Plan B

Above: The descent path to Cummingston

For the past week I have been bouncing all over the highlands to make the most of the good weather that they were having up there. I was away with James, Neil McGeachy and Ross Kirkland.

We were planning on heading up the North West but as the weather didn’t look too promising we decided to go for Plan B and use James’ parents house in Aviemore as a base and move around to different venues from there.
Below: Me on the “Fuhrer” E4

On the way up North we stopped at Creag Dubh, this was the first time I had been to this venue and once I got used to the type of climbing this crag has to offer I started to really enjoy the routes. We enjoyed it so much that we returned the next day and over the two days I managed to get some good ticks under my belt. The highlights were onsighting, The Fuhrer (E4) and The Final Solution (E5).

Above: Me on “The Final Solution” E5
We then headed further up north to the sea cliffs of Cummingston. This was also a new venue for me and as soon as we got to the crag I knew what route I was going to do. It was the amazing looking line of “The Prow” (E5). This is an overhanging prow the juts out above the sea from one of the surrounding sea stacks. The line followed some very steep ground with less than adequate protection, what more could one ask for!
Below: Me on “The Prow” E5

On our last day we headed to Glen Clover, and yet again this was a new venue for me. I really liked the crags in this area, but unfortunately the sun was beaming down on us all day and whether it was sun stroke or fatigue from the weeks climbing but unfortunately I didn’t have much energy to get up my chosen route. I will definitely return for round two though and get on some more of the good looking classic lines in this area.
Below:Me at Glen Clover

James, McGeachy and Ross also got some amazing routes ticked on the trip, so check out there blogs for more info. These can be found in my Links section.

Climbing, a Spectators sport!

Since my return from Pabbay, for the past two weeks I have been suffering from a very annoying chest infection. I have been getting out climbing a bit recently but every time I get on something slightly tricky, I go into an uncontrollable coughing fit (which is never good when you are trad climbing).

Even though I have not been getting many routes ticked, its been fun to head out and watch everyone else ripping it up on the trad! Neil McGeachy and Jonny did there first E7 last week (Neil got the flash), James onsighted his first E1 on Friday and and there has been much more going down as well!

Im off to Reiff this week so hopefully my cough will subside a bit and I will be able to get some good routes ticked.

Pabbay Tradding Paradise

For the past week I have been climbing on Pabbay, which is an uninhabited Island in the Outer Hebrides. I have been to the Island twice before, except I was not planning on going again this year. When a friend called to say his climbing partner had bailed on him and he was looking for a partner to head out with, I jumped at the chance to go back out.

I love climbing on these Islands. There are no amenities and the only access to water is a small stream running down the side of the hill and the only fresh food is fish out of the Atlantic Ocean. So the only thing you have to think about is the climbing (which is always such a hardship).

The climbing on the Island Is totally amazing, it is classed as one of the best tradding venues in the world. The rock quality is Immaculate and the surrounding sea and wildlife is incomparable. Once you have climbed one of the many four star routes the island has to offer, you will never want to trad climb anywhere else again.

Bellow; Ally on the top pitch of “Endolphin Rush”

There are endless amounts of things to keep you occupied on the hanging belays on the longer steeper routes, whether it’s dodging the swooping birds that dive from the cliffs or watching the Basking Sharks filter through the plankton in the turquoise sea bellow. No matter what the weather, there is always something to keep you occupied.

Thankfully the weather held out and we managed to get climbing every day. Over the course of the week I managed to get loads of three and four star routes done, everything from E1 to E5. We visited as many of the different venues on the island as possible and no matter where we went all the routes where as good as the last. But there was one wall on the island that stood out above the rest, this was the 100m high Pink Wall that was home to many four star routes from E2-E7. This is where Ally and I spent most of our time on the trip and it was time well spent.

The week soon past by and by the time Saturday came round we were all sad to be leaving such a beautiful place and we knew we would miss the amazing climbing. So we packed away our tents and ferried the bags onto the fishing boat that was taking us back to civilisation.
I always miss the Islands once I’m home, but then again we can always go back next year. And I plan to do just that.

More pics to come