Scotland 2022

Winter Climbing on the Ben

2 trips of winter climbing have been done this year! After missing, a couple of years from Covid had to get back to do some climbing!

The first trip was over a weekend in January, managed to squeeze in 3 routes in 2 days, the snow line was high, and not much ice. Enough Ice to make a couple of belays but no ice climbing routes.

Gully Number 3 Central buttress

On the first trip, we did Gully Number 3 Central Buttress, Gully Number 2, and Gully Number 4.

The second trip was 8 days! 5 days staying in Fort William and 3 days in the CIC hut at the bottom of the North Face. The hut is a prime location, saving a 2-hour walk in, nice lay-ins, early back! I’d say luxury, but it has no showers, 2 toilets, and sleeps around 28 people in 2 giant bunk beds! Worth it though!!

Started the week with Jake, we got to do Central Gully Right-Hand, North-East Buttress, and Vanishing Gully. All 3* top climbs, North-East Buttress is an epic day route, Vanishing Gully is a superb ice climb going at grade V. We got a bit of bad weather so venture to a dry tooling crag and then some indoor climbing.

I then joined the Peak Climbing Club in the CIC hut and got on Raeburn’s Easy Route & Ledge Route. Both 3* grade II climbs, I was guiding Lucy from the climbing club who didn’t have much experience so these routes are perfect. I managed to sneak in a couple of easy gully solos though on the Douglas gap.

The weather can only be described as outstanding! blue skies and sunshine! two rare things in Scotland, even rarer in winter on the Ben!

Already looking at booking for 2023, and hoping the snow sticks around for a winter traverse of the Cuillin Ridge at end of April!

The next trip is to Wales in a couple of weeks’ time! looking forward to that one.

Winter Routes ticket off on Ben Nevis for 2022

  • Number 3 Gully Buttress (direct finish) – Grade IV 5
  • Number 3 Gully – Grade I
  • Number 4 Gully – Grade I
  • Number 2 Gully – Grade II
  • Centarl Gully Right-Hand – Grade IV 4
  • North East Buttress – Grade IV 5
  • Vanishing Gully – Grade V 5
  • Douglas Gap West Gully – Grade I
  • Douglas Gap East Gully – Grade I
  • Raeburns Easy Route – Grade II
  • Ledge Route – Grade II

January’s training log

So after a slack Nov/Dec regarding with the run training, i thought i’d better actually start seriously in Jan. Building up the milage and the elevation. My first real event isn’t until June, but they all have quite a bit of elevation in them. So starting in January would give me a good kick on for the rest of the year. I’ve also tried to maintain my strength and conditioning work at the gym (been trying to get at least twice a week), along with still being able to climb a few times a week.

So i’ve started slowly and built up to about 25miles a week. I haven’t started any actual hill training yet, so the elevation for the week is just whats included in the normal runs.

I’m building up slowly as i have the time to do this before any serious races, and because i don’t want to get injured or worn out!

I had a fell race in January, which was the Tigger Tor. It was 16km with around 500m elevation, i recce’d this run twice also as its a non marked course, but you have to hit all the checkpoints. I also changed running clubs from a triathlon club to a fell running club. So i’m now part of the Dark Peak Fell Runners.

So for Feb, i have another fell race on the 8th, this is around 28km, so will be the longest i’ve run for a while! with a few few hills thrown in. I’m hoping to get around 30miles in per week from now on, for most of Feb. I have booked in a winter climbing break from 22nd to 27th Feb, so i’ll use these days as run recovery!

I happy with my progress so far, no aches or pains which is good! Looking forward to see how feb goes. I’ll keep up the strength training of squats, lunges, core etc. And the climbing is amazing for the core work!

Training & Practice Pack

The trainings been a bit slack recently, but i kind of resigned myself to this and decided to start ‘proper’ training in January. I need to work out a plan for this. Until then i’m kind of keeping my fitness by doing a few runs a week of normal distances (like 10km), bit of swimming, gym work and climbing.

Currently my first run is in May, trail marathons back to back, on Saturday one Sunday. I feel i can ease into my training a little as i have time until the ultras at the end of the year.

So i need to create a plan for my running along with the strength and conditioning for this. Along with a training plan for climbing to reach my goals for this too!

I went for a run on Sunday, this was probably one of the longest runs i’ve done for a while, pretty flat and pretty steady. Felt brilliant doing too, bit sore on the calf muscles the day after though!

On the 24th December i fly out to Morocco to trek up to M’Goun. a 4,100m peak in the Atlas mountains. So last weekend i did a practice pack for the gear i’ll be trekking up with. Things i need to hand, the sleeping bag, spare clothes etc. are carried by the mules!

The main bulk of this is down jacket, waterproofs, crampons, camera and the rest being spare hats, water, first aid, etc.

  • There is an Alpkit 40l bag
  • DMM Cirque Ice Axe
  • Grivel G12 crampons
  • North Face & Alpkit gloves (5 pairs for varying degrees of weather)
  • Paramo Velez Evolution Hybrid Smock (waterproof)
  • Arc’teryx Cerium LT
  • Couple of buffs & Hats
  • Montane Waterproof trousers

I now need to practice pack with all my other gear and my food & snacks!! I’ll have a go at this, this weekend! Maybe a bit late if i need anything as its the last weekend before i go and the weekend before Christmas!

run, climbs, adventures update!

An update of the things i’ve done and should have blogged about!

Been a slack year on the blogging front! Lets start with what didn’t happen.

So i had to drop out of a few races due to injury, which is annoying, but shit happens. I thought it was better to think about the positives of this and not get too annoyed at not being able to run or train. I couldn’t train at all for about a month, from there i had to build up from around 5km onwards!

I completed the Hardmoors 55, which i was super happy at. But i missed the Lakeland Trails 50km and the main race i wanted to do which was the Dales Way Ultra. 86miles from Windermere to Otley.

But the time off enabled me to climb more and have more outdoor adventures in the Lake District, Snowdonia and the Scottish Highlands. I managed to complete about 60 more Wainwrights, a few mountains in Wales and few Munros in Scotland. So a lot more hiking!

I haven’t really started back with the running, i’ve been doing between 10-20miles a week. Which i know is quite a bit, but not enough for what i want to do

Next Years Races are already booked.

  • May the 4th Weekend (2 trail marathons over 2 days)
  • Scafell Sky Race (42km)
  • Lakeland 5 Passes (32miles)
  • Pinnacle Ridge Extreme (28km)
  • Lakes in a Day (80km)
  • Montane Cheviot Goat (88km)

Year of climbing!

So, with being no running i started climbing again. So my year in climbing has been very successful i would say! I managed to get quite a bit of indoor lead climbing and boulder in when the weathers been bad, but i managed to get a fair few days out on the crag’s.

I logged my outdoor climbs on This lists all the outdoor climbs and scrambles i’ve done. It also lists my best onsight climbs, which currently stand at Indoor Lead 6c+, outdoor Bouldering f6b+ and trad is HVS.

All together its about 55 climbs and a couple of scrambles in 2019. Not bad to say the first time i hit the outdoors was 15th June. I have a couple of winter climbing/mountaineering trips booked in for Feb & March next year.

My targets for next year is to lead a trad E1, i have a few on my wish list, so fingers crossed. And i’m wanting to get an indoor 7a lead. I’m not concentrating too much on the indoor stuff though!

Trips and Training

After the Hardmoors i had a week off and felt good for it. The first run i did was a steady 10miles down the Pennine Way, taking in Kinder Falls and back. The legs felt good, bit tired towards the end. Last 2 miles was a push but it was downhill and on nice flagged moors.

From there i had a trip into the Lake District planned. This was part of the new Trig Ring unveiling on top of Blencathra. And it was also a chance to meet a few people off of Instagram. So there is a Whatsapps group that is full of people off Instagram that are into the same kind of stuff, hiking, running, climbing, anything outdoors really. On the Whatsapp group everyone plans trips and meet ups, kinda cool. Using social media to actually be social!

So my plan for the Lakes was get up there early Saturday morning. Go for a 20km run in the fells, then a spot of bouldering. Sleep in the YHA then on Sunday meet up and head up Blencathra.

The run was pretty good. Started just outside Keswick, up Walla Crag onto Bleaberry Fell, High Seat and High Tove. Obviously  bagging a few Wainwrights along the way! The run from Bleaberry Fell, High Seat and High Tove was pretty much a big fest, and made for some slow running and wet legs!

But i got 20km in, with 644m (2178ft) of elevation, in 2hours 30mins. So considering the bogs and wet lumpy ground i was pretty pleased.

The Sunday was all about Blencathra, we headed up to the top around 8:30. With the unveiling happening around 11:00. The planned routes were up Halls Fell Ridge and back down Sharp Edge. These are two awesome routes for scrambling. And i will defiantly be back up in the winter with crampons and ice axe in tow.  If anyone is heading up Blencathra, take in these two routes.

At the top for the unveiling was Stephen Birkinshaw, he wrote the book ‘There is No Map in Hell’ about his running journey taking in all the Wainwrights in 6days and 13hours. He’s still the current record holder, so i took the book up and got him to sign it!

After that i’ve had a couple of local small races, one being the first Trunce Race and the first Spencers Dash. This weekend i also volunteered for the inaugural Pennine Bridleway 57km. I was one of the race sweepers, it was a really nice day and great route. I did about 30 miles of sweeping, but i started getting a twinge in my groin so i got a lift back while the other sweeper, John, carried on the last 5 miles. So in effect i DNF as a sweeper 🙂 The race was along the Pennine Bridleway through the Peak District, mainly along old railway lines, so it was a pretty flat course.

Next up is the Great Lakeland 3 Day event! Beginning of May, bag myself some more Wainwrights! Although i need to get back into a training routine and sort my diet out. They have both been a bit lax recently!

Trip to Bath

Went on a little trip to Bath, never been to Bath before so first time. It is a really nice little town, it reminded me of a miniature version of Edinburgh. The buildings are all pretty awesome, obviously Bath is famous for the Crescent.


You can go into number one, its an open house, bit like the national trust ones. Well wroth going in and have a look round, why not if your in Bath might as well!

We mainly walked around for a few days, had some good food. We stopped in the Abby hotel, and ate here one night, good food, i can defiantly recommend. The hotel is in the centre and just across from the Abbey. A good place to stay.


Bath is an amazing place to walk round, there are so many little side streets with shops and great architecture. There are some awesome places to eat and drink. The best place to drink by far is the ‘Gin Bar’. I’m assuming everyone likes gin as much as me, cause frankly why wouldn’t you?


This is Pulteney Bridge, its one of the four bridges in the world to have shops across on both sides. The other three Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Ponte Rialto in Venice, and Kramerbrucke in Erfurt (Germany).



This is the Holburne Museum, which is worth a visit, the gardens to the rear are pretty good, and so is the cider in the cafe.

More Training

Not got as much training in as usual over the last two weeks or so, mainly because i had a bank holiday weekend trip to Bath.

Anyway I did a 10km on 18/08/2016, 13miles on 21st, 11miles on 26th and then yesterday a half marathon (04/09/2016). One of the main fuck ups was i trained my legs in the gym doing squats, lunges etc. this set me back a few days as it killed my legs. The event is on 1st October, which isn’t too far away. After that i’m not doing anymore long runs, my knees, feet and hips are a mess! i’m too old, plus i’ve lost like a stone in weight. This might not sound bad, but even with the extra stone i wasn’t fat just bigger muscles! I now way 12st 6 and before i was always around 13st 8. I think i’m going to stick to the sprint triathlons, so i can keep my weight more with these. I’ll stick to just hiking the Peaks 🙂

This is from the 13 miles on the 21st, again around the peak district.

This is going from Langsett Res towards River Derwent, this was the first time i’ve done this run and the views are awesome, and the terrain is so different all the way round, well worth it.

This is yesterdays run (04/09/2016), didn’t get any scenery pics, probably due to this being my back yard and it never crossed my mind to! This is a pretty flat, its all off road, on tails tracks and paths but its not got the climbs like the Peak District.

Training catch up

Ok, so i signed up for the North York Moors Coastal run, was looking at the half marathon, but decided to fuck it and jump on for the Marathon. IMG_4428.PNG

This is it, basically its across the Moors on the East Coast, for a bit of perspective, the fastest time this has been done is 4:05, thats more than 2 hours slower than a normal marathon!

These are a few of the runs i’ve done over the last 2 weeks, plus i’ve been swimming and some X-Training too. The first is me running to my sisters, around 10 mile, off road, few up hills and downhills, 10 mile all in all. Felt good after too. The next ones are my swimming session, followed by Nostel Parkrun, that was a bad time 26:45. I was going for around 23/24 mins, for some reason i ate a bag of sweets on the drive there! I threw up twice running road, lesson learnt!

The next one is the 6km one, this is 1km hill sprints. In total three sprints up, and three jogs back down, this is followed by the steady 10km on Thursday. This was a build up the the Saturday big run.


And this was Saturdays run, the time is a bit out due to me messing about to much, its more like 3:15. This was in the Peak district, up Win Hill, down to Hope, then back up towards Mam Tor, down to Edale before you get to actual Mam Tor. Then back round and back up to Win Hill. Very Hilly, took a few wrong turns, got lost in a field for 20 mins! but made it. Some awesome views too.

The problem i have, as you can see is Polar says 21.59km which is 13.4 miles. Garmin however says 21.91 miles which is 35.26km. This is a fucking huge distance to be out by! But using google maps and measure distance, i can roughly retrace the steps. Putting it at about 14 mile.

Few picks of the views.

Peak District

Towards Mam Tor

Looking to Mam Tor

Top of Win Hill

Top of Win Hill

Peak District – Training

Yesterday i went stomping around the peak district as the last weekend before the Fan Dance in Wales. Started off near the Yorkshire Bridge near Ladybower Res. Went to the top of Win Hill, which is a climb of 300meters in 1.2km, pretty steep climb. The record to get to the top is like 15 mins, so in comparison running a normally is like 4mins 30 secs.

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Thats the top of Win Hill.

This was mainly walking and some running on the flats, downhills, and a few inclines. The other week i did 19km in 2hours 30mins, this was 22km and took 4hours 50mins. Big difference! It is an absolute spectacular place.

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 12.37.32.png

Something a little bit like that, i actually don’t feel to bad today. My legs ache and i need a good stretch. I had a back pack on, around 30 – 35lbs. The weather was very hit and miss, sunny, windy, showers then full on rain and sleet, then back to sunny! made for an interesting time though. Saw plenty of kids doing the DofE too.

These are from the polar heart monitor, and fuck me does that drain the battery on my phone having this thing on all the time. From setting off with 100%, as soon as i got in my car the battery was dead. I have a portable charger, which i’ll have to remember to take next time, and on the Fan Dance too!


That is a view of the hill we walked up from Win Hill then down the valley through Edale back up and around back to Win Hill and down to Ladybower Res.


Last Sunday i ran from Penistone to Home, which is about 20km. Penistone/Oxspring is in Barnsley and is very hilly. Once out of the hills it was pretty much flat, this was on the Trans Pennine Trail. Pretty good run, i also had the backpack on, around 20kgs. I didn’t take enough water or food, major mistake. About 5km from home i’d run out of water, and i’d only taken a litre anyway! Amateur mistake, and all i’d eaten on the run was one Mars bar, which was munched on at random times along the run.

Through the week i mainly did gym work, few weights, rowing and swimming. This Saturday i did the 5km Parkrun at Nostell. Was the 100th run at Nostell big turn out, good run. I then went onto the gym, few weights and then a swim.

My plan was to go on a big run today, but i’ve woken up stiff! so i’ve smashed some Yoga this morning and i’m off to the gym later on. Big run will have to wait for the middle of the week!

Also i’ve found a Half Marathon across the North Yorkshire Moors in October, i’m signing up!