My Climbing 2016 in Pictures

 

The Winter Mountaineer

In 2007 I went on a course that gave me the confidence and knowledge I needed to start exploring mountains in winter conditions. Years later, I decided I wanted to advance my skills and learn how to move over more difficult winter terrain. That’s why, last week, I went back to Glenmore Lodge, the Scottish National Outdoor Training Centre, to do a winter mountaineering course.

This course gave me an improved understanding of how to read the mountain environment and so make better judgments on the safest route. I’ve looked at avalanche and weather forecasts in the past before going out in winter, but the instructors gave these more depth and meaning by teaching how they related to the landscape I was going through. They emphasised being attentive and pointed out how to spot clues in the snow conditions under foot and in how the snow changed with the terrain. Read more

What they don’t tell you in the guidebook – Pinnacle Ridge, Polldubh crags

I think this route is missing a tree.  The guidebook says there are three trees, but I only found two.  This made Pinnacle Ridge surprisingly confusing.

Me climbing Pinnacle Ridge, Polldubh crags, Glen Nevis, Scotland

Pinnacle Ridge is a two-pitch, Severe graded rock climb at Polldubh crags in Glen Nevis in the Scottish Highlands.  It’s a lovely and interesting climb and it feels justified that the guidebook (Scottish Rock, Volume 1, South by Gary Latter) gives it two out of four stars.  The route pretty much follows the crest of the buttress and so I thought route finding would be easy.  However, I was trying to judge the exact positions of rock features by refer to trees. Read more