The sad news of two climbers still missing on Ben Nevis and the tragedy yesterday on Creag Mheagaidh and in the Borders means that mountaineering is in the media highlight again. My thoughts are as always with all the families and loved ones involved and the huge response by the Rescue Agencies who have been busy over this period. The Scottish Avalanche Information Service forecasts is a must read for all who venture into the mountains in winter, not just on the day you go out but on the days before and build up a picture what is happening on the mountains. No matter how big your hill is this is winter and be prepared for a winter day some of the temperatures with wind chill have been the coldest I have been out in for years. The book A Chance in a Million is another must read by all winter mountaineers and skiers, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Please be careful out there and enjoy the Scottish mountains. There are blogs and forums on these incidents on many websites but please be careful with your comments. The families of those lost or killed read them and a throw away comment can hurt so much.
Yet the 14 th of February was the date of an incredible achievement by two runner/ climbers. Few outside the mountaineering world will be able to gauge what they have done and to many it seems impossible to climb the entire Skye Ridge in just over 6 hours! It would take me that to climb one of the Munros in winter up and down safely. The Skye ridge in winter is the dream of all winter climbers and I have been lucky enough to be on all the summits in winter conditions but never the complete ridge in one day in winter. In summer I dis achieve it twice in one day and another twice with a bivouac it is a place that one dreams about and I advise you to read the Blog. I hope Findlay will let me reproduce his photos on his blog. His Dad and Mum are good friends and they must be so proud and his Grandfather the late John Hinde of RAF Mountain Rescue Legend would be very pleased. It is great to have some good news and please read and share the joy that Finlay Wild and Tim Gomersal achieved.
From the Blog “Go Mountain Goats”
About mountains and doing stuff in them
“On Sunday 14th February 2016 Finlay Wild and Tim Gomersall completed a Winter Cuillin Ridge Traverse from Sgurr nan Gillean in the north to Gars-bheinn in the south. Our route took in all 11 Munro summits, Bidein Druim nan Ramh, and included the TD gap. They started at Sgurr nan Gillean at 07.40am and touched the cairn on Gars-bheinn at 1.54.17pm. The summit to summit traverse took 6hrs 14minutes and 17seconds.”
http://gomountaingoats.blogspot.co.uk/ is the complete tale of an incredible trip.
It was an amazing achievement and a huge break through in winter mountaineering by Finlay Wild and Tim Gomersal. Thanks for the use of your photos of that special day
“It is in winter that the Scottish Mountains Excel No one who has seen the skyward thrust of a snow peak, girdled by its early morning cloud and flushed with the low sun, will dispute with me.Follow a long ridge of encrusted snow to its sunset tower and tread the summit at moonrise.”
This is Scottish winter climbing!
“Nothing but a memory of the wide silent snowfields crimsoned by the rioting sky and of the frozen hills under the slow moon”.
Be Safe, Be careful and enjoy the wild!