Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Tiree, glassy and classy!

Long Boards rule on glass love!

The low that passed over Scotland moved slowly away today and left a lovely small swell and some sunshine at last! So a day at the beach was the only option for us.
Gill enjoyed the long boarding at 'the Reef'. I spent some time with Ben and Hamish after a sweet session on tiny but perfectly formed glassy waves, long boards rule!

Wednesday, started so calm and just perfect, the tides were right, the swell pulsed in on a westerly direction giving small tickley perfection. The long board was unleashed again. With a terrible forecast ahead, every inch of wave was taken today! Time will tell, but the back of it will produce more swell and i hope a calm period?

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Big abseil down Tavool Waterfall on Mull.

Liam at top of falls.

Andy and Liam were out searching new descents today.
We found a great waterfall which runs out of Coire Buidhe on The Ardmenach peninsula or 'burg' near the Tavool House centre and self catering accommodation.
grid ref for the waterfall is approx #434274.
By no means the fastest flow it sees, but it still gave a few Min's of thought before descending as the right line needs to be taken in these descents so as to be able to literately breath and concentrate on the equipment used .
One to return to with excited clients i feel!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Erraid Rock Climbing on a wild old day!

Liam at the top of Bacteria soup s 4a. I thought is was a wee bit tricky at the top too!
Liam on the Main crag, upper tier.

Andy with Traigh Gheal behind.

Liam on Floyd hs 4b.

Andy on Panther s4a, a lovely layback crack.

Andy and Liam went rock climbing and exploring on the Island of Erraid today, and what a day it was!
The wind blew at force 7 all day and the showers that fired in on it felt like a water cannon!
But between the showers they had great fun doing easy routes on immaculate granite, if a little slippy.
The island of Erraid, lies just off Mull near Iona and hosts a variety of amazing short and steep climbs, check 'Scottish Rock' Gary Latter's guide book, its inspiring to see it so well illustrated and thought of by such a discerning rock climber.
Any way we manged a few wee numbers between showers and then had a brisk walk around the coast line past Tinkers Hole, a very safe anchorage and back over the sands to Knockvologan at low water.
On the way home we saw another white tailed sea eagle, rumbling along above Loch Scridain, they are just so huge!
The evening was warm back at Tavool House and the Autumn rays burnt our windblown faces some more, a fantastic day of adventure.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

West Coast Sailing at its best!

Ben, loving his first sail cruising experience!
' steady as she goes', seems to know what he is doing?

Gill helming, Hamish navigating...

Bill the proud owner.

The Spink family, enjoying the fine conditions on board.

This weekend we introduced Ben our 17 months old son to the art of sailing off the west coast! What a weekend we had the weather was just amazing!
F5 CALM- ish sea, blue Sky's and great company.
We were sailing on our Friends yacht, a 38 first out of Ardfern, we enjoyed a great beat through the Dorus Mor on springs, giving us an exciting time in the over falls and a lovely run up Loch Melfort for the evening.
Sunday was crisp and autumnal, the hills were looking bleached from sea level over on Jura and the hills in Argyll looked purple tinged against the evening sunshine.
Ben loved it ' boat' is now his best word!

Thanks to Bill and Di for their hospitality and their yacht, just fantastic.
Sailing off the west coast of Scotland is some of the best in the world, with fine anchorages, sheltered sea lochs and long open passages to the islands all add up to the perfect combination!

This week i am on Mull working, hope it stays dry, we have a crag to develop! watch this space.

Friday, 11 September 2009

North East Buttress on Ben Nevis.

Donald and David, and a clearing of the view!
looking up the first platform.

the man trap! damp, steep and exposed!

Donald as always smiling.

the easy slabs at the bottom! not so easy!

The weather, was to have been dry and sunny!
Never make plans based on the forecast?
Myself and Donald were to have been going out to play, A change of plan saw us teamed up with David a client of http://www.abacusmountaineering.com/ for an ascent of the Buttress, a splendid birthday present for him.
Donald, David and myself ventured onto the Buttress in slimy, wet, slippy conditions, definitely easier in winter!
The route is amazing even in the mist the situation is incredible looking down the Orion Face and the corries far below.
The man trap was it's normal savage thrutch and Check Spellingthe forty foot corner was a delicate affair in the greasy conditions, big boots making it interesting too! Well done David the combined tactics were great and historic!
We walked off via the abseil posts and back down past the new extension of the CIC hut, as a member i am excited about staying there again soon, but a wee bit concerned about the amount of debris left of insulation foam in the high gullies and in the burns? A Clean up might be a good for the mountain?

Simon, cycling the length of Uk comes to Oban!

Simon arrives in Oban.
Just heading into Connel.

My brother -in -law, Simon visited Oban briefly on Wednesday and i joined him on his leg to Invergarry from Inverary!
He had already achieved 750 miles and had four days of highland riding to go!
Keeping up was another issue on my mountain bike, even with new slick tyres!
The good news is that weather was improving all the time for the most spectacular sections!
Well done to Simon, having only started cycling in May this is a major achievement!

Monday, 7 September 2009

Alt Brander and the sun came out!

looking east to Beinn a Bhuiridh 897m from 850m bealach above corrie dearg.
350m of this will be fun, watch this space!

it came out!

Today Andy and Hamish went up the Alt Brander on the sw side of Meall Cuanail. A seriously steep thrutch up from Loch Awe side followed by an ascent of Meall Cuanail 918m and the sun came out as promised. I was exploring the potential of a new canyon venue near Oban and i think it will be exciting! steep water courses for 350m will offer some entertainment! its so good to to be in these remote corries, the cloud lifted to reveal the slabs and crags of Ben Cruachan's south face and its complex topography.
Tuesday is looking really nasty, time to hide at the computer for a while, i guess.


the life!
rock and roll bed, storage, gas heater and flexible living space.

vw t5 tdi 130 bhp 96 kw.
black metallic.
54 plate.
excellent condition.
Converted by Mill Garage.
includes, bike rack, kari tech kayak rack, roof bars, gas bottles, lining and insulated, swivel front seat, windows tinted, tail gate, drive away awning, service history, clip in addition 3 seats with seat belts. rock and roll bed and lap belted, cooker hob with twin burner. Also includes large storage unit to clip in under side window when required! Carpeted with underlining of rubber matting, arches carpeted and curtains with easy fit press studs and window insulators.
a must see van!
Would suit outdoor types!
contact Andy on 07721778821 or Andyspink01@aol.com

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Tiree High School annual visit to Glencoe.

Looking down fron the North East Ridge and back to the Pap of Glencoe.
On Gear Aonach at 600m.

Robert negotiating the tricky step on the zigzags, looking cool!

The guys on the zig zags!

Nick high above Glencoe.

A very wet forecast didn't really happen over the last three days, which was just perfect for we were guiding Tiree High schools pupils in Glencoe. Nick of http://www.alphamountaineering.com/ , joined me to guide the teachers and pupils.
On day one, up Stob Coire nan Lochan 1115m where, on the summit we were greeted by gales and rain, but was enjoyed by all as a really exciting adventure.
On day two, we ascended Gearr Aonach , via the lovely scramble of the Zig Zags and on day three we climbed the NE ridge of Sgorr Bhan 947m which always entertains with its steep little rock steps to negotiate.
The group did so well, coming from an island which is only a few hundred metres above sea level they took to it like seasoned mountaineers, a few sore knees and achy legs on the ferry home maybe, but great memories of the amazing views down and along Glencoe.
Thanks to all the pupils and staff and to Nick for his help and hard work. Until next year!