It’s safe to say that 2016 was a very mixed year, with the highlights being an excellent start to the year with lots of successful winter climbing trips and a winter sun rock climbing trip. The summer rock climbing never seemed to start properly for me this year, before I injured myself and had to take an enforced break. My alps trips this year was very successful and I had an excellent two weeks in the Ecrins with Becky where we climbed a few peaks and enjoyed lots of sunny bolted multi pitch climbing.

Unfortunately shortly after the Alps I received the tragic news that one of my close friends and regular climbing partners died in a climbing accident in the Avon gorge. Following this I was fairly disinterested with climbing for a while which resulted in a relaxed autumn and a chilled out weekend walking around on Lundy. As I was starting to force myself to think about climbing again I headed to south Wales for some sport climbing, and had an enjoyable day out until injured my finger & forearm which put me out of action until Christmas.


This year I headed out to Rjukan in Norway for the first time with the Avon Mountaineering Club. We had an excellent week with good ice conditions, mostly good weather and temperatures which weren’t too cold. It was great to get a significant amount of time climbing ice, I think on the first day I climbed more ice than my entire previous winter season combined. The highlights were Sabotørfossen and Trappfoss in the upper gorge which are adventurous multi pitch routes which a big mountain feel.

Shortly after we got back from Norway we headed up to Scotland for 10 days. For the first week Becky and I were up there on our own, and then we joined the Avon Mountaineering Club for our annual Scottish winter trip. For the majority of the trip we were blessed with good weather and good climbing conditions, we even got sunburnt at the start of the trip. The highlights were Liathach traverse in beautiful alpine conditions, Fingers Ridge and Glovers Chimney. Glovers Chimney was particularly memorable as it was Becky’s first time climbing on the Ben. As we had meant to climb on Becky’s birthday (but turned back due to weather) I carried a bottle of Champaign to the top which was a bit of a rare treat. As the snow was pretty dodgy on the usual quick descents, we decided to tick another munro for Becky by descending via the CMD arête.

Summer Rock

Our summer rock climbing season got off to an excellent start with a 10 day trip to the Costa Blanca over easter, which meant we only used 4 days of annual leave. It was great to be out in the sun, with a mixture of single pitch sport, multi pitch bolted, and multi pitch trad climbing. We came back to the UK inspired to start our UK trad season, but unfortunately bad weather plagued my summer trad season and it then never really got off to a start. I had a few good trips away to North Wales and the Lake District, which were at least partially plagued by bad weather. But I did get to climb on slate for the first time and enjoyed two days out on mountain rock in the Lakes. Unfortunately in June I had a bad fall while out climbing after work due to a hold snapping, due to a bad back and whiplash I had to have a bit of time off while I recovered.


Our alps trip was a bit different this year as we headed out to the Ecrins. We had a few days in the high mountains, but due to Becky hurting her ankle we spent a while down in the valley enjoying the multi-pitch bolted climbing. We were enjoying the good weather, sunny multi-pitch climbing and the chilled out atmosphere in the valley, as the weather forecast in the big mountains wasn’t great we decided to stay in the valley.


Winter got off to an excellent start, with a weekend of sunny winter conditions in the Lake District in November! We were up in Becky’s van which was a bit chilly with the overnight temperatures dropping to -6, but the excellent conditions made it worthwhile.

We headed up to Scotland for new year hoping to get some winter walking and climbing in early in the season, but unfortunately all of the snow had vanished so we just enjoyed a few days of walking in the cloud munro bagging instead.


Descending down to Ogwen Vallay from the Carneddau

Ice Climbing at Krokan, Rjukan

Looking down Krokan

Climbing in the Lower Gorge, Rjukan

High above the lower gorge, Rjukan

Becky on Svingfoss, Rjukan

Climbing in the upper gorge, Rjukan

Cool belay at Rjukan

At the top of the steep final pitch of Sabotørfossen, Rjukan

Me at the top of Sabotørfossen

Me leading Vemorkbrufoss Vest, Rjukan

Me finishing the first pitch of Vemorkbrufoss Vest, Rjukan

Looking back at Vemorkbrufoss Vest from the bridge

Hard walking up the upper gorge

Becky leading her first ice pitch on Trappfoss

Becky above the crux of Trappfoss

Summit Selfie

Hard work on the long walk out

Becky leading Nedre Svingfoss

Becky abseiling back into the upper gorge

Beautiful views towards the Cairngorms

Start of the quick descent from Schiehallion

Stunning views towards the Cairngorms

Liathach, Beinn Alligin and Beinn Dearg

Stunning views back towards Beinn Eighe

Becky in front of the Pinnacles on the Liathach traverse

Stunning scenary on the Liathach Traverse

Approaching the final technical section on the Liathach Traverse

A rare photo of me on the Liathach Traverse

Post difficulties selfie

Nearly at the final summit of the Liathach Traverse

Stunning panorama from Mullach an Rathain

Descending in front of Loch Torridon

Views while descending after a day in the white room

Exposed arete on Fingers Ridge

Exposed position on Fingers Ridge

Summit selfie above Fingers Ridge

Great views on the descent

Approaching Glover’s Chimney

Thrutching up Glover’s Chimney

Difficult climbing in Glover’s Chimney

Champagne on Ben Nevis

White out on top of CMD

Becky on the old bridge in Mascarat Gorge

Another team on El Pajarón

Exposure above Mascarat Gorge

Becky on the final belay in the Costa Blanca

Starting the descent with stunning views towards Calpe

Excellent climbing on the Penon de Ifach

Wide bridging!

Mid route abseil on the Penon de Ifach

Summit Panorama from the Penon de Ifach

Great positions at the start of the Bernia ridge

Weird Rock Formations on the Bernia ridge

Approaching the summit of the Bernia Ridge

Summit Selfie

Atmospheric Abseil into Rowland’s Magical Mystery Tour

Exposed traverse on Rowland’s Magical Mystery Tour

Exciting climbing on Rowland’s Magical Mystery Tour

At the top of the steep second pitch of El Dorado

Slabby finish to El Dorado

Impressive cliff

Almost at the base of the route on Puig Campana

Becky on the steep first pitch of Diedros Mágicos

Summit selfie

Looking back up to Puig Campana in the evening

On the sublime second pitch of Golden Slipper, Lake District

Exposed headwall on Whit’s End Direct

Stunning finale to Gimmer String

Beautiful evening descending back to Langdale

Happy before the walk in to the Ecrin Hut

Golden Sunrise walking into Roche Faurio

Sunrise above the Glacier Blanc

Sunrise on the slopes below the Barre des Ecrins

Stunning views while climbing the NE Face of the Barre des Ecrin

Summit photo on the Dôme de Neige des Ecrins

Panorama from the Dôme de Neige des Ecrins

Descending the NE face of the Barre des Ecrins

Great exposure on the Les Gorges De La Durance Via Ferrata

Selfie on the final bridge in the Les Gorges De La Durance

Becky climbing above Ailefroide

Summit selfie

Great view down the valley

Enjoyable face climbing

Fissure d’Ailefroide in the Evening Light

Getting invovled with the chimney

Becky leading up sunkissed rock on Soleil Trompeur

Brilliant exposure on Soleil Trompeur

Views of Pelvoux and Ailefroide

Stunning view down the valley

Summit Selfie after Soleil Trompeur

Becky on Sharp Edge

Looking south from Blencathra

Blencathra summit shot

Becky descending Hall’s Fell ridge

Late afternoon sunlight descending Hall’s Fell ridge

Approaching Striding Edge with High Street in the background

Great exposure on Striding Edge

On the final slopes up to Helvelyn

Becky about to descent Swirrel Edge