Category Archives: Logbook

An entry in the CC logbook

MI AGM Weekend

We were represented by our chair, Geoff, Dennis, Gerry, Margaret, Maeve, Valli, Ivan, Maeve was elected to the MI board, congratulations to her, as CCC continues to punch well above its weight in the national mountaineering scene (I was kicked out).

Saturday was dry, but the crag at Happy Valli was wet (no wonder after the winter) so we top roped 4 routes. As well as Geoff, Valli, Ivan and self, we had 2 from the Hanging Rockers, who had never climbed outside before. Geoff was convinced they would be put off it for life, but they were made of sterner stuff, and really enjoyed it (so much they are coming to the climbfest). Karl Boyle (MI CEO) also climbed, and was hugely impressed by both the crag, and Valli’s hospitality during the rugby match. In fact he was quite hard to shift out of Valli’s kitchen and back to the MI meet. Happy Valli has now a powerful friend. Martin and Mary joined the party.

There was the usual dinner and stuff, and the AGM and workshops in the morning, and in the afternoon we did King’s Gully, yet again, in the wet. Always worth doing.

Finbarr joined the party. On Monday, we went up Glenade, behind Eagle Rocks, a lovely walk in lovely conditions. A very spectacular place with huge cliffs, I’ll post a couple of pics. Spotted a really dramatic place for a tent, with a abseil descent. Look out for Extreme Camping coming to a website near you!

Glen Coe / Ben Nevis

On the 13th February Maeve, Gerard, Mike G, John H, Seamus and I headed to Onich for a long weekends climbing and to overlap with the MI meet.

There was a lot of snow on the mountains and avalanche warnings were high, especially in the main climbing areas. On our first day we settled for The Zig Zags, on the North Face of Gearr Aonach which is a reasonably low level route. It was a pleasant and relatively short day on the hill allowing plenty of time for coffee and cakes in Glen Coe Cafe.

The next day saw similar conditions and a report for worsening weather in the afternoon so we settled on Dinnertime Buttress on the west face of Aonach Dubh. It is another route low on the mountain with a steep but short walk in from the road. It turned out to be a really nice route under firm snow and offered a couple of interesting sections near the top.
Once on the top we navigated our way into the lower section of Stob Coire nan Lochan from where we walked out to the road. We could see the main crag was well plastered in snow but a few brave souls were making their way up in the hope of getting something done.
The forecast for our last full day was looking good and the avalanche risk had reduced significantly. We were up and away early, and in the North Face car park of the Ben before 7.30am.
The plan was to get up to the CIC hut and assess the conditions, before making a decision on what would be a feasible objective. On reaching the hut Ledge Route seemed like the best option so off we went.
On the approach we could see climbers on The Curtain, one of the best known ice routes on the Ben. I had been on Ledge Route twice before and given the opportunity was keen to do a route I had not done before. John volunteered to join me so off we went while the others continued on to Ledge Route.
It is a fantastic climb with lots of exposure, especially on the upper section where the ice gets quite steep. A second 60m rope and a few more ice screws would have been helpful, especially as I had to bypass the first belay due to it being occupied.
We caught up with Maeve and Gerard who had gotten stuck in a queue behind a number of large guided groups. We continued to the top of Ledge Route together, from where Maeve, John and I continued on to the Summit as it was Maeveā€™s first time on the Mountain.
The last day being wet and windy was spent in the Ice Factor, where Maeve and Seamus climbed on the ice wall and Gerard, Mike and John spent the morning on the indoor climbing wall, while I sat in a comfy chair drinking coffee and reading climbing magazines. Then in the afternoon it was down the road to the airport and home.

Torridon Winter Trip

Met Finbarr at the Kingshouse Glencoe, on Sunday night, and we overnighted in their car park. The forecast was appalling for Monday, so the Aonach Eagach was off, and we set our sights on Meall a Bhuiridh, easily accessible from the top of the chairlift. The chairlift was not running, so plan B followed plan A into the bin ( no changes there then) and plan C was considered. Beinn Mhic Chassgaig is a Corbett in Glen Etive, not far off the road, and good for the short ( and wild) day that remained after our previous set backs. 6.5 hours later we staggered back in the fading light, Margaret and I nursing injuries that threatened to finish our Scottish trip.

Tuesday we recovered, while Finbarr used the better day to revive plan B and climb Meall a Bhuiridh from the ski lift.

Wednesday we drove to Inverness, had lunch with Jimmy and Mairi, picked up PJ, Ant and Fergus and went to Kinlochewe.

Thursday I was still concerned about my knee so I settled for a Corbett called Ruadh Stac Beag with Margaret. It reminded me of climbing Slemish ( from Ballymoney). Knee Better though! The others did Deep South Gully on Beinn Alligin, where they found less snow than they expected.

The forecast was quite good for Friday, so we did the Liathach traverse from Mullach an Rathain to Spidean a Coire Leith. Superb. Finbarr, PJ, Ant, Fergus and self had one of those special winter days in that are, sadly, all too rare.

Elated, we decided to forsake the Ireland v Wales game, and tackle Fuselage Gully in Beinn Eighe on Saturday. Finbarr, Fergus and self followed Sandra and Dave into Coire Fhearchair, and while they tackled Morrison’s Gully, we climbed ” Fuselage” through the wrecked Wellington and into a white out on top of the mountain. It was only temporary, and we found our way along the ridge to Spidean Coire nan Clach, the high point of Beinn Eighe in pretty wild winter conditions.

Sunday, we left Fergus PJ Ant back to Inverness airport ( after another lunch with Jimmy). Finbarr went home, and we followed on Monday.

Extreme Parking in the Wesht

Connemara January 2014.

6 NWMC members, 5 Colmcille Climbers and 2 IMC members ( total 8) stayed in the Bard’s Den Letterfrack, 18th 19 th January for the usual winter weekend’s walking/scrambling in the Wesht.

We had a big day out on the Saturday over Ben Baun, Benbrack, a big drop to the col at Maumnascalpa and a brutally steep climb to Muckanaght, Bencullagh and Maunmonght. Getting out wasn’t that easy either, but a great clear day,( if a mite cauld!) This rarely walked horseshoe was one of the routes submitted for the “Irish Peaks” and very good it was too!

Rory arrived on Saturday night, just after the rugby, but in time for a fine feed in the Den, but on Sunday the weather didn’t look quite so promising. When we arrived at the bottom of Benchoona, those still nursing the emotional scars from the previous year’s experience on that mountain, were wary of repeating the trauma, and while Fergus, Aoife, Rory and Alan dithered, Geoff and Helen fled, leaving only El Finbarr who wished to do battle with the Ogre. Margaret wanted to go to Tully mountain, so we did. It was a good decision, as the route given in the new Collins guidebook was excellent, keeping us below the cloudline with great views on all sides. Quite a rocky mountain, a bit like the Urris, but more spaced out.

The fun wasn’t over however, as Fergus indulged in a bit of extreme parking ( in an 8 foot deep sheugh) and had to get rescued. Although it appears that the car is a write off, fortunately no one was hurt, and we were able to run Fergus and Aoife to Galway on Monday, where they hired another car to get them home. Finbarr also apparently struggled to get home, his van developing mechanical problems.

All in all, an averagely successful weekend!