Mar 22 2010

Dave & Tracey’s wedding

Category: home,Musicash @ 1:25 pm

A fantastic weekend had, up in NW Scotland. I’d booked a day off on Friday, so hammered up there Thursday night, getting to the Ben Nevis Inn at around 10 pm. Met Heather & Popey in there who had recently arrived from Chamonix via a 20 hr ferry ride – quaffed ales with a worried eye on the weather, as it was trying to lift the roof from the pub. Dave and Tracey also arrived, generally beaming!
The next morning, the weather hadn’t relented. We decided to go to the Ice Factor after a decent breakfast, so went into town getting a few things and helping Dave pick out some last minuite presents for people.

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Off to the ice factor for an hours climbing on the rock before 2 hours in the fridge. Played around with some different axes, but also spent some time working on technique, traversing, downclimbing, and ascending hanging logs (cos that happens a LOT in nature). Back to the pub for a pint, then out for a meal with the wedding party in town (I was an usher). Met stacks of people, including Tom & Maria, had a decent catch up & got to wierd out some of the extended family.

Saturday morning came, and with that we all set to work. There were a great many willing sets of hands, so much so that we completed a lot of stuff quite early, including rehearsing with Drew and Heather. Tracey’s execl organisation had been pretty detailed, but not that much of it involved me, so Tom and I bimbled down to Fort Bill to grab a brew & talk randomness.
I met Dave at the wedding site (about 400m from the pub, just off the main path up Ben Nevis). He talked me through what was wanted as I was in charge of getting everyone in the right spot. After grabbing suit, buttenhole and guitar, I headed up to the site & met the piper on the hill (piping his pipes). A quick check of the site, and then the stream of bodies began up the path. 20 mins later and we were ready, with Tracey 5 mins behind everyone.

The ceremony was a Humanist one, and the celebrant did a great job. Several readings of poems were done, lots of cheering was had, then Heather, Drew and I did a rendition of Newton Faulkners “If this is it”, which seemed to go down ok. Quite luckily really, as Heathers’ voice was pretty destroyed that morning! We got some photos, then back down to the pub for beers, meal, speeches, more beers, and then a storming Ceildh which ran for several hours. Good & young band, straightforward tunes, and I think there were no injuries. Well, I probably caused some but didn’t recieve any. Young Jack Pope really buzzed off the music – transfixed by these wierd sounds that were coming out. Made it til about 1am when I crashed and burned.

Sunday, up and away reasonably early – think I left by 10.15. Didn’t rush back, took time & enjoyed it, Home for about 4 after fighting with car for a bit (bonnet refusing to open & oil light on!)

Then hit Parbolds new cinema with Nige to view the hurt locker.  Not bad for  £3, although the seats are bloody firm and my arse has been giving me real pain for 2 days now (no comments 😉 )
Will stick some pictures up in a bit, also check

Mar 11 2010

Think I may use this one in work.

Category: Uncategorizedash @ 10:39 pm

Mar 11 2010

An unhappy Johnathon

Category: Uncategorizedash @ 10:37 pm

Following my mission up Fingers Ridge, this monday Dave and Johnathon went to have a crack at it by the same route. However, it seems that they may have gone a bit off route, as Johnathon took a massive winger (“Sillhouetted on the sky”), and fell about 7 m above his gear, bouncing off the mountain on the way down. Smacked his head under his helmet (big concussion & red stuff), and fractured his pelvis. Is in hospital now, though prognosis is very good.
Dangerous things these hills. Play safe people.

Mar 07 2010

Dave J’s stag doo

Category: home,Mountaineeringash @ 6:22 pm

Up to Nethy House for the weekend in the Cairngorms. Got up there quite quickly, thanks to a ride from one of Dave’s other mates from Blackburn way. Caught up with people in the bar, managed to get shot of a firmin of Sheepshaggers pretty quickly, then crashed at about 01:30 ish, as we had plans for the following day.
The normal ‘urghhhhh’ started the day at 07:00 – the first morning after the drive up there is always a killer. Ate scran, then did some minor faffing and jumped into the cars. The snow was down to valley level still, so no suprise that the Cas car part was full, but they’d only just started in the Ciste, made we could jump onto the bus easily & ride to the day lodge. Most were off skiing, but Dave, me, and a couple of others decided to climb. Avalanche considerable on some slopes, so we mused on routes before picking Schnechda and starting the slog in.
I’d forgotten what a full winter pack feels like. Too many times having punters to carry the load makes you weak!
Got to the headwall. Andy & I headed up for Fingers Ridge, whilst the others went to Mess in Porridge.
Having only been dragged up a grade 3/4 (Invernookie) by Dave about 3 years before, I was quite excited about the notion of doing a grade 4 route. I had no idea whether I’d get up it or not, how I’d feel etc. Due to queues, we started up Broken Gully for a pitch. I let that, some good grade 3 ice and brought up Andy. He swung the next lead, dealing with a tricky corner that required some carefull & delicate footwork & axe placements – quite glad that he led that one! However, found it straightforward so I led the next and final pitch, past the fingers (torque torque) and up the iced up steep wall afterwards. Awesome. Fantastic position, great neve – great moves. Very happy with that grade climbing – looking forward to climbing with Angry Stu on the Ben before the wedding now!
We got off the mountain & met the others later in the day lodge, then back to the house for showers and a very passable Haggis, neeps & tatties. We then tried to get drunk, which kinda worked but the late night, short sleep, big day on the hill & mid-pm gluweiin didn’t help matters, and I was falling asleep (with others too I should point out) from about 11pm onwards. Dave managed to find his second wind though, and through a booze-laden game of Trivial pursuits managed to get pretty stoked. After collapsing in bed & do remember being shaken awake by a wild eyed Dave at 0530 insisting that we needed to get up and start drinking again. Managed to (somehow) stay in the bed & then only got rewoken as he staggered to bed an hour or so later, bouncing off furniture in the room.
Up at 8:30, on the road by 9 and home by 2:45 to sort out District Camp, sort kit & chill for a bit. Need it as off to Dave Matthews gig tonight in Manchester!