Saturday, February 27, 2010

Things of interest

Here's a few things that popped up last week on the web that I thought were interesting. Will Gadd - Candian Winter maestro has blogged about some great time saving tricks for multi-pitch ice climbs, many of which could be of equal use for alpine routes.

In case you've been on holiday or had a power cut, big news of the week, month erm...year is that Dave Macleod has completed his winter project on Ben Nevis - E8 with axes no less

Finally Porters Progress, a charity that does great work providing support for porters in the Himalaya have a fund raising film night on the 16th of March at the RGS. So anyone in London this should be an entertaining night

Friday, February 26, 2010

Hope Valley College Film Festival

I'm doing a show tomorrow 7.30 Saturday as part of the Hope Valley Film Festival. John Beatty is introducing me which is something of a privilege as he's a photographer I admire a lot see his work here

Here's a couple more pics from last week to give an idea of what's in store.
Sunrise on the summit plateau of Beinn Eighe
The Northern Corries at Dusk

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Chesterfield Lecture Wednesday 24th Feb

Just a quick reminder that I'm lecturing at the Winding Wheel Theatre tomorrow night at 7.30. It's only just over a fiver more info here
A couple of pics to wet the appetite.

The Fitzroy Peaks, PatagoniaOur Lifesaver bivi Cave day 7 on Annapurna III, Nepal

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Further team hotshot pics and new Eighe route info

Team hotshot should be queuing for flights about now. They finished off their trip with a classic on the Ben, Ines and Hans on North East Buttress and Audrey and Matt on Minus Three Gully. On Friday, our second day at Beinn Eighe, Audrey, Matt and Simon did Poachers Fall on Liathach. Ines was desperate to do a new route so we set the alarm for 3.20am and dragged ourselves back up and over Beinn Eighe's summit. After how wintery it had been on the West Central Wall I thought the Eastern walls would be more wintery than they were. Checking out three or four of my new route possibilities only yielded bare rock. Then Ines spotted a neat looking line just left of Far East Gully, which had a well "whited" lower section although a little leaner up high. Never the less it proved a fun 2 pitch route perhaps useful for parties who fail early on the Far East wall mega-projects. We called it Little Nipper unless Ines comes up with a better name.

All in all a great week. Ines was talking about how she thinks trad protected mixed climbing could be the future for her winters, while Matt was recognising the possibilities for Scottish style stuff at previously untouched cliffs back in Quebec. I'll probably pull together a full report for Climb Mag and put more photos on Simon's site

In the mean time here's a few more pics and a description of little Nipper
Sunrise on Thursday
Me on pitch 1 of Little Nipper (It starts up the diagonal groove - poor but essential ice)
Ines starting up pitch 2 of little Nipper
Ines on pitch 3 of Blood Sweat and Frozen Tears
Post route celebration for Ines and Audrey
Brocken Spectre on Eighe's summit
Beinn Eighe Far East Wall
Little Nipper 60m VI,8
1. 30m Boldly climb the shallow right facing groove 5m left of Far East Gully to ledges and then the steep crack to belay below a prominent corner with a crack in its left wall.
2. 30m Climb the corner and then cracks trending slightly left to easier ground.
F.a Ian Parnell, Ines Papert 19th February 2010

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Scottish Pride

Ahhh, Yes! At the moment I just have an overwhelming feeling of pride. Proud that team Arc'teryx had such a great trip, proud that out of their comfort zone they climbed so well and most of all proud that Scotland really pulled out all the stops over the last couple of days. The kind of days that keep you going the rest of the year. Heres a few pics more to follow.
The early start pays off on the summit plateau of EigheThursday's route with Ines - Blood, Sweat and Frozen Tears a 4 star VIII
Ines picking up the Scottish game very quickly on pitch 1 of Blood Sweat...Audrey, Matt and Simon on Central Buttress
Our home for the night courtesy of Simon at
Happy campers Hans, Ines, Audrey and Matt

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Exstatic Fly

Team hotshot visited Glen Coe today. Audrey and Matt climbed Central Buttress with Blair, whilst Ines and Iain climbed Unicorn. I suspect Ines's lead is the hardest by a woman in Scotland. She was raving on the phone about how beautiful it all was. So thumbs up from Germany. This is a shot of Guy's from Saturday of me getting very scared trying to climb the crux section of Extasy sans ice. Just one dodgy pecker for pro at this point. Sanity intervened and I lowered off shortly after.

Off up North again tomorrow to pick up two campervans including one from Simon at for a hopefully fittoing finale to the hotshot tour in the North West.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Welcome to our world

So the Arc'teryx hot shots tour of Scotland continued with a visit to Meagie on Saturday, with Audrey and Matt nipping up the super classic Smiths Gully, whilst I met up with Guy Robertson for an attempt on Extasy. Unfortunately this was devoid of what turned out to be crucial ice on pitches 3 and 4. Eventually we ended up climbing the middle section of the Fly before returning to the final pitch of Extasy. The Extastic Fly is probably VII,7 but with quite a lot of pitches worth VII in their own right. Guy on the crux? of The Fly on horrifying junk ice.The steep final pitch of Extasy, which Guy managed a more direct finish. Guy has just reached the first bit of properly decent turf in the pic.
Ines and Hans finally arrived after 2 days of flight delays (Thankyou Easyjet!), so were desperate for some Scotch and made sure their guide didn't have a rest day. We headed up to Aonach Mor for a couple of laps of Stirling Bridge. This gave a nice introduction for Ines with some helpful neve and some good footage for Hans' film.Ines happy to be finally climbingA rather large cornice at the top of Easy Gully
Ines getting hooked on Stirling Bridge.

Friday, February 12, 2010

A taste of Scottish

Ironically half my team of visting hotshots was snowbound in Munich. So I headed out today with team Quebec Matt and Audrey to the Northern Corries.They seemed to like what they saw - a very buried Coire an lochanWe dug our way up Fall Out Corner and earned our reward of a round of Fish Suppers .....they liked that too (honest!)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Whats in store over the next few weeks

I thought it worth giving a little heads up for some of the events I'm involved with over the next few weeks. I've been watching a lot of adventure films at the moment (Ive got 46 to get through) in my role as judge for the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival which is being held for the 5th year at The Showroom Cinema in Sheffield on March 12th-14th. The standard of films so far has been very good, better than last year from the ones Ive seen. Alongside the films there will be live music, an urban orienteering event and something I'm very excited about on Saturday night the Arc'teryx Adventure Shot Competition and quiz night. I'll blog more about this event in future but it's a giveaway at £3 for tickets and its held in the Cafe bar so promises to be a memorably rowdy affair. More SHAFF info here

Ive also a few lectures coming up. Firstly at the Winding Wheel Theatre in Chesterfield on Wednesday 24the Feb more info here

And then on Saturday 27th as part of the Hope Film Festival, at the Hope Valley College, more info here

Finally I've a few friends (Mat Audibert, Audrey Gariepy, Hans Hornberer, Ines Papert) coming over from Germany and Quebec for a Scottish winter tour. I'm meeting them tonight and then heading out to the hills over the next few days. Conditions for once are looking good for our visitors and if anyone is familiar with these guys they'll know that some exciting climbing is very likely. I'll try and post as the week progresses.