Mountain Guides will be running the full compliment of mountaineering
courses in the Scottish Highlands this coming winter season. From
introductory training with ice-axe and crampons to technical winter
climbing, we will be providing high quality bespoke courses for
small groups and individuals.
courses are based in Fort William and will be starting between Christmas
and New Year so why not blow the cobwebs away, get out into the
snow clad hills and kick start 2012 with some fantastic winter mountaineering
experiences. More details on Scottish
winter mountaineering courses.
North Face of the Eiger, a route that captures the imagination of most
of the public let alone mountaineers, has been in fantastic condition
for the last few weeks of the autumn....
the end of an extremely stable weather window coming to an end
Mike Brownlow and I decided that 'the hour
was now' and made our way to Grindlewald for a 1 day ascent
of the face and spectacular bivi on the Mittellegi Ridge.
the Carn Mor Dearg (CMD) Arete to the dedicated Scottish hill goer and
they will conjure up an image of the aesthetic curving ridge encircling
the Allt a' Mhuillin and offering constantly stupendous views of the North
Face of Ben Nevis, a real British Mountain classic.
and I felt like we were off-roading by breaking trail along the
freshly whipped up pristine snow crest on the CMD East Ridge.
sudden view of the Nevis North Face never fails to take my breath
away and we turned left on to the minor B road of a small trail
picking its way along the exposed but friendly crest of the South
ridge of CMD.
A road is joined at the top of the Coire Leis Abseil posts for the
final trudge up to the summit of the Ben where the Autoroute down
the tourist track can be joined.
and clients climbed Green Gully and reported reasonable ice with a series
of trundling soft snow mini avalanches running in to the Gully.
Great Ice Climbing in Scottish Highlands....
winter climbing season is in full swing in the Scottish Highlands
and there are currently some great conditions.
dumps of snow in January followed by constantly sub-zero temperatures
on the hills have given superb conditions for ice and mixed climbing
as well as ski touring and winter hill walking.
big freeze looks set to continue and with so much snow and ice around
we could be shaping up nicely for some superb late season winter
Nanda Devi / Changuch Film Now On-line....
can now view the short film about the 2009 British / Indian expedition
to climb Nanda Devi East & Changuch in the Indian Himalaya.
you have any comments, it would be great to see them in the thread
on the Guest
Mountain Guides' website is now on-line. HMG is Rob's new mountain
guiding compnay to reflect that we are now running alpine mountaineering
and ski touring courses in the European Alps.
High Mountain Guides Website contains a range of new ideas for
mountaineering and ski
courses as well as a wealth of new photos in the gallery
and movies in the cinema.
It is interactive so have a good browse round, fill in the guest
book and comment on various news
items.We are now taking bookings for the 2010 Scottish winter,
alpine spring ski touring and alpine summer mountaineering seasons.
I hope to climb or ski with you in 2010, Rob
Snow in the Highlands & Scottish Winter Courses Now Booking:
to all those who have been in touch already about the forthcoming
Scottish Winter Mountaineering season. It's easy to be inspired
when there have already been a number of snow flurries in the Highlands.
As usual we will be offering the full range of Winter Mountaineering
courses from introductory winter skills and mountaineering to advanced
winter climbing. These are all on a tailor made basis so please
get in touch now to discuss your requirements.
will be away guiding on Mount Vinson in Antarctica
again this austral summer so please get in touch before late November
to book courses from mid-february onwards. Fingers crossed for a
cold & snowy season....
Short preview of forthcoming Nanda Devi East & Changuch 2009 Expedition
Late Summer in The Alps
weeks of warm and sunny alpine weather has made it's mark on climbing
conditions across the Western Alps. Rock routes, even at the highest
altitude became totally dry and snow free whilst some of the glaciers
and classic easy snow ascents became awkward icy challenges.
teams have been out making the most of the warm, stable weather
and in the last few weeks I've climbed the Italian Ridge on the
Matterhorn, (descending the Hornligrat to make one of the finest
high level day traverses in the Alps) the Breithorn, Pollux, Monte
Rosa and, this week, the Aiguille de Tour and Mont Blanc du Tacul
with the speedy and cheerfull threesome of Stu, Sam and Elen.
Traverse of the Ober Gabelhorn & Wiwani Alpine 'Paradise'
had a few days holiday with my girlfriend Jenny in the Swiss Valais
last week. We took the long and delightful stroll out of Zermatt
up to the Arben Bivvi Hut which nestles conveniently under the impressive
rocky South Face of the Ober Gabelhorn. The traverse of this small
but proud 4000m peak is a real alpine treat to savour with a wide
variety of terrain from perfect ridge scrambling, rock pitches,
abseiling and down climbing snowy mixed ground aswell as classic
snow aretes, the lot!
descent of the ENE ridge down to the Rothorn Hutte via the Wellenkuppe
is not trivial and demands concentration throughout both in route
finding and careful down climbing, not to mention some buch yarding
on the fixed ropes of the Grande Gendarme! After Rosti and applestrudel
at the Rothorn hut all that is left is the knee crunching 1700m
descent straight down to the Brown Cow in Zermatt and a fitting
climax to this real classic alpine traverse.
the weather deteriorated a retreat to the comfortable sanctity of
the Wiwani hut, North of Visp, was called for. This hut boasts some
of the finest hospitality, cake and wine around. The alpine sport
rock and scrambling are pretty fine too. It's well worth a visit
if you are in the area: http://www.wiwanni.ch/EN/huette.php
You can even do yoga courses there!
will be running a range of tailor made alpine and ski programmes
from this september onwards. Please contact
us for more details.
Images & Reports from Chamonix Summer 2009
are all from this alpine summer Guiding season in and around the
include Mont Blanc (climbed in good if rather windy conditions yesterday);
The Dent De Geant, Tour Ronde (Freshfield Arete), Chere Couloir
on Mont Blanc du Tacul; Cosmiques Arete, L'Index, Traverse of the
Crochues, Aiguille de Tour, Tete Blanche.
Nanda Devi East & Changuch First Ascent, Indian Himalaya.....
team of six British climbers including Guides Martin Moran and myself
attempted the truly inspiring, huge and objectively safe South Rigde
of Nanda Devi East (7434m) in the India Himalaya in this years pre-monsoon
climbing season. (The ridge coming towards the camera from the central
joined a larger Polish
team at the lovely Nanda Devi East Base Camp which consisited
of some highly talented alpinists and experienced Himalayan climbers.
The Poles fixed over a 1000m of rope and ground to a halt on technical
ground at 6900m. Although inspiring, the South Ridge proved too
big an objective for our team and we switched our attention to
a smaller but striking and unclimbed peak near base camp, Changuch
first and only British ascent of Nanda Devi East was in 1994,
made in fine alpine style by the current president of the British
Mountain Guides, Roger Payne with his Kiwi wife Julie-Anne Clyma,
(also a British Guide). Read
the report of that trip here.
ascent of Changuch's striking North West Ridge (right)) provided
an exacting alpine climb (D-) over 3 days, one spent resting at
a rather exiguous campsite.
00.30 on a perfect Himalayan morning in early June Paul Guest, Indian
Liaison officer Luder Sain, Martin Moran, Leon winchester and myself
set off from our high camp into a cold and starry night. 28 hours
later we would be celebrating back in Base Camp with our staple
meal of dahl baht prepared by our excellent Indian cook, Navine.