Busy is an understatement. This of course is no bad thing really, but it has meant that I’ve not really had the opportunity to sit down and update this blog over the past couple of weeks. I’ve since moved to Penrith in the Lake District, with the intention of rock climbing a bit more, and establishing myself and Apple Mountaineering here. It is of course, very early days yet. I was able to finish on a reasonable high note in Scotland, with four days (9-12 May) on Skye working firstly for Martin Moran, during which Graham, Matt and I completed the Coire Ghrunnda round and the Coire Laggan round over two days, with a bivi high in Coire Ghrunnda. We completed all the Munros, including ascending the King’s Chimney to reach the summit of Sgurr Mhuic Choinnich, but had to miss out the Inn Pinn, which on arrival at it’s base, sported a fair covering of rime ice! At least it provides Graham and Matt with a good excuse to head back to Skye!
Over the following two days, I was working for West Coast Mountain Guides, and had plans to complete the southern half of the Cuillin Traverse (from An Dorus to Sgurr Nan Eag) with James. This was somewhat thwarted by two inches of fresh snow overnight, and meant even gaining the ridge was close to impossible, never mind tackling the more technical sections. Spike had similar plans with James’ friend Ben, although they were going all out in an attempt to complete the entire traverse in a single day, from Sgurr Nan Gillian southwards. They did very well in reaching Bidein Druim-nan-Ramh, before admitting defeat. This was my swan song to living in Scotland, so to have completed our objectives would have been great. Still, the Skye Ridge will be there fore a while yet, and I will definitely be back in the not too distant future.
On Sunday the 14th, I moved down to the Lakes, to start a part time contract with The Outward Bound Trust at Ullswater, which started the following day, and with the opportunities to get out cragging being offered from all directions, I barely had a moment to spare. So, since moving down to the Lakes two weeks ago, I’ve climbed Illusion, HVS 5a at Lower Falcon Crag, Granolithic Groove E1 5b at Iron Crag, and had a great day on Pavey Ark, where Tom Greenwood and I climbed Golden Slipper HVS 5a, Poker Face E1 5b (maybe undergraded, but then I did continue up the direct finish unintentionally), and Troll Corner HVS 5a. A few days later, I met up with Nick Cannon Jones of More Than Mountains, to climb the ultra classic Wasdale Crack HS on Napes Needle, which is arguably the birthplace of modern rock climbing.
That evening, I guided two ascents of Scafell Pike for Maximum Adventure, as part of two Three Peaks Challenge events, the first of which started at 8:30pm, and finished at 1am, and the second of which started at 5am and finished at 9am. All in a day’s work, or something like that!
Well just in case I had allowed the grass to grow beneath my feet, I’ve since headed up to Ardroy Outdoor Education Centre, where I was an Assistant Instructor back in 2005, to run a week, before guiding all of the Three Peaks (in 24 hrs) this coming weekend. Anyway enough of my wittering, here are a few photos from the past few weeks.