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Monday, 12 April 2010

Garbh Bheinn for the budding Alpinist

Declan Lunny, a good friend of Ana and mine (and the rest of Dundee), was back to Scotland from Singapore where he currently works. He revealed that he and some other Irish gentlemen had booked a summer trip up the Finsteraarhorn, Moench and Jungfrau in the Alps with Alan Kimber, probably the best known Alpine guide residing in Scotland. But when Alan sent a list with the equipment required (things such as prussick loops, crampons, harnesses and parachutes) and after I told Declan that AD was the French abbreviation for 'quite difficult' (for seasoned Alpinists that is) it must had dawned on Dec that the planned Alpine trip was different from the usual bothy piss up!

Some preparation was required! So I convinced Dec and his mate John that we should start with some basic rock climbing at Dunkeld. And despite various cop out attempts we stood at the bottom of Polney and Dec climbed Kestrel Crack (severe) and a VDiff with not much of a problem...

... and so did John.

John and I then climbed The Groove (VS), a Dunkeld classic...

... before driving all the way North to the Ardgour peninsula. I can't remember ever having seen that many stars and we woke up to a beautiful day.

We walked into Garbh Bheinn...

... to do Pinnacle Ridge as Alpine practice. The two pinnacles are obvious and to the left is great ridge.

The first Pinnacle is the upper limit for scrambling and good for Alpine rope practice.

Declan had no trouble neither with the climbing nor with the exposure...

... and neither had John who would probably be able to second HVS.
Adam joined us after driving over from Aberdeen in the middle of the night. He picked up John's rucksack which John had thrown down the hill from the first belay. Here are the three of them with snow capped Ben Nevis in the background.
The climb finished up the second pinnacle, which was a bit grassy but again the whole team performed very well. Here is John...
... and here are Declan (smiling after discovering that he is actually quite good at this and that he was still in the genepool) and Adam.

Now things turned lazy. Well over 20 degrees in the Glen, still very warm high up, no wind and views to die for over to Ben Nevis and Glen Coe.

A good rest at the top. The image shows John using the oxygen bottle (of the Glenmorangie variety) and Adam overlooking Loch Linnhe...
... and here is Dec already cocky after playing the big chicken for the previous three days!
Time to enjoy the views...

... and to take photos...

... and more photos...
... of the many views that Scotland has to offer.

Spring has arrived!
HW

7 comments:

Jools said...

VERY NICE Henning!
Good that you decided to do this because Declan seems very keen to start climbing now.
And yes! You are right about him being a big chicken for the past few days!!!
:)

Hendrik Morkel said...

Some splendid views from there, in very nice light!

Ryan & Henning said...

Hi Julin and Henning, thanks for your comments. I think Declan surprised himself because he is still quite fit and he climbed well for doing it the first time. John had some past experience so no wonder he cruised 'The Groove'.

Hendrik, the weather in Scotland can be bad but when it is nice it is very nice. We were the only ones on Garbh Bheinn. Later in the season there are many insects around and the weather is worse but then the East coast is usually excellent.

Cheers,

Henning

David said...

Very good....Granite Countertops Calgary

Walto said...

Excellent climb, didn't know that Deco and Johnny boy had it in them, ha.

John and Nell said...

Hi Henning, finally got round to posting some pictures on flickr...... John
http://www.flickr.com/photos/johncommon/

Groggy said...

The Dec Head Rules
Equally as agile on the night streets of S'pore..what a guy