Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Milestone Buttress

Mags and I headed to the Milestone Buttress today as Mags wanted to get on some steeper ground than yesterday, on the sharp end of the rope. We climbed the Milestone Scramble (3) and Continuation Route (3) with Mags leading the route the whole way in great style on another beautiful sunny day.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Thank You

Hi Rob

What a brilliant week!!

I think Rich said that it was a trip of "extremes" and there is no argument there....

Hot, 1,500m, climbs through forest, along cliff faces, scrambles, beautiful scenery, high level plateaus and scintillating summits. Amazing descents along zig-zag paths, surrounded by endless valleys and Dwarf Pine terraces.
The "Mountain huts" and hut living. Wholesome food, Dremel resistant Sausage, hearty breakfasts and no loitering in the toilet.

Cold, snow covered, freezing paths.

Soft beds, clean sheets and relaxing shower. Followed by Gourmet food and fine wine.

But, best of all was the company!!

Thanks for the company and the laughs. And, of course, Rob for your Skills, Judgement and Expertise.

See you all again soon.

Best regards

Barry- Scrambling in Slovenia, September 2014

Hi Rob
Many thanks for our trip to Slovenia and for making my first alpine sortie
so enjoyable. What a beautiful country!!

Thanks Richard and Tracey for the compilation of photo's and you Rob for yours which I

Thanks Barry for looking after me!

Thanks especially to you Rob for organising the trip and your guidance during it. I was really
made up to sample some via ferrata and the whole experience surpassed my expectations.

All the best

Bill - Scrambling in Slovenia, September 2014

Advanced Scrambling Learn to Lead

I have been out with repeat client Mags today on the second day of an advanced scrambling learn to lead course. Yesterday she was out with Sam who took her to Tryfan Bach and together they looked at the nuts and bolts of gear placements and belays. I had a client cancel from this course and so the usual approach of getting people leading with me alongside can't happen but we improvised today in Cwm Idwal. We started off on the Idwal Staircase with me leading and Mags building her own belays/selecting her own anchors until I was happy to hand over the reins on this lovely grade 2 scramble. We then headed up into Cwm Cneifion and shared leads on the Cneifion Arete, by far and away the best scramble in Snowdonia! It has been sublimely warm, this summer has been amazing!

Slovenia Video & Dates for 2015

I have put  together a short film of our trip to the Julian Alps last week, I hope you enjoy it. The dates for next years repeat visit are also now on the diary page.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Thank You

Many thanks for the fantastic opportunity to test run your Slovenian Trip. Tracey and I had a superb time. Slovenia was beautiful and the trekking was better than we could have dreamed. The scrambling from the overnight hut to the summit will be very hard to beat! Once again, your relaxed and boundless enthusiasm ensured that we had an unforgettable holiday. 

Of course finishing the holiday with two exquisite multiple-course meals in the space of 6 hours in a superb hotel didn't taint the holiday at all!!!  ;-)

The Julian Alps, Slovenia

I have just got back from a week in the Julian Alps of Slovenia. This was my first trip and I was joined by Bill, Barry, Tracy and Richard who responded to my request for adventurous souls up for an adventure on our first trip out there. I was tempted in no short part by an article that I had read in Trail Magazine which described stunning mountains, hearty food and welcoming people and we were not disappointed - it was a superb week.

Slovenia borders Italy and Austria and our drive into the mountains rivalled any that I have made into either country, lush alpine meadows, rolling forests, chocolate box houses and stunning steep sided limestone mountains calling us upwards.

Our aim was to climb Slovenias highest mountain, Triglav, which sits at 2864m. The forecast looked good for the first half of the week and so on Monday we headed up to the Triglavski Dom, a mountain refuge and observatory situated at 2515m. Our route up was great fun, we chose a scramble approach that was protected by fixed equipment in all the steep places and wound its way up through the forests and onto the limestone plateau which hosts the hut.

The scrambling is hard to compare to the UK. Essentially this was a trekking week but protecting ourselves using fixed equipment on the scrambling sections. We didn't need a rope at any point and many of the people we met used a simple sling and Krab or nothing at all to protect themselves. Erring on the side of caution I took Via Ferrata kits and helmets out for everyone and we used them on the steep sections to keep ourselves safe in the event of a slip or loose rock being knocked down from above. The scrambling rivalled that found on the likes of Crib Goch or Bristly Ridge but was more sustained (it went on for longer) and had metal handrails and cable ways to clip into. This meant it was easy to protect but you needed a good head for heights.

The food in the huts was plain and the choice limited but the people were friendly and the views stunning. The mountains themselves reminded me very much of the Picos de Europa, stunning steep limestone towers, sharp grippy rock and deep gorges and valleys on either side - gorgeous.

Tuesday morning saw and early start and we summited Triglav an hour or so after dawn to incredible views. The route up was great fun, constantly interesting but well protected and we only saw a handful of other people. (A picture in the hut shows how busy it can get in peak season - think the summit of Snowdon on a bank holiday Monday but with more people!) We then descended the South Ridge and enjoyed lunch at the Dolic Hut before ascending Kanjavec (2569) in the afternoon.

On Wednesday the weather broke and we descended back to the valley via a lovely 6 hour trek through the forests and valleys and over a high pass and then made our way to the ski resort of Kranjska Gora for a fine meal and a nice night in a hotel.

On Thursday it was raining heavily and falling as snow on the mountains. Rather than waste the day we climbed Mala Mojstrovka (2332m) but had to turn round about 20m below the summit as the snow was settling fast and I was concerned about the consequences of a slip on the summit ridge. It felt like the arrival of winter and the rosy cheeks and giggles were testament to another good day out - despite the weather!

Our final night was pent in the resort town of Bled where we reminisced over fine wine and food and all agreed we would be back!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Thank You

Hi Rob,
Had a great couple of days’ scrambling on Thursday and Friday with Bryn. It has given me a perspective on what is involved in grade 2 and 3 scrambles and plenty to ponder. I found the Dolmen Ridge hard work (not fit and flexible enough!) but seemed to find my rhythm a bit more on Cneifion Arete/North West Face. Good company in Bryn and John (on the first day) and good instruction from Bryn made it enjoyable as well as tiring. Please pass on my thanks to Bryn.

All the best, Andy - Advanced Scrambling - Sept 2014

Hey Rob, how's it going?

How were the Julian Alps? You going back next year?

Sorry it's taken me a while to get in touch, I meant to email you sooner. Just wanted to say thanks for a great trip - I had an amazing time and so did the old man (although it took him over a week to stop moaning about his knees)! Going back to work on the Monday upset me.

Anyway, onto the next trip I suppose! Can't wait for Morocco. If it's anywhere near as good as the Swiss 3000's it's going to be awesome.

I would also like to take the last place you have on the Scottish Winter Mountaineering in May.

Also, as mentioned I'd like to join you for some scrambling in Skye followed by some climbing on the sea stacks. Let me know your thoughts and we can get something planned :)

Anyway, hope all is well.


Swiss 3000's week - August 2014

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Julian Alps

I am off to the Julian Alps in Slovenia for a week now, until the 13th September, for a week of scrambling on our new Scrambling in Slovenia course. We are in mountain huts for most of the week so I will be out of contact until I get back but look forward to sharing the photos when we return!

Friday, September 05, 2014

Trail Magazine Feature

In this months Trail Magazine you can read Ben Weeks account of our ascent of the Cneifion Arete, here in Snowdonia. The day inspired him enough to take some holiday and come back to do our 3 day advanced scrambling learn to lead course and now he can go and do it for himself. There are some great photos from Tom Bailey too.

Idwal Slabs

For the final day of our five day climbing course we headed into Cwm Idwal and the boys lead Hope on the Idwal Slabs including the scramble off and managed the descent for themselves. It has been another dry and warm day giving a great ending to a brilliant week - thanks boys!

Bryn has also been out working for me today and yesterday with repeat client Andy who joined our advanced scrambling course - they did Dolmen Ridge yesterday and then NW Face Route and the Cneifion Arete today.