Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Making the most of the dry weather.....

Admiring the evening light from Stac Pollaidh summit
Over the last week I have managed several days of playing on the rocks with friends, great to have got out whilst it was dry. Rain and unsettled conditions have now returned. Routes climbed include Sword of Gideon VS 4c in Applecross (a route originally soloed in the 1960s by that most prolific of Scottish climbers, Dr Tom Patey, who was also the GP in Ullapool!), Summer Isles Arete Direct VS 4c on the incomparable Stac Pollaidh north of Ullapool, and Ardverkie Wall HS 4b in the Central Highlands, which must surely be one of the best routes of its standard in the UK.

Alex at the last belay on Summer Isles Arete Direct, Stac Pollaidh

Stunning evening light, Stac Pollaidh

Beautiful, delicate climbing on Ardverikie Wall

The crux traverse of Sword of Gideon, Applecross

Thursday, 12 May 2016


We have been enjoying some fabulous weather over the last week, especially so on the West coast, where temperatures have been consistently some of the highest in the UK, in the mid 20s Centigrade.
At the start of the week I had a quick dash to the incomparable Torridon hills to do a mountain bike loop that has been on my list for some time. This is the classic Beinn Damph loop. Although not enormous in terms of distance, there is a good amount of tricky climbing to get done, before the final long, long blast down singletrack all the way back to Loch Torridon. The final ten minutes of descent through the sun dappled warm pine forests, rich in scent, were a fitting finale to a great day. A change back to Arctic northerly air streams tomorrow, so forecast to be much colder, albeit still dry!

Fantastic singletrack riding, fantastic views

Good spot for a break
And another!

A pause for breath during the helter-skelter descent. Beinn Alligin looking magnificent across Loch Torridon