Last night I managed to rescue some pics I took on a mate’s camera from a trip across Beinn Eighe in April…
The intrepid seven stepped out again on a cool calm Thursday for a nearby gorge named after the former Black Sabbath front man. A mixed bag of routes presented themselves and we all started with the classic WI4 Ozzimosis to get things started before moving on, though not before Sabiene getting her first taste of the hot aches! 😯
Ian was determined that Andy would lead something by the end of the week, so Andy pre-placed some ice screws on a top rope on ‘Anakje’, WI3, before lowering off and re-climbing by clipping the pre-placed gear to set up a belay.
After lunch it was time for a proper on sight lead, and along to Klassik 4, WI3. Officially Andy’s first lead on ice, it was almost dark when we abseiled off – though not because of putting far too much gear in!
Anna, Ian, Sabiene and Andy braved the windswept A74 to pop to see Arthur at Kinlochleven this weekend for a bit of winter sport and some practice for the upcoming Norway trip.
On Saturday Arthur suggested a wander up Buachaille Etive Beag at the western end of Glen Coe to see the snow conditions and test the crampons out. The forecast was for snow flurries, which sounded pretty tame and the full team set out confidently.
The full team of Anna, Sabiene, Arthur, Ian (and Andy behind the camera) before illness took two of us out…
Unfortunately, some of us are not getting any younger, and Ian managed to tweak a muscle in his back getting dressed, and was having difficulty breathing. Sabiene wasn’t feeling too great either and both were forced to drop out in the early stages of the walk.
Anna heading up to the first top.
Arthur, Andy and Anna went on to hit the ridge in a pretty stiff wind. The odd snow shower passed over, but in the wind felt like sharp needles in our faces. Unfortunately, Arthur was without ice axe, and the wind was too high to continue all the way along the ridge, so we retreated about 150 yards from the summit, to return another day.
Anna bracing against the wind on the ridge.
Arthur stepping down from the Stob Dubh ridge.
Arthur and Anna heading down to the summit ridge.
It was a cracking day though – fantastic views.
We spent a week hiding away in Chamonix over New Year, and we arrived with every intention of undertaking all winter mountain sports. Instead, we couldn’t help but relax and enjoy the sites, starting with a ride up to the Aiguille du Midi for some fresh air and a view of Mont Blanc. Sabiene went all wobbly and woozy at the top through lack of oxygen after a run up the stairs!
Mont Blanc – Sabiene & Andy
Day 2 – Shopping!
Day two, and we were knackered already. So after a lengthy recouperative period in bed, we decided to hit the shops for some retail therapy in readiness for Norway in February. Snell’s thought it was Christmas – oh yes, it was. But Sabiene left having melted her credit card, having bought everything in the shop. Check out the gear in the pic, including the sexy gold Black Diamond Vipers.
Mer de Glace
A walk along the Petit Balcon Sud
Gear testing day. A walk along the Petit Balcon Sud all the way to Argentiere was a great way to see the Mont Blanc range on the other side of the Chamonix valley. And what views – the Dru looking magnificent in the high winds, and the forest around us silent and white. A fantastic day ended with a free train ride back to town.
Petit Balcon Sud
Aiguille de Midi
Since Sabiene had been a bit dodgy the first time at 12,000 feet, we had another go up the cable car to the Auiguille. The second time was just as clear – stunning views all around, and very tempting to put the crampons on and have a wander about.
View from Aguile
Ski de Fond
For those of you who do not know, it means Nordic Skiing, and it was the closest we got to actual skiing, but it was very nice nevertheless – and a lot more tiring than it looks. We set out early through the forest while everyone else was nursing their hangovers, so it was great.
Ski de Fond