World Mountains

Mt Kenya employment

A good friend of mine, Dan Goodwin, is working in the foothills of Mt Kenya and offers the following:

Am keen to find an SPA and if possible any other tickets a bonus, but essentially it would be an intern position here in Kenya for three months. We would fly you out and cover costs along with some other bonus things/courses. Keen for someone who would be ready to roll soon (out by mid March would be ideal). Open to emails from anyone who might be interested and would like to hear more or quiz me more on it. Get in touch with dan@riftvalleyadventures.com

mount kenya

Mt Kenya

Climbing not permitted

A quick visit to Uluru – Ayers Rock, mingling with thousands of other tourists viewing this amazing geological feature. More photos and Links here

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We also visitedKata Tjuta, which is equally impressive and more easily protected with cams. However, the two locations are not open for climbing, so do not bother. There is an easy but steep walk, via a chained walkway on Uluru, but it is discouraged and in recent years the numbers making the ascent has reduced significantly, to the point where the National Park authorities are considering a total ban.
From a distance it appears that Uluru (Ayers Rock) would be very difficult anyway, unless you are interested in unprotected ‘crimps’ on steep sandstone. Kata Tjuta might succumb to cam protection, but again is out of bounds for sacred reasons, to honour the feelings of the indigenous locals, who also own the park.

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Victoria – Australia

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A quick tour of parts of the Australian state of Victoria, took us along the Great Ocean Road Route and on to Mt Arapiles for a sample of the best rock that the continent has to offer. In fact, any global climber would be hard pressed to name a better location. All grades up to Aussie 34, some with bolts and others are definitely trad. Camping is currently $5 per person per night. Anyone considering a good cycle tour would not be disappointed following the Victoria coastline. Work out wind direction before you go and definitely use the The Great Ocean Road Backpackers at Lorne Further inland the landscape is very flat, unless you visit the Grampians or of course the climbing on Mt Arapiles

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Mt Arapiles has undergone serious geological metamorphism over thousands of years, much to the delight of modern climbers. It is the most solid assortment of Quartzite cliffs you are likely to find anywhere. Sue and I found the grades a little hard to understand and even Tip Toe Ridge, grade 3, depending on which guide you read, had its moments. By comparison I found the same Aussie grades in Tasmania at Freycinet to be softer climbs!

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We also visited Hall’s Gap in the Grampians. The weather was not great, but we found a splendid backpackers in Tim’s Place

Sunshine at last

Anyone interested in sports climbing, might consider Sicily. A brand new guide book is out and covers the very popular area around San Vito lo Capo. Don’t bother though if your tastes are long trad routes! There are some in this area, but according to a report from one team, they require considerable ‘gardening’. Another Sicily wide guide is also on the shelves and that could reveal many more options. My comments should not be taken too seriously, as this is my first short and very limited visit.

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Most of the sports routes are very easy to access and often close to a road or track. The bolts are very closely spaced as well, offering mostly stress free climbing.

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This camp site looks very good and good climbing from 2c upwards is close by. The grades are varied and offer plenty around 5 – 6 – 7, as well as a few even lower, so this is not just an area for hard sports routes. Also, plenty of scope for new routes by all accounts. A long 70m rope would be useful and a max of around 15 quick draws.

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Plenty of exotic plants close to the climbing.

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Bring your fishing tackle if you need a change of activity, or do not want to eat out every day!

Back home on 14th December, ready for another winter season, which appears to have started with a bang. Anyone fancy some ice climbing? Contact my good friend and work colleague, Spike Sellers. He is looking after base camp as Sue and I attempt to top up the tan lines, without much success! See you soon folks.

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Not difficult to find the exact start to the climbs!

No snow on Vesuvius

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The cold airstream over UK is stretching down to the Mediterranean. Better head south!

Expedition Grants

Chris Walker Memorial Trust

On 24th February, 2010 Chris Walker lost his life when he was taken by an avalanche whilst descending from Buachaille Etive Mor. Chris was a highly talented, accomplished and popular mountaineer who loved to share his enthusiasm, knowledge and skills with others. He already held the MIC, was a full member of the Association of Mountaineering Instructors and no doubt would have fulfilled his life-long dream of becoming a British Mountain Guide. In order to assist other climbers who share the same passion for the mountains as Chris, the Chris Walker Memorial Trust has been set up.

The CWMT will award an annual £1000 grant to help fund expeditions to the Greater Ranges. We welcome applications from aspiring Greater Ranges climbers who need help to fund expeditions with the objective of establishing new routes, repeating rarely attempted lines, or visiting unexplored areas. The closing date for applications will be 1st December each year, after which the trustees will meet and make their decision.

The CWMT will also be providing and funding avalanche awareness courses each winter to support the continual professional development of guides and mountaineering instructors.

In conjunction with the CWMT, the British Alpine Ski School (BASS) are annually offering a free place on their ‘Ski Performance Course for Mountaineers’. The closing date for applications is 11th September each year.

More details can be found at www.chriswalkertrust.co.uk

Reine Slab (Reinesvaet)

Sea Breeze is in the top fifty routes of the Lofoten guide at around HVS 5a. However it has some pretty scrappy sections, plus an awful abseil descent. The route would benefit from some ‘significant gardening’ plus a new line of abseil stations down the crag. The good bits are very good though.

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Presten Vestpillaren

Watching the ‘footie’ in Henningsvear after a great day out with Tony and Spike on Presten West Pillar, 467 metres of impeccable climbing. The easiest sections are VS, but very few and overall the climb is graded E2 5b, six to eight hours and allow two hours for a leisurely descent. Start early to avoid too much heat on a good day. We managed the first four pitches before the sun hit us. It is of course possible at any time at this time of the year! Spike and Tony also climbed Ypperstepresten E1 5b over four pitches of delectable and well protected climbing. This climb leads to a big ledge (Storhylla) from where it is possible to follow a simple bolt and chain abseil descent.

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Sunny in Lofoten

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Climbs on Pillaren, were Coley Smoke and Child’s Play and Bare Blabaer. Then Forsidia on Svolvaergeite.

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Henningsvear

Today has been fairly damp in Henningsvear and no climbing. Plenty of interesting things to do though if it’s a first visit. Accommodation is reasonably priced at around £20 each in a self catering Rorbu, for four of us.

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