As described earlier, the planning has been a lot of work. We have been working out what has been climbed and what hasn’t, obtaining maps and photos, applying for funding, booking flights and 4WD transport, applying for visas and border permits, assembling medical and toolkits, making sure we have all appropriate gear, (trying to) learn Russian (у меня болитживот!), getting important maps and photos laminated, getting vaccinations, the list goes on…
But most of this work has to take place during the evenings, as weekends need to be left free to climb. It would be no good turning up in Kyrgyzstan having not climbed for the last 2 months… So we have been busy at the weekends (and when time allows throughout the week).
Robert has been trail running, mountain biking, swimming and going to the gym in order to raise his general fitness. In addition to this he has been using the bouldering wall at his place of work every lunchtime and climbing outside at every opportunity. A productive few days were spent on Arran, with the A'chir ridge and the South ridge of Cir Mhor being climbed.
Adam enjoyed a week long cragging roadtrip in the Far NorthWest visiting Sheigra, Inbhirpollaidh Rock Gym, Diabaig and Seanna Mheallan amongst others, also bouldering in Rhiconnich, Torridon, Skye and Glen Nevis. Have recently spent 10 days in the Barra Isles of Pabbay and Mingulay on the immaculate Lewisian Gneiss. All the climbing was four star, but stand out routes include: Prophecy of Drowning, Endolphin Rush, Sugar Cane Country, The Raven, Voyage of Faith and Sirens.
John had a productive 4 days on Skye. The highlight was probably Grand Diedre in Coire a’Ghrunnda. This route tops out just south of the Thear-Dhublaich gap. We crossed the gap and continued with King’s Chimney and a traverse of the ridge to Sgurr Dearg, where we rounded off the day with an evening ascent of the Inaccessible Pinnacle and delightful sunset. Arctic Way on the Rosa Pinnacle on Arran was also a good day, as were trips to Gimmer, Pavey Ark, Raven Crag and Dove Nest Crag in the Lake District.
This post is basically just an excuse for some good photos…
Robert climbing on Cir Mhor, photo by Thomas Henderson Schwartz
John on the Rosa Pinnacle, Isle of Arran. Photo by Jonathan de Leyser.
I guess a brief introduction to ourselves would also be appropriate. We (John Proctor, Adam Russell and Robert Taylor) are three friends who met through the Edinburgh University Mountaineering Club. John is a scientist, Adam is a gymnastics coach and Robert is a student. We have all climbed in the Alps before but this is our first trip to the Greater Ranges. We are very psyched…
We would like to thank our sponsors, The Mountaineering Council of Scotland, The Scottish Mountaineering Trust, The Sang Award and The Fabulous Bakin' Boys.