicative myself; laughing joking and generally enjoying the experience. A nauseous hangover awaits no doubt.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Wheel Sucking Bastards
I didn’t have to wait long to find out. Both Mike and I suffered extreme examples of ‘Wheel Sucking’ during the Corrieyairack Challenge. For those who don’t know it, the Corrieyairack is a pass between Fort Augustus and Laggan. There are various options for racing the event including, run/bike, walk/bike and mtb. We choose the a latter. The first part of the race consists of a big climb over the pass on a good track to a fast descent (some mild technical difficulties) , followed by a long road section back to the finish in Kincraig.
|With Coach Mike Devlin|
So, if you’re interested in ‘wheel sucking’ this how to do it: Close in to less than a metre off the back wheel of someone riding at an appropriate pace (make some patronising comments about how well the person in front is doing), coast in the slip steam until it’s possible to jump the gap to the next person in front using all the spare energy you have managed to conserve. Coast and, if the original guy (me), catches you up again (and is making progress) jump on his wheel until you can leap frog to the next person in front. Work like this until a couple of miles from home then blast off leaving everyone else in your wake.
Now I understand ‘Wheel Sucking Bastards’.
Up front somewhere Mike was having a similar experience. From the Mikes Bikes Blog:
“Mike set out again with the red mist fully down, and got back up to fifth place only to be past at Kingussie by the biggest, most flagrant, open “wheel sucker” known to human kind, attached to another’s back wheel. A chap Mike had already thrown off his wheel some 10 miles before.”
The team did ok. Hamish Irvine 4th, Mike Devlin 7th (with puncture) and me 14th.
Monday, June 25, 2012
Scottish Ski Area Bike Challenge
|Misery at 6am|
The weather wasn’t great on the day but we left Aviemore in the G2 van at 3.45am and started cycling from Glencoe Mountain at 6.06am in the pouring rain. The weather improved by Onich and we had dry conditions with a following wind through to Cairngorm, arriving at 1pm after some mechanical issues. We hit heavy rain again after Nethy which continued all the way to The Lecht.
|Bacon butties at Spean Bridge|
|Glenshee at last|
I have to admit that my motivation for the challenge wasn't soley fueled by my charitable nature but it's nice to be raising some money for local and national causes all the same. If you feel inspired to donate please visit our Just Giving Page
Cyclists: Brian Fishpool, Rob Edmunds, Paul Wainwright, Hamish Irvine, Andy Hyslop.
You can find full details of the ride on Paul Wainwrights Strava Page including distance, elevation and riding time.
View Scottish Ski Area Challenge in a larger map
Saturday, May 26, 2012
I returned two weeks later with John Topping. We found some more interesting crags and one very impressive overhanging buttress. I thought I could probably get up a line at the left side of the overhanging buttress but there was clearly scope for hard routes beyond our ability. Yan and Tess were in the area so we arranged to meet at the crag and point them at a few lines.
|Yan attempts the right-hand line|
Yan and Tess left John and I trying to boulder out the start. John eventually managed to reach the good holds but I was too tired after the cleaning and multiple jumar ascents to make much impression.
Yan led a new E3 in an inlet back towards Kintra. They had gone home the time we got back to the car but had left us a note. At least we had a route name now!
I’m not that interested in new routing as a rule especially when there’s lots of cleaning involved, and definitely when the climbing is too hard for me to onsight. However I was inspired by this line. The new crag was almost 30M. Overhanging granite with holds is a rarity, even more so with good gear. I could feel a mega classic coming on.
|First attempt with John Topping|
I arranged to meet bouldering ace, Greg Chapman at Craignuire on the 18th May. Greg had driven up from Lancaster with a car full of mats and I was hoping to utilise his superior technical know how, plus mats, to get me up the start of the route. We spent Saturday in the first inlet looking at some bouldering prospects. Greg climbed some fingery looking V10s while I cleaned another line to the right of Yan’s route. I ran out of energy on the first attempt but left the gear in place and came back the next day to climb the route clean, all be it with half the gear in place. Cynthia seconded and characteristically found a V Diff version to the 6a crux by climbing a hollow flake. I levered the flake off with Cogs ice axe to stop anyone else ruining my beautiful creation.
|A new E4 6a near Kintra|
I decided to rest on Monday and took Greg to some of the possible bouldering areas near Knock Vologan. Greg caught the bus back up to Craignuire that night but Cynthia stayed on to hopefully bag the route on Tuesday morning before heading home ourselves.
|Greg Chapman on Roughcut Reality 7c+|
At last “Yo Sloppy” was in the bag, E4 6a, and even though I say so myself, its gotta be a three star mega classic ;-)
|Yo Sloppy E4 6a|
View Kintra - Some Bouldering Locations in a larger map
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Thursday, May 03, 2012
Cairngorm 4000 Ski Tour
|Tailler Burn from near Cairn Toul|
I got up at 6.00 am and left the car park at 7.30 am fully prepared to skin up to the summit. Luckily I bumped into my anonymous mate at the bottom of the M1 tow who generously offered to give me a lift to the top. Purity and ethics out the window and enjoy the ride!
Macdui by 9.30 am and on to the top of the Taillear Burn. I was concerned that the headwall had obviously avalanched in a big way at some point in the last couple of days. There was a huge amount of debris but the snow pack seemed to have stablised since the weekend. Never the less I was anxious to get out of the danger zone as quickly as possible, particularly as I was alone.
|On the way back through the Chalamain Gap|
The descent down Corie Gorm was still in excellent condition despite the heat. The snow ran out a short way above Lochan Odhar. Back at the car park for 6.30 pm.
Another incredible day in the Scottish hills.
I kept driving and met Themselve’s at Lochailort. Cog took us to a nice sport crag on the coast near Arisaig.
We took the ferry in the evening and walked out to the north end of island to inspect some potential development on Sguorr Sgaileach
The guide says:
“ No routes have been recorded to date but it does have some potential”
Nice looking crag but not extensive, covered in green lichen and too far to walk.
The next day we explored the cliffs on An Sgurr and did a new route on an unclimbed buttress at the east end of Ocean Wall. Once the loose stuff has been removed the rock is good with excellent friction. We climbed our route on-site; Cog removed what seemed like a skip load of blocks while seconding.
|Snipe on a Grad Piano VS 4b. Colin Moody Photo|
That evening a had a look at Poll nam Partan near the harbour and decided to clean a couple of lines before it got dark.
The guide says:
“ overgrown and guarded by steep muddy ground and bramble tangles”
I say, a quick access crag with some excellent looking lines and lots of potential for development. There is a road at the bottom and grass at the base (the right hand end at least).
It was raining on Monday morning but cleared enough for us to climb one of the lines before the boat left at 4.30pm. Fierce, well protected climbing using thin cracks and bridging; my kind of climbing.
|New E4 6a at Poll nam Partan. Colin Moody Photo|
I drove back east with the setting sun behind me. The hills looked incredible, still brown from the winter with every rock feature illuminated in the strong, low evening light. Cairngorm and Braeriach were still plastered and the 4000s were calling strong. (more on that soon)
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Erraid New Routes
Colin Moody has some topos on his site.
There is also a free mini guide on the Rock + Run info site
|Pete Whillance on a new E1 at Craig Mor|
|Oatcake Thin E3 5c at Craig Mor|
|Undeveloped bouldering crag at NM295204|
|Pete Whillance on a new E2 5b opposite Mink Walls|
|Scotland's 2nd Tuffa! The other one is on Goat Crag|
(NM 290 195)west facing
Start up the next crack to the left which splits into two cracks and convergences again at the top.
|Creag Mor (NM 295 199) South facing. Cynthia Grindley climbing.|
A boulder problem start leads to a thin flake. Arrange gear on the right then cross the steep wall above leftwards to good holds, (good micro nuts but blind to place). Climb direct to the top.
Sicily didn’t disappoint. It is a mid grade paradise with hundreds of perfectly bolted lines in a beautiful coastal setting.
Full article on the Rock + Run Info site.
Many thanks to Cog for the excellent photos. More on his site http://www.colinmoody.com
|Catwalk 6c+ (Coln Moody Photo)|
|No People No Stress 6c (Coln Moody Photo)|
|Red Necks 6b (Coln Moody Photo)|
|Il Ritorno dei Nomadi 6c+|
|Per I Nostri Amici 6b|
|Swordfish 7a (Colin Moody Photo)|
|The Riddle 7a (Colin Moody Photo)|
|White Wall 7a (Colin Moody Photo)|