Sunday, April 27, 2008

Escaping another childrens party

My two youngest boys were at a childrens party yesterday afternoon whilst Josh and I were climbing at Symonds Yat. This afternoon they had another one and I came perilously close to going! Fortunately a good friend of mine, Terry, came round for lunch and fancied an afternoon cragging. We headed back down to Symonds Yat with Josh and climbed Snoozing Susan. This is Symonds Yats only alpine route which can be 3 pitches, admittedly the 2nd pitch is only a walk though! It is a lovely V Diff and we managed to avoid the rain. We then headed down to the South End and did a 35m abseil over the mouth of a large cave, known locally as "Alecs Ab".

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Symonds Yat with Josh

I have got this weekend off so after a morning at home I took Josh, my eldest son, to sample the delights of our local crag, Symonds Yat. Josh has climbed there before but only in a top rope environment a couple of years ago. We abseiled down to the foot of my favourite climb, the long stone pinnacle. We climbed the easiest route, Vertigo (severe) and sunbathed on the top looking down the river Wye. We did another short route afterwards and then enjoyed tea and cakes in the cafe.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Grooved Arete, Tryfan

Claire joined Simon and I today for a day of rock climbing on warm rock in the sunshine. On days like today you wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world and I definitely have the best job! We walked up to the Heather Terrace on Tryfan and climbed Grooved Arete - an 8 pitch Hard Very Difficult rock climb that finishes on the summit ridge of my favorite mountain in North Wales. The photos show the first pitch complete with rock graffiti (why do people still do this - some cretin has scratched their name not far from here), Simon & Claire on the Knights move, Claire on belay and climbing pitch 7. Another brilliant day! Photos can be viewed at the gallery.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Main Wall & Gambit Climb

Regular client and friend Simon decided he wanted to celebrate his 40th birthday in style - he couldn't think of anything and so booked me for a couple of days instead! The plan was to have a day of rock climbing with just the two of us and then a day of easier climbing or scrambling with his wife Claire joining us. Originally we had planned an overnight bivvy as well but this got binned with a wet night forecast.

Today we headed up into Cwm Glas and climbed Main Wall and then Gambit Climb.
Main Wall is a 6 pitch Hard Severe that climbs through some outrageous mountain architecture and has some truly awesome settings. Check out Simon on the hanging belay! There are one or two places where you have to look down at your feet and all you see is a big, big drop! The sun was shining all day giving us the warmest day of the year so far so once we had topped out we headed upto the Clogwyn-y-Person Arete abd climbed Gambit Climb. This is a 5 pitch Severe that is described in the guidebook as the best easy climb in North Wales! It was great and we then scrambled up the arete, across the ridge of Crib Y Ddysgl and back down for beer! You can view all of the photos at my gallery - click on the link on the right of this page.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Milestone Buttress

It was a cold and wet day today with 50 mph winds and still lots of snow on the tops meaning that we needed to stay low. The Milestone Buttress was the obvious choice and we did the grade 3 scramble across the front of the buttress before abbing off for the practice!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Private Guiding - Advanced Scrambling

Returning client Jason joined me this weekend for some advanced scrambling. Today we climbed the Idwal Staircase and the Cneifion Arete. It was pretty cold but stayed dry for the day and we were nicely sheltered from the easterly winds. We looked at some abseiling skills on the Gribin facet at the end of the day

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Cneiffion Arete

We had another great day today with more beautiful sunshine making it feel very Alpine. We spent the morning doing some skills in Cwm Idwal with Chris and Tom on the sharp end of the rope learning to lead for roped scrambles. We then headed up into the nameless Cwm and did the Cneiffion Arete. This is my favorite scramble in North Wales and starts with a couple of rock climbing pitches followed by a steep ridge with small steps and pinnacles giving a very Alpine flavour.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Advanced Scrambling Course

I was joined today by Tom and Chris for a couple of days of advanced scrambling on grade 2 and 3 scrambles. The met office forecast has been the same for the last 7 days in a row now, forecasting heavy showers later every day. Thankfully it has been wrong everyday and we had another beautiful afternoon of sunshine. We started off on Tryfan Bach before heading up onto the East Ridge of Tryfan and scrambling up Bastow Gully Butress and descending the North Ridge. We also managed a quick abseil off Tryfan Bach on the way back down.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Navigation & Hill Skills Course

We headed up onto Pen Yr Ole Wen this morning and across the Carneddau in lots of snow. It was more like a winter skills course at times but the snow was soft enough not to need crampons and axes and we all had a wonderful time - even managing a spot of bivvy bag sledging on the way down!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Navigation & Hill Skills Course

I was joined for the weekend by Laura, Sarah, Sturat, Les, Keith & Racheal for a 2 day navigation and hill skills course. Today we spent the day looking at micro navigation with great views of Snowdon and fresh snowfall.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Navigation on the Caneddau

Monica and I headed onto the back of the Carneddau today to hone her navigation skills some more. We spent the day looking at typical WGL navigation points and enjoyed a mixture of weather and some fine views out to sea.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Litlle & North Gullies, Tryfan

Monica and I headed up the East face of Tryfan today via Little and North Gullies and descended the North Ridge. We rounded the day off with some navigation below Tryfan, finding ring contours, pools etc to help Monica prepare for her Walking Group Leader assessment. We had a few snow showers but plenty of sunshine too. It is very beautiful in North Wales at the moment with crisp blue skies and snow capped peaks.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Gribin, Lliwedd

I have been out today with Monica, a returning private client who is up for 3 days of navigation and scrambling in North Wales. We did some navigation this morning around the lakes from Pen y Pass and then headed up the Gribin, a grade 1 scramble, and across Lliwedd. There was plenty of snow about but it was all soft and mushy so we did not need crampons. It looked great though!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Intro to scrambling course

I have been out this weekend with Cath, John, Tony and Terry on an intro to scrambling course. We headed up Seniors Ridge to Glyder Fawr on Saturday and then up the S.E ridge of Moel Siabod on Sunday. The weather was beautiful with blue skies, sunshine and the odd snow shower. The cold Northerly winds made their presence felt but the snow was soft on the ground and crampons were not required. You can view more photos here