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This is my daily blog of work and play in the mountains. During the winter I record the conditions that I find and split my time between home in Snowdonia and Scotland. www.expeditionguide.com

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Navigation Weekend

Huw has been out today running our mountain navigation and skills course this weekend. The Eastern end of the Glyderau provided 'off track' navigation and solace from the Easter crowds yesterday. The weekend could turn out to be good training for tomorrow as we are running our Welsh 3000's and the start of the day looks a little grey, OK later on though: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/forecast/snowdon-summit-gwynedd#?tab=fiveDay&fcTime=1397948400

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Thoughts & Prayers

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of those who died yesterday on Everest and closer to home on Snowdon. Young lives lost in the mountains are always hard to reconcile and the tragedy will touch many of us within our small community.

Family fun on Tryfan

Whilst I was working on our advanced Scrambling course yesterday Huw was out with the Angers family on Tryfan. As well as just setting out to have a good time scrambling around in the Easter sunshine there have hopefully been some skills learned and refreshed that will stand them in good stead during mountain adventures to come.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday

I took Julia and Stewart up the Clogwyn Y Person Arete onto Carnedd Ugain today where we briefly joined the masses who were out enjoying Crib Goch in this beautiful Easter sunshine. We soon left them behind again though as we descended the little frequented North Ridge of Cwm Glas to give another excellent days scrambling in more stunning weather.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Advanced Scrambling Course

I have been joined by Stewart and Julia for the next couple of days and today saw us head up Dolmen Ridge (3), down Bristly Ridge (1) and up the Cneifion Arete (3) today on day one of our advanced scrambling course. It has been a bit cooler with a fresh NW wind which is nice for my sunburnt bald head :-)

Climbing in the Pass

I had a day off yesterday and spent the morning indoors catching up on admin but then had a lovely walk with the kids in the afternoon followed by some evening cragging with Bryn in the the Llanberis Pass (Mabinogion E1 5c) and then a rescue team meeting so all in all a busy day.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

ML Training in Trail Magazine

The May edition of Trail Magazine hits the shops this week and features a nice 6 page article on our ML Training course from last November. Trail chose us to train staff writer Dan Aspel and are splitting the feature over 2 magazines so the second half will follow next month. Have a giggle at some of the anecdotes as one or two of them have different endings to the ones I told :-) It all makes for a good read though and a useful insight for anyone considering doing their ML.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

News from Arcteryx

Following my recent post I have heard back from Arcteryx, they have offered to repair the waterproof salopettes and re-enforce them in the areas of abrasion - good news and I look forward to sharing the outcome with you all.

Non Snowdon Horseshoe

The boys and I planned on doing the Snowdon horseshoe today but fell at the first fence when we found that Pen Y Pass was already rammed this morning! Instead we parked in the Pass and headed up the North Ridge of Crib Goch, across Crib Goch and Garnedd Ugain and then down the North Ridge of Cwm Glas to give our very own non-Snowdon horseshoe and a fine day out in beautiful weather.

NEW Video - A Winter in the Mountains 2014

Here is my latest film on Vimeo for those people who were struggling with the YouTube version: http://vimeo.com/user3099237/awinterinthemoutains

Monday, April 14, 2014

Evening cragging at Tremadog

You have to be careful typing evening cragging on a Mac as auto-correct changes it to evening dragging and thats something totally different! Anyway Bryn and I had a nice evening of cragging in the warm sunshine at Tremadog and here are some photos!

Bochclwyd Horseshoe

I have been joined for two days by Chris and Shane for an introduction to scrambling here in Snowdonia. It has been a stunning spring day with a bit of cloud first thing soon clearing to give some lovely blue skies and sunshine. Both chaps had done a bit of scrambling before and fancied the North Ridge of Tryfan. We combined that with an ascent of Bristly Ridge, lunch on the cantilever and a descent of the Gribin Ridge to give a lovely day out and plenty of grade 1 mileage. Its great to be home!

New Film - A Winter in the Mountains (2014)

This winter has been snowy, windy and wild - a real challenge to work and play in, finding venues to educate, motivate and inspire people and stay safe at the same time. There has been more snow in Scotland than I have ever seen before and Hamish MacInnes has been reported as saying that there has been more snow than he can remember since the mid 1940's. The weather improved as the winter went on and hopefully my short film captures the mood of the mountains and the fun we enjoyed along the way!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Arcteryx Waterproofs Warning

I bought a new set of Arcteryx Goretex salopettes last November. Those that know me will know that I rave about them as I have had 2 sets previously and they have been superb. Unfortunately this set started leaking quite badly within a few weeks of them arriving. They cost £380 and so I sent them back to Arcteryx to see what the problem was. This is the first time I have ever had to send a piece of kit back but knowing that Arcteryx put an emphasis on quality I was not concerned.

After several emails backwards and forwards they wanted to know what trousers I wore underneath my salopettes and here is the final response I got:

Hi Rob,

I see that the Patagonia Guide Pants have quite a few zippers and the sliders are what have most likely been causing this abrasion. Rob, our bib pants are more meant to be worn over base layers, not another pair of  technical semi waterproof pant such as a guide pant. Zippers and clasps will create raised areas under the Bibs and these areas will be more susceptible to abrasion. Rob, if I replace the pants for you, the same thing is going to happen unless you wear a different pant underneath. I can look at seeing if the original pants are able to be fixed, but as expressed to me, there were quite a few holes in the pants.

Lauren Ota
Warranty Service Representative
ARC'TERYX Equipment Inc

The end result - the salopettes I sent them have been recycled and I have no waterproof trousers. I was not aware that we should not wear soft-shell trousers under a hard shell so thought I would share this with you all to avoid you making the same costly mistake! For those days in the UK where you wear a soft-shell for the majority of the day and slip a hard shell over the top when it rains - you will need to buy something other than Arcteryx!

Friday, April 11, 2014

4000m Peaks on Skis

The boys and I spent the last couple of nights in the Brittania Hut above Saas Fee. This gave some great access to some of the stunning mountains around it and we bagged a couple of 4000m peaks on skis, with a bit of boot action to the final summit of each. Its incredible how efficient it is travelling on skis in winter, we skied from the summit of the Allalinhorn (4027m) to the resort yesterday in less than an hour! The day before saw us climb Strahlhorn (4128m) and enjoy an amazing ski descent. I am on my way home now and thats the end of winter for me, 24c in France as we drive towards Calais, bring on the summer!

Monday, April 07, 2014

Ski Mountaineering in Saas Fee

I am in Saas Fee this week with Dave, Sandy and Monty for a bit more ski mountaineering action. Its a funnily little town that I haven't been to before, its car free which is nice but seems to be lacking something in the way of atmosphere! The mountains are great though and we enjoyed over a 1000m of skinning to pick off a summit (Feechopf 3839m) this morning which gave us some great views across to the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc and some great spring snow in descent. Heres some piccies: