Mike Lates

Mountain Guide running Skye Guides.
Author of the SMC climber's guidebook Skye, The Cuillin (2011).

Researching and writing the guidebook gave a privileged insight to the best mountains in the UK. The pioneers were hard as nails and very, very good climbers. They're routes are the definition of sporting climbing. It has also brought me into new routing which adds such a superb dimension.

I've been contracted to UKC to provide winter conditions on Skye for the past 3 years. Along with the guidebook and blogs the myth about the island being a poor bet in winter has been dispelled: Many top Scottish climbers have put it very high on their lists any time there's any sign of the white stuff.

I've run Skye Guides for too many years now, specialising in Ridge Traverses. I'm a rock climber first and foremost and enjoy teaching a lot of climbing around the wonderful Skye sea-cliffs as well as the Cuillin crags when conditions are good. Winter is my play time, the changing effects of snow & ice on such familiar terrain never ceases to amaze me. Discovering mixed rather than waiting for ice to form means I can winter climb in the Cuillin whenever it snows. Fat ice last season was a real bonus though.

Increasingly I stay away from the fleshpots; crowds of gortex really aren't my idea of a good climbing space. Luckily the Cuillin are so extensive it never seems busy apart from the May bank holiday week.

My introduction to the Cuillin was a baptism of fire (and whisky!) with Gordon Stainforth when he was writing his book up here. His influence on my outlook on climbing is something of which I am increasingly aware. I'm just as passionate but nowhere near as articulate. I hope that some of the lessons learnt from Gordon show in an occasional pic or two.

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Location
Luib, Isle of Skye

Best Climbing Experience
My first Winter Traverse of Cuillin Ridge (01) touching rock for only 10 steps from 1 end to the other.
Matterhorn (99)- moonlit evening approach, bivvy @ 4000m and summit to ourselves for 3/4 hour without a cloud in the sky.
The Naked Saltire, E2 5c, In Pinn. I found this perfect line on the back of the most famous rock in the Cuillin 40 years after climbers were first climbing at this grade; so glad they missed it.

Recent Postings

Mummerys Blood on 13-Oct-14
Overrated Gear on 10-Oct-14
Telegraph Turns? on 24-Sep-14

List all my recent posts.

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Personal Webpage
http://www.skyeguides.co.uk

Articles by Mike Lates

UKC Volunteer
Moderator for 4 crags, checking missing climbs added to the logbooks: Coire Scamadal, Sgurr Sgumain, Sgurr a' Bhastier, Banachdich Slabs

Interests Outside Climbing
Pretty much any sport. First passion is Welsh Rugby and used to say I'd give up every climbing experience for a match in the red shirt. Being English but moving to Bridgend when 2 is confusing for many but not me. I can be seen shouting at the screen for almost any event. Watching Spain win whilst on holiday out there was a real highlight. Surfing could be my new weakness if I can get a wetsuit thick enough for Highland winter!

About My Photography
In addition to trying to take the odd quality shot I use my ukc gallery to show useful or pics of intererst, usually regarding routes in the Cuillin. These tie in with various posts reporting on conditions; I'm increasingly trying to cross-reference these so both pictures and reports make more sense and are of more use. Panasonic DMC TZ25 is a fantastic improvement for a small camera user.

Photo Gallery
Click to view Mike Lates's gallery. (361 photos)
Chosen as the Featured Gallery on 22-Jul-10.
Click to search for photos of climbers called Mike Lates.

Click to list photo comments written by me. (276 comments)
I've voted for 128 photos, average vote 4.2.
(53% superb - 21% good - 16% average - 7% poor - 0% rubbish)

+Mike Lates, 183 kb

User Profile

registered 03/Mar/05
updated 27/Nov/13

Been Climbing For
More than 20 years

Best Onsights
Winter - VI
Trad - E4

Main Sport/Activity
Mountaineering

Latest Climbs
Wallwork's Route VD
Ardverikie Wall HS 4b
Inbred HVS 5a
The Gripper HVS 5b
Man of Straw VS 4c
Overhanging Crack E2 5c
Sidewinder S
The Great Prow HVS 5a
Easy Rider HVS 5a
... list all 9 climbs

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