Somehow we are already at the end of another year, and what a fantastic year it has been! I have somehow summed up my year in 100 photos again. The photos make it look like I didn’t do much rock climbing this year, but that is just that I don’t tend to take my camera to the local crags where I spent a silly amount of evenings in May and June.
In total this year I managed 125 trad climbs, 30 winter climbs, 7 walks, 6 alpine routes, 3 scrambles, 2 sport climbs, 2 caving trips and 2 via ferratas.
I have had such a good year that summarising the high points was pretty challenging:
- Winter Traverse of the Cuillin Ridge
- An absolutely fantastic winter season which was ended perfectly by (1) and included many classics including Minus Two, Orion Face, Point Five & Tower Ridge
- A great two weeks in the Swiss Alps where I climbed 8 peaks
- Climbing American Beauty and Indy 500 on a fantastic day on Lundy
Despite having a generally fantastic year, there were certainly some less good moments:
- Needing to call mountain rescue in the swiss alps due to a friend’s injury
- Falling off Malbogies, hitting the ground and injuring my heal at the start of the nice spell of weather
- Missing some of the best mountain rock climbing for years due to injury
Late January in South Wales
At the end of January there was the first proper cold spell of 2013 which extended down to South Wales. During this spell I managed three days out in south wales where I managed to climb four routes.
A Week in Fort William: 9th-16th Feb
The beginning of February soon arrived, and with it the start of a manic two months where I only spent two weekends in Bristol. The remaining weekends were all spent in Scotland! This trip was with friends from university and consisted of walking, easy mountaineering and snowboarding.
Three days camping on Ben Nevis: 21th-24nd Feb
Shortly after I left Scotland a large high pressure system arrived, this lead to me returning to work for 4 days before heading back up for a long weekend. This was the weekend which probably had the biggest impact on the rest of my winter due to being persuaded to climb Orion Direct on the first day of the weekend. To save walking into the mountain every day with winter packs we decided to camp at the base of the north face of Ben Nevis, this proved to be a fantastic idea and enabled us to be the first team on the routes every day.
A long weekend with the AMC in Glencoe: 28th Feb-4th Mar
After returning to work for three days it was soon time to head back up to Scotland for another planned trip, this time with the Avon-Mountaineering club. Unfortunately the high pressure left for the weekend and Scotland warmed up, however we still had some good days and I managed four days of winter climbing in a row. During the trip I climbed my favourite winter climb of the season, Minus Two gully.
- Boomerang Gully
- Dorsal Arete (Solo)
- Left Twin
- Minus Two Gully
- North East Buttress
- Hadrians Wall Direct – V, 5 ***
Another weekend trip to Fort William 15th-17th March
After the AMC trip I treated myself to a weekend in Bristol and had a full week at work. However due to the fantastic climbing conditions continuing I headed back to Scotland with James. We aimed to climb Minus One gully but this didn’t go to plan and we backed off, not wanting to waste the day we then decided to climb Vanishing gully. Due to the long day we were both very tired on Sunday so decided to have a rest day and go skiing.
After my trip with James I was fairly sure I was done with Scotland for the winter, however the unusually good winter kept going. I was supposed to spent this weekend rock climbing on Cornwall, however the weather looked horrible and after a few emails Rich agreed to attempt a winter traverse of the Cuillin ridge with me.
It turned out to be a fantastic decision and is the best thing I have ever done!
Eventually winter began to face and I went on my first rock climbing weekend of the year. It was over to Pembroke with Neil, we had a good day climbing on Saturday, ignoring me taking a 70ft fall! It was very windy on Sunday and I was tired so we decided to call it a day and drive home.
A weekend climbing in the Peak with the AMC: 19th-21st April
It was soon time for another AMC trip, this time we headed up the Peak. The first day I spent learning to jam on mostly unstarred routes due to Stanage being so busy, due to learning to jam I fell off, alot! The second day I headed out with Neil & Adrian and we climbed some brilliant routes.
As bit of a return to past photography for a weekend, I headed out with my sister both eventing and pointing.
Bank Holiday Weekend in the Lake District with the AMC: 3rd-6th May
For the first May bank holiday I headed up to the Lake District with the AMC. While the rest of the country was basking in sunshine for most of the weekend, we seemed to be rained on for most of the weekend. However we still managed some good climbing, even if it was on random granite outcrops.
I headed back up to the Lakes for the second May bank holiday, and the weather couldn’t have been more different. We had a brilliant weekend, walking, scrambling and fell running!
More Horsey Stuff: June
In the middle of June I fell off a climb, hit the ground and injured my heal. This meant that I was out of action for climbing as I had to get better for my trip to the Alps at the end of July. Due to this I had another few weekends taking photos of Katherine eventing.
It was soon time to head out to the Alps. For the second year in a row I headed out to Saas Fee in the Swiss Alps. I had a fantastic trip (ignoring sending a friend off in a helicopter at the start) and during the trip I managed to summit 8 peaks.
- Stellihorn (3436m)
- A 14 pitch sport climb on the Jegihorn (3206m)
- Strahlhorn (4190m)
- Alphubel Traverse (4206m)
- Lagginhorn Traverse (4010m)
- Mittaghorn (3144m)
- A half traverse of the Breithorn (4164m)
- Nadelhorn (4327m)
Having had a break from climbing before I went to the Alps, and then spent two weeks mountaineering my climbing strength had vanished, so I spent a month training hard to get my fitness back for a rock climbing trip to Lundy. It was a brilliant long weekend where on one of the days I climbed a classic HVS, American Beauty, in the morning and in the afternoon lead the best route I have ever climbed, Indy 500.
Having had a manic few weeks I was having a chilled out October, and for a weekend I headed up to Derby to see a friend. The weather on Sunday so we went for an amble to a pub in the beautiful countryside of the Peak District.
Glencoe for New Year
I headed up to Glencoe for new year, we didn’t get much done due to too much snow, wind and not enough freeze-thaw which made for hard going while travelling around the mountains, and a high avalanche risk. We did manage to make the most of the situation and managed to get out on 3 days.