Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Ups and Downs in Scotland

The heat in Sheffield got so unpleasant we finally decided to head north in search of cooler conditions. Anthony Welsh, who I hadn't seen for about 30, years had invited us up to his place in Gairloch in Northwest Scotland. The drive up was much easier than anticipated, the A9 has changed out of all recognition in the 20 years we were last that way.

Left: The Best Diff in Scotland?

Below: Big Sandy Beach - typical North West

The week in Gairloch was great, lovely weather, fantastic beaches and no crowds. The social-life was cracking and we manage to unwind in style. Of course there is always the downside: the midges were the same as ever though - no problem by the sea but unpleasant in land, especially as the whole week was marked by a bizarre lack of wind. That made climbing pretty much a no-go - but there are plenty of chances of that coming down the line. Switzerland is 1st in line - can't wait!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

The Heat is On

Left: BMC sponsored sheep spying on us on Derwent Edge

Almost three weeks back in the UK and most of that has been hot and blue - all very strange and the forecast is for more of the same. There has been plenty of good routes with the usual suspects plus the photography for the new Eastern Grit has gone very well though the amount vegetation on some of the crags has been a bit of shocker - we will have to come back in the spring to finish the job.
In the meantime we have been wondering about squeezing in a short break, but the schools are about to finish, flights have become very pricey and Europe is hot, busy and expensive. There are a few other options though, Pembroke and Scotland being top of the hit-list, so it looks like loading up the cruiser and heading north or south - lets see what the weather has to say about it.

And there is always Norway!

Right: The road goes on, we will follow it if we can

Friday, 5 July 2013

Summer's Here and So Are We

As has become the norm we return home and the sun comes out - the forecast for the next 10 days is great - in fact probably too hot for us, which is weird as we came 'home' to escape the heat.
Almost a week since we left Ariège and already doctors, dentist and garage visited, and we are good to go - we just need a destination.
I have cracked on with photographing Eastern Grit - another couple of weeks should see that in the bag, except for the few cliffs that are tree covered. They may require a special visit in the spring, from where-ever we may end up wintering this year.

Left: Steve on Sunset Slab (HVDiff 4b) 

A Friday of Froggatt was pleasant and quiet, we did half a dozen routes before it got too hot. The rest off the team pushed off home so I pressed on to photo a bit of Curbar and Baslow too.

A month in Switzerland

Gornergrat - rammed A month passed in Switzerland and it has been very pleasant, climbing, hiking, chilling and even doing a bit of to...