Winter is here

Winter is here
Ron Walker's stunning image of Tamsin, Heather & Rosie on Bellehaven, Fiacaill Buttress (to go to his blog, click on the image above)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sussed: climbing spy girl!

We've arrived at the lovely Senja Lodge and it's very exciting not to be writing this while crouching on the porch at -16 or so in order to get a wireless signal. This place is other wordly.

The Devil's Teeth overlooking Ersfjord. It was climbed in the 1950's but has had few repeats.
Tomorrow's plan: it's a pretty blue, it's reachable (probably), it's not sun-rotted and there isn't a massive avalanche slope above. I'm so excited!
The Devil's Teeth looking ready to chomp.
Two alpine lines in Codsfjord.
Couldn't resist.
Probably the most famous climb on Senja.
Now the important stuff. I made a new friend. He's called Yeti and he's 14 weeks old. I'm honoured that he marked my hand with his little but serious teeth. When you get beyond those fangs though, his ears are the softest I've ever caught a hold of.

A moment of calm before Yeti continued playing with everything. I think he might like to come ice climbing with me.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Mint hot chocolate is apparently a sin. Mmmm, all the more for me!
A bit like Pleasanceville but cleaner, and I still can't find the neighbours.

Mark on the lead, cool, calm & speedy.

Unfortunately my camera died at this point. Gill got rather nifty with her axe and crampon placements.

Monday, March 28, 2011

There's mooses out there

 Just one little reason why we can't get to these amazing routes, the valley is drippin with them! The road closed last night because of an avalanche. I asked our host how common this was, expecting a 'weekly' answer - first time in 11 years. Nice one.
 Fancy a shot at this. In the local Spar, we found the 'youth club' going on - 6 lovely ol guys supping hot chocolate and trying to persuade Gill to join them. checkout lady gave us choc bars, and a local guy screeched up (wrong sound for snow i guess0 and asked if we were the ice climbers! Similar to the Spars back home then!?
The family cragging venue at Flaget, about 35 mins away.
 Mmmmm, choclate eggs. Easter must be earlier here.
 Hanging about, baking in the sun. The forecast for the week had shown down to -18. It wasn't correct.

 lovely, lovely, strange ice.

Honky Tonk

Home sweet home - Lappenhaugen, near the amazing ice vally of Spansdalen.
 Gill and Mark.
 Yup, it could snow more.

 Honky tonk: they did honk and wave> Oh yeah. I did wonder if filming a tank (Yes, it's called something else!) is allowed.

Moray Hpouse week

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A long, long time ago....(and, 'A Tiger In The Hut')

A day out with my Fran. You liking the coordination...?
That girl got moves! Fran making the moves on the top crux of Patey's, which is adorned with a lovely new peg (well, newer than when I last went up there).
 O yeah, the fun we had
Marie, poor lass, was goaded into a couple of days out with me. As my dream route for the day was already taken, we strolled up to Red Gully. It wasn't such a stroll - a meander up those slopes on very, very dense neve is no mean feat as an intro to crampons. Still, she actually couldn't have looked happier, and the lucky lass was even given a rope on the route.
 Beautious, lovelious (?) winter wonders.
Marie reaching the top of Red Gully in style.
 What's she so happy about then!
Marie on her second winter route ever, and after chilling down significantly while I did a few laps. It's a phase I'm going through. Nice one girl.
The next day Marie & I walked into Creag Meagaidh, so pleased I donned my trainers. Just as we turned back, havuing decided everything was just too warm, the cloud lifted. What a lovely walk back to the car. Thanks Marie.
 Guess where. I've got issues. I accept that now.
Could have walked in in flip flops. It's the time of year where it's impossible not to question the stupidity of wearing black, black and more black.
Despite the poor forecast (and the perfect one for the east), Heather was kind enough to get excited about the murky, big Ben. I didn't really care what we did, so long as it was icey.
And we found it. A perfect route and one I've never done before! Despite a departure from Aviemore in the morning we were topping out before 2. It took two tea stops before we got home again.
Well, I know the SMC let the women in a few years ago, but really; a zoo, two tigers and a BABY!!! Robin, what have we come to? Rather fab to find one sweet baby, with dad in tow whilst the mother was off gadding about on ice. Maybe we should reconsider the boundaries of the club...