Sunday, June 15, 2008

Hill Skills & Navigation Course

I have been joined this weekend by Sean, Clare & Chris for a weekend of navigation and hill skills. We have had lovely blues skies all weekend with a fresh NW wind today and some cloud cover. Yesterday we headed up the back of Pen Y Pass Youth Hostel looking at micro navigation and use of the compass, mountain weather and emergency procedures. Today we went up Pen Yr Ole Wen and Carnedd Dafydd to out all of the skills into the context of a mountain journey.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Snowdonia Mountain Challenge with Barry McGuigan

I was joined for the last two days by returning clients Monica and Jane along with Monicas brother Liam and retired world champion boxer Barry McGuigan. Our aim was to complete the Snowdonia Mountain Challenge to raise money for the Rod Kesson Benefit Fund

The Snowdonia Mountain Challenge is a tough and grueling attempt to climb all of the mountaineering peaks over 3000 ft in the Snowdon and Glyderau ranges of the Snowdonia National Park over 2 days. The first day involved a 7:00am start up the Miners track on Snowdon. We were greeted by the entertaining sight of the Llanberis mountain rescue team installing a piano near the summit for a recital by Bryn Terfel later in the day. Barry entertained the workers to the delight of the assembled photographers before we headed over Garnedd Ugain and along Crib Goch. This was Barrys first taste of scrambling but the other 3 were all experienced and we enjoyed having the ridge almost to ourselves.
We dropped down to the Llanberis Pass before starting a long and arduous climb back up the other side to the summit of Elidir Fawr. We were climbing in the heat of the midday sun and starting to feel the pain! Blisters were also starting to make their presence felt in the team.
Our journey then took us up to the summit of Y Garn completing over 7000 feet of ascent before we dropped down to the Ogwen Valley via Cwm Idwal for a pick up 13 hours after we had started.

The following morning we climbed the Gribin Ridge, a grade 1 scramble that leads to the summit plateau of the Glyders. Barry and I engaged in a chin up competition on the Cantilever Stone much to the dismay of the ladies! We bagged our last two summits of the challenge, Glyder Fawr and Glyder Fach before descending back to the Ogwen Valley for tea and medals!
You can view the photos at my gallery and donate to the appeal here:

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Rock Improvers - Day 2

We headed to Holyhead Mountain today where the sun always shines - and it did! Tim & Sophie lead all day with me alongside them and pushed their grade up to Severe on New Boots & Panties, Mrs Murdoch and Steps. We revisited skills from yesterday including how to self protect an abseil and building good belays. A great couple of days.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Rock Improvers Course

This weekend I have been joined by Tim and Sophie for a rcok improvers course. Both have been climbing for 3 years and want some feedback on belays, abseiling and tips on pushing their grade. We climbed Charity on the Idwal Slabs today. It was overcast this morning but has developed into a beautiful day.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Rock Improvers Course

I spent the last two days with Jason and Tom on a rock improvers course. Both had done some climbing before and wanted to improve their existing skills and build confidence on the sharp end. On Tuesday we climbed Hope and Lazarus and the first couple of pitches of Ordinary Route on the Idwal Slabs whilst yesterday we headed to Holyhead Mountain and climbed a range of routes with both guys leading. We had fantastic sunshine both days again!