Hibernation

It’s now officially spring and it’s been a few months since my last update here. Far from hibernating, I’ve been keeping myself busy over winter.

To start the year was a trip up north, staying near Ullapool.

Beautifully bleak landscape
Beautifully bleak landscape

We had some less good weather:

Bit of a breeze
Bit of a breeze

And some better weather:

Stunning conditions on the Fannichs
Stunning conditions on the Fannichs

The Scottish theme continued with a highlight of climbing two classic ridges on Ben Nevis, Tower Ridge and North East Buttress.

The crest of Tower Ridge
The crest of Tower Ridge

Feeling Scotland wasn’t cold and wintery enough, we decided to take a trip to Rjukan in Norway. As well as being famous for the heavy water program during WWII, this is a town that gets no direct sunlight for a large part of the year, due to the steep sided valley it inhabits. Locals can enjoy the sun in the town square thanks to huge mirrors constructed on the hillside. The cold temperatures during the winter months mean that the many waterfalls in the valley freeze, becoming walls of ice that attract ice climbers from far and wide.

Rjukan Lower Gorge
Rjukan Lower Gorge

The gorge is a wonderfully atmospheric place to climb and made a nice change from the often fickle Scottish winter conditions!

Climbing near Vemork Bridge
Climbing near Vemork Bridge

Once back from Norway, I called in for a few days at the Saddle Skedaddle guides’ week. It was great to catch up with everyone and I’m really happy to have some exciting trips lined up this year with them.

Things started to get very springlike, and I’ve been out on the bike enjoying some sunshine.

Spring cycling in Lancashire
Spring cycling in Lancashire

The Forest of Bowland really is a great place to ride!

Up at Jubilee Tower
Up at Jubilee Tower

I’ve even done the first few trad climbing routes of the year.

Finishing off Troutdale Pinnacle Superdirect
Finishing off Troutdale Pinnacle Superdirect

And to bring you right up to date, I have been back in the office this weekend. A guided walk for The Lake District Walker up Scafell Pike and Lingmell for a lovely group.

Atmospheric crags on the approach
Atmospheric crags on the approach

The weather played nicely and the morning cloud burnt off to give some fantastic views for a sunny afternoon.

View to Borrowdale
View to Borrowdale

So far so good for 2016!