Chno Dearg

After a big day on the Ring of Steall we wanted a shorter day before we headed up to the North West for the rest of the week.

We decided to tick off a Munro where Becky had previously climbed one of a pair. We headed to Chno Dearg which is above Fersit and from the guidebook sounded like it had a fairly horrible and wet approach. Thankfully the bog at the bottom was frozen solid, and all of the slopes up to the summit were covered solid neve which enabled quick progress to be made up to the top. As we approached the top the wind picked up and slowed our progress slightly.

The views from the top were absolutely fantastic, we could see the Ring of Steall which was nice after completing it the day before. Looking east we could see the Ardverikie Munros and Creag Meagaidh and looking to the North we could see all the way up to Torridon.

After a quick descent we again managed to cross the bog with dry and clean shoes and then enjoyed a stunning drive up to Torridon.

Beautiful views towards Loch Laggan

Great views to the north

Nearing the summit

Becky on Chno Dearg

Summit selfie on Chno Dearg

Stunning views to the North

Summit panaroma

Me on the summit

Becky on the descent

The Ring of Steall

As the Ring of Steall has been on my wish list for a long time as it is one of the classic mountaineering routes around Fort William. I have been saving it for a good day, and we certainly had that!

Over the past few week I have been eagerly looking at the weather and watching as huge amounts of snow arrived, then a large thaw happened and then a big high pressure built which was bringing cold air to Scotland. This lead to conditions where all of the snow which remained was frozen as solid neve, and the snow line went all the way down to 450m!

Due to a long drive up from Bristol the evening before, we elected to start at 9am despite knowing how long the route was. As we were putting our walking boots on at the car we were in a bitterly cold wind which was whistling down the valley, which was frankly unpleasant. Thankfully as we ascended up into Glen Nevis the wind reduced, but still remained and kept us fairly cool.

Soon we had crossed the wire bridge and were at the start of a brutal ascent up to the ridge before the first Munro. As the snow line was so low we were able to take an alternative route up to the ridge which looked much nicer than the standard route. We took the obvious gully line above the initial ascent, which was steeper than it looked but proved an enjoyable route up to the start of the ridge.

Once we were on the ridge everything was just exceptional. The route was outstanding, the views were unbelievable and the snow underfoot was perfect. The only issue was the exceptionally strong and bitterly cold wind. The views were constantly changing on the circuit, which meant that we were never able to take them for granted. The only view which remained constant was the view of a totally clear Ben Nevis and Aonach Mor.

The ascent up to the first Munro had some stunning exposure, lots of steep front pointing and some beautiful snow arêtes. The Devil’s Ridge was over fairly quickly and was very cold in the wind, a small traffic jam did occur at one point as there were a few teams heading in opposite directions.

The remainder of the ridge was just a joy, everyone we met seemed to be having an equally good day. The steep decent of Am Bodach was fairly serious due to the steep icy snow. By this point it was starting to get late, so we had to press on to ensure that we were off the ridge by night. We made good time up to the third Munro, where we were treated to the view of the last Munro. At this point it looked very intimidating and technical, but thankfully it was just deceiving and actually had a good path to the summit.

The ridge to the final Munro had some great exposure and was an excellent end to the circuit. As the sun was getting low in the sky the light was beautiful. The start of the descent went very quickly and I became foolishly optimistic that we might get down to Glen Nevis before dark. The final part of the descent into the valley above Glen Nevis involved a very steep descent down solidly refrozen neve. Thankfully there were huge steps kicked into the snow, but it still made for a very long and very serious descent.

We made it to the valley floor as it got dark, and then made the descent down into Glen Nevis by torchlight. Navigating the bog at the bottom by torchlight was challenging and we both ended up with fairly muddy boots. The final challenge of the day was crossing the wire bridge in the dark, while tired, which was no easier than on the way up!

We eventually ended up back at the car, both absolutely exhausted but having had a fantastic day which was worth waiting for.

Crossing the wire bridge

Stunning views up Glen Nevis

Established on the ridge

Plenty of exposure looking back towards Ben Nevis & Aonach Mor

Amazing ridge line

Becky on Sgùrr a’Mhàim

Selfie on Sgùrr a’Mhàim

Looking along the Devil’s Ridge

Becky after the Devil’s Ridge with the Glen Coe hills in the dis

Looking back along the Devil’s Ridge to Sgùrr a’Mhàim

Becky on Am Bodach

Selfie on Am Bodach

The stuning scenary continued while approaching Stob Coire a’Ch

Becky on Stob Coire a’Chàirn

Me on Stob Coire a’Chàirn

Becky on the summit ridge approaching An Gearanach

Becky on the summit ridge approaching An Gearanach

Summit selfie on An Gearanach in the evening light

Me at the start of the descent in front of Ben Nevis and Aonach

Becky crossing the wire bridge in the dark…

2017 in 100 Photos

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!

Winter Sun

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.

UK summer

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.


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.


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.


Frosty Morning in Langdale

Beautiful walk in to Gimmer

Me on the first pitch of Ash Tree Slabs (© George Cave)

Becky high above Langdale on Ash Tree Slabs

Me on the tricky first moves of C route (© George Cave)

Becky on the final belay of C Route

Topping out of C Route on Gimmer

Walking into a snowy Ben Nevis

Beautiful view from the North Face of Ben Nevis

George on the crux traverse of South West Ridge, Douglas Boulder

Climbing the second pitch of South West Ridge, Douglas Boulder

Near the top of SW ridge, Douglas Boulder

Me on the crux of East Ridge, Douglas Boulder

Stunning views from the North Face of Ben Nevis

Beautiful sunset on the drive home

Stunning scenary around the Ardverikie Munros

Winter wonderland on the ascent to Creag Pitridh

Summit selfie on Creag Pitridh

Stunning panorama from Creag Pitridh

Great views from Creag Pitridh

Descending from Gael Charn

Stunning parking spot for the Ardverikie Munros

Avoiding bad weather on Beinn A’Chlachair

Weather improving on the descent from Beinn A’Chlachair

Approaching the summit of Cairngorm

Becky descending from Cairngorm

Walking up to Sgairneach Mhor

Becky and Dave on Sgairneach Mhor

Becky walking up to Beinn Udlamain

Summit selfie on Beinn Udlamain

Descending from Mount Keen

Exposure on Crib Goch

Exposure on Crib Goch

Descending the north ridge of Crib Goch

Hot walk into Puig Campana

At the top of an excellent pitch on Espolón Central, Puig Campa

Becky in front of Espolón Central, Puig Campana

Becky climbing at Leyva

Start of our cycle adventures

Becky on the Severn Bridge on our first cycle

Walking with the Avon Mountaineering Club

Walking with the AMC in the Lakes

Looking north from Ben Klibreck

Summit selfie on Ben Klibreck

Arriving at the top of Conival for sunset

Sunset selfie on Conival

Beautiful sunset on Conival

Camping on the summit of Conival

Sunrise from the tent

Sunrise on the summit of Conival

Becky on Ben More Assynt

Descending from Conival

Brilliant place to sleep near Achiltibuie

Cycling around Achiltibuie

Cycling around Achiltibuie

Cycling around Achiltibuie

Our bikes

Cycling around Bath

Cycling around Bath

Unique way to cross a river on a cycle

Me on my way to the Gower from Bristol

First sportif

Stunning view towards Scafell Pike

Beautiful views on the ridge

Becky walking towards the Old Man of Coniston

Stunning scenery walking out of Eskdale

Looking towards the Wrynose Pass

Amazing view from the start of Via Delle Trincee / La Mesola

Great positions on Via Delle Trincee / La Mesola

Fantastic exposure on Via Delle Trincee / La Mesola

Amazing views on Via Delle Trincee / La Mesola

Looking out a WW1 lookout on Via Delle Trincee / La Mesola

Amazing exposure around WW1 features on Via Delle Trincee / La M

Stunning scenary on Piz da Lech

Exposed Bridge on Piz da Lech

Greaet views from the top of Piz da Lech

High above Corvara

Group photo at the summit of Piz da Lech

Descending back to the lift from Piz da Lech

Contrast between rocky mountains and lush green valleys

Beautiful morning walk

Beautiful views from the start of Brigata Tridentina

Wonderful positions on Brigata Tridentina

Great views on Brigata Tridentina

Excellent scrambling on Brigata Tridentina

Amazing rock formations on Delle Mèsules/Possnecker

Stunning hanging valley descending from Delle Mèsules/Possnecke

Unexpected snow!

Cycling to Che Guevara

HOT on Che Guevara

Hot face high above the valley

Summit selfie after climbing Che Guevara

Great position on the penultimate pitch of La Bellezza Della Ven

Damp conditions on the Flying Buttress, Lundy

Becky at the bottom of the Devil’s Slide, Lundy

Me on the Devil’s Slide, Lundy

Becky near Montepulciano, Italy

Us in front of Tower Bridge

Skiing near Söll in Austria

Skiing near Söll in Austria

Taking climbing bags for a walk around Helvellyn

There had been lots of snow in the Lake District, which is always the first hurdle for winter climbing in the Lake District. On this weekend last year we were rock climbing in Langdale! However, unfortunately there was really a bit much fresh snow, which had even led to some sizeable avalanches over the previous few days.

James and I came up with a plan to head to Dollywagon North, which had lots of good looking short routes on it. Unfortunately from Patterdale the walk up to Grisedale tarn is a long way, which was made worse by endless trail braking with often thigh deep snow. After a three hour approach we made it to the top of the crag, at the same time as some other teams. Unfortunately we were all disappointed as the crag was completely buried, the approach slope was under a large cornice, the top outs looked like they involved almost vertical powder below yet more cornices. With all these negative factors it wasn’t hard to make the decision to take our climbing bags for a walk to the summit of Helvellyn.

On the summit we met up with a large group of Avon Mountaineering Club members, so we were able to have a sociable lunch. After lunch we made a quick descent down the very busy Swirral Edge, before heading back down into Patterdale for some well deserved tea and cake.

Looking back towards Patterdale

Winter wonderland

Looking back towards Nethermost Pike

A busy Swirral Edge

Looking down Swirral Edge

Looking down into Patterdale

James on the descent

Looking back up the approach