Last chance to see Mountain Heritage Collection at Glen Roy /Roybridge  ends Sunday 16 October.

Chounaird Zero ice axe and hammer great gear in its day ! Late 70’s early 80’s

A local Guide Mick Tighe has over his life in the mountains amassed a vast amount of Mountaineering gear.


 He has always been fascinated by the history of many classic items and he saved much of this from destruction over the years. Over the years it has become the Scottish Mountain Heritage Collection and is now a charity with some of Scotlands finest Mountaineering artefacts. It is in it final few days of display in Glen Roy.

 

The last few days of the Mountain Heritage Collection is on display at Glen Roy /Roybridge at Mick Tighe house! I visited last week and it was a great morning. Lots of pals have been up and it well worth the visit and Mick and his wife Cathy are great hosts!

The ice dagger only for the brace !

There is so much old equipment associated with Mountaineering and great photos many seen for the first time in years!

So if you have some free time it’s well worth a visit if not have a look on their website they are always after old Mountaineering gear , especially if there is a story attached to it! Or a donation to help keep the Collection together !

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It’s the Deer Stalking season let’s work together? 

If your out on the hills it is worth remembering that this can be a busy time for Estates!

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he red deer stag stalking season runs from 1 July to 20 October and the hind season from 21 October to 15 February. Most commercial deer stalking involves hunting the stags, so takes place between August and October.

  • Within these defined seasons, however, each estate sets its own stalking season – some estates may only offer deer stalking for a few weeks each year. Therefore, you should always contact a sporting estate to ask about its stalking season before making plans !
  • We have to work together and notices like this are not very helpful in my mind?
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A very hot day on Beinn Damh at Torridon – great views , heat, clegs and memories.

Beinn Damh

Beinn Damh – Torridon

The seagulls were up again at 0400 so need for an alarm clock, it was so misty as I left to pick up a friend in Forres Bernie Foran. The trouble with hot weather is the mist/” haar” you get on the East Coast early in the morning but it was cool and very poor viability all the way to the “Height of Kinlochewe”  Then the mist cleared and Slioch emerged from the mist with the views of the quartzite screes of Beinn Eighe and the Loch Maree emerging. The sun was out and the West Coast was stunning, we drove by Liathach and the magic nearby Corbetts, Sgurr nan LochanUaine and Sgurr Dubh past the ling Hut and nestled among 100 hills (glacial moraine) It was just so special after driving the mad motorways of the M5/M6 windows open and the clean air blasting through. We parked at The Torridon Inn just passing Loch Torridon the water was shimmering and so clear. It was very early 0730 but we had passed many cars parked in the layby’s of these great hills trying to steal a day under a very hot forecast. I had done this hill at least twice before once with the three Munros and Fuar Tholl  in one long day and the other in 1973 as a young man. I had never savoured it, this would be the day.

Follow the sign

Follow the sign

It is not easy to find the start of the path but from the Hotel past the accommodation flats then you pick up a sign and then the path winds it way through the shade of the trees and across the main road. Then more trees and a great path take you through rhododendron bushes and Caledonian pine trees its magical. Below the river crashes down ( this is where I went Gorge scrambling in the past with the Torridon Team) What an adventure that was, I was told by one of the instructors that I did well for an old guy! I asked him have you climbed the Chasm in Glencoe that is gorge scrambling! You leave the trees and follow the right fork into the Corrie of Toll Ban a huge wild Corrie. It was here that I was attacked by clegs my legs soon bitten and running with blood! It was so hot about 25 degrees and not 0900 yet. Constant drinks and a breaks helped but no wind made it hard going for both of us but at least we soon made the ridge after a steep rise in the path gaining height all the time. The views were breathtaking across Loch Torridon.

Great views on the breaks on the way up.

Great views on the breaks on the way up.

On the ridge we got a breeze and kept to edge with outstanding view in a panorama of wonder. The Corbett Beinn Bhan another neglected gem with its trilogy of Corries was looking great. Many years ago the glacier had trundled down to sea and the huge sandstone slabs were left today they were gleaming in the sun, we looked in wonder at nature. We stopped and drank in the views and drank our water it was still so hot. The ridge is fairly long to the summit with several tops.

 

Loch Kishorn

Loch Kishorn

Loch Kishorn

I was amazed at the erosion on this hill after all these years it must be a busy one but no wonder with the views. The ridge is covered with quartzite boulders that radiated the heat it was over 30 degrees here, there was no wind and we struggled. Near the summit we were back on the ridge and the slight breeze and more views of the Achnasheallach hills of Maol Chean Dearg  and it neighboring Munros. The stalkers paths in the area are the best in the world and a low-level trail along them gives another view of this wild area.

Dressed for a hot day - big hat light clothing be aware of clegs and midges.

Dressed for a hot day – big hat light clothing be aware of clegs and midges.

We wandered along the summit ridge saw two hinds on this peak of the Stags most I imagine would  resting in a mud wallow or river far below. We had a long stop took lots of photos and drank a lot more water. There was no water at all on the hill apart from the way up, it was very dry. The views went on and on, I had time to look at other ways off and we took a different line the North East ridge a scramble down Bernie was excited by this.

The way home

The way home

It was steep and interesting I think Bernie enjoyed it or maybe not?

Water and watermelon great

Water and watermelon great

We ended  eventually we were down in the Glen , no shade and getting short of water.It then became according to Bernie a ” March or die in the heat” I was in a great place the body was aching old aches and pains and the hernia was sore but I was so happy. The views on the way home were truly amazing and eventually we reached the shelter of the trees and shade. We met a group of 5 young family with a little bottle of water each the only people we met all day, they would struggle in the heat. 

Shade at the end of the day

Shade at the end of the day

The final descent out of the sun was great the trees made life so good and we were soon at the Hotel. We met Ryan the local celebrity and his bonny lassie Adelle and of course Hamish the dog had a drink.

young love xxx

Ryan uses our hill Beinn Damh as training run up and down in under 3 hours from his house on the other side of Loch Torridon.

What can I say!

What can I say!

I drove home the hills were all in view, what a place to be Scotland I love you ! Even though the getting out the car at the end was not easy and I drank 4 pts of water on the way home!

Off to golf now!

Posted in Corbetts, Enviroment, Equipment, Friends, Gear, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Munros | Leave a comment

Great work by a few on a coordinated litter sweep to “deep clean” the three highest peaks of Scotland, England and Wales has been dubbed “The Real 3 Peaks Challenge”.


Photo from Real3 peaks Challenge 

It is was great to see the effort of a small band of volunteers who have organised  a litter clean up on the Three Peaks Britain’s Highest Mountains. They were on Ben Nevis on Saturday and took a huge amount of rubbish off.It is so sad to see the mess left of the path by so many who should know better, what a society we live in when we leave such rubbish everywhere and those who helped on Saturday to move the rubbish are warmly thanked. I will be with them next year to help! Surely it is time for an “environmental tax on plastic bottles”like many other countries do ? It is also time to re educate future generations on looking after the environment. What example do we set when you see the carnage left after rock festivals, tents and rubbish everywhere, sometimes I worry about the future?

John Muir Quote

I always try to take rubbish out from bothies that people leave and on the summits when I can. It is so sad that  there is just so much rubbish on the Ben and we have teach those who are new to hills to “take nothing but photos leave nothing but footprints”.

“Retweeted Hazel Strachan (@StrachanHazel):

Total weight of litter picked from Ben Nevis, Scafell & Snowdon on Sat by#Real3PeaksChallenge was 513.5 kg.

Shouldn’t have to be done!” Well done Hazel and those involved.

Organisers hope about 100 volunteers will join in a coordinated litter pick on the highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales. This is what they said

“Banana skins. Plastic bottles. Banana skins. Tissues. Banana skins. Orange peel,” says Rich Pyne.

As we set off from the car park at the Glen Nevis visitors’ centre, Rich was pretty clear about what he expected to find.

He came up with the idea of a litter pick across Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon – due to take place on Saturday 12 October – after watching people on a guided walk eating their lunch.

“I was just appalled by the amount of rubbish that was flying around on the summit,” he says.

“So while my clients were eating, I collected two or three kilos of rubbish, debris. That took a couple of minutes.

“I made a bit of noise on Facebook and it developed from there over a couple of weeks.”

Richard said, “We’ve set Saturday 12 October as the date and it would be good if others would get involved and help us out to clear as much rubbish as possible. We also want to spread the message to as many people as possible who in turn can spread the message that it’s just not acceptable to drop litter or leave rubbish.”

The main aim being to raise awareness of the work already undertaken by local charities and volunteer groups who frequently have clean up events, perhaps more importantly educate the many numbers of visitors that can then have a positive impact on littering, especially over the busy summer months with many thousands of charity fund raisers and holidaying walkers.

The peaks have been chosen as the ‘honey pot’ areas but there will also be other clear up events across many National Parks. Anyone wishing to lend a hand can get in touch at real3peaks.bennevis@gmail.com for the Scottish leg of the project. English and Welsh emails arereal3peaks.snowdon@gmail.com and real3peaks.scafell@gmail.com

If anyone has photos of the clean up could I use them on my blog.

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Huge Rescue on Ben Nevis on The Long Climb by Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team a sad week for them.

There was very little on the news over the weekend just a piece saying that a Rescue had taken place on Ben Nevis and there had sadly been a fatality. Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team put this in their Facebook page. I have no problem copying it hopefully to let others who do not use Facebook and see there comments To me it is an incredible story and a sad week for the Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team. My thoughts are with the family of the climbers who sadly lost their life and also to the team. A great effort by all and hopefully more people will know what happend on Ben Nevis on Friday night and the efforts of these brave people on that huge North East Face at night in poor weather.

Lochaber MRT

Lochaber MRT

From Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team Facebook Page

“Last week was a very difficult one for the team. We had 3 call outs, two of which included fatalities. Also, a very close friend of the Team, Emmy tragically lost her fight with cancer on Friday evening. Emmy’s father was long time member of LMRT.

Our thoughts today are with the family and friends of the two climbers who died and with Emmy’s family. It was great to see the RAF Mountain Rescue Team from Lossiemouth were assisting Lochaber.

On Friday night we got called out to an incident on Long Climb on Ben Nevis where two climbers were involved in an incident about 150/200 metres from the top of the climb. The climb runs up the centre of the banner photo on our FB page above which is taken in winter. The rescue started at 6.15 pm on Friday evening and was not finished until 6.00 am next morning.

The Long Climb from Classic Rock 1400 foot Mild VS/Severe on Ben Nevis Orion Face.420m 14000, 11 pitches. A classic meandering line, best climbed after a few dry days and with good visibility an Alpine style route on the Ben.

The Long Climb from Classic Rock 1400 foot Mild VS/Severe on Ben Nevis Orion Face.420m 14000, 11 pitches. A classic meandering line, best climbed after a few dry days and with good visibility an Alpine style route on the Ben.

This proved to be one of the most difficult and technical rescues Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team have ever been involved in. Conditions did not allow R951 get to do any more than taxi people and equipment onto the mountain. We were assisted by the RAF MRT on the evening. There were 18 team members and 13 RAF MRT involved.

The rescue involved a 600 metre lower down the route, the longest climb in the UK, to get one of the climbers who was stuck on belay. This was a very technical exercise, locating the precise location of the casualty in cloud and in the dark on a huge face on very dangerous terrain, as the top of the route is very loose this year.

The lower from the very summit of Ben Nevis was down the whole of the Orion Face with the rescuer and casualty hanging free for long sections of the lower before reaching the safer ground at the base of Observatory Gully.

The summit team, supported by RAF MRT, located the surviving climber and lowered him to the base of Observatory gully and walked out to a point where R951 could bring him back to Fort William.

The second climber unfortunately had died from his injuries and another team had to climb up from base to locate the casualty and then lower him down route and down to where he could be recovered to Fort William by R951.

The following is an extract from description by climber who did the route this weekend after the rescue and emphasises the risks involved in this rescue.

“Easily my most challenging (and longest) day in the mountains to date. Accidentally trundled some big blocks (largest about 4 times my size) from top of last pitch, surprised to realise I was still alive, as was my belayer, after doing so”

We would like to especially thank the RAF MRT, who without their assistance and support we would have taken considerably longer to effect the evacuations. We would also like to thank R951 who stayed most of the night to assist with getting people on and off the mountain in very difficult flying conditions for this air-frame.

Finally, on behalf of John and Donald, a very big public thank you to all the Team members and who took part on the rescue at considerable risk to themselves to save a life.”

An incredible rescue by Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team and a life saved despite the tragedies that happend on the past week.

HOW YOU CAN HELP  …

Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team depend on the public’s continuing donations and fundraising support. The costs involved in running a mountain rescue team are high. A single-use smoke-flare costs around £10, whilst an 800m rope, which might only be safe to use once, costs around £1000. Donate today and help us save lives.

Posted in Articles, Charity, Equipment, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Rock Climbing, Views Mountaineering, Weather | Leave a comment

Wonderful Day on the Fannichs – Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich (954m Munro 209) Sgurr Mor (1110m Munro 43) Meall na  Chrasgaidh(934m Munro 243

Yesterday I had a great day in the Fannichs that wonderful Range of 9 Munros and the weather was perfect, no wind, dry all day and sunshine. I had great company with two friends Anne and Mark who live amongst these great hills and were wanting a day out. The weather has been superb and it was an early start for the one and a half hour drive to their house. It was an incredible drive with the temperature gauge in the car showing it was not far off freezing. I passed several wind-farms on the way  they are all over now.

Lots of Wind farms

Lots of Wind farms

The sunshine even at 0700 was sparkling, the roads quiet and the views outstanding. Ben Wyvis my local Munro had a halo of sun on it and the frosty car park was deserted and then I drove to Anne and Marks house for bacon rolls. This was a meet of the Last Of The Summer Wine Mountaineering Club, we seem to have not been out much lately.

2016-oct-fannichs-munro-day

As soon as I got out the car the Stags were roaring and after a great breakfast we drove to Loch Droma where we left the car and headed along the Hydro road for about 30 minutes crossing the dam, following the hydro track  and the huge pipeline and then broke on to the shoulder of our planned Munro   Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich : ‘big grey hill of Fannaich’ (954m Munro 209)

My friends Anne and Mark at the Dam.

My friends Anne and Mark at the Dam. It was a blue sky day.

I had tried this hill last winter but was still pretty ill after my operations and by the time I reached the track braking on to the hill I was not going well and had to make do with a lovely wee hill on the other side of the track Meal Brac at 532 metres a grand wee hill. Today we were going well and there is a path that we followed onto the main ridge.  We had lots of stops it was warm and the views were wild.

Just before we hit the ridge and hidden lochs come into view.

Just before we hit the ridge and hidden lochs come into view.

It was hard going on the ridge I followed the edge to give it a bit more sport and we took care, taking it carefully but enjoying a unique view and we were on our own.


Anne and Mark were loving it and we had a drink and some food and then pushed on after identifying all the hills we could see, what a day.

Enjoying the ridge on Beinn Liath Mor Fannich

Enjoying the ridge on Beinn Liath Mor Fannich

The ridge was more enjoyable than the path that takes you through the rough ground and we met a few ptarmigan than burst out from the rocks still not in there winter white plumage.

Taking time to sit and stare.

Taking time to sit and stare.

We reached the top of our ridge then its easy going for about half and hour along a plateau to the summit of Beinn Liath Mor Fannich. By now we had great views of the great peaks with the biggest of the Fannich Range Sgurr Mor dominating and An Teallach , Beinn Dearg and many more so clear and prominent.

On the top of Beinn Liath Mor Fannich

On the top of Beinn Liath Mor Fannich,

We had a good stop and met a couple who took our photo, I wanted to go on and climb a few more peaks and Anne and Mark went back down. It was a bit selfish but I was feeling good and the weather was stunning. It was a great walk and we met one of the local Mountain Rescue Team Dundonnell Ian Nesbitt and his lovely dog and had a chat for a while and then I headed of  to Sgurr Mor.

mmmmm

More Great views.

The ridge is easy walking but steep as Sgurr Mor :(1110m Munro 43) ‘big peak’  is the biggest of the Fannichs and has a huge Corrie edge which I followed to the summit, It has some wild winter climbing and I could see the only climb I did many years ago after a huge walk in. It was a climb that I was as always terrified on with limited belays and simple gear in the mid 80’s. There is a great article on an ascent in 2012 by a guide.

Great ridge onto Sgurr Mor

Great ridge onto Sgurr Mor with the Alpine face.

The climb  “Resurrection is a North West Highlands snow and ice classic of alpine proportion. The length and nature of the climbing assures you’ll get your money’s worth and you bag yourself a Munro or two to boot.”

http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=4348

  • Range: The Fannichs, North West Highlands, Scotland
  • Mountain: Sgurr Mor, 1110m
  • Route: Resurrection, Sgurr Mor, East Face
  • Return: East Ridge and Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich (Munro)
  • Length: 300m of climbing, a long day out!

You can belay around the summit cairn on the last pitch making the line very aesthetic. You will almost certainly have complete solitude. The route is 300m long and very committing.

Great view from Sgurr Mor

Great view from Sgurr Mor.

I met another group on the summit enjoying more views and the Gealla Butress stick out  on another Munro Sgurr nan Clach Geala (1093m Munro 53) but that was not on my agenda today.


Time was moving on and after a quick drink I headed down onto my next Munro Meall na Crasgaidh (934m Munro 243). I was going well but took my time on the steep descent in winter these can be wild hills and care is taken even in summer when travelling on your own.

A closer look at the Gealla Buttress.

A closer look at the Gealla Buttress. A place in winter of some wild climbs though I have never climbed here.

I was on my own when a walker overtook me on the top before the last Munro

Meall a’Chrasgaidh : ‘hill of the crossing’ and I let him go though I was feeling okay and pushed on to the summit. Time was moving and how  I would like to climb the other Munros but it would be dark by 1900  and I texted Anne and Mark for a lift at 1800 about 2 hour walk out.

p1060165
I dropped straight off the summit down very steep ground, taking care and I had been up this way many years before in winter, it was interesting, for some reason I was on my own and took in the views and the changing light.  There was some good scrambling from about 800 metres.

Steep descent from the last Munro

Steep descent from the last Munro – Take care,

The view of An Teallach as I descended were magic and the camera picked up the wildness and dominance of this great hill. There was no one about as I picked my way down and was soon at the loch and then a big walk out.

nnn

What views. 

Every view changes.

The ridge down to the Loch.

The ridge down to the Loch.

There is an awful BV track very cut up for about 30 minutes till you hit the hydro track and solid ground, what a lot of damage done. The garron ( stalking  horse) never made this damage  to the ground.

Damage ?

Damage ?

I had to stop to eat and drink, my last jam butty and some tepid team and some nuts gave me the energy after that muddy track and the last half hour along the track was fine. Time was moving on and Mark was waiting at the dam and then home to there house for a brew and then  a drive home. I was offered a bed for the night but have a mate to take to hospital today.

I should have been out with Outfitmoray for a week in the Cairngorms but had to cancel it to help a pal. I had a great day yesterday on some great mountains in stunning weather so I made the best of my time.

Today I am sore after a fun day out but what a day, three great Munros, good company and some solitude and its great to be still out on these wild places.

p1060143

Take care when out on the hills the daylight is getting shorter and make sure you carry  a serviceable torch!

Correction taking on the last Munro of my day  Meall a’Chraisgaidh!

Tiredness!

 

Posted in Articles, Avalanche info, Friends, Gear, Hill running and huge days!, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Munros, Rock Climbing, Scottish winter climbing., Weather | Leave a comment

Heading to the North West for a day on the hill with two old pals!

Up early to make the best of some superb weather on the North West! I have two pals who live up North and will meet them for bacon rolls at 0900! (Well done )please Anne. They live out on the wilds with a view of Beinn Wyvis and the Stags will be roaring. What a place to  live in .

Yesterday was some local walking along the Moray Coast it was sparkling and an incredible day. I spent time watching the Birds “dive bombing”the fish in the Moray Firth an incredible scene ! The place is full of bird watchers and there is so much to see and with the fishing boats coming and going it’s a special place .

This is a bird spotters paradise with Oyster catchers, swirling Dunlins Oyster catchers, the

Haunting call of the Curlew, my old pals the Herons. There was the haunting call of the curlew ,  Cormorants spreading there wings to dry and the wild Diving Gannets


How many times have I seen this and yet never take it for granted. There must be loads of mackerel  about and my neighbour very kindly brought me in some already filleted and ready for the pan. The joys of living by the sea.it was great to see so many people out and about enjoying the sun and great weather.


A great weather forecast today again!

Later on in the day the football was on. I listened to it on the radio and poor Scotland another bad result V Lithuania 1  –  1 so sad but well done Lithuania!

Never mind as a Scot we are used to it.

Hopefully you will all be out and enjoying this magic spell?

If your near Roybridge pop into the Scottish Mountain Heritage exhibition two miles up  Glen Roy.

It is on till the 16 Oct and is worth a visit!

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