Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Idwal Slabs

Juli and I have enjoyed the luxury of dry rock today for the second day of our rock climbing week. It was a definite bonus after yesterday and meant that Julie was cruising well as we journeyed up the Idwal Slabs, V Diff feeling a couple of grades easier than yesterday!




Monday, May 25, 2015

Amphitheatre Buttress

I have been joined for the week by Julia who has been out with me many times before on mountaineering courses in summer and winter. This week the plan is to progress into rock climbing and so we headed to a mountaineering style rock climb - Amphitheatre Buttress. This route is one of the longest in Snowdonia and today was pretty hard work because the low cloud meant it was rather damp! Julia rose to the challenge and climbed the route in good style - nice work!





Saturday, May 23, 2015

Skye Scrambling 2015

This week I have been working on the beautiful Isle of Skye. I have been visiting the Cuillin Ridge every May since I was 17 years old and it never disappoints for drama, adventure and stunning scrambling. This year we faced some challenges with the weather and there were some long faces as we met on Sunday evening at the Sligachan, running from the car to the bar to escape the rain!

Nonetheless the first three days of the week were pretty kind to us, despite snow each day we ticked off some great routes including the traverse of Mhadaidh, Ghreadaidh and Banachdich , Inaccessible Pinnacle, Clac Glas-Blaven Traverse, Pinnacle Ridge, Sgurr Alasdair, Sgurr Mhic Choinnich and Bidein Drum nan Ramh. As the week drew on the weather deteriorated and so Thursday saw a variety of venues but with a theme of rock climbing in some sheltered spots to avoid the worst of the wind and the rain whilst on Friday we had a team ascent of The Spur in Coire a Mhadaidh. 

It was great to meet up with some old friends, share some drams and a night of live music in the Old Inn at Carbost and share some great adventures with lovely people. Thanks to all who came. :-)



















Saturday, May 16, 2015

Wow - Skiing in Scotland in May!

I am working on Skye this week coming, on our annual Skye scrambling course. Havering checked the forecast and seen pictures of people skiing this week I decided it was worth chucking the skis in the back and leaving a day or so early. I'm glad I did! The rain was hammering the window this morning but the thermometer was low so I had faith it would be falling as snow up high. 
I walked up into Stob Coire nan Lochain in Glencoe, skis on my back and decided to head up Dorsal ArĂȘte, skipping the fin at the top as my skis were acting like a big sail on my back in the crosswinds. 
I then dropped into Broad Gully for the ski descent. This is a descent I have wanted to do for some time but had written off for this year, I still can't believe I got to do it in May! The snow was a bit hard at the top but softened up nicely lower down and I was able to open up on the exit slopes. Superb! 


Friday, May 08, 2015

Tennis Shoe

I have been out with John and Rob today who are both on my trainee instructor mentor scheme and are working towards doing their MIA. We spent the day on the Idwal Slabs, climbing Tennis Shoe before the rain hit us. Last week we were looking at teaching whilst climbing in series and this week we progressed that onto leading with two clients in parallel. Its one of the best parts of my job watching people progress their skills and today was no exception. (Honest John!)





Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Wetter than a wet thing

It has been rather damp here in Snowdonia today. Nonetheless they boys and girls faced adversity with a smile and we had a great day looking at the use of the rope within the ML syllabus. We based ourselves in the  Llanberis Pass to avoid the worst of the wind, but not the rain! No photos today I'm afraid - thats how wet it was! 

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

ML Training

I took the ML Trainees into Cwm Idwal today for the first of two days looking at the steep ground elements of the syllabus. Its fair to say that conditions in the mountains have been sub-optimal with very strong winds and heavy rain, nonetheless the sun did shine at one point so I did get some photos and a good day was had by all. We spent our evening session at the LLMRT base looking at the role of Mountain Rescue in the UK.





Sunday, May 03, 2015

ML Training

I have been joined for the week by Adam, Richie, Sarah, Callum, Michael and David for a Mountain Leader Training course here in Snowdonia. It was a pretty wet start to the week today but ideal weather for looking at navigation as a foundation skill and how we can pass the skills onto our clients/students. We spent the day on the Crimpiau in the cloud - ideal! I'm afraid theres no photos as I left my camera in the van for fear of it drowning!


Friday, May 01, 2015

Tremadog in the sun

Warm rock, blue skies and sunshine - what a great end to a great week of climbing. Mark and Lee teamed up with Huw today whilst I was with Rob & John, we all headed to Tremadog and enjoyed a lovely days climbing. The boys and I climbed Christmas Curry and Oberon with them leading and looking at multi pitch stance management and abseil descents whilst Huws team climbed Hail Bebe and Oberon - again leading for themselves. Thanks boys!







Thursday, April 30, 2015

Gogarth & Holyhead Mountain

Mark, Lee and I headed to Anglesey today to seek the sun and escape the bitterly cold wind. We managed to do both by abseiling into Castell Helen and climbing Lighthouse Arete Direct and then heading over to Holyhead Mountain to look at problem solving and for the boys to lead Teenage Kicks. A stunning day.