Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year!

A few photos from a great 2013. Bring on 2014 for amongst others; my 9th consecutive Scottish winter season, working in the mountains with the BBC, a Greenland icecap crossing, the 5 day ITERA Adventure Race and the UTMB in a 3 week period and a full crossing of the Antarctic continent! :)

MountainZ 2013 from Mountain Zac on Vimeo.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Christmas Hot(ish) Rock

 Abseiling from the road bridge in to the Mascarat Gorge
 Topping out on Boulder Terminar F5+ in the Mascarat Gorge

John pulling onto the 1st stance of Diedro UBSA F5+ on the iconic Penon

Unknown climber on Puto Paseo Ecologico on the Penon F7a

Claire cruising the overlaps on the classic Costa Blanca F6c+

The infamous short abseil and pendulum on Diedro UBSA F5+

 Meeting the wild cats of the Penon!

Kieran & Scott looking very pleased with themselves at the top of El Navegante F7a 

 Kieran enjoying Tufa Groove F6b+ at Olta Main

A 2nd view of Kieran focusing hard on Tufa Groove F6b+

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Crookrise bouldering

 Warming up on the Everest boulder

 Figuring out the Crease Direct (Font 6A)

 Leeds Uni team making the Crease Direct look easy!

Photos courtesy of John Pickles Photography

Friday, 22 November 2013

Antarctic training...

  Jo & Stew working hard on the first climb

The ITACE 2014 team have just spent a week in the Lake District training, planning and developing their systems and skills. With less than a year to go until we depart for Antarctica physical training is becoming critical and we kicked off the week with a 19.5 hour hill walk. Our 42km route was loosely based on the start of the Bob Graham and led from Keswick up over Robinson, Hindscarth, Dale Head, Grey Knotts, Brandreth, Green Gable and Great Gable. From here we diverted to the Central Fells climbing Lingmell and Scafell pike via Corridor Route and a long descent in the snow via Esk Hause and Langstrath finishing at daybreak in Grange.
After a few hours sleep it was back to work finalising our plans, kit lists, food lists, partnership agreements and the hundred and one things that make up an expedition of this magnitude. Our ropework will be critical for a safe descent of the Beardmore Glacier and crevasse rescue was practiced from the top of Shepherds Crag making it feel very real.
Note: All the photos are screen grabs from video

 Stew staying focused for a long night in the hills

 Snow showers building as we depart the summit of Robinson

 Snow on the Central Fells

 Crevasse rescue on Shepherds Crag

 Jo pulling hard to rescue Stew from a particularly nasty looking hole!

 Being rescued using an assisted hoist

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Himlung Himal 7126m - 2nd British ascent

Stunning evening light at camp 1

Approaching Camp 1

Camp 0.9 among the seracs

The route to Camp 2

Amongst the crevasses below Camp 2

Stunning views across to the Annapurna range

Atmospheric climbing on the way to Camp 2

The final long snow slope to Camp 2

Looking down to Camp 1 among the crevasses

The stunning ridge line to Camp 3

Approaching Camp 3 with the summit in the far centre

   Crossing the  subsidiary summit to access the final summit pyramid

Summit day!

Looking back down the summit pyramid to camp 3 beyond the furthest summit

Summit of Himlung Himal 7126m

The long descent...

Back to camp 3 after a long summit day

The best trek in Nepal?

 The Nar Phu Gorge

 Man made paths carved in the cliff face

A unique feature of the Nar Phu trek

Ancient Tibetan villages 

 Exposed and stunning trekking

 Stunning colours above the tree line

The infamous Gates of Phu

Threading the gorge below the Gates of Phu

Looking back through the cleft of the Gates of Phu

 Approaching the remote village of Phu

The colours and scenery of Himlung Himal base camp

 Himlung Himal Base Camp