Work and play, from the last few days

Its been a reasonably busy week, with a good mix of work and play, despite the weather! The week kicked off with a bit of work for Tollymore. The work was all on site and I was finished up by dinner time each day, giving myself and the other staff a good opportunity to get out and play after work. Monday evening saw five of us head up to hen for a little bit of climbing, it was a very chilled out night, lots of cruising on easy routes, a really great way to relax after work.
On Tuesday night we swapped the crags for the water, and headed out on Strangford with the usual Tuesday night crew. Putting in at whiterock, we did a little tour around a few of the islands, spending quite a bit of time focusing of navigation. It was great to get tuned back into navigating on the sea after spending so much time in the hills over the last few months.

Sam approaching the belay

End of the day

The Tuesday night armada!

Sunset on the lough

The weather didn’t lend itself to getting out and about over the next few days, so it was Friday before I was back in the hills, when I headed up to Bearnagh with Lawrence and Fiona. When it comes to walking in the mournes Lawrence is an old hand, but this was Fiona’s first time, and she definitely got the weather for it! We had fantastic views from the summit, and when tucked in out of the wind the temperature was rather pleasant. The guys had to head back to Belfast in the afternoon, so I hooked up with Neil and Emma for a little bit of evening cragging up at pigeon. Although I had an action packed day, unfortunately my camera didn’t, as I left it sitting on the table at home, so no pics from that day.
I have done a few bits and pieces of work with the queens mountaineering club over the last few years, and on Saturday I headed out with 6 of the guys to do a workshop on self rescue. We made our way up to meelmore buttress and the bearnagh slabs, starting of with some fundamental skills in a single pitch environment before heading onto the multipitch routes of the bearnagh slabs. Although a little bit on the cold side it was good to get out with the guys, I came through the club myself, so its always nice to be able to put a little bit back in.
Today I got out with Jonny Mornin and headed for spellack to get a few routes in. We climbed two routes on forest view buttress then headed round to the back of the main face to climb white walls. It must be 8 years since I last climbed this route and it was great to be back there. Its an amazing route for the grade, and it brought back lots of good memories from the first time I climbed it, quality!

Getting to grips with escaping the system, in below the crag

3 injured climbers in a row, what are the chances!

Connor, powering up the slabs

Abbing back down the slabs

Jonny at forest view

The two Jonny’s! one styling on whitewalls, the other playing with a camera when he should be belaying!

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