Sunday, 8 March 2015


It looks like an early finish to the winter season for me as my ankle injury is getting rapidly worse, there are a few reasons for stopping now. Foremost of these is it makes me sick letting folk down when pain stops me, then theres the volume of painkillers getting unhealthy even though I do love a tramadol and last but not least I want to be capable of climbing all the new routes I have in my book for this season on the rock. It's in looking forward to these projects that I can turn the negative of missing out on winter and the accompanying frustration and bottle that feeling till I'm stood below the upcoming scary leads and use that as part of what I need my head to do to get me through. 

 It's been a decent season though considering I thought I'd have missed it totally, couple of pics below of the final week.

On Waterfall Gully-Pic Joe Saunders

Getting buried by spindrift during filming-Pic Kieron Ross

Bantering while Nadir gets shots-Pic-Joe Saunders

On the way to the cafe after bailing-Pic-Kieron Ross

Thursday, 12 February 2015

The Right Choice?

Today Joe, Dave and myself headed up to climb in the Trident area, with some of the lads already on my chosen objective Dave headed up his. He got a belay before the crux and I started up beautiful ice toward him, shortly after though we began to hear blood curdling screams coming from the mist somewhere near us. We had a very short discussion and decided the decent thing to do was go have a look in the general direction to see if we could help.

Dave gearing up while I sort ropes

Me seconding shortly before the screaming began

We descended nearly to the hut then back up into Observatory Gully but never found anything, hopefully it was not as bad as it sounded. I felt somewhat guilty at making the decision to go searching after Dave had put in a good lead in fine conditions but thankfully the boys agreed and I didn't get lynched. Sometimes making rapid decisions under stress can lead to feeling like an arse but had someone needed help I'd have been glad we bailed to try help.Glad is the wrong word, hopefully you know what I meant..........

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Climbing Methadone

Yesterday Steve , Joe and myself headed up to the CIC cascades for a bit of filming with Euan who is working on a project for the MC of S. After last weeks news on my ankle I wondered if this would be my last day out, the pain 50 metres from the car seemed to confirm this. After 45 minutes the painkillers lost any effect but by then I could see the North face clearly and knew I 'needed' more than wanted to be there. The main objective was utterly pouring so we settled for a shorter steep line instead.  Being up there did get me thinking though..........

Euan, Steve and Joe

Me on the route-Pic-Final Crux Films

With the walk in and route being short and still ending up in a lot of pain I have to face the prospect that that is what I'll be doing for the forseeable future, it's not enough though. It's like a small methadone hit after full on smack addiction, the craving for the full experience is still there gnawing at me, pretty naive to think it would take the edge off as it only seems to make certain demons hungrier and more terrifying. One problem is that I dont want to recover from my addiction but I'm being forced to by pain and not wanting to let down anymore climbing partners. The other problem is that the main dealer of the drug I crave (The Ben) is right there when I look out my window in the morning, most of my mates are addicts too so my chances of recovery are slim at best and that suits me just fine..........Cant wait for my next hit............. :)

Climbing past Euan-Pic-Vertical Fever

Saturday, 31 January 2015


Yesterday Gaz and I headed for the Ben, I managed to walk 15 minutes but the pain in my ankle was making me sweat, feel sick and light headed. I managed to see the GP and got sent straight to A&E for X-Rays, thankfully I got someone who knows the history of my injury and after comparing older images it seems the screw going through from my heel has burrowed through to the point of nearly breaking out the other side and it seems during fusion surgery they have made a mistake and drilled twice to place the other screw and now it seems to be breaking my bone apart, oh and my arthritis is worse. Who knows whats going to happen next, all I know is I dont see a happy ending to this latest development!! I'll write more soon but for the time being I need to figure out pain management that doesn't include a bottle of Talisker..........

Sun dropping on more climbing

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Curtain & Cobbler & An Ember

On Monday Dave and I headed up The Ben again to get on the Curtain, one party in front of us on the last pitch meant we didn't need to queue or avoid debris which was good. One day like this on the Ben is worth the weeks of miserable weather we get.

Hotaches, ouch

Dave on Pitch 1 of The Curtain

Me setting off on pitch 2

Dave steals the final and best pitch

Top out

Yesterday Dave MacLeod and I headed for the Cobbler. Dave had his eye on a line but for a few reasons it wasn't a day to push it. 

Dave walking into the murk

We rescued this sheep on the way out.

Over the last few days I've been run out on gear or soloing on relatively easy ground and have felt that the fire I thought I had extinguished for soloing is still perhaps a smouldering ember that may soon relight itself........

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Anti Social Climbing

Yesterday Dave and myself headed up the Ben with no definite plans. After a few thoughts were ruled out to avoid crowds,queues and avalanche risk  we decided to link 2 pitches of ice/snow between the Curtain (which was getting climbed) and Ledge Route which gave some nice climbing. Ice was great for axe placements but not great for gear. 

The plod in

Great weather, Daves grin says it all.

Gearing up below Moonlight Gully Buttress so we were belayed across No5

Starting up the first pitch

Best bit of my belay!!!

Wading up to meet Dave. 

All in all it was a cracking wee day out, teams on the Curtain, Vanishing Gully, Point 5, Tower Ridge and the Douglas Boulder was crawling with teams. Good to meet Cliff up there too!

Friday, 16 January 2015

Past Month

To start with I needed to change up my training to keep it interesting so I did this!! After that it was up to Ben Nevis with Steve and Joe, I tried what I thought may have been a new route but found old gear and lost the psyche and headed home to leave the boys to head elsewhere.

Joe and Steve on the walk in.

Joe sheltering from the brutal spindrift

After that it was home to Ayrshire for the festives to see family and friends, usual great laugh and I also got to take my 4 year old niece for her first experience of climbing which was great.

Family and friends at Hogmanay

Wee Gwen at GCC

It was straight back to work and training after that which was a shock to the system. Today Steve and I headed to Glencoe in search of some ice but after some fairly hardwork walking in it wasn't to be with crap conditions. 

Steve on descent earlier today


On the walk in

Hopefully get out more over the next few days, feeling the need to do something good after news this week that my foot has gotten worse........