THE NOTCH AND THE CASTLE
Two miles out of Fort Bill on the Road to the Isles, its the last (or first) link in the Caledonian Canal
Here, King Neptune’s watery kingdom climbs up eight steps, to rise 64 feet out of the sea to Loch Lochy…… the longest rise in Britain. As well as the canal locks, there’s a decent pub. So fom a sunny table Amanda, Lizzie, Dave and I could get views back to The Ben whilst a good meal rounded off two grand days out.
We’d seized some rare Scottish summer sunshine to get onto the Aonach Eagach — The Notched Ridge of Glen Coe – on Friday.
Am Bodach is Gaelic for “Old Man”…….. quite right, I thought, as I sweat pints into my thin cotton shirt that hot morning. Just over an hour from the glen, brought us to its 943-metre summit and views of the ridge snaking westwards.
The clamber down the exposed ledges off Am Bodach has its claim to be considered the crux of the whole matter.
After that, some easy sauntering on grass eventually leads to the interesting pinnacly section. In ideal weather, this gave an hour’s entertaining scrambling up and over, down and round.
As the Clachaig path down is now discouraged, we swung northwards to finish on that superb viewpoint, the Pap of Glencoe.
Beers at the Clachaig ? Us ??
And my hitching thumb still works (eventually).
So we moved north, and Saturday morning gave us an easier start up the much-improved Allt a’Mhuilinn path towards The Ben.
Castle Ridge is the gentlest sister of the Ben’s four classic ridge climbs. Starting just below the CIC Hut, it rises from left to right, a 1000 foot sweep of rock though finishing some 2km from the summit, overlooking the Halfway Lochan.
At the beginning, its a pretty simple scramble – although the views are getting awesome.
500 feet up, the rope comes out, and the route quite quickly toughens up to stake its claim as being definitely a rock climb.
Dave led the crux chimney, which is not short of holds, but has some big-time exposure down to the right side. (“Thanks Dave….. but don’t take the photo just yet……. not until I’m……..” )
A classic route on an excellent day, straddling the boundary of the hardest scrambling and the easiest climbing. Although it does end “in the middle of nowhere’ leaving acres of loose stony waste to be negotiated (with various slips and slides) down down down down to the Halfway.
However it was from the stony heights that Neptune was first sighted, and basking with a pint in the sun gazing back at Castle Ridge was definitely the right place at the right time.
This is an index page for the Reports written in 2006. Click on the links and enjoy the read……
Winter Climbing Coire An t’Sneachda
The Genie and the Beast
Aladdins Couloir and Goat Track Gulley in conditions only just winter.
Club Winter Weekend 2006
The weekend saw teams on the Ben,
Aonach Mor, Aonach Eagach, Stob Coire nan
Lochan, Ring of Steall
& the Ballachulish Horse Shoe.
Boomerang Gulley, Glencoe, winter climbing
In the Hero’s footsteps
Andrew and Paul feel honoured on a route which was a W. H. Murray first ascent
Threading The Needle, Great Gable
Threading The Needle
A dampish April scramble through one of the most iconic locations in the Lake District.
Lurg Mhor wilderness expedition
The Cheesecake and the Policeman
Our May expedition to Bearnais bothy and the remote Munros of Bidein a’Choire Sheasgaich and Lurg Mhor.
A visit to climb at Pembroke in the sun.
Pyrenees Bike and Climb
Bon Escalades YMC team heads for some sunny action
Skye Main Ridge Traverse
Skye Take Two
Jim shares “one of the greatest adventures in the world’ as he and Tenk crack the Cuillin Ridge at the second attempt.
Fifteen in a Day
15 in a Day
Tenk and Howard get cracking from Lochnagar and zoom around Munro summits……with a few more on Sunday too !
Tower Ridge, Ben Nevis
An Eye-Full Tower
The west ridge of Ben Fhada proves a Saturday warm-up for the longest rock climb in Britain, the famous Tower Ridge on Ben Nevis, with its Eastern Traverse and awesome Tower Gap.
Rich Johnson’s Alpine exploits in July
Rich Johnson’s article on how to do it.
The Far North of Scotland
The Far North
Further away than Paris (but a lot less crowded) our team check out the stunning landscapes of furthest north….. Ben Hope, Conival and Ben More Assynt.
Glen Etive and beyond
Glen Etive & Beyond
October Munros, a party at Inbhirfhaolain and more mountains at Fersit.
Making the White Decisions
A wild and woolly time on Beinn Heasgarnich on Armistice Day, followed by a far corner of the Cairngorms at Carn an Righ by bike.