My Mountain Log

This page exists because I can never remember which mountains or routes I have climbed (or who with, or when, etc.). So here they are, without bothering too much with route details, pictures, etc. Most trips before mid-2005 are lost in memory, but for the record we did attempt the Matterhorn in 1993 (or was it 1994) and we did end up at Disneyland in 1995.

Mountain and climbing trips
Trip summary Date Accommodation Mountains/routes Highlights/incidents
Six of us - Ian H, Ian W, Dave, Steve, Adam and I - met up at the Y Giler Arms near Betws-y-Coed, making it in time for a meal and drinks on the Fri evening. The two Ian's went back on Sat evening as Ian H (after his first Welsh hills in 12 years) had a flight back to Canada the next day. Fri 25 Feb - Sun 27 Feb 2022 Y Giler Arms. Steve and Adam were in their vans and the rest of us inside. Sat - A 23 km round trip from Llanuwchllyn, taking in Aran Benllyn (885m), Erw y Ddafad-ddu (872m) and Aran Fawddwy (905m). The first two are subsidiary summits of Aran Fawddwy. It was a bit long for those of us who succumbed to injuries!
Sun - Trying to remember the names of the mountains, but it was an excellent 5-hour walk with a van and a car at either end ...
Amazing weather with clear skies the whole time plus a bit of wind (but nothing compared to Storm Dennis of the previous weekend) - the lady in the petrol station said it was the best weekend for months. Also terrific to get the six of us together for the first time in years and with the welcoming bar of the Y Giler Arms, what more could we want? Photos are here.
I pick up Ian at Newport Pagnell services and we drive to our Oban apartment, where we meet Dave and Steve, who had already been up here for four days and had done 10 Munros (in rather better weather than the forecast for the next few days!). Thurs 4 Nov - Tues 9 Nov 2021 Skerryvore (11 Morvern Hill, Oban) Fri - Ben Cruachan (1126m) and Stob Diamh (998m), with a wet descent ameliorated by a couple of pints at the Ben Cruachan Inn on the way back.
Sat - Wetherspoons and Coasters Bar. To be fair, this was a very wet and windy day.
Sun - Dave, Ian and I took a boat to Kerrera Island and walked round the southern half, including the very atmospheric Gylen Castle. We met Steve on the way back and then had a few in the bar of a town centre hotel.
Mon - Dave and I drove to Tyndrum and climbed Beinn Mhanach (953m) on a distinctly wet day. The farmer drove straight past us on the long walk back, but we felt purer for the experience. Afterwards, all four of us went for an excellent meal and night out at the Manor House.
Despite the weather, a great trip and terrific to be back in the Scottish mountains with everyone. Our cooked breakfasts and evening meals at the apartment (we took it in turns for the evening meals, though Ian and I did two joint ones) were culinary delights; we helped a man win £100 in Wetherspoons; and we watched a Roger Moore James Bond film without the sound in Coasters (For Your Eyes Only). Photos are here.
Dave and I drive to Snowdonia on Thursday eve in Dave's motor, where we meet Steve. Ian, Oscar, Adam and Ted join us at various times on the Friday. Thurs 17 Jun - Mon 20 Jun 2021 Nant Peris campsite (Cae Gwyn) opposite the Vaynol Arms Fri - Breakfast at the Moel Siabod Cafe in Capel Curig (we do this each day), then Tryfan (918m); Glyder Fach (994m); Glyder Fawr (999m). We skipped Y Garn, since the pub was calling.
Sat - Carnedd Dafydd (1044m); Carnedd Llewelyn (1064m).
Sun - Rhinog Fawr (720m); Rhinog Fach (712m).
Great to get back to the mountains after all the lockdowns! Breakfasts were excellent, weather much better than expected, the campsite as chilled as ever and the pub let us watch the rather disappointing England-Scotland match (before they banned football after the unruly behaviour of an ecstatic Scot). Photos are here.
Steve drove Dave and I to the Y Giler Arms near Betws-y-Coed and - with great skill - we made it for last orders. Ted turned up the next morning. Fri 29 Nov - Sun 1 Dec 2019 Y Giler Arms. We all slept in the B&B rather than camped (it was December). Sat - Moelwyn Bach (710m) and Moelwyn Mawr (770m)
Sun - Cnicht (689m)
An excellent mountain experience, with fine December weather and the welcoming bar and restaurant of the Y Giler Arms. Photos are here.
Dave and I met at Gatwick for breakfast and then fly to Barcelona, where we meet Adam, Ian and Oscar. We made the three-hour drive to La Massana, Andorra in two hire cars. Steve joined us on the Saturday, after his knowledge conference in Lisbon. Thurs 5 Sept - Wed 11 Sept 2019 Hotel Magic la Massana on the Thursday night; followed by the Apartaments Giberga for the rest of our stay. Fri - A walk through the forest above our apartment to a sun-dappled and restful Bony de les Neres (2212m). The route back included Adam's Diversion through impenetrable forest.
Sat - Dave, Guy, Oscar and Ian tackle the Via Ferrata Canal de Mora 1 from the road above Canillo. Half way up, Dave, Oscar and Guy took a deviation to the left - the Via Ferrata del Gos - which was harder than we expected! We rejoined Ian at the top and walked through the forest to the spectacular Roc del Quer viewing platform (1950m), complete with a sculpture of a man ("The Ponderer") sitting out over the end of the platform.
Sun - We parked in the car park at the Coll d'Ordina and climbed Pic de Casamanya (2740m), an excellent peak which we could see from our apartment.
Mon - An excellent walk up Andorra's highest mountain, Pic de Coma Pedrosa (2943m), from Arinsal.
Tues - A peaceful rest day to recover from Monday night's meal and beers (and complimentary bottle of peach schnapps). Strolled around town and drove to a misty border. Dave headed for an extended break in Perpignan.
Wed - The drive and flight back home, stopping for a few hours at the excellent Benedictine monastery and mountain retreat of Montserrat on the way.
The superb and sparsely frequented swimming pool at our apartment complex, where we took a relaxing sunbathe, swim and beer or two (at the adjoining cafe) after our daily excursions; the Swiss-type mountain and forest scenery; and, of course, the company of all. We didn't spot any pine martens, but you can't have it all. The Photos are here.
Dave, Ian, Steve and I drive to Roybridge on the Thursday, 12 miles east of Fort William, in Dave's car. We met Steve Bunn and Rider for the Friday walk. Thur 31 JanFeb - Tues 5 Feb 2019 The Little Houses, Roybridge, near Fort William Fri - Carn Dearg (945m), from the end of a track north of Newtonmore. There were hares aplenty and we almost lost Rider for a while. A very long eight-and-a-half-hour 21-kilometre slog with snowshoes!
Sat - Creag Meagaidh (1130m), with Ian and Dave, after being dropped at the side of the A86 by Steve.
Sun - Steve and Dave did A 'Chailleach (930m) and Carn Sgulain (919m), again from the track north of Newtonmore. Ian and I took a stroll to the local Cafe and then decided to do a six-mile round trip to the viewpoint for the Parallel Roads of Glen Roy, an Ice Age Landscape. Three parallel lines are in the hillside at 260m, 325m and 350m, created by glacier-dammed lakes about 12,000 years ago. See more information here.
Mon - Steve, Dave and Ian took the train to Corrour and did Chno Dearg (1046m) on the walk back to Fersit, where I picked them up at the end of a long and snowy track, with many deer around us.
Tues - The drive back home, with cooked breakfast on the way.
The excellent Stronlossit Inn, which only opened on the Saturday, just in time for Ian's birthday and Steve's final order of a gallon of whisky each; the mountains as ever; actually finishing Friday's walk; our skilled cooking (well, Ian's breakfasts and Dave's dinners, ably assisted by all, of course). Photos are here.
Dolomites via ferrata with Steve and Dave. Dave and I flew from Gatwick to Venice and met Steve (who was attending a conference in Padua) at the airport.
Sat 8 Sept - Sat 15 Sept 2018 An apartment in Cortina d'Ampezzo (Villa Ca Perosego, Localita Veroca), just up the road from the excellent Molo Pub. Sat - Meet Dave for breakfast at Gatwick, then flight to Venice Marco Polo, meet Steve, pick up our hire car, drive to Cortina, buy out the local grocery shop and discover the Molo Pub.
Sun - VF Michelli Strobel - Punta Fiames, 3B, 2240m.
Mon - VF Renato de Pol - Punta Ovest Del Forame, 2B, 2413m. This is the route myself, Steve and Nick tried to do back in 2004 but were beaten back as the via ferrata cables were snow-covered; and also where I found my 1894 Austrian coin. Unfortunately Steve was ill for this day and also for the Tues and Thurs trips, although he did some other peak walks.
Tues - Lagazuoi tunnels, reminding us of the epic walk we did the first day of our 2008 trip. This time we didn't combine it with the Punta Sud via ferrata. We took the cable from Passo Falzarego and first did a circular route past the Bivacco della Chiesa at 2650m (which is the start of the Punta Sud via ferrata). Then we climbed back down through 650m of old wartime tunnels and then a winding path to reach Passo Falzarego (as opposed to descending a scree slope in the dark as we did in 2008).
Wed - Bike ride with Steve - 34km route to Lake Durrensee (or Lago di Landro) and back, with historic railway tunnels, a scenic lake surrounded by mountains, a relaxing coke-and-apple-strudel place, and Steve riding like Chris Froome trying to get back for last orders.
Thur - Sentiero de Luca/Innerkofler - Monte Paterno, 2B, 2744m. There are excellent views of Tre Cima all around, and a 600m wartime tunnel at the start of the walk, which is near Rifugio Loccatelli. We also made it to the Rifugio Lavaredo for apple strudel on the way down.
Fri - Rifugio Lorenzi, 4C, 3000m. The idea was to do the VF Marino Bianchi - Cima Di Mezzo (2B, 3154m) via ferrata. However, the gondola to the start point of this was no longer running (and apparently the Rifugio Lorenzi closed in July 2016). So we took the chair lift from Rio Gere to the Rifugio Son Forca and then hacked up a 700m scree slope to the spooky and mist-bound Rifugio Lorenzi. At this point the weather was turning, so we went back the same way to apple strudel at the bottom and a final night in Cortina.
Sat - The return home ... via breakfast and shopping in Cortina, the War museum at Passo Falzarego (which was closed, although there was a good tea shop nearby), and evening flights back to London.
Magnificent Dolomites scenery, magnificent weather, apple strudel, the Molo Pub and Konig Ludwig, the usual catchphrases and a thoroughly chilling break! Photos are here.
We all make our way to the campsite opposite the Vaynol Arms in Nant Peris, arriving at various times and meeting for a welcome ale after after a tough afternoon's or evening's driving. I arrive about 10pm on the Friday and meet Ian, Oscar, Dave, Nick and Josh in the pub, and Steve arrives shortly after. Fri 29 Jun - Sun 1 July 2018 Nant Peris campsite (Cae Gwyn) opposite the Vaynol Arms Sat - The Snowdon Horseshoe (in reverse). Took the bus to Pen-y-Pass, then started up the Miners' Track and took in Y Lliwedd (898m) and Snowdon (1085m), before traversing the Crib Goch and Crib y Ddysgl ridges and then descending to the road through the usual lengthy, stumble-inducing mountainous terrain, finally walking a couple of kilometres back to the campsite.
Sun - We walked from the Nant Peris campsite taking in Elidir Fawr (924m) and Y Garn (947m). A welcome pint of apple juice and lemonade was had back at the pub before we all dispersed for our long drives home.
The best weather I can remember in Wales! Really good trip with excellent and reasonably long walks each day (especially considering the heat). Locked my keys in the car first day; Dave/Nick/Josh had some problems finding a decent breakfast; Nick skipped the second day but the fitness drive is on for the next trip! Photos are here.
Steve and I make our way to The Cairngorms in Steve's car, with our obligatory stay at the Carlisle M6 Travelodge on the Wednesday night. We meet up with Adam and Claire, Steve Bunn, Kevin and Greg at our accommodation, after an epic car journey through the snow. Wed 28 Feb - Tues 6 Mar 2018 Tomidhu Steading, Crathie, near Braemar Fri - a freezing Morven (857m), walking from the gear shop in Braemar
Sat - Geallaig Hill (743m)
Sun - Creag Leacach (987m), from the Glenshee ski centre
Mon - Glas Maol (1068m), from the Glenshee ski centre
The snowiest trip for a long time. Highlights include our discovery of snow shoes (they were brilliant), the Braemar mountain festival which included a meal on the Thursday and film festival on the Saturday, and Claire's cooking as ever (tragically, we had to cook our own on the final night). Photos are here.
Adam and I drove down to Y Giler Arms near Betws-y-Coed. We met Steve and Ted, who had already done a walk on the Friday, and Dave, for a meal and beers at the pub, which comes complete with welcoming fire. Fri 27 Oct - Sun 29 Oct 2017 Y Giler Arms. Adam and I are in Adam's caravan, Steve and Ted in Steve's van, and Dave in his tent. Sat - We parked at Bont Newydd (somewhere off the A55) and did a walk in the northern Carneddau, taking in Llywtmor (849m), Foel-fras (944m) and Tal y Fan (610m). The conditions were officially grim with wind, wet, etc.
Sun - A much sunnier day! We parked in a layby on the A5, near Carrog, and climbed Moel Fferna (630m) in the Berwyn range (except Ted, who had to head home in the morning).
An excellent end-of-October mountain experience, with two fine days in the mountains and the welcoming bar/restaurant of the Giler Arms. Couldn't be improved upon! Photos are here.
Dave, Steve, Nick and I make our way to Shiel Bridge in Dave's car. Adam and Claire (and Lui) travel up in Adam's car. Steve and Simon Bunn join us for most the time, dogs in tow, although Simon does have to get back for the birth of his daughter which happened on 10 March! Thur 2 Mar - Wed 8 Mar 2017 Woodlands Cottage on the A87 to Skye at Shiel Bridge Thur - Drive to Travelodge, Carlisle for the night.
Fri - A leisurely day, involving an excellent breakfast at Simon's in Glasgow (I believe we went to the wrong house first!), lunch at Fort William, some great scenery and finding our superb cottage.
Sat - Beinn Sgritheall (974m), followed by a trip to Dun Telve iron-age broch, the history of which Claire is an expert in.
Sun - The glorious, challenging and very snowy ridge route of the Five Sisters of Kintail, taking 10 hours and comprising three Munros, Sgurr na Ciste Duibhe (1027m), Sgurr na Carnach (1002m) and Sgurr Fhuaran (1067m), and two tops, Sgurr nan Spainteach (990m) and Sgurr nan Saighead (929m).
Mon - Carn Ghluasaid (957m) and Sgurr Nan Conbhairean (1109m) with Steve Bunn and Raasay, the black labrador Steve was looking after; the others went to Skye.
Tues - Creag nan Damh (918m)
Fantastic as ever. Photos are here.
Adam and I drive down to Y Giler Arms near Betws-y-Coed and meet Steve. Fri 9 Dec - Sun 11 Dec 2016 Y Giler Arms. Adam and I are in Adam's caravan, and Steve is in his camper van. Sat - Carnedd y Filiast (821m).
Sun - Gallt y Daren (619m), Moel Llyfnant (751m).
A December escape to the hills, with the wlecoming Giler Arms for evening meal and beer. What more could you want?
The Swiss Alps with Dave Anderson, Ian Wright and Oscar Wright Wed 24 Aug - Sun 4 Sept 2015 Stayed at Apartments Pauli in Saas Grund Wed - Drove to Dave's arriving about 4:00pm. Caught the Eurotunnel and then drove for approx. 3 hours to stay at Hotel ibis Chalons en Champagne for the night.
Thurs - Onwards to Saas Grund, arriving about 5:00pm at our excellent apartment, managed by Ivan (and his young son).
Fri - Via ferrata up Jegihorn (3206m), from Kreuzboden cable stop. An excellent via ferrata as per last year, but much better weather and views this time; we also found the wooden slat bridge between the mountainsides that we missed last year. Discovered Saas Grund's only (underground) nightclub though it was mostly empty.
Sat - Allalinhorn, F+ snow/glacier (4027m). Accessed via the Alpin Express cable from Saas Fee -> Morenia -> Felskinn -> Mittelallalin (3456m) (the latter via the Metro Alpin, a funicular or cable railway). Looked round the glacier cave afterwards. Superb conditions and Oscar's first 4000er (and Ian's first in 20 years) A celebration cocktail in the evening after Dave 'escaped' to Saas Fee, followed by the rest of us.
Sun - Alpine hiking traverse between Kreuzboden cable station and Saas Almagell, via hanging bridges (we advised the large contingent of Jews holidaying in the area to continue this route - hope they are ok!) and excellent apple strudel at Almagelleralp. Caught the cable down to Saas Almagell and walked back along the river via our campsite of last year where the owner Rob advised us to do the Strahlhorn.
Mon - To Britannia Hut (3030m) via the Alpin Express cable from Saas Fee -> Morenia -> Felskinn for tomorrow's ascent of Strahlhorn.
Tues - Strahlhorn, F+ snow/glacier (4190m). A 12 hour round trip including the time we got lost in the dark after the initial glacier and the final hour's rush from the hut to just make the cable station at Felskinn. One of our more gruelling descents! Weather was dodgy with mist and rain forecast but when we got towards the summit it was bright sunshine to make a superb summit!
Wed - Rest day. Rode bikes down from Kreuzboden.
Thurs - Ian drives us to Tasch and we all get the train to Zermatt, then Dave and I take the train to Rotenboden and walk up to Monte Rosa Hut in about 2h 45mins (2883m). Ian and Oscar check out Zermatt.
Fri - Dufourspitze (4634m). Breakfast at 2am and started out just before 3. Made the summit for 9:30. Superb and an ambition achieved! A 15 hour round trip including the walk back to Rotenboden. Ian picked us up from Tasch (after canyoneering) and then all out for mixed grill in Saas Grund ending up at the local nightclub until about 2am!
Sat - Did Sunday's hiking traverse in reverse, from Saas Almagell to Saas Grund, with an unscheduled 40 minute stay hanging on the chairlift (don't ask). A final pizza at Roby's in Saas Grund and a couple of beers and we're done for another year!
Sun - The long drive home, catching P&O ferry from Calais to Dover and finally arriving back in Winchester/Bedford about 11pm.
Superb alpine trip, stunning weather, great mountains and scenery, three 4000ers including Dufourspitze, terrific cafes/bars/restaurants/nightclub, our own barbecue, my film education progressed (Despicable Me, Independence Day 2). Oscar set to become a professional mountaineer in future. We still haven't worked out if the universe is a simulation, but next time.... Photos are here.
Dave, Steve, Fatima and I make our way to the Cairngorms in Dave's car. Adam and Claire (and Lui) travel up in Adam's car. We also meet up with Steve and Simon Bunn for the weekend, and Mandy pops by for a day. Wed 2 Mar - Tues 8 Mar 2016 Osprey Cottage, Alba Highland Cottages, Boat of Garten, near Aviemore, with a stop at Carlisle M6 Travelodge on the Wednesday night. All in the same Travelodge this year! Thur - All of us taking in Ben Chonzie (931m) on the journey up.
Fri - Sgairneach Mhor (991m), Beinn Udlamain (1011m) and A'Mharconaich (975m) on the A9. Dave, Nick and I had previously done the fourth mountain in this group (Geal Charn (917m)) in 2014.
Sat - Carn Aosda (917m), Carn a'Gheoidh (975m) and The Cairnwell (933m) with Dave, Steve, Adam, Simon and Steve. All dominated by the Glenshee Ski Centre but easy to knock off 3 Munros here. The wind was fierce and our descent following the lines of the cable lift was dodgy!
Sun - Creag Pitridh (924m) and Beinn a'Chlachair (1087m) with Dave, Steve, Adam and Simon. These were the two mountains we could have done in 2014 when we got into a whiteout on Geal Charn. We all split on this route today - Steve did Geal Charn and Craig Pitridh with Simon (as he didn't do Geal Charn before); Dave and I did Creag Pitridh and Beinn a'Chlachair; Adam did Creag Pitridh. Amazingly we all met up later.
Mon - We went various ways: Dave to see Alan; Steve/Claire/Adam for a low level walk; and myself on the bus to the Highland Wildlife Park with polar bears, wildcats, red squirrels et al.
Fantastic as ever. Great apartment, great food, great mountains, great company ... and I saw a red squirrel (and almost ran it over). Have I missed anything? Photos are here.
Adam and I drive down to Y Giler Arms near Betws-y-Coed. We meet Steve and Fatima who are staying outside in the camper van (fated to breakdown before the weekend is out). Fri 27 Nov - Sun 29 Nov 2015 Y Giler Arms Sat - Moel Sych (827m). Very strong winds and we had to carry poor Lui down the peak since his legs stopped working (but he was ok afterwards).
Sun - Drive home via a cultural experience at a castle (Adam will have to remind me which one) without taking on a peak, on the grounds the weather was truly terrible. Steve and Fatima followed later since the van broke down at the pub.
A highly welcome November mountain experience, decent pub/accommodation and Moel Sych is an excellent mountain.
The Swiss Alps with Dave Anderson Wed 26 Aug - Sun 6 Sept 2015 Stayed at Camping Mischabelin in Saas Grund until Wednesday, whereafter we booked an apartment in town given the alternative prospect of 4 days camping in the rain; though as it happened the weather in the valley stayed mostly ok. Wed - Drove to Dave's arriving about 5:00pm. Caught the Eurotunnel and then drove for approx. 3 hours to stay at H�tel Campanile Chalons En Champagne for the night.
Thurs - Onwards to Saas Grund, arriving about 5:00pm after a number of navigation errors. I blame the Swiss motorways, and the French ones, and the signs. Set up camp, a deluxe meal chez Anderson on the camp stove and then a beer or two.
Fri - Weissmies, PD snow (4017m) via the (almost) first cable car from Saas Grund to Hohsaas (cable car is two hops: Saas Grund -> Kreuzboden -> Hohsaas). Apparently a Spanish climber had perished here a couple of weeks ago, going off route on his own and falling into a crevasse.
Sat/Sun - Mischabel Hut (3340m) on the Saturday via the Hannig cable car from Saas Fee and a 3 hour slog up to the hut; followed by Nadelhorn, PD snow (4327m) on the Sunday. Fantastic climb (though crowded at the top) and set to rights our retreat from this mountain in 2009. A long trek down! Walked into Saas Fee and back in the evening along the chapel path track.
Mon - Rest day, though we did take the cable car up to Kreuzboden and took an extended walk down (the Swiss signs up there are not great!).
Tues - Plan was for Dufourspitze (4634m) via the Monta Rosa Hut, but the weather was not looking good so had to satisfy ourselves with an Alpine hiking traverse between Kreuzboden cable station and Saas Almagell, via hanging bridges and excellent apple strudel at Almagelleralp ... catching the cable down to Saas Almagell with about 1 minute to spare.
Wed - Via ferrata up Mittaghorn (3143m), the mountain that overlooked our campsite. Accessed via the Alpin Express cable car from Saas Fee to the Morenia mid station. Some highly spooky stones were balanced on their edges at the top - how they had stayed like this (there was no one else on the mountain) I have no idea. Marmots? Ghosts?
Thurs - Via ferrata up Jegihorn (3206m), from Kreuzboden cable stop. An excellent via ferrata with mist and snow at the top and a persistent sparrow-like alpine bird stalking us. There was apparently a single wire bridge we could have taken that we could see in the distance, but we couldn't see the route to it in the mist.
Fri - Allalinhorn, F+ snow (4027m). Accessed via the Alpin Express cable from Saas Fee -> Morenia -> Felskinn -> Mittelallalin (3456m) (the latter via the Metro Alpin, a funicular or cable railway). Looked round the glacier cave afterwards. An evening at the Free Pub in Saas Fee in the evening with pizza and an unstable walk (Dave!) back along the forest track to Saas Grund.
Sat - Did Tuesday's hiking traverse in reverse, from Saas Almagell to Saas Grund, and once again ended up walking down to Saas Grund (ended up on the wrong path for the cable station at Kreuzboden either due to bad signs or incompetence).
Sun - The long drive home, catching DFDS Seaways ferry from Calais to Dover and finally arriving back in Winchester about midnight. Dave nauseous on way back, though it could have been Alpine withdrawal symptoms.
Superb alpine trip, with four days of excellent weather to start and the ascent of Weissmies and Nadelhorn, then weather that was fine for hiking and via ferrata and a final great day with the ascent of Allalinhorn. Nadelhorn a particualr highlight; disappointing not to be able to give Dufourspitze a go but it's there for next time. The via ferratas were great plus the hiking, beer, apple strudel, general views, plus my film education culminating in viewings of Ex Machina and Interstellar. Also the English groups we kept meeting (3 northerners, father and daughter at campsite, Birmingham couple from map shop and blokes at car park who said 'instead of scaring ourselves in the Alps, we just do via ferrata now'. Photos are here.
The Alps for a mountaineering course with Icicle Sun 5 Jul - Sat 18 Jul 2015 Stayed in Chamonix in an apartment on the South side, with nightlife centred around the Munster bar square and nearby restaurants. Mon - Practising ice skills on the Mer de Glace, France's largest glacier. Took the train from Chamonix to Montenvers and then climbed down a system of ladders to the glacier. There are also tourist attractions around Montenvers associated with the glacier.
Tues - Pointe Lachenal (3613m) from the Aiguille du Midi (reached via 2 cable lifts from Chamonix -> Plan de l'Aiguille -> Aiguille du Midi). We also did a rock route culminating at the Cosmiques Refuge.
Wed - Crochues traverse, PD grade, 2840m, from Index cable station which is reached via 2 cable lifts from Les Praz (to La Flegere and then Index); stopping at the blue waters of Lac Blanc (and its Refuge/cafe) on the way back.
Thur/Fri - Aiguille du Tour, F grade, 3542m, staying at the Albert Premier Hut on the Thurs night.
Sat/Sun - weekend off! Took the cable car to the Aiguille du Midi on the Sat and acted as a tourist around Chamonix on the Sun; also went to an English service at Chamonix Protestant Church on the Sun and a climbing competition was ongoing in the central square.
Mon - Petite Aiguille Verte (3512m), starting from Grand Montets cable station (reached via 2 cable lifts from Argentiere -> Lognan -> Grand Montets). We didn't climb the top section, but just to the rock; also spend some time practising crevasse rescue.
Tues - Cosmiques Arete, AD grade, from the Aiguille du Midi. We were mobbed when we climbed the ladder back to the Aiguille du Midi station at the end.
Wed/Thur - Mont Blanc, PD grade, (4810m). Climbed via the Gouter route starting from Nid D'Aigle (eagle's nest) at 2372m which was reached via the Bellevue cable from Les Houches and then the Mont Blanc Tramway to Nid d'Aigle. We stayed at the Gouter hut (3817m) and reached the summit at 06:45 on Thurs morning. The route was closed the next day due to danger at the Grand Couloir and we saw some bad rockfall just after we passed this coming back.
Fri - day off! Did a forest walk from Chamonix to the Plan de l'Aiguille and then caught the cable back and went for a swim at the Chamonix outdoor pool.
A magnificent two weeks in Chamonix with exellent weather and mountains, the undoubted highlight being the ascent of Mont Blanc. The people on the course were excellent, Chamonix was terrific with a great outdoor swimming pool at the foot of Mont Blanc plus all the restaurants and bars you need. A deep shock to find myself back at work afterwards! Photos are here.
Isle of Wight circumnavigation with Betty and Hector - all 70 miles! Rob, Andrea and Lisa were guests for the Saturday, and Jane for Fri eve and Sat. Betty's parents were on the island and provided logistic expertise by placing cars in the right place so we could return to our Freshwater base each evening. Thurs 2 Apr - Sun 5 Apr 2015 Seahorses, Freshwater, a bed and breakfast with its own art studio (I didn't demonstrate my skills). Thur - Caught the Red Funnel ferry from Soton to Isle of Wight, making our ferry with about 5 seconds to spare thanks to a dash across the carpark. Drove to Freshwater and did the first six miles of our walk around the Needles to save time on the Sunday - from Compton Bay to Totland Bay in deep mist.
Fri - From Freshwater to Cowes and slightly beyond; then back to Cowes for a meal at Brauns restaurant with Betty's parents and sister.
Sat - From Cowes to Ventnor, with superb coastline scenery along the final stretch. Joined by Rob, Andrea and Lisa for the day. Had an excellent takeaway back at the B+B after a long day!
Sun - From Ventnor to Freshwater and done! Found a desperate lack of refreshment stops on the homeward stretch, but were greeted by the salvation of an ice cream van in the nick of time.
A tremendous Easter weekend - good fun and terrific scenery all the way, and great credit to Betty who kept laughing despite the blisters. Photos are here.
Dave, Steve, Fatima and I make our way to the Cairngorms in Dave's car. Adam and Claire (and Lui) travel up in Adam's car. We also meet up with Steve Bunn on the Sunday night and for Monday's walk. Wed 4 Mar - Tues 10 Mar 2015 Osprey Cottage, Alba Highland Cottages, Boat of Garten, near Aviemore, with a stop at Carlisle M6 Travelodge on the Wednesday night. For some reason, Adam and Claire were in a different Travelodge! Thur - Taking in Meall Chuaich (951m) on the journey up.
Fri - A' Bhuidheanach Bheag (936m) and Carn na Caim (941m).
Sat - Schiehallion (1083m) with Dave. We watched Arsenal beat Man U in the Cup quarter-final in the evening.
Sun - Ben Klibreck (961m), in the far north (the second most northerly Munro). Dave took a circuitous route back.
Mon - We did a low level walk in some terrible weather! Not sure where, but I remember a lake ...
I've written this a few months after the event so some of the details are sketchy, but it was as terrific as our Scotland trips always are. I remember some ferocious winds. Ben Klibreck in the north was a highlight, the mountain standing alone; it started out bright and I remember insisting the weather would stay good on the way up - no chance. Other highlights - the Winking Owl in Aviemore, Claire's excellent cooking (I believe I helped with the curry), plus the cottage we stayed at was terrific. Photos are here.
Dave, Steve, Nick and I make our way to Fort William in Dave's car. Adam and Claire (and Lui) travel up in Adam's car. We also met up with Steve Bunn (doing a diving course) on the Thursday and Monday nights. Wed 5 Feb - Tues 11 Feb 2014 Seangan Croft cottages in Banavie, with a stop at Carlisle M6 Travelodge on the Wednesday night. Thur - We took in Ben Lomond (974m) on the journey up.
Fri - Beinn a' Chaorainn (1052m) for Steve, Adam and I. We could have continued to Beinn Teallach (915m), but the weather came in at the top so we backtracked accompanied by an outdoor photographer and writer who had soloed a climb to the summit - expect to see our photos in Trail shortly! Dave did a climb on Ben Nevis (Ledge Route, grade 2).
Sat - Low level walk through Glen Nevis to Steall Falls, taking in a rope suspension bridge at the end. Followed by watching a forgettable football match in the pub.
Sun - Geal Charn (1049m), which was great - a long walk in along a track and a snow plod to a col and then up the mountain - until we hit the worst whiteout any of us could remember at the summit. It took about 45 minutes to get out of it with a blizzard in our faces and a couple of falls down mini-cornices for Dave and I. We elected not to go on to Creag Pitridh (924m) which was also completely invisible, content to trudge for hours through the rain back along the track.
Mon - Geal Charn (917m), just past Dalwhinnie, for Dave, Nick and I. A roadside Munro, up and down in 3 hours ... and we actually had some decent visibility. Potentially there is a circular route of 4 Munros here - we'll save that for the summer.
Doing Ben Lomond on the way up, so adding an extra mountain day; the whiteout at the top of Geal Charn (in retrospect!); excellent meals che Claire; the second Geal Charn mouintain on the last day where we had clear visibility; the meal at Crannog restaurant on the last day, followed by some truly terrible jukebox choices at the Maryburgh Inn (Adam). Photos are here.
Dave, Ted and I meet at Steve's and drive to Snowdonia in Dave's motor. Steve joins us on the Sat evening after flying back from the US. Fri 15 Nov - Sun 17 Nov 2013 Nant Peris campsite (Cae Gwyn) opposite the Vaynol Arms Sat - Breakfast at the Pinnacle Cafe in Capel Curig, then Glyder Fach (994m); Glyder Fawr (999m); Y Garn (947m); Glyder Fawr (again).
Sun - After finding (gasp) that the Gwynant Cafe was closed, Dave and I found some breakfast at Beddgelert Bistro and Antiques, then met up with Steve and Ted, who had concocted some broth or such in the van, and ascended Cader Idris (893m) from Minfford car park
Making the Vaynol Arms by about 2 minutes for last orders on the Friday; a generally pleasant mid-November excursion (no rain).
Dave and I meet at Steve's then drive up to Ullapool in my car for some walking in the Northern Higlands. We meet up with Alan at various times, who has arranged a cottage for us for free. Fri 20 Sept - Thurs 26 Sept 2013 An excellent cottage in Letters, near Ullapool. It is half way up the mountain and involves a daily hillside scramble to get to it! Fri - After each of us encouter horrendous traffic on the way to meeting at Steve's we make the strategic decision to go down the pub with Steve and leave the journey until Saturday.
Sat - Dave and I drive to Ullapool. Steve is not coming as he doesn't have the holiday.
Sun - Three out of the nine Fannaichs: Meall a'Chrasgaidh (934m); possibly Carn na Criche (961m), although this is not classified as a separate Munro; Sgurr nan Clach Geala (1093m) - via a long diversion and a wet cliffside scramble, due to some dodgy navigation in the mist; Sgurr nan Each (923m)
Mon - Slioch (980m) from Incheril car park near Kinlochewe on the A832
Tues - A scenic coast drive from Lochinver through Drumbeg followed by a pint at Kylesku (near the award winning bridge); then Glas Bheinn (Assynt) (776m) from the roadside on the A894
Wed - Excellent coastal walk along the Scoraig peninsular starting at the end of the road to Badrallach (Alan suggested the route, and came along)
Thur - The long drive home
The view from the cottage; the desperate walk up to the cottage each evening after a long day out (we made sure to only do it once a day); the remoteness of this area - again we met almost no one on the mountains; climbing the cliff-face to get back on route on the Fannaichs; Slioch, despite the unkillable flying insects and ticks and that it almost killed Dave (he had flu-ish symptoms); Ullapool's hospitality - The Seaforth Inn for dinner; The Ferry Boat Inn (despite the 'ensemble' music); The Tea Store for breakfast; The Gallery Cafe above North West Outdoors. Photos are here.
Dave, Jasmine, Steve and I meet at Steve's and drive to Snowdonia in Steve's excellent camper van. Fri 23 Aug - Mon 26 Aug 2013 Nant Peris campsite (Cae Gwyn) opposite the Vaynol Arms Sat - After breakfast at Pete's Eats in Llanberis and an encounter with a bat, we walked from our Nant Peris campsite taking in: Elidir Fawr (924m); Foel Goch (831m); Y Garn (947m). Dave did a walk of his own, probably involving some precarious scrambling, after Jasmine and Dave retreated part way through the main walk.
Sun - First breakfast at the Gwynant Cafe near Beddgelert, then all of us walked: Moel Lefn (638m); Moel yr Ogof (655m); Moel Hebog (782m)
Mon - Breakfast at the Pinnacle Cafe in Capel Curig, then Moel Siabod (872m) via a mild scramble up the Daear Ddu ridge.
Excellent weather for once and a full three days due to the bank holiday; the drawing room of Steve's van where we all retired after the pub for music, refreshment and intelligent conversation. Photos are here.
Dave, Josh, Steve and I meet at Steve's and drive to Snowdonia in Steve's newly purchased camper van, where we meet Ian and Oscar, Adam, Ted and Naomi. Fri 26 Apr - Sun 28 Apr 2013 A car park in Beddgelert on the Friday for those of us in the van, then we joined the rest of them at Beddgelert Camping in the Forest Sat - Snowdon (1085m) via the Watkin path; followed by something else, I forget what
Sun - Mynydd Mawr (698m)
Meetign up with everyone - a cast of thousands!; trying out Steve's camper van
Adam, Claire, Dave, Steve, Nick and I (and Lui) make our way to Ullapool for some winter walking in the Northern Higlands. Dave and Adam took their cars. We also met up with Steve Bunn on the Monday, and Alan (living in Ullapool) for breakfast and down the pub. Wed 6 Feb - Tues 12 Feb 2013 Ardmair Point Self Catering Chalets Fri - Meall nan Ceapraichean (977m) for Dave and Guy in a 10 hour journey, with a diversion to look at the grade 3 Orangeman's Gully (which we rejected); Cul Mor (849m) for Steve, Adam, Claire and Nick.
Sat - The excellent Achnahaird Bay low level circuit (8km)
Sun - A magnificient odyssey to the far North of Scotland and in particular the most northerly Munro, Ben Hope (927m), which was conquered in the face of relentless winds. The journey back along the northern coast provided superb scenery including a stopover at Smoo Cave.
Mon - Conival (987m) for Dave, Adam, and (partially) Claire and Steve B; a flight to Oslo for Steve N; the modest Ullapool Hill (c. 200m) for Guy; and a stroll into town for Nick.
Having not seen anyone in four days of walking when we were last here two years ago, this time we did meet another pair climbing Ben Hope (one of them doing his third last Munro); apart from that though we met nobody on the mountains - a superbly remote and scenic area. Highlight probably Ben Hope and the far north coast of Scotland, but just generally superb being here with the gang. Photos are here.
Dave, Steve and I meet at Steve's and drive to Snowdonia, where we meet Ted, Naomi, Joanne and Trav. Fri 9 Nov - Sun 11 Nov 2012 Nant Peris campsite (Cae Gwyn) opposite the Vaynol Arms Sat - Glyder Fach (994m) via the Bristly Ridge scramble; Glyder Fawr (999m)
Sun - Cader Idris (and summit hut) (893m) from Minfford car park (regrouping afterwards at the tea rooms at the bottom)
Two good days walking, meeting great new people, walking off Glyder Fawr in the dark, Sat night in the pub, reasonably dry camping! Photos are here.
Ten days in the French Alps with Steve, Dave and Warwick. Logistics: my own humble space machine for transport, allied with the Dover-Calais ferry. Fri 31 Aug - Sun 9 Sept 2012 Neil's Tacconaz apartment, near Chamonix Sat - Mont Lachat, 2113m, hiking from the Bellevue station, then back to meet Steve who flew out on the Sat.
Sun - Lac Blanc, walking from Les Praz, 2352m
Mon-Tues - Aiguille de la Berangere, staying at Conscrits Hut on Mon night, PD snow, 3512m. Original plan was the Domes de Miage but it was out of condition (the second time we haven't been able to do this). We also tried out the new (summer) path to the Conscrits; though we returned by the usual Tre-la-Tete glacier - going slightly off-route after leaving the glacier resulting in an unscheduled river crossing.
Wed - Les Gailland, low level climbing at Chamonix crags, followed by drinking
Thurs - Remarkably little, though we did walk into Chamonix and back
Fri - Crochues traverse, PD rock, 2840m, from Index cable station and walking back to Les Praz since we missed the last cable down from La Flegere.
Sat - Cosmique Hut, via Aiguille du Midi cable station, 3613m
Just being in the Alps, The Crochues, Cosmique Hut, Lac Blanc, Kitsch Inn, top of Berangere, Wed night's drinking (and walk back to the car), Warwick's sandwiches, Lord of the Rings. Photos are at Alps 2012 photos.
Adam, Claire, Dave, Steve and I (and dog) head to Onich near Fort William for some winter walking. Adam and Dave driving. Thur 2 Feb - Tues 7 Feb 2012 Inchree Chalets (with onsite pub) Fri - Forgotten Twin (Grade II winter, led by Dave) on Aonach Mor for Dave and I. Everyone else climbed Ben Nevis.
Sat - Joined by Simon for the ascent of Stob Dubh (Buchaille Etive Beag) (958m) on a very wet day. We had the option to climb to climb the second Munro on this mountain (Stob Coire Raineach at 925m) - a col leads to both summits, but it was so miserable we passed on the second one. A personal misjudgement on the river leap at the end left me hobbling and with Sunday off. Phone ruined by the rain.
Sun - Rest / low-level day, except for Dave who managed an epic (and to lose his ice axe) in 6 hours on some mountain whose name escapes me.
Mon - A fantastic day in the mountains - superb weather and a great route in the snow. Summited Sgor na h-Ulaidh (994m). Haggis back at the chalet chez Claire.
Surviving another ice climb with Dave, Monday's superb walk, just being back with the 'team' after last year's hip op - here's to many more! Photos are here.
Adam, Dave, Steve and I make our way to Ullapool for some winter walking in the Northern Higlands. We take my car which just about survives the trip. Thur 3 Feb - Tues 8 Feb 2011 Ardmair Point Self Catering Chalets Fri - From Adam's book of excellent non-Munro mountains ... Stac Pollaidh (613m), from the car park next to Loch Lurgain
Sat - An excellent day on the Fannaichs. Starting from the dam at Lochdrum (on the A835), the following mountains were conquered (at least by Dave and Guy) - Carn na Criche (961m) (a Munro Top); Sgurr Mor (1110m); Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich (954m)
Sun - From a car park somewhere on the A837 we spent the day on Quinag which is a massif with several peaks - the ones we climbed were Sail Gharbh (808m) and Sail Gharm (776m)
Mon - There are two peaks on An Teallach and we climbed Bidein a' Ghlas Thuill (1062m)
The unbelievable fact that we saw no-one at all (not even at the car parks or in the far distance) in four full days of walking; my car surviving the trip; Adam's sandwiches; the Seaforth Inn in Ullapool - for food; The Ferry Boat Inn in Ullapool - for an evening of 'local ensemble' music. Photos are here.
Dave, Steve and I meet at Steve's and drive to Snowdonia. Fri 19 Nov - Sun 21 Nov 2010 Dolbadarn Sat - The Cwm Lllafar horseshoe from Bethseda: Carnedd Dafydd (1044m); Carnedd Llewelyn (1064m); Yr Elen (962m)
Sun - Arenig Fawr (854m)
I don't entirely recall but it was the Dolbadarn, so you can guess the story. We did watch District 9 on the Sat night once we'd worked out the video. Photos are here.
Dolomites via ferrata with Steve and Dave, taking in the Loreley 'Night of the Prog' festival on the way; driving across Europe in Dave's Audi.
Fri 3 Sept - Sat 11 Sept 2010 A chalet down the road from Passo Falzarego, not too far from Cortina d'Ampezzo - hosted by Fabio (moonlighting from his England job), Nennard and Valentina (see Camping Sass Dlacia). Fri - Early morning ferry, then drive to Lorely, Germany
Fri night - Sun morning - Loreley 'Night of the Prog' festival
Sun - Drive to Dolomites
Mon - VF Tomaselli - Punta Sud, 5C, 2980m
Tues - Walk (due to rain) from Rist. Pietofana to Forc de Ra Vales, approx 2300m
Wed - Mountain biking - Plateau of Pralongia - circular 25km route from San Cassiano, 680m ascent, highest point approx 2100m at Pralongia
Thur - VF Brigata Tridentina, 3C, 2585m
Fri - VF Marmolada West Ridge to Punta Penia summit, 4C, 3343m; aborted due to ice on the via ferrata route
Sat - Desperate drive across Europe ... to get the 00:55 ferry back to Dover and then kip at Dave's for the night
Loreley 'Night of the Prog' festival - a magnificient amphitheatre above the Rhine with a great atmosphere, some good music and meeting some great new people; Dave's phantom bridge over the Rhine; losing Richard somewhere on a scree slope; pizzas; apple strudel at the top of the Brigata Tridentina; Konig Ludwig; mountain biking; the Marmolada glacier - need to come back for that when it's in season. Photos are here.
Clarendon Way, 24 mile walk from Salisbury Cathedral to Winchester Cathedral (plus extra couple of miles for getting lost).
Sat 24 July 2010 Not applicable, just a day walk Scenic country walk Making it to the Black Boy!
Adam, Ian, Dave, Steve and I make our way to Aviemore for some walking/climbing in the Cairngorms. Adam and Ian drive after we meet up by way of some convoluted logistics. Wed 17 Feb - Sun 21 Feb 2010 Aviemore Bunkhouse Thur - Steve, Adam and I for this (Dave and Ian were climbing elsewhere): Navigated a very icy road to the car park just short of Achlean, followed by an eight hour round trip to ascend Mullach Clach a Bhlair (1019m)
Fri - All of us together today: ascent of a snowy A' Challeach (930m).
Sat - Dave, Ian and I: Park at Cairngorm Ski Centre and walk in to Coire an Lochain to climb The Vent, a 100m gully climb (Grade II/III, led by Dave); then a ten yard stroll to the summit of Cairn Lochan (1215m) [Note: Cairn Lochan is not an official mountain (or a Munro), but a 'top']
Unbelievable weather - loads of snow before we came, but completely clear during the trip (although very cold, -17 in the mornings); once again Ian's cooking, ineptly aided by his trusty assistant; all 3 mountain days, superb scenery; the expected five minutes of pure desperation on The Vent; The Old Bridge Inn, next to the bunkhouse. Photos are here.
Ted, Dave, Steve and I meet at Steve's and drive to Snowdonia. Fri 16 Oct - Sun 18 Oct 2009 Dolbadarn Sat - Circular walk from Nant Peris taking in: Elidir Fawr (924m); Foel Goch (831m); Y Garn (947m)
Sun - Circular horseshoe ridge from Minfford car park taking in: Cader Idris (893m); Mynydd Moel (863m) [to be accurate the entire mountain is called Cader Idris and the main 893m summit is known as Penygadair, with Mynydd Moel a minor summit]
The Dolbadarn was the star as ever. In addition: making last orders on the Fri night (never in doubt); superb weather and a great walk on the Sat; Dave and Ted asleep in their curries and the pub; a good walk on the Sun (despite mist). Photos are here.
Swiss Alps: Dave and I drive to Saas Fee via the Dover-Calais ferry, arriving Sat afternoon; Steve joins us on the Sunday via flight to Geneva (then train and bus) after attending a wedding; we all drive back together, via Paris as it turns out. Sat 29 Aug - Sat 5 Sept 2009 House Royal in Saas Fee (next to the Bakery) Sat - drive to Saas Fee
Sun - Weissmies (4017m)
Mon - Lagginhorn (4010m)
Tues - Mischabel Hut (3340m) - base for Nadelhorn climb
Wed - Nadelhorn (4327m) - aborted close to summit
Thur - rest day / beers / meal (in theory)
Fri - drive to Paris, as weather has come in
Sat - Paris culture, then drive back (via ferry) in evening
- The superb setting of Saas Fee
- Nadelhorn; even though we didn't quite make the top, there were only 7 people on the mountain and the scenery and remoteness were superb.
- The other two 4000ers, both great days out
- The guy keeping the cable car open for us, coming down from Lagginhorn
- Swiss 'rule obsession': "You're too late", "Maybe", "No, you're too late"; "We're closed for lunch" ... and as an extreme example, the Mischabel Hut 'Bergfuhrer': "Nicholas, what are you doing, you haven't signed in"; "You're sleeping the wrong way round"
- Saas Fee bars: Popcorn (The 'Dutch bar') and The Alpen Pub
- Paris ... but not the roundabout on the way out
Photos are at Alps 2009 photos.
Kilimanjaro trip arranged by Exodus, with all ground operations contracted to The African Walking Company - 12 of us meet at Kilimanjaro Airport and take it from there.


Quick note on Kilimanjaro: Kili is made up of three extinct/dormant volcanoes - Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira. The real summit is Uhuru Peak (5895m) and is the top of Kibo - this is the highest point in Africa; in addition there is a sub-peak to the east at Mawenzi (5149m) which would rate as Africa's third highest mountain if it was a peak to itself (with Mt Kenya as the second highest). Shira has eroded to a plateau, with the remains of a crater rim on the south. Tanzania's second highest mountain, Mt Meru (4566m), can often be seen during the ascent of Kilimanjaro.
Mon 29 Jun - Fri 10 Jul 2009 The Ilboru Safari Lodge in Arusha for the first and last days; mountain campsites for the rest Mon - leave Heathrow to fly to Kilimanjaro via Nairobi
Tues - arrive Kilimanjaro airport 09:00, transfer to Ilboru Safari Lodge
Wed - drive to Londorossi National Park Gates for registration then onwards (via a ditch) before starting our walk, ending up at Shira One (3550m)
Thurs - To Shira Hut (3840m) via Shira Cathedral
Fri - To Moir Hut (4200m), with acclimatization walk to the summit of the Lent Hills (4600m-ish)
Sat - To Lava Tower camp (4550m) with acclimatization walk to the Arrow Glacier (4800m)
Sun - To Karanga camp (4000m) via the Barranco Wall
Mon - To Barafu campsite (4600m)
Tues - To the top ! Reach Uhuru Peak (5895m) at 06:30 via Stella Point (5735m); then back down to Barafu for breakfast/lunch and onwards to Millenium camp (3800m)
Wed - Down through the Forest to Mweka National Park Gates and on to Mweka for lunch and transfer back to Ilboru Safari Lodge; food, beers and swim, although missed out on the Masai Camp!
Thur An epic tale of cancelled flights (for me), starting with a wake-up call at 03:30 and climaxing with meeting the rest of the group at about 22:00 at Nairobi (wouldn't have had it any other way)
Fri - Arrive at Heathrow and back to normality (or is it)

Note: all heights subject to recalibration by Calum
Terrific people, terrific experience. Almost impossible to pick out highlights ... but here's a shot:

- The top, and almost as much, Stella Point because we knew we were nearly there
- Lazing outside the tents and in the mess at Barafu after the summit - The beer at Millenium camp
- Bjorn's speech
- The group's expert animal impersonations
- A beer at the airport after a very long day !
- Most of all ... just being on the trail, in the mess tent or around camp sharing the experience

Photos are at Kilimanjaro photos.
Steve, Adam and I fly from Stansted to Kerry, pick up Nissan Note hire car and drive to Adam's mum's house in Kenmare, County Kerry. Fri 5 May - Mon 4 May 2009 Adam's mum's house for two nights; Sunday night at Mike's house in Castlegregory, near Dingle. Sat - MacGillicuddy's Reeks, taking in Caher (1001m) and Carrauntoohil (1038m)
Sun - Hungry Hill (685m), Beara Peninsula (also called Cnoc Daod)
Mon - Dingle for lunch, hungover
The ridge walk on Saturday taking in Ireland's highest and third highest mountains (the second highest, Beenkeragh at 1010m, is on the list); Adam's mum's cooking; Irish band and night out at Ned Natterjacks in Castlegregory; Mike's cooking; being converted to Dark Side of the Moon and Marillion (for one night only) after returning from the pub. Photos are here.
Steve and I fly from Gatwick to Inverness and drive hire car to Fort William, Scotland; we meet up with Ian, Nick, Dave and Adam who have driven. Thurs 5 Feb - Mon 9 Feb 2009 Calluna, Fort William - run by Alan Kimber Fri - Sgurr Thuilm (963m), from Glenfinnan Visitor Centre. [Steve, Guy, Adam and Nick; Dave and Ian were climbing]
Sat - Gulvain (987m), from the South. [Steve, Guy, Adam, Dave and Nick; Ian was injured]
Sun - Forgotten Twin (Grade II winter, led by Dave), after abseiling to the climb from Aonach Mor. [Guy and Dave; Ian/Nick also on Aonach Mor (with skis); Steve/Adam walking elsewhere]
Ian's cooking and lunches; the Grog and Gruel in Fort William; terrific snow coverage and freezing weather; a superb clear day and great views for the Gulvain snow plod; Dave's expert cornice-cutting on Forgotten Twin ; all in all a great trip. Photos are here.
Steve picks me up in Winchester and drives to Snowdonia; we meet Dave for a Dolbadarn breakfast the next day. Fri 12 Dec - Sun 14 Dec 2008 Dolbadarn Sat - Carnedd Dafydd (1044m), starting from the North (Bethseda)
Sun - Mynydd Mawr (698m)
More classic Dolbadarn as the only guests (sandwiches, beer and a film when we arrived at midnight - superb); great snow on the Carnedds and Steve had a very handy axe (but Dave and I survived); river leap at our limit; Dave's spicy Indian. Photos are here.
Pick up Ted from Winchester station and drive to Snowdonia, meeting Dave just in time for an illicit pub dinner. Fri 7 Nov - Sun 9 Nov 2008 Nant Peris campsite (Cae Gwyn) opposite the Vaynol Arms on Friday; Dolbadarn, Llanberis on Sat. Sat - Circular walk from Idwal Cottage taking in: Y Garn (947m); Elidir Fawr (924m)
Sun - Moel Siabod (872m)
The poor decision to put up the tent after going to the pub on a wet Friday night, ultimately leading to our move to the Dolbadarn on the Sat; two gale-force days in the hills; buckets throughout the Dolbadarn catching water from the ceilings.
Dolomites, via ferrata with Steve and Dave; flights from Stansted/Liverpool to Venice, and a Nissan Note to get us around.
Nb: Via Ferrata grades are from 1A (easiest) to 5C.
Sat 30 August - Sat 6 Sept 2008 A chalet down the road from Passo Falzarego, not too far from Cortina d'Ampezzo - hosted by Nennard, Vito and (unnamed) waitress (see Camping Sass Dlacia). Sun - Punta Sud (by Tomaselli descent route), 3C, 2980m; VF Tomaselli (downclimb), 5C; Lagazuoi tunnels, 1A
Mon - VF Etore Bovero - Col Rosa, 3B, 2166m (aborted due to storm)
Tues - VF Giovanni Lipella - Tofano de Rozes, 4C, 3225m
Wed - Cortina expedition, including Mountain biking - from Rifugio Duca d'Aosta (2098m) via Pie Tofana (1668m) to Cortina cable station
Thur - Via Delle Trincee - La Mesola, 4B, 2727m
Fri - Sentiero de Luca/Innerkofler - Monte Paterno, 2B, 2744m
The summit of Tofano de Rozes; spooky tunnels; downclimbing a 5C; pizzas; Konig Ludwig lager (and Grappa); mountain biking; evenings in the restaurant / bar, before being 'ushered' out each night; Dave falling off a cannon; Steve's mouse.
Guy's photos are here.
Dave's photos are here.
Steve's blog is here.
Pyrenees trip with Exodus - 4 of us meet up with James, our guide (who also runs Marmot Tours), at Toulouse airport and drive to our base in Ax. Sun 27 July - Sun 3 Aug 2008 A mountain lodge in Ax Les Thermes courtesy of Alan (see The Alpage). Mon - Puig de la Coma d'Or (2826m); TV interview
Tues - Pic de Soularac (2368m); Pic de St-Barthelemy (2348m)
Wed - Pics de Font Negre (2878m), in Andorra
Thurs - Rest day
Fri - Cycling via Col de Marmare, Prades, Comus, Camurac, ski station, Col de Chioula
Sat - Pic de Tarbesou (2364m)
Great people, great scenery, great cake. Photos are at Pyrenees photos.
Drive Steve to the Lakes and meet Adam and Ted (and dogs); meet up with Simon on the Sat morning. Fri 11 July - Sun 13 July 2008 Great Langdale Campsite, Langdale on Fri; high camp on Sat. Sat - From the campsite to our high camp in the shadow of Great End, taking in: Great End (910m) (most of us); Scafell Pike (978m)
Sun - Bow Fell (907m); Crinkle Crags (859m); Pike of Blisco (705m)
Scafell Pike to ourselves at 10pm, apart from about twenty Three Peaks walkers; great high camp; shandy at the end.
Drive from Adam's to Snowdonia and meet Steve and Noel. Fri 18 Apr - Sun 20 Apr 2008 Swallow Falls Hotel, Betws-y-Coed Sat - Ridge walk from Idwal Cottage to Capel Curig taking in: Y Garn (947m); Glyder Fawr (999m); Glyder Fach (994m)
Sun - Mynydd Mawr (698m)
Snow above 600m, and some very powerful wind - good walking.
Steve and I meet at Adam's and Adam drives to Wasdale Head, Lake District. Fri 7 Mar - Sun 9 Mar 2008 Wasdale Head Campsite (National Trust) Sat - Pillar (892m); Red Pike (I think) (826m)
Sun - Great Gable (899m) - except I didn't participate on Sunday (see to the right)
A definite lowlight - sick as a dog (a labrador, say) from about 2:00am on the Sunday after a curry at the Wasdale Head Inn. Dragged myself from the tent to the toilet block to throw up about five times overnight.
Drive from Adam's to Snowdonia and in theory meet Steve. Fri 2 Nov - Sun 4 Nov 2007 Swallow Falls Hotel, Betws-y-Coed (youth hostel section) Sat - Carnedd Dafydd (1044m); Carnedd Llewelyn (1064m)
Sun - Moel Siabod (872m)
Listening to a bad reception Arsenal-Man U match on the Saturday descent (and in the car for the last minute finale).
Steve drives to the Lakes (Ambleside), where we meet Adam. Sat 26 May - Mon 28 May 2007 Campsite somewhere in Ambleside Sun - Scafell (964m); Scafell Pike (978m)
Mon - Helvellyn (950m)
I've no idea, but I know we were there
Jordan (Wadi Rum and Petra) trip with Exodus - 13 of us met up with our guide in Amman. Not really a mountain trip, but a desert trek. Sat 21 April - Sat 28 April 2007 Camping in the desert, plus hotels in Amman and Petra. Sun-Thur - Trek through the desert, including a partial ascent of Jebel Burdah (to the arch) on the Tuesday.
Fri - exploring Petra
Great people, great scenery. Photos are at Jordan photos. Poem is here.
Drive to Snowdonia and meet Steve and Adam. Fri 5 May - Sun 7 May 2006 Glanllyn Caravan and Camping Park near Bala Sat - Aran Fawddwy (905m)
Sun - Arenig Fawr (854m)
Good weather; Adam's bacon butties
Drive to Snowdonia and meet Steve and Adam. Fri 20 Jan - Sun 22 Jan 2006 Llanberis Heights Sat - Cnicht (689m); Moelwyn Mawr (770m)
Sun - Rhinog Fawr (720m)
Can't remember, but Llanberis is always good
Flight and hire car to Scotland with Dave, Nick and Steve. See Steve's blog notes for more details. Fri 30 Sept - Sun 2 Oct 2005 Blackwater Hostel at Kinlochleven Fri - Ice Factor
Sat - Meall a' Bhuiridh (1108m); Creise (1100m)
Sun - Ben More (1174m); Stob Binnein (1165m)
Two good nights in the Tailrace Inn.
Dave falling out the top bunk.
Mouse in the bunkhouse.
Drive to Snowdonia with Nick and Steve. Sat 17 Sept - Sun 18 Sept 2005 Dolbadarn Hotel at Llanberis Sat - Grooved Arete, Tryfan (HVD, led by Nick)
Sun - Slick, Clogwyn yr Oen (VDiff, led by Guy)
Fri night in Bedford - fight in Chicken Cottage.
Descending Tryfan in the dark.
Falling asleep in our curries.
Two weeks in the French Alps with Nick and Steve. Logistics: return flights from Gatwick to Geneva; stayed in an apartment in Tacconaz, near Chamonix; hired a Nissan Almera Tina from Budget. Ian (climbing with Brent) stayed for a while as well. Also see Steve's far more detailed blog here. Sat 20 Aug - Sun 4 Sept 2005 Neil's Tacconaz apartment Sun-Tues - rained, did some low level rock climbing
Wed - Le Belvedere, F rock, 2965m
Thurs - Petite Aiguille Verte, PD snow, 3512m
Fri-Sat - Domes de Miage, PD snow, 3669m - aborted due to weather
Sun - Chersys, low level multi-pitch climbing + abseil with Nick
Mon-Tues - Aiguille d'Argentiere, PD or PD+ snow, 3902m
Thurs - Crochues traverse, PD rock, 2840m
Fri - Aiguille de L'M, PD rock, 2844m
Too many to mention, but we did watch Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. Photos are at Alps 2005 photos.
Inverness trip, staying at Steve Bunn's. Steve N and I get a flight to Inverness early on Friday (from Gatwick, I think, but that could be wrong), grab an Avis hire car and are climbing Ben Wyvis by lunchtime. We're joined by Steve B for an epic walk on the Saturday and head back home on Sunday. Fri 8 Jul - Sun 10 Jul 2005 Chez Steve Bunn Fri - Ben Wyvis (1046m)
Sat - A 13-hour, 33 km walk along/around/above the Lairig Ghru (a mountain pass in the Cairngorms), taking in The Devil's Point (1004m); Sgor an Lochain Uaine (1258m); Cairn Toul (1291m); and Braeriach (1296m). A terrific and gruelling walk in great conditions, with Natterjack toads posing for photos and amazing scenery, including the boulder-filled Chalamain Gap. If I remember rightly, we had a barbecue after in Steve's garage!
A great weekend.
Mt Toubkal Morocco trip with Exodus - 12 of us met up with our guide in Marrakech. Mt Toubkal is the highest mountain in North Africa. Sun 22 May - Sun 29 May 2005 Various refuges on the road and two nights in a hotel in Marrakech. Mon-Fri - Trek culminating in Mt Toubkal, 4167m
Too many to mention, but let's say meeting new and interesting people. Photos are at Morocco photos.
A week in the Swiss Alps with Nick and Steve. Logistics: plane to Geneva, hire car to Chamoson (near Saas Fee). Sat 30 Aug - Sat 6 Sept 2003 Steve's grandmother's caravan Mon-Tues - Allalinhorn, PD snow, 4027m; then to Langflau hut in preparation for Alphubel (aborted)
Wed - Weissmies, PD snow, 4017m
Thur-Fri - Alphubel SE ridge (via Tasch hut), PD snow, 4206m
The Monkees at the top of Allalinhorn, the Langflau mountain hut entirely to ourselves ... and my first 3 4000ers. Photos are at Alps 2003 photos.
A week in the French Alps with Nick and Steve; also joined by Simon for much of the trip. Logistics: ferry from Dover - Calais, then drive to Chamonix (Steve's car). Fri 2 Aug - Sun 11 Aug 2002 Flat somewhere in Chamonix, that periodically flooded. Sat - rained
Sun - rained
Mon - Aiguille de L'M, PD rock, 2844m (aborted); Albert Premier hut in preparation for Aiguille du Tour (got to bivvy point, but went back due to thunderstorm)
Tues - rained
Wed - Thur - Aiguille du Tour, F snow, 3542m
Fri - rained
Sat - rained
Le Chucas, Le Garage. Due to rain, ended up mostly a drinking holiday; but our only peak, the Aiguille du Tour, was the highlight.