2017 was a very busy year with plenty of trips away, however due to a lack of motivation it was another year with limited climbing. This year we discovered road cycling which took up a large part of summer and we bought a house which resulted in numerous weekends at home packing, unpacking and doing DIY. We did manage to find plenty of time for walking in the mountains, and enjoyed an excellent summer holiday in Italy.
The winter got off to a strange start on the Avon Mountaineering Club’s (AMC) winter Lake District trip. The weather had been very mild leading up to the trip, and the forecast for the weekend looked brilliant. Due to this George managed to persuade Becky and me to go rock climbing on Gimmer. This was a brilliant day, if a little cold at the start before we were in the sun!
It was soon time to head up to Scotland for the AMC winter trip, while there was plenty of snow on the trip there was a distinct lack of ice. I managed one day of climbing with George on Ben Nevis, which was very enjoyable. After that Becky and I did a lot of Munro bagging in generally good snowy conditions, but never had to put our crampons on!
- Lake District Classic Rock
- SW & E Ridge of the Douglas Boulder, Ben Nevis
- Ardverikie Munros
- Cairngorm Ski Touring
- Munro Bagging in the Cairngorms
Winter soon flew by and it was time for our easter ‘winter sun’ trip climbing in the Costa Blanca. Compared to the previous year we did significantly less climbing, but the quality of some of the routes more than made up for that. Espolón Central was a real highlight with sustained HS climbing for the entire day. We even managed to fit in some socialising with Amanda and Simon who live in NZ but were touring around Europe.
On a weekend at the start of May we decided to cycle back from my parents house on our old bikes as something to do on a grey weekend. We both found it really enjoyable and went out and purchased road bikes the next week. Over the summer we both did a lot of cycling, and are looking forward to doing much more next year.
We visited North Wales and the Lake District for weekends over the summer and had good weather for most of the trips. In late may we spent a week in the far north west of Scotland, which was brilliant. We enjoyed good weather for most of the trip so were able to admire the outstanding scenery. We ticked off all of the northern Munros and did some big cycle loops. The highlight of the trip was sleeping on the summit of Conival due to 30 degree temperatures in the daytime.
- Clogwyn y Person Arete & Crib Goch
- Far North Munroe Bagging
- Overnight on Conival & Ben More Assynt
- Walking in the Western Lake District
I have been wanting to visit the Dolomites for years, and this year we decided that we would take a break from our usual Alpine adventures and go to the Dolomites. In the first week we met up with Lou, Adam and Rich, before meeting up with Emma and her friends for a few days in the middle.
The first week did not disappoint, with the stunning scenery of dramatic limestone cliffs towering above the lush green valleys. The via ferratas were interesting, generally well equipped and often felt fairly adventurous. I managed to get a few cycles in and discovered the delights of alpine passes.
Unfortunately when Emma joined us she also bought the bad weather, and after raining for two days the rain turned to snow! This was fairly unexpected at the start of September, but what was even more unexpected is the cold weather which stuck around after. As the forecast was for below zero at all the crags for the next 4 days, we decided to bail to Lake Garda for some warmer weather.
We really enjoyed our time at Lake Garada, lots of multi pitch trad climbing, a huge via ferrata and some cycling to get to the routes. It is definitely somewhere that we might return to in the future. On the way back we took a small detour via Holland to meet up with Amanda and Simon again.
- Via Delle Trincee / La Mesola
- Piz da Lech
- Brigata Tridentina
- Delle Mèsules/Possnecker
- Che Guevara
- Arco multi pitch
The weather in the Autumn was generally fairly poor, and with plenty of small jobs to do on the house we didn’t end up getting out that much. We made our annual trip to Lundy which was enjoyable, with excellent weather and some good climbing. However not climbing all year does somewhat reduce your climbing ability!!
In October we had a long touristy weekend in Siena where we met up with Amanda and Simon for the final time on their trip. It was strange going on holiday without and outdoor kit, but we enjoyed being touristy for the weekend and we definitely enjoyed the wine!
We went walking locally a few times in November and December, but didn’t manage to get up to any bigger mountains. For new year we headed out to Munich to visit Lou and Adam with Beth and Rhys. We managed to squeeze in three days of skiing in Austria which was great as it had been about 14 years since I last skied outside of Scotland.