ML 2 Day Expedition

 

 Candidates about 50m from me



Yesterday and today were spent in the Carneddau on an overnight expedition looking at both day and night navigation as well as campcraft. We were treated to typical welsh mountan weather of sun, mist and "scattered showers joining together to form periods of longer rain"

ML Steep Ground Day






Having travelled down to North Wales over the weekend, this morning I was staffing a Mountain Leader Training course in the Ogwen Valley looking at movement on steep ground including ropework. The weather was suitably welsh and we all got a bit damp during the day. It did however dry out and turn into a very pleasant afternoon.

Stac Pollaidh

 
 Looks promising

 Amazing rock

 Cloud rolling in

 Storms and rain

Following a loose link from Sea Stacks to Stac Pollaidh, we headed up for a route know as Jack the Ripper. Unfortunately, thunder and rain out paid to this plan and we aborted just below the crag and ran away. This would appear to be the end of our road trip as the weather has turned and this is forecast to remain for the next few days.

Adventure on Am Buchaille



 Steve testing how secure vertical sand is

Me

 Me on the swim

 Steve preparing for the swim back

Having spent the best part of a day yesterday getting off Hoy via the usual 2 ferries etc etc, we had a 3 hour drive, and a 5mile walk in to Sandwood Bay for our last stack of the trip, Am Buchaille. A dodgy descent down to boulders, a walk along slippery rocks, a swim across the channel was all stuff we are used to. Then we started to climb, I could wax lyrical about this route or be quite brutal and expose it for the insecure tottering pile of sand that it is. Great respect to Steve for leading up this death route. An abseil down and another swim saw us get eaten alive by midges during the 5mile walk back to the van. In summary, a great adventure but a shame about the climbing.

2 Young Men and another Old Man (of Hoy)

Reassuring sign!!!

This is BIG!!!!

Steve on Pitch 2



Me

Steve approaching the summit

 
2 happy Old Men on an Old Man


 
Steve in space (yet again)

Another epic 4 hour drive to Scrabster on Monday night saw us catch the early morning ferry yesterday to Stromness on Orkney. Well, we had to run to catch it in time. Another ferry took us to Hoy and a taxi ride with the local "font of all knowledge" saw us at the Rackwick Bay Bothy. Although 2pm we went to have a look at The Old Man and with all things looking good we started pitch one at 3:45pm. Having watched the live climb in 1967, Steve had High Expectations for this route. We topped out at around 8pm and had to work out the abseils back down, scramble back up the cliff an walk back to the bothy arriving at 11:30pm, tired, hungry but well chuffed.

This route has it all, epic journey to get there, awkward down climb, 5 pitches, fulmar chicks vomiting at you (I still smell of it now), 3 scary abseils of which the last 50m is free hnaging in space and a book at the top to sign your name.

2 Young Men and The Old Man (of Stoer)

Looks OK

Hmm, Looks bigger

Me on Pitch One


Steve

Me approching the top

Looking down at our bags

Steve in space

Me taking on the swim

Last night I picked up Steve from Pitlochry and this morning had the epic 4 hour drive to North West Scotland to the Point of Stoer for the start of our road trip. The Old Man of Stoer was to be our warm up stack but involved a swim to get to it and the water was by no means warm. Fortunately the sun soon dried us off. Two lovely pitches and I took the harder 5a start to get us in the mood. One long single free hanging abseil saw us back at the base with a swim back to the mainland. This has really put me in the mood for tomorrow and was a real Wet and High Adventure.

Caving





After spending yesterday and today continuing to supervise a Gold D of E group, this evening I allowed Olly to take me down Long Churn cave in Yorkshire. I haven't been caving for a very long time as I am not a great fan. Although some of the features were quite interesting, I am quite happy for it to be another 15 years before I go again.

Hot on Hellvellyn

 




One of the teams took on Hellvellyn today meaning that we climbed up via Striding edge and down Swirral. These were Daisy's first Grade 1 scrambles and she did very well. It was 30 plus on teh hills and the team did very well as they were carrying full expedition packs.

The Lake District





Yesterday I travelled up to The Lakes in scorching conditions to supervise a Gold D of E Expedition. Today the team went up and over Great Dodd meaning Simon, Daisy and I got out for a good hill day taking in both GD and Raise before dropping back down to the campsite.

Gozo Dive Day 6





Me getting mobbed by Bream

Today I dived the P31 wreck on Comino and then the stunning Comino Caves. 2 great dives to finish off the week. Back to the UK tomorrow and heading upto The Lake District shortly

Gozo Dive Day 5

 
Simon



 
This morning's dive was at The Inland Sea where we saw a Grouper. This afternoon was at Marsalform Bay. This was a much shallower dive but with plenty of interest.