Sgurr na H-Umaha

October on Skye.
A less frequented part of the Cuillin, but a stunning peak in a remote location. Archie and Ian joined me for the long walk along Glen Sligachan, out along the Harta Corrie path then up steep pathless terrain to get to the base of the mountain. We were heading for the South Ridge scrambling route.
After looking at the climb from earlier photographs I had figured out exactly where to go, but the reality of being up close to the rocks meant I could no longer be sure of the start. Enter Archie’s Aye-Phone – complete with maps and a red ‘X’, ahhhh so we are 100M too far to the left, a very useful bit of tech.
The scrambling was fairly easy, with a good bit of loose rock to avoid. Higher up we came to the crux section, which probably merited the grade 3 rating. The rock in the area is extremely rough gabbro, and the holds and friction are great.
The summit is not marked by any cairn or post at all and it is hard to find any evidence of past ascents, until on descent, coming across an in-situ sling. Here we used it to abseil the steep section. The ridge then becomes easier and rises again to Sgurr Beag and onwards to the normal descent route for Sgurr nan Gillean.

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Walk to Coire Lagan

A very blustery day here on Skye, a strong westerly blasting the Cuillin, with occasional short lived-heavy showers. My Son Ryan and Suilven the dog braved the windchill and walked up into the Coire. A number of showers blew in but we managed to stay dry by sheltering either behind or under some of the large boulders.

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Video of Bidean Druim nan Ramh, from last week

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September is a good month

Tuesday 16th, Ian and I headed out into Coire a Mhadaidh, in theCuillin. Up Tuppeny Buttress to the ridge, then the traverse of Bidean Druim nan Ramh, An Caisteal, Bruach na Frithe and back down its NW ridge.

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Dolomites Sept 2014, photos

My oldest son Robbie and I flew from Edinburgh to Venice on the Saturday, a day after the others. Both our bags went missing and so we were left with a very large shopping list to buy all the gear we needed for a week of walking and Via Ferrata! (we did get our bags back when we returned through the airport a week later).
So after a 4 hour bus ride we met up with the others in Corvara at Residence Angelika. They had all stayed in the Rifugio Kostner the night before and had climbed VF Piz de Lech – a fine start to the week.

Robbie and I spent Sunday morning shopping, the others were to go MTB. So on Monday we were all set for climbing and 5 of us went for the VF Degli Alpini grade 3B. It was Robbie’s first Via Ferrata and he struggled with the steep start and the terrifying exposure. Higher up the climbing was easier and his technique improved, and he led the final wall with very fine exposure.

One of our main objectives for the week was the VF Punta Anna (5C) and the summit of the Tofana di Mezzo. So Tuesday was the day, Robbie had a rest, Stewart climbed the Piz Boe. Our trip started on a chairlift, and I did have a moment when my helmet popped out of my rucksack and fell from the chair! So I started my day with a jog downhill to retrieve it and a punishing climb back to catch up. The climb starts easily enough and takes a number of ledges and easy gullys for about 20 mins. Then all of a sudden the wire hits the crest and the exposure is epic (reminds me of parts of the Cuillin). So on to the Punta Anna and then the route takes a more Alpine ambiance with fresh snow and less wire to follow. At one point there is an exposed corner to traverse, I think to me that was the single hardest part of the route. Higher up we had to contend with rockfall, ice fall and mist. However it is all worthwhile to get a cable-car descent and a mug of hot chocolate at the bottom.

After that we walked alot and some of the others did another Ferrata near the Gardena pass. Here are some of my photos to browse….

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Corvara 2014 video

Walks and Ferrata in the Dolomites. Best viewed in full HD.

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End of the Fishing season (for me anyway)

Heading off to the Dolomites in a few days time so I thought I’d bring in the creels, what with September gales around the corner. Pulled in a nice wee pile of Lobster, bringing the season tally to over 50. Not bad for 4 creels and 3 months fishing.

2014-08-26 09.59.19

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