News and Conditions

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On this page we at Alpha Mountaineering will keep you up to date with news and the local conditions as we find them out on the hill. If this page has not been updated recently then check my Facebook or Twitter page as I can update those more easily when away from the office.

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Saturday 19th April 2014

Red approaching the Old Man of Stoer

Climbing the Old Man of Stoer with Red Szell

After climbing The Old Man of Hoy with Red last June there was some mention of coming back to do more sea stacks. After a winter in the dull climbing walls of North London Red was keen to get back to the Highlands this Spring for more adventures. He teamed up again with Martin Moran and myself to attempt the Old Man of Stoer.

Yesterday after an early start from Achmelvich Youth Hostel we wandered out in the cold first hours of the day onto the headland above the Old Man only to discover that our tidal predictions were a tad out and after waiting for an hour the tide seemed even higher than when we'd arrived. After a total of 3 hours waiting the sea finally started receding from it's spring high and we were able to begin our adventure.

After a surprisingly simple swim and tyrolean we had a great climb up the Orignal Route. There was some sun to enjoy but we mostly shivered in the strong southerly breeze. Everything went to plan and Red climbed his second sea stack in less than a year. There was even talk of coming back for more next year...

Red climbing on the first pitch Red on the first pitch
Red climbing near the end of pitch one Red climbing on pitch 2
Red and Martin at the second belay Red on top with Martin
Me, Red and Martin on top of the Old Man of Stoer Red abseiling off
Red on the return tyrolean Red and Martin returning to the mainland clifftop

Thursday 17th April 2014

Red on Moy Racer

Two days sport climbing with Red

On Tuesday I went to Moy crag with Red Szell and Rod. We had a great afternoon of climbing in the sunshine.

Yesterday we were joined by Martin and we climbed at Creag Bheag near Golspie. Although cold and windy to start with it warmed up later in the day as the wind dropped off. We climbed many of the short bolted routes and Red did awesome (as always!) and lead his first route outdoors, an onsight ascent of a F5 with 4% vision!

Red climbing Corvus at Moy Red leading Manitou at Creag Bheag
Martin belaying Red on his first outdoor lead Rod climbing Pickpocket at Creag Bheag
Red on Fighting off the vultures

Wednesday 9th April 2014

Murdo at the shake-out on The Link

Busy bouldering banter

Unusually there were 4 folk bouldering at Tom Riach last night. It was good to have a few others pulling on pebbles and throwing abuse! Murdo and Gaz repeated 'There and Back'.

We all tried to get the NW face a bit more wired and although Murdo and I tried 'The Link' no one did it.

There was even a flyby by the RAF Chinooks and Hercules!

I have archived all previous conditions reports. Please click on the appropriate link below to view past reports.