Mountain Guide running Skye Guides.
Author of the SMC climber's guidebook Skye, The Cuillin (2011)
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 over 15 years now, specialising in the Black Cuillin. Traverses are my forte but I'll only make an attempt if both client and weather conditions are ideal.
I teach a lot of rock climbing, particularly introductions to the delights of outdoor for the increasing numbers of those starting on walls.
Winter is my play time, the changing effects of snow & ice never cease to amaze me.
Researching the SMC guidebook has been just the tonic to keep me enthused. It has also brought me into new routing which adds such a superb dimension. Climbs that the pioneers used as trade routes may have dropped into obscurity but, to me, are the definition of sporting climbing as opposed to climbing as a sport.
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.
Email Mike Lates.
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.
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Articles by Mike Lates
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
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.
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. (240 comments)
I've voted for 107 photos, average vote 4.2.
(53% superb - 22% good - 16% average - 6% poor - 0% rubbish)