Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mentor Scrambling Day

I headed out with Rob & John today who are both on my mentor scheme. With some pretty grim weather we decided that climbing was off the cards and that a scrambling day was the way forward. With both of them having the MIA in their sights we spent the day introducing the dark art of short roping and safeguarding clients on grade 2 and 3 scrambling ground, examining the differences between going out with friends and going out as a professional instructor and weighing up the constant balance of speed versus safety.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Advanced Scrambling Short Video

I was recently joined by Shaun from "Simply Hike". He has an excellent boss who sent Shaun on the course so that he could increase his knowledge, test some gear and get a story for their blog. I took some GoPro footage over the two days and they edited this short video.

Climbing at Tremadog

I have been joined for two days by John who is on my trainee instructor mentor scheme and is currently preparing for his SPA assessment. We headed to the Upper Tier at Tremadog and climbed a few routes from Severe to VS and then spent a couple of hours looking at rigging top ropes and abseils. We had the odd patch of drizzle but otherwise stayed dry which is nice :-)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


I have been out with Rob today who is on my trainee instructor mentor scheme and is currently preparing for his SPA. We spent the morning focusing on single pitch rigging and then headed inside this afternoon to the climbing wall to focus on some actual climbing once the storm arrived. I haven't seen the tops to see if the promised snow has arrived!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Looking wintery

It looks like winter will make a brief appearance on the summits tomorrow, might be a bit windy to see it though!

Advanced Navigation Day

Its been a lot better than forecast today in Snowdonia, in fact I didn't even get wet which was incredible! I have been running an advanced navigation day using contour only mapping as an MTA workshop and we enjoyed a day of getting our head around contours on Snowdon. Good luck to those going on to assessments soon, though I'm sure you won't need it! There is a great new initiative from the National Park of putting the weather forecast at the start of each path (picture below) which is a very sensible idea, we still saw folk on Crib Goch though! 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Sam, Shamaila and I headed up onto the Carneddau today for the second day of our MTUK Mountain Skills course. We couldn't have asked for better weather as we enjoyed some atmospheric cloud and sunshine giving the perfect balance of views and skills testing as we journeyed over Pen Yr Ole Wen and Carnedd Dafydd before doing some off the path navigation in descent. A beautiful autumnal day.

Monday, October 13, 2014

On the tele!

This program is on tomorrow night (Tuesday) at 19:30 on ITV1 in Wales. It contains a few pieces of footage that I have filmed and I even get a mention in the credits!

Y Garn

I have been joined by Sam and Shamaila for two days of mountain navigation training here in Snowdonia. They have done some walking in the Peak District and wanted to up their skills to the bigger mountains. It has been a much better day than forecast and so we headed up to the summit of Y Garn via the Devils Kitchen, looking at lots of skills along the way. The poor visibility on the summit was ideal for putting skills to good use and we stayed dry all day!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Clogwyn Y Person Arete

Its been a damp but beautiful Autumnal day today with swirling clouds and sunshine chasing across the mountains. We headed up the Clogwyn Y Person Arete (3) for the second day of our advanced scrambling course and descended the North Ridge of Cwm Glas. Beautiful!

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Advanced Scrambling

I have been joined by repeat clients Shaun and Mark for our advanced scrambling course here in Snowdonia. The forecast wasn't great but we avoided the strong winds by heading up NW Face Route in Cwm Idwal, onto the Idwal Staircase, up Seniors Gully and then up the Cneifion Arete to give a brilliant day out with lots of banter along the way!

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Thank You

One of the best bits of my job (apart from spending all day in the mountains!) is emails like this:

Hi Rob, how you doing? Enjoying your well deserved day off I hope? 

I can't really express my gratitude to you in words for the past couple of days. It was one of the best experiences of my life, right up there with being at the births of my kids!

I don't want to sound all weird, but I somehow feel enlightened. I really can't explain it. I feel like a new me! I can only describe it as being akin to a religous experience. I feel I have so much more confidence throughout all aspects of my life, but my legs are a bit tender, haha.

I couldn't say this to my eldest daughter as she'd accuse me of blasphemy, but after that experience, I feel as if walking is my religion, and the mountains my church!

As I said to Kevin before I left the cafe, I sincerely cannot think of two people that I would rather have shared the experience with.

Thank you for the photos too, they put a whole new perspective on it all.

I'll definitely keep in touch (not in a stalkery way) although I kept the signed copy of the scrambling book under my pillow last night.......... (didn't really).......... and I look forward to booking myself on another course when I can. 

Thanks again


Steve - Intro to Scrambling - October 2014

p.s. say hi to Skye from me. She's gorgeous!

New Expedition - Iceland "Hot Springs Trek"

I have just released details of our newest expedition, a week of trekking in Iceland next July on the Hot Springs Route, described as one of the best treks in the world. Check out the details here:

Coming to a TV near you soon...

I have been helping with some of the filming for this program, it will be interesting to see how much of my footage makes the grade! 

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Little & North Gullies

It was pretty wet and wild in Snowdonia this morning and definitely felt a bit cooler than of late, the forecast was suggesting wintery showers on the summits but we didn't see any snow in the end. Steve, Kevin and I decided that a sheltered gully scramble was the way forward and headed onto the East Face of Tryfan. The boys took charge of the route finding for the day and did a great job of taking us up Little & North Gullies - these combine to give a great grade 1 scramble that contrasts nicely with yesterdays ridge outing on Crib Goch. It was a bit blowy on the summit but we enjoyed occasional teasing views and some lovely light. Another great day!

Monday, October 06, 2014

Crib Goch

I have been joined for two days by Steve & Kevin for our intro to scrambling course. Both chaps had Crib Goch on their hit list and as today was by far the better weather forecast we decided to jump in at the deep end and tick it off on day one. We drove up the Pass in the rain, trusting in the Met Office to deliver the goods and our trust was well founded as we enjoyed warm sunshine and light winds all day, a classic day out in fine weather.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

A Year in the Mountains 2014 - Taking Shape

My film, A Year in the Mountains 2013 has now had over 9000 views on You Tube and was a great way for people to look back on their time with me in the mountains last year.

I have been doing a bit of editing this week on my film for this year which will have much more of a UK theme, simply because I haven't been away as much this year! Here is a still from a time-lapse of the dawn in the Ogwen Valley that I took last night and this morning which will appear in the new film later this year.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Friday, October 03, 2014

Navigation & Scrambling

I have been out with Rachel today who has been a regular client of mine for a few years now and has recently joined my trainee instructor mentor scheme. This involves a combination of personal training on private guiding days with observing days to gain leadership and instructional experience. Today was pretty wild in Snowdonia with 70mph winds on the summits and something wet falling from the sky that we haven't experienced for a while! We stayed low and did some scrambling in Cwm Idwal and navigation on the 1:50,000 map underneath the Glyderau looking at contour interpretation, aspect of slope and general macro nav skills. A good use of the day and some lovely muted autumnal colours to be enjoyed along the way.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Sunny Southern Snowdonia

I teamed up with friend Huw and his wife Jo today for some cragging in the South of the National Park. Its always nice to climb somewhere I have never been before and just the drive down was worth getting out of bed for! The lakes and rivers were covered in a beautiful low mist that was dancing on the water in the sunshine whilst the fields steamed. The climbing was just as good though, beautiful barely touched grit in the warm autumn sunshine and not a soul to be seen. Stunning.