So to start with, a brief summary of the trips this year so far:
Within 6months, I had gone from trad climbing at the Dewerstone with a new climbing partner, Chris Ridgers, to climbing with him in the Alps. The day of cragging at the Dewerstone started with the intentions of climbing a few E1s, maybe even trying an E4, but soon these 'intentions' became some what of an epic as we failed to even get of the ground on the starting moves of an HVS, and then after taking a pretty impressive fall onto an insitu rusted peg, on the crux of an E1, which thankfully held, we decided to call it a day.
6 weeks later, we found ourselves sitting in a lay by at 7am, in the icy shadow of Stob Corie Nan Lochan, Glen Coe. The plan of the day was to walk into the corrie, establish a camp, and climb a selection of routes. But sat, in the warmth of the car, gazing up the mountain through the rain lashing against the windscreen, we decided to take shelter in the Clachaig Inn. Come 4pm, the wind had died down, the rain lifted and the last glimpse of sunshine shone through. On arrival at the layby that we had sat in a few hours previously, we came across a mountain rescue team. After a suprise meeting with the person who assessed me on my Summer Mountain Leader course, we found out that a party had been avalanched on Boomerang gully with one guy seriously injured. Our decision then, to enjoy alcoholic beverages in the safety of the Clachaig, was a fine one indeed...so that evening we headed up to the corrie, passed the avalanche debris, and set up camp. The following day consisted of a late start, an avalanche prone decent route, and an awsome day spent on Dorsal Arete (Grade II). The second, and last route of the washed out week, was the Anoach Eagach Ridge. This time, an Alpine start, a beautiful sunrise, perfect consolidated snow and a clear day all added together to create the best winter day i have had.
The week rounded off with a visit by the police and airport security, at 3am, just outside Inverness airport. apparently a lorry driver had confused my climbing partner Chris, sleeping alongside the car in his bivi bag, as a body...in a body bag. After reasurring the police that he was infact very much alive and that i wasn't the worlds worst murderer, he re-entered the car, informed me of the incident, which i had slept through, and continued to sleep.
The latest trip was to Chamonix for our first Alpine climbing trip. In a nutshell, the 3 day trip ended up in backing off a route due to rockfall down the decent route, altitude sickness, sunburn, imaginative bivis, posing for tourists, nearly being blown off the midi-plan ridge, abseiling off the wrong side of the Cosmiques ridge, being stuck behind a French guide and his client, and meeting like minded brits in the campsite, sharing food and swapping stories.
Overall, the year so far has been exciting and full of suprises. Hopefully the rest of the year, and 2013, will be even better...
...Starting tomorrow at Swanage.
|Slacklining under the Aiguille Du Midi|
|Mont Blanc Massif|
|Me on Dorsal Arete|
|Me abseiling on the Cosmiques Arete|
|Our 1st route up the South Face of the Pelerins (Centre left couloir)|
|Camp on Stob Corrie Nan Lochan|
|Alps bivi site|
|Anoach Eagach ridge|