Sunday, 25 March 2018

No chilly fingers!

With the rock-climbing season in sight I am recently back from a short trip to Spain, the primary purpose of which was to get some early season mileage on rock. With sunshine and temperatures of 15-20 degrees, it was very pleasant for March! We climbed several multi-pitch trad routes as well as lots and lots of the great bolted sport pitches for which the area is renowned. A busy, exciting April beckons-watch this space!

Via Esther, Hard Severe **, Echo Valley

Espolon Artura, Severe, Toix Este

View of Calpe and the stunning Penon d'Ifach

Friday, 9 March 2018

Mountain Medicine in Scotland

A stunning place for a complex mock multiple-burial scenario
As part of my Continuing Professional Development (CPD), as both an outdoor professional and a medical doctor, I have been enjoying working towards gaining the UIAA Diploma in Mountain Medicine. With other modules based in Wales and the Alps, over the last week the Diploma came to me (!), with a module held on the west coast of Scotland in Fort William. We covered plenty of the syllabus, mostly in relation to mountaineering skills/access to casualties, with a particular emphasis on rescue, assessment and decision-making with regards to victims of avalanches. We also got to go climbing with days spent on Beinn Udlaidh in the Southern Highlands climbing Quartzvein Scoop (IV) and Peter Pan Direct (V), plus a grand mountaineering day out on the Forcan Ridge of The Saddle, Glen Shiel (II). On our final day, the sun came out and gave mesmerising views up and down Glen Coe as we took part in increasingly complex avalanche rescue scenarios. A hard-work, intensive week, but lots learnt and plenty of good craic.

Descending back into Glen Shiel from the Forcan Ridge (on the left), NW Highlands

Magical Glen Coe

A snowy Quartzvein Scoop--Tim Neill BMG leading