Tuesday, 31 July 2012


It was so nice to finally feel some warm sun, blue skies, clear mountain tops and great views after all the miserable low cloud, drizzly days recently. Today I took the excellent West Highland train from Glasgow to Arrochar and headed up to probably the most iconic mountain in the Southern Highlands-The Cobbler. This is one of those very fine hills that just fails to reach the Munro height (hooray!) but none the less still a very popular mountain, especially now that there is an excellent man made path all the way to the summit. The finest walking route though heads up the corrie between the north top and the main summit, passing through fantastic rock formations where many rock climbs start. Having only four and a half hours between trains I had a good blast up to the top and back, 3 and a half hours in total, including the walk to the foot of the hill from the station. I just got to the top before a large group made it, otherwise there is usually a long queue to get to the actual summit, being an airy, easy scramble through the 'eye of the needle' as they call it.
I'm away working in The Alps again next week, another two Tour Mont Blanc trips. The sun today getting me back into the t-shirt, shorts and warm temperatures scene! Back home on the 20th August.

Saturday, 28 July 2012


Ben Nevis part two and same weather! Missed the nice sunny spells in the afternoon before taking Radj & Adjee out early evening. At least it was relatively quiet on the hill. Not much in the way of photographic material last few days. All the teams I've taken up last few days have all done The Ben in the 5 hour mark-well done to them.


I am guiding up Ben Nevis twice today, first group of four lads this morning was quick. They are on their fist hill as part of The Three Peaks Challenge. We were up and down in just over five hours. It rained much of the time and low cloud again but at least the temperatures were more bearable today. Next round tonight at 5pm, may be some better photos as the sun as just popped out and some blue skies.

Friday, 27 July 2012


Tuesday/Wednesday I was guiding a group of 7 guys on a 3 Peaks Challenge. They wanted an evening start at 7pm and we were treated to a wonderful sunset and beautiful cloud on Ben Nevis. It was very sticky, sultry and sweaty, even more so on Scafell Pike and Snowdon. Here we had low cloud which gave us very little in the way of views. The guys did well, reaching Snowdon summit in 22 and a half hours. Well done to them. Tomorrow I'm on Ben Nevis twice in one day! Another story and another kind of weather in store-looks wintry on the top!

Monday, 23 July 2012


Scrambling fun in the rain on Ledge Route
It was a day of constant rain, wind and low cloud on Ben Nevis, a bit of a shock to the system and ruining my Alpine sun tan! Mary, Joe and Bob wanted a day on The Ben but not a plod up the Pony Path so we headed for the north face and as the SW winds were quite strong this morning I decided to take them onto Ledge Route which is well sheltered from the SW's. We stood and had elevenses in the dripping rain outside the CIC Hut, another shock to the system, so used to sunny terraces and open doors with refreshments at Alpine Refuges! We were soon in the Ciste Corrie and onto Ledge Route, the only folk we saw were a couple of other folk just behind us who had enough climbing gear to scale the North wall of The Eiger! No exaggeration! My team moved well and we were on the top by lunch time. It was relatively quiet on the summit of The Ben but we passed quite a few folk heading up late afternoon and the lower we got down the Pony Path the more ridiculous the attire! With an average age of 60 my guys did well with a total time of less than 8 hours up and down today. Mid week looks like more sunny and summer like weather!

Sunday, 22 July 2012


The South side of Mont Blanc
Monte saxe
Approaching The Grand Ferret Col
Morning view of Grande Jorasses from the Bonatti Refugio
Approaching the Fenetre Arppete, the highest col on the TMB
Aguillle Chamonix from Grand Balcon Nord path
St. Bruno Lilly
Sunbathing on Monte Saxe
Above Les Chapieux
Mont Blanc from Col De Seigne
Mont Blanc from SE ridge of Point Hellbroner
The last 3 weeks I was out in the Alps leading groups on the popular trek of The Tour de Mont Blanc. In general it was great weather, with blue skies and hot sun and just the odd few days of cloud. Apparently it's been a bit damp back here?  I was working for GAdventure and out again in August for some more Alpine splendour. Coming up I will be leading  a couple of 3 Peak Challenge groups back to back, I wonder if we'll get Alpine weather?