In the absence of time to blog individual trips, here's a few snapshots of recent excursions.
Curved Ridge was a day out from the city, and a good one to get under our belt. The hardest part was finding the start of the route! After so many years building up to it, we got to the top somehow having missed the crux, thinking 'is that it?' but the situation is absolutely stunning all the way up, even in the summer dreich. On reflection we'll rope up for the start (what felt like the crux to me) next time, and finish off with Crowberry Tower.
In July, David, Richard and I went way out west with the intention of exploring Loch Morar. It was a trip about a year in the planning, but suffered several changes on the ground due to the vagaries of Scottish summertime. By day 3, the 3 drowned rats were hiding out with their tails between their legs in Sourlies bothy with beer and logs donated by the cook for the neighbouring estate. The trouble with only doing short trips of course is that you are soft for when more is required, but a fire was welcome relief at the time, never mind the alcohol. It went from the ridiculous to the sublime, with an early morning paddle on the ebb tide among Purpoise and Jellyfish, right around Loch Nevis into Inverie. A stylish finish, totally by accident.
In August I reprised a slow attempt on the Paddy Buckley Round, with more success than last year. The weather was kinder this time, grey and opaque for the first 2 days and blistering hot for the second 2. I rolled my ankle on a forestry ride and heard it pop. I lay there for 15mins in the middle of nowhere and a fair amount of pain, wondering how I was going to drag myself to the road. Luckily it was only a ligament that had torn, and with enough vitamin I and elevation overnight I was able to limp over Snowdon the next day and complete the Round. I bumped into some very twitchy Squaddies policing the military heli' crash on Y Aran, was charmed by quiet, heathery nooks and crannies in the west, and was utterly blown away by the foxes path through the Dinorwig quarry. I love Wales, it's my second hill home. I've spent the last 3 years trying to get these 3 big rounds done - they are long, intense days whether you are walking or running, I think.
Another day out scrambling recently, this time on Arran. Ian took Mick and I on a favourite route of his. Ropes were not really needed but we went through the motions just to prove to ourselves how we need to do this more than once every 3 months to make sure it's second nature. We're slowly getting the message I think. More planned for winter, if life doesn't make other plans.