Thursday, 1 January 2015

Highlights of 2014 in photos

One of my best days of 2014 - a solo of Central Trinity gully followed by the Traverse of Liathach in perfect conditions.

Climbers gearing up on Lochnagar. Central Buttress (II**) was an enjoyable mountaineering route.

 A trip to Arctic Norway, as far as the Russian border at Kirkenes.

Sgorr Ruadh after soloing the classic Post Box Gully (II***). 

 A lot of my winter season was spent in Torridon. Ling, Lawson and Glovers Route (II***), Deep South Gully (I****), White's Gully (II*), Fuselage Gully (II*), the Traverse of Liathach (II****) and Central Trinity (II*) were all wonderful days.

The Cairngorms, my home for the 2013/14 winter season. I climbed quite a few routes and spent a lot of my time exploring the the Caledonian pine forests. 

"The Great Display" - the Aurora of 27th February 2014. I was very lucky to catch one of the best displays of the Lights for many years, from my own front door in Grantown-on-Spey. 

The sublime Traverse of An Teallach (II****). I finally got round to doing this in March, along with 4 other winter climbs in its corries.

The Isle of Handa, Sutherland. Nicole and I spent a week here as volunteers working for the Scottish Wildlife Trust. This part of the NW coast of Scotland is insanely beautiful.

Puffins on Handa.

In the spring we moved to the Peak District in England. I enjoyed soloing easy routes on the gritstone edges, but wanted something a bit more adventurous.

So I became fully engrossed in caving and potholing instead. This is deep in Magnetometer Pot, Yorkshire, an extremely wet pothole but with some beautiful formations.

I taught myself the skills required for Single Rope Technique so that I could solo caves with vertical pitches. This is me ascending the 15m entrance pitch of Hagg Gill Pot, Yorkshire.

A solo trip into Ogof Daren Cilau, South Wales. 17 miles long, the hardest entrance crawl in the UK, and one of the most awe-inspiring places in the country. A solo trip is a bit of a journey into madness.

The stunningly beautiful Illusion Pot, Yorkshire.

Volcano walking on the island of La Palma, Spain.

Inside the Caldera de Taburiente, La Palma.

The year ended with heavy snowfall over the Peak District and several days of hard frost. A fitting end to a wonderful year.

A very Happy New Year to all our readers, have fun and stay safe in the mountains in 2015.

James

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