Friday, 30 April 2010


I have spent this week training in an attempt to some summer fitness before heading on to the limestone. Unfortunately, the long walls of Ratho beat you down mentally. At three quarters of the way up you arms start to melt, finger's uncurl and head start to prepare for the fall that is so close to coming. This said it has been good fun struggling away on some excellent routes, the team have done a great job.

I will be guiding on Skye this weekend then back down to Yorkshire, bring on the limestone, and a few more kickings.

Monday, 26 April 2010

North Berwick Law

Mhairi and I went to North Berwick Law to do a few of the sport routes rather than go to the wall to train. This turned out to be quite good, with both of us doing routes from 6b+ to 7a+. The routes here are chipped, offering some reachy, fingery and sometimes powerful moves. I was pretty pleased to onsight a nice 6c and lead a 7a+ second go, despite the last of roped climbing I have done this year.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Spiral Gully

Today I was in Sneachda with Alisa and Cathrine who are both 6th year students at George Watson's College. They led Spiral Gully in 5 pitches, which is their first lead. There was a soft layer of snow, with firmer snow underneath. The route also had some good ice sections that had survived the warmer weather. There was a few cornices still above the trident gullies, as well as Jacob's Ladder. After topping out, we walked around and over 1141 and out. A great day out.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Upper Cave Crag

Today I went to Dunkeld with Andy, Mhairi and Greg. Everyone else was on the sport wall, but after the last couple of days I was a little tired to try the ones I have not done yet. I opted to do Laughing Gnome, Which at E5 5c has easy climbing but qiute bold. With Greg's beta it was very straight forward. I then did my belay duties as Greg got very close to ticking Silk Teddies. Mhairi was making good progress on Silk Teddies and Andy did the same on Hamish Teddy's.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Cambusbarron Again

I went to the Barron again today with Greg, Charlie and Mhairi. After blowing a hold and the onsight of Public Spirited Individual, I got back on it after the warm up routes. The route was very high in the grade, if not a grade harder. Fortunity this time all the holds stayed in plaace, and the route went without any trouble. Mhairi then had a crack at Chisel. This took another scalp and is there for another day. We then went into the closed Quarry where Greg onsighted Big Country Dreams. Charlie then had a go, but unfortunately took a whipper and was vialeted by a small prow of rock.

Monday, 19 April 2010


With the weather forecast best locally, Andy, Charlie and I went to the Barron. After doing the classic E1's to warm up. Charlie then led his first E3, Slot Shot, and Andy did Gobi Roof. The only stared route I had not climbed in this quarry was Public Spirited Individual. After slipping out of a gravel/mud jam low down, I got back on and cleaned as I went. At the top of the first crack I was moving out left when the pinch I was using exploded. Putting me off I bailed. Charlie the led his first E4, Chisel to top off a good day.

Holding the suspect Pinch

Friday, 16 April 2010

Ogden Clough

Just after the crux on Mike's Meander V2 6a

It had cooled down nicely this evening. So after a bit of food I headed up on to the moor to Ogden. This is another I my local crags, only 6-8m high, the routes are more highball problems. I think I mught be the first person up there this year, as it was very dirty on some of the easier routes. The classic of the crag is Mike's Meander E2 6a/V2, but there are many routes/problems up to V3, a great evening spot for an easy run out.

Finger's V3 6a

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Trowbarrow Quarry

Today I went for a bit of afternoon cragging to Trowbarrow. This limestone quarry has a mix of routes across the grades. After climbing some easy classics in the sun, I had a bash at Asylum. Due to slightly weak fingers, very warm rock, foot holds breaking and a split finger tip (good range of excuses is the key), I failed just past the sole bolt 3/4 of the way up. It is a fragile route and a lot of holds many have broken over the years, but I just couldn't work it out today. Need to put on rope and do a few more routes, maybe.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Woodhouse Scar

Above: V6 Pyramid Buttress

As Tony had torn a flapper on one of his finger's, I was left to my own devices. I went to Woodhouse Scar, which is my new local crag. The grit at this crag is very hard and course, completely different to peak grit. It is situated below a housing estate just outside the town centre, and has a 5 second walk in. Having not been here much in the last 10 years, it was nice to cruise a few classic routes to warm up before attempting to pull a little harder on some boulder problems. As bouldering has been a weakness over the years, it's good to have a few venues close by that have a range of problems to improve on. The temperature was good to start, and I found shade on different problems before my tips gave out mid afternoon.

Thursday, 8 April 2010


I met up with Tony at the Bridestones, which sits on the moors above Cornholme. Despite the quality of the problems here it's alway very quiet. Today was no exception, with only 1 other person climbing with his family. We did a range of problems up to V6, which varied between aretes, slabs and walls. Tony ticked the classic Horror Arete, which I bottled today. This was ok by me as I have done it before. I have not been here for a while and was suprised at the amount of wear on some of the problems. We had a quick go on Jerry's Arete, but the foothold at the start was damp. Not wanting to do any more damamge we finish our session in the small wall area. Not before experiencing the Big Body Squirm.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Now on Facebook

Hughes Mountaineering is now on Facebook. Check it out and become a fan,

The page is new and needs a little work, but I'll do my best to catch up.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Learning to Lead Day 2

Nathan and I were at Stanage again to avoid the worst of the wind for the second day of his course. The day was all about milage, so Nathan ticked off many classics up to S 4b as well as seconding a couple of VS's. A good 2 days with lots for Nathan to take away.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Learning to Lead

I was at Stanage today with Nathan who was on the first day learning to lead. Emma came along to belay so Nathan got loads of climbing done. We did a mix of routes from Mod to Severe as the crag dried out through the day. We will be back out tomorrow to consolidate todays fine effort from Nathan.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

New Website

The website has been updated. Have a look and all comments are welcome.

Close, but No Cigar

On Thursday Tony and I walked in to Clogwyn Du to try a Welsh winter test piece first climbed by Nick Bullock and yet to recieve an onsight ascent, but there has only been 2 so far. The crag was in perfect condition as we walked in, but it was warmer than forecast. Tony made good progress up the route and getting past the crux before an axe ripped and he took quite a big fall. Having left an axe up there and the fact that the start of the route was no longer in winter condition, we opted to strip and bail. In the time it took to strip the route the whole crag was black. Andy and Baggy had also bailed. The end of winter for Wales.

On Friday we walked into Gogarth main cliff hoping to beat the weather. I was just about to start climbing when the heavens opened. Game over. We might have better luck next time.