My first experience of abseiling was when I was about 14 at the old Strathclyde Council Outdoor Centre at Arrochar, which I think is now an Army Outdoor Centre (anyone in Joint Services Mountain Skills or the Army Adventurous Training unit at Ballachulish know?), at a cliff on a roadside lay-by that I can still point out. Oddly, for someone who partly grew up near the Arrochar Alps, I’ve never been up to the top of most of the major peaks in the group, with the exception of Ben Vorlich. I’m now at the point of saving some southerly hills for whichever of my offspring want to have a go. I only made it to the top of Ben Lomond last year with them all, despite having lived within sight of it for years and worked on the path up from the main carpark in the 1990s!
As part of preparations for a trip to the Cullin Ridge, Mike from Team 06 gave me some refresher lessons around Diabeg. Here I am descending a cliff towards the beach somewhere near Diabeg. You can just see Mike’s sandals at the belay stance in the lower photo and I’ve also got a safety system on my chest using a sling and second rope. The lack of a helmet is notable and not my current SOP with planned use of rope.
Diabeg has some fantastic climbing nearby and in interesting coastal walk from Upper Diabeg to Redpoint but those are other stories. For an up-to-date account of these delights, I’d recommend this post by Chris McMorris.