Last Winter’s TikToks

From now until Winter proper, I will be posting some of the TikTok clips I published last year, some will be just for entertainment and others like this one are a short instructional clip. Can you build a Bucket Seat in under 3 min? Lucky for me it was soft snow.

We still have lots of availability for Private Guiding and we have several partially filled courses, please see dates and trips below. Get in touch either through here, our website or email [email protected]

Courses to fill Winter 2023

12th to 15th December Winter Mountaineering

16th to 20th January Winter Mountaineering

16th to 20th January Intro to Winter Climbing

30th to 3rd February Intro to Winter Climbing

19th to 24th February CIC hut Guided Ice Climbs

27th to 3rd March Winter Mountaineering

6th to 10th March Intro to Winter Climbing

13th to 17th March Guided Ice Climbs



Last and First Aonach Eagach

Dave: My last day guiding was a traverse of the Aonach Eagach and my first back after some trips away. What a day for my first back on the Scottish Hills.

Jonathan and myself had a brilliant day, cold air helped keep us cool as we moved quickly and the rock started to dry on the South side but overall the rock was slippery. This didn’t stop us from enjoying moving efficiently and swiftly, we were both keen to get down before the weather turned and we completed car to car in 4 and half hours. I look forward to getting out in winter and on the Cuillin with Jonathan.

Check out our Aonach Eagach dates for 2023


Down time

Dave: After a successful and busy summer helping many guest achieve their objectives, it’s been great to make the most of the quiet autumn and get away on my own adventures.

I’m just back from two weeks in Wadi Rum, an adventure climbing Mecca with big sand stone walls, perfect corners, great cracks and very complex terrain to access and egress the peaks. It felt like a climbing and canyoning trip.

We were fortunate to only have 1 wet day and great temperatures throughout, this meant we not only climbed every route on our wish list but also a few extras. Route list below.

Wadi Rum is a busy place with a limited selection of classic well known routes, many with abseil descents back down the same line. We employed the strategy of its best to be first! Most days we were up before sunrise and climbing by first light, this meant we were able to climb all our routes quickly without others abseiling down onto us.

Abseiling massive routes on such featured sandstone can often be problematic with falling ropes snagging on flakes or falling into cracks but we were incredibly lucky with very few issues despite doing over 40 abseils!

The only near miss was accessing the Pillar of Wisdom where I scrambled up to see a snake at head height on the ledge in front of me, our Bedouin host informed us later you would have 30min to call home after a bite! And the most exciting was witnessing a wedding procession, seeing the driver and others shooting 9mm hand guns into the air whilst driving the streets of Wadi Rum.

1. Eye of Allah – VS 4c
2. Black Magic – HVS 5a
3. The Haj – E1 5a
4. Flight of Fancy – E2 5b/c
5. The Beauty – E1 5b
6. Merlins Wand – E1 5b
7. The Star of Judaidah – E1 5c/6a
8. The Pillar of Wisdom – E1 5c
9. Inferno – E2 5c
10. 2 Unknown Granite sport climbs F6a+ & F6b
11. Lion Heart – E3 5c

If you are considering going to Wadi Rum I cannot recommend Hamdan enough, his accommodation is very clean and well looked after, he also has lots of history in his family with climbers coming to the area. Search Wadi Rum Hamdan House for Holidays.

I’m now looking forward to getting the winter gear out and ready for the next adventures, thanks to everyone who has booked for this winter and more importantly a massive thanks to Sonja Albrecht for managing our bookings and guides who have been on the hill whilst i have been away.


WAG Bag (Waste Alleviation and Gelling)

Anyone who has been with me on a Cuillin ridge traverse knows I talk about sanitation and the importance of keeping our water sources clean. We talk about options of burring, frosting and dispersing, burning the toilet roll to the best of our abilities and how we shouldn’t use any wipes even if they are said to be bio-degradable. My preferred side for all sanitation is the Courisk side as this is away from all the regular water sources climbers, walkers and locals rely on.

The system across the pond where they can’t rely on the constant rain to wash away and dilute waste is WAG bags, often readily available in high traffic areas and very easy to use. Yes, they create new problems with lots of waste which needs to be deposited in a bin and landfill but they keep the water clean and environment nice for others.

The WAG bag, is a bag in a bag, silver so it doesn’t cook in the sun, has a gelling agent just in case you wee and poo together or have a runny one and has toilet roll with a single wipe for your hands afterwards, all very easy with no taboo of using.

I think they could be more convenient to the poo tubes trailed at Cairngorm NP and could be at every main hillwalking car park, next to a bin.

If available would you use it and carry it?

Desert Towers

Climbing in Scotland we love to climb stacks and pinnacles, we do have some of the best sea stacks in the world.

But there are so many stacks around the world which are iconic for all climbers.

From a young age I’ve dreamed of going to the deserts of Utah and climbing some of the most famous stacks in the world, these are Ancient Art in the Fisher Towers and Castleton Tower.

Some could call this continual professional development or just “a busman’s holiday”.

if you want to climb Scotland’s Iconic Stacks and Pinnacles next summer.

or ? Or an ascent of Inaccessible Pinnacle? What’s on your “Bucket List”?


Equipment maintenance

After three weeks of climbing in the deserts of America my climbing rope has dulled in colour and after any abseiling it leaves hands black with dirt. It has made finding the ends much easier as these are the only section which is still light yellow, but for the longevity of the rope it needs a wash.

Below is my process for cleaning a rope.

Daisy chain the rope from the middle mark making it much more manageable

Rinse in warm water getting any easy dirt removed

Soak in warm water with Tech Wash.

After 5-10min start rubbing the rope together and plunging into the water aka hand washing

Drain the water and soak in warm water for 5 min, do some more hand washing

Rinse in cold water

Lay in the bath to drip overnight

Move to a warm (not hot) place where the rope can dry slowly out of sunlight

How do you clean yours?

The Association of Mountaineering Instructors (AMI) is the representative body f

The (AMI) is the representative body for professionally qualified Mountaineering and Climbing Instructors in the UK and Ireland. Our members work in a wide range of environments from indoor climbing walls to sea cliffs and mountain crags and are experts in their craft. By hiring one of our members, you’re ensuring your instructor is professional, passionate and a committed climber whose depth of experience and expertise will give you the very best chance of achieving your goals. You’re in good hands!


Drier than expected

Big thanks to one of our team Iain Powell for guiding Dave Wakelin today on the Inaccessible Pinnacle, they went up with an open mind to see what conditions were like, fortunately the conditions were better than expected and they got some views and were dry. They made swift work of multi-pitch climb to the summit and abseiled off, with plenty of time left in the day they traversed the ridge to Sgurr Mhic Choinnich and descended into Coire Lagan.
Lots of folk may think it’s too late in the year for the Cuillin and Lochaber Scrambles but the weather is often no worse than the summer we have just had.
Get in touch if you still want to climb the In Pinn this autumn.

Are you Psyched for Winter?

Here is a little video of me Guiding Orion last year, climbed during our CIC hut trip, thanks to Ken Priest for the footage.

Winter 2023 we have decided to not increases our prices, but we are increasing what we pay our instructors/guides. We have made the decision to decreases our working ratio on our mountaineering courses from 1:3 to 1:2, this is to offer you the best opportunity to learn in a safe and supportive environment. We can still work higher ratios on bespoke itineraries.

We have several partially filled courses which we would love to see filled giving us piece of mind for the season ahead. We have lots more availability than advertised below, get in touch if you want some bespoke guiding or to book onto any other trip advertised on the website.

Winter Mountaineering –12-15 December– 1 Space
Introduction Winter Climbing– 16-20 January– 1 Space
Winter Mountaineering– 30-3 Jan/February– 1 Space
Advanced Winter Climbing– 6-10 February– 1 Space
Winter Mountaineering– 13-17 February– 1 Space
CIC Hut – Ben Nevis—— 19-24 February– 3 Spaces
Winter Mountaineering— 27-3 Feb/March– 1 Space
Introduction Winter Climbing– 6-10 March– 1 Space
Advanced Winter Climbing– 6-10 March– 1 Space
Guided Ice Climbing– 13-17 March — 1 Space

Solitude on the Aonach Eagach

Dave: Today was my second day with James, unfortunately we were unable to rock climb due to damp conditions, but it didn’t stop us from having an adventure. The Aonach Eagach is always an adventure and the andesite (my least favourite rock) when wet is something to respect and be cautious with. No surprise that with today’s forecast of medium winds and heavy showers we didn’t see anyone until the last Murno.

James is a competent scrambler and very fit which meant our traverse was 4 hours and 27 min which included a lunch break and some slow rope work, I think this is fastest time I have had guiding the Aonach Eagach! I look forward to getting out with James this winter for more adventures.

Our 2023 dates for traversing the Aonach Eagach are live on the website, have a look and book now.