Wednesday, 10 December 2014


The North face of the Jorasses has many amazing routes that make their way up it's mass. One route that has been in my mind for the past few years is the Desmaison-Gousseault. It is situated on the left side of the Walker spur, and follows a series of ramps. The route has a variety of different climbing from chimney squeezes, open face ice climbing to steep rock climbing. I'm not going to go into all the history of this route on my blog, but as an outline;

 Rene Desmaison and Serge Gousseault attempted the line in 1971. Due to difficulties the outing became a two week nightmare. They managed to climb to within 80m from the summit, but Gousseault collapsed with exhaustion. Leaving them stranded on the head wall. For reason still unknown, the rescue team arrived late. Once they did arrive Gousseault had been dead for three days and Desmasion was only just clinging onto life.
 Desmasion returned in 1973 to finish the line with Giorgio Bertone & Michel Claret. Which I think says so much about Desmaison.

Thursday, 27 November 2014


Autumn is probably my favorite season in the year. Especially in Chamonix, as you can go rock climbing at the crags for the whole day and not get cooked. Am Scottish, I can't handle the heat. However my main reason is that this is the time of year when things start to get really good for climbing on the big North faces. Like I said on my last post about the Sans Nom, the conditions on the faces were pretty good, so after climbing that I knew there was only one place to head to...

Friday, 5 September 2014

English route - Aiguille Sans Nom

Ben checking out the conditions on the face.
Many years ago... Christ that feels old speaking like that! Anyways, years ago when I first started doing some Alpine climbing. My first route was Petit Aiguille Verte, just next to the GM lift station. I remember whilst climbing on the upper part of the route, asking my Dad what that huge face was with all the snow and ice on it. He then informed me that it was the Sans Nom face on the Verte. Immediately I asked, 'Do people climb on that?'. I was shocked and confused to how you would go about climbing on that.... Now I know!

Saturday, 26 July 2014

T-rad revival. Part 2

After returning from Pabbay & Mingulay my psyche was high. I wanted more of it. I think most of us felt the same after the week away, but maybe one rest day would have been wise. The day after getting off the Islands. Ben, Greg, Dougie and Myself decided to head up to Dunkeld for some sport and trad action. I think we all got on 'Hamish's...' once before regretting our decisions of going up there. Body and mind was still tired.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Trad revival. Part 1

Cold sweats. Hot temperatures. Delusions. Shaking furiously. A few of the many symptoms I've had since going cold turkey, but I couldn't hold out any longer. I needed my fix so when the offer came up I couldn't help myself, I had to take it. But I didn't want to go through this alone. I needed a friend to do this with me. So I called up 'Ginger' Ben. I knew that he would help me through these dark times and hold my ropes.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Naia - Aiguille Verte

Photo; Jon Griffith

After a week's work... I know right! A whole week's work. Probably my first full week in 3 years. Please don't hate me! Jon phoned me up to see if I'd be keen for a quick hit on Naia. I was heading back to Scotland for my Sister's wedding in three days time. So I hadn't really planned for any climbing trips into the hills. After a quick discussion I realised I could do the route, have a nights sleep then fly home. Which is exactly what happened.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

You stay classy Patagonia!

 After feeling my neck and shoulders being torn apart from my rucksack shoulder straps, due to carrying yet another hefty load, I’m unsure whether I’m happy or sad that I won’t be walking into these hills again… We’ve been very un-fortunate with the weather in Patagonia this season, but nevertheless it’s been an amazing trip that I won’t forget. The scenery here is absolutely breath taking. It, sometimes, takes your mind away from the big walk ins and heavy bags. We didn’t get any of the big ticks we were hoping for, but I’m just so grateful that I got the chance to come and see these mountains that I’ve heard so much about.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Playing it by ear.

Obviously the main objective for the trip is Cerro torre. But like most climbing trips around the world you have to play it by ear and go with what the weather dictates. Patagonia especially! Since my last post there hasn’t been much action in the mountains due to a lot of cold & snowy weather. Most locals are saying that this is a pretty poor season. So this hindered our thoughts of doing any free climbing on rock routes. We thought it’d make more sense to go mixed climbing instead. Seeing that there was going to be a days weather window on Friday, we headed up on Thursday morning to bivvy on Piedra Negra.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Patagonia, Mojon Rojo

So after our exciting flights and travels to get here, I am finally writing from Patagonia. There were a few moments along the way that I was un-sure I’d make it here due to delayed flights, and almost missing a connecting flight where we had to travel from one airport to another. But now that I am here I can relax, or so I thought…