Saturday, August 16, 2014

Off to the Alps

I am heading out to the Alps today for our Swiss 3000 summits week. I will be out of contact until the 26th, fingers crossed for the weather! 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Milestone Buttress

For the final day of our learn to lead course we headed to Milestone Buttress in the Ogwen Valley. Jude & Rob chose to lead Direct Route (V Diff), including the chimney pitch, whilst Marie and Laurie climbed Rowan Route under the watchful eye of Bryn. We enjoyed some nice sunshine as well as the odd brief shower to finish off a great weeks climbing. Thanks very much all.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Learning to lead on sea cliffs

I was at Rhoscolyn today teaching the skills involved in leading routes on sea cliffs. Jude & Rob have spent the last couple of days in the capable hands of fellow instructor and friend Sam on the Idwal Slabs and then at Tremadog. They are happy leading independently and with abseiling so today we put it all together at the coast and looked at some of the extra things to think about when climbing above the sea. We started the day with some basic problem solving techniques and then they lead Symphony Crack (Diff), organising their own scramble and abseil to the foot of the crag and then leading the route in two good pitches. To finish off the day I lead them up Truant (VS 4c) to make the most of the glorious sunshine - superb.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Family Wild Camp

Last night Kate and I took the boys wild camping on the Northern end of the Carneddau, walking out of our back door with everyone loaded up for a nights adventure. We enjoyed a spectacular sunset, ghostly stories and minimal sleep :-)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Film Work

I have been presenting today for a couple of films being made by the Association of Mountaineering Instructors (AMI) for the BMC TV channel. The films are being put together in a small series and I was presenting top tips and instruction for heading out onto grade 1, 2 and 3 scrambles. The weather was great for us in the Ogwen Valley and it was an honour to be asked to to be involved.

Photo thanks to Steve Long

Monday, August 11, 2014

Climbing in the sunshine

I have a five day learn to lead climbing course this week and I have been out with regular clients Jude and Rob whilst Bryn has been out with Marie and Laurie. I have been having physio on my knee for the last couple of weeks and it felt great to be out climbing again today, especially as the sun has been shining all day and its been pain free! We climbed at Holyhead mountain, consolidating the experience Jude & Rob have in preparation for them taking over on the sharp end of the rope as the week develops. There was a fresh breeze but it was stunning!

Welsh 3000

Yesterday we had a Welsh 3000 challenge event running and a big well done goes out to Graham, Clive, Philip, Steve and Al who set out at 5:00am from Pen Y Pass in some pretty grim weather. The team was lead by Bryn to Nant Peris taking in Snowdon and Garnedd Ugain (wisely missing Crib Goch in the winds). Rob then took over for the middle section to the Ogwen Valley where the team arrived for about 5:00pm making good time despite strong winds and driving rain. As they reached Tryfan the gusts became too great and so a team decision was made to abandon the challenge in the face of great adversity! Well done all on a sterling effort! 

Friday, August 08, 2014

ML Assessment

The last 3 days have formed the expedition element of the Mountain Leader Assessment that we are running this week. I am under strict instructions from my physio to rest a slightly strained knee so have shared the work with fellow Mountaineering Instructor Jez and the boys have enjoyed a couple of nights on the Glyderau and Snowdon to finish another excellent week, thanks all.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

ML Assessment

I have been out with Jack, Oscar and Alistair today for the second day of their ML Assessment. Today was spent looking at security on steep ground with and without the use of a rope and our venue of choice was Cwm Idwal and Seniors Ridge. We had a damp spell in the middle of the day but otherwise some lovely weather.

Monday, August 04, 2014


I have just got back from a lovely weeks holiday in Braemar in the Cairngorms. We had a big family get together and stayed in the National Trust owned Mar Lodge estate, a week of cycling, swimming in mountain streams and walking in wide open spaces with the Kate and the kids, my Mum & Dad and my sister and her husband - what summer holidays are all about!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Dolmen Ridge

I have been out with Martin & Justin again today and they had Dolmen Ridge on the main cliff of Glyder Fach on their hit list. We used the day to look at maintaining flow whilst roped scrambling and there was a pleasant breeze to keep us from over-heating. Its been another scorcher though!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Crib Goch in the sunshine

For the second day of our intro to scrambling course I took the team along Crib Goch in perfect weather, blue skies, sunshine and no wind. The air clarity was amazing with far reaching views to Ireland and mid Wales - incredible.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Intro to Scrambling

I have been out with Martin, Justin, Chris and Beth and assisted by Rob today for the first day of our intro to scrambling course. We headed up the North Ridge of Tryfan which we used for lots of movement coaching and risk assessment skills before ascending Bristly Ridge to put it all into practice. It has been another stunning day!