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Posted by on Feb 26, 2008 in climbing | 9 comments

Ice climbing Scotland

Just been to Fort William for ice climbing, but it was a wash out due to weather. Got Fiacall Coulior and Invernookie done in the Cairngorms. I used a guide for one day, Chris Ensoll, who is an envangelical Christian, so we had some interesting chats. He’s previously taken me up the Curtain, Comb Gully and Tower Ridge.

Here’s photo I took last time round – vanishing gully, at the point where it vanishes (Alan Kimber in photo; Alan is in his early Sixties, so there is hope for us all).

I recommend Chris Ensoll very strongly: he’s totally unpretentious, friendly, genuine, enthusiastic, teaches you a lot, and goes out of his way to give you a good day – I’m booking him for 9 or 10 days in Chamonix next summer (09) to do big harder stuff that would otherwise be beyond me.


  1. hmmm,It’s a pity almost nothing of Zappfe’s work is available in English. I am sure you would have enjoyed his combination of burlesque humor and sharp observations as a hiker and climber. He has some hillariously funny short-stories of his and two friends’ attempts to climb “Stetind” in winter. (I believe Arne Naess was one of them). page is in Norwegian, but I am sure you recognise Slingsby amongst them. Stetind is 1392 m granite starting directly at the “Tysfjord” and gets steeper and steeper as you ascend. Despite Slingsbys remark, quite beautiful and majestic, I’d say.CassandersIn Cod we trust

  2. Stephen – you are not 60 yet, so isn’t that a bit of a gruesom ice climbing schedule for you? ;-)Hamid

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  4. Hi Stephen,I was at your talk at Heythrop on Thursday and i thought it was excellent. I engage in a lot of rock climbing and now i am beginning to enter the world of winter mountaineering so it is also very interesting to see that you ice climb.The argument you presented of an Evil God was ingenious even if it riled some of the believers of God in the audience.Enjoy Chamonix and thanks once again,Daniel

  5. Well thanks for coming Daniel. Good luck with the climbing…

  6. Have just had a top day climbing with Chris Ensoll in the Langdale valley. A bit wet andwindy but share your views Stephen. I am sure we didn’t get into teh depth of arguments/discussion you get into but I admired his depth and convinction of belief. A great guy to spend a day on the hills with. Paul Johnson

  7. I emailed it to his admin. I wondered if they prayed during it 🙂

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