Mountaineering in the Cairngorms with K2 bound Di Gilbert and Lhotse’s Ronny Rehn

Been a great few days in Scotland. Arriving by the Caledonian Sleeper was a dream, really enjoyed a great sleep and waking up and opening the blinds in the cabin to see the Scottish highlands rolling by.

On Friday we rented mountain bikes and took them around the area for the day. Hills and Lochs and some nice hilly single track terrain. Hanging out with Ronny is also what I needed at this stage as its great to discuss our final stage planning, kit lists, and expectations for the months ahead. Ronny is planning to climb 8516m Lhotse (4th highest mountain in the world) and will be joining our expedition as far as Camp 3 at 7200m before heading a different direction and taking on the north east ridge. With the exception of the final summit push we’ll be spending the next two months together. He’s also gopro junky and just posted some videos of this trip, check them out as well as his blog here.


It got even better on Saturday when we were picked up by Di Gilbert, Di has not only climbed the seven summits but was leading a team on K-2 last year when an avalanche took out all the supplies in an otherwise empty camp 3 which ultimately led to cancellation of the expedition. She’s heading out to lead a team on Cho Oyu in April and is also going to be leading a team on K-2 later in the summer (K-2 is in Pakistan and the climbing season is later then Everest and is typically climbed in July/August).


The thaw in the weather really didn’t help our objectives for the weekend. Mushy snow took out a lot of the routes Di had in mind but we still enjoyed a nice time on one of the gullies under Cairn Gorm yesterday and today we headed to Ben Nevis north face and enjoyed the Ledge route in a constant drizzle.  It looks like we’ll get a good freeze tonight so we’ll be doing something more technically challenging tomorrow for our last mountain day before Nepal. We’ll then be overnighting on the sleeper back to London arriving in Euston at 730am on Tuesday.


On our way down from Nevis ledge route, north side, rain stopped and sun came out and I took my only picture of the day. That’s Di ahead.

And: yes there will be a chance for Jonathan Guidry to take me on at high altitude frisbee golf – just managed to pick up the exact same frisbee in Aviemore which we used for the 2016 championship match on Denali! Fate.


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