Friday, October 31, 2008

Snowdon in the Snow

The team were keen to climb Snowdon today so we decided to head up the Miners track to see what the conditions were like. The temperature has been markedly warmer today and the snowline has risen a couple of hundred metres. Nevertheless we were on snow from Llyn Lydaw and a chill NE wind made its presence felt. After leaving Glaslyn and reaching the point where the Miners track and the PYG track meet we decided that the conditions underfoot were too slippery to safely carry on and descend the same way. The snow was heavily compacted by the passage of many feet and the consequences of a slip are potentially high on the zig zags. If we had been equipped with crampons and axes then we would have been able to carry on. There were plenty of people still carrying on but hopefully they were equipped and perhaps descending the Llanberis path. The light was great and we got some lovely photos. In terms of climbing conditions there was some ice about but it was melting fast and was very thin. The Trinity Face was rimed up but I would imagine that the snow remains unconsolidated powder. You can view all of the photos from this week on the gallery page of the website, click the link on the right of this page.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Moel Siabod

It has been dry this morning and then snowing steadily all afternoon over about 500m (ish). The ground underneath remains unfrozen at 870m which is as high as we got today. We had a great day following the ridge that you can see in the photo and there were plenty of people out today enjoying the fine views and conditions.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Navigation in the snow

Today we headed up onto Pen yr Ole Wen on the Carneddau and enjoyed the snow that has fallen over the last day and night and was still falling today. As you can see from the photos it was looking fairly wintery but the ground below is still not frozen. It was good to see plenty of folks out with axes at the ready and we had great weather for navigation with a proper whiteout on Cefn Ysgolion Duon from Carnedd Dafydd. We looked at sastrugi, rime ice and cornices so it was almost a winter skills course!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Snow in Snowdonia

It has been very wintry in the mountains today with lots of the white stuff and pretty cold temperatures. The team and I headed up the Devils Kitchen and back down again as the snow fell down to the road level. The ground underneath is not frozen so there is no scope for winter climbing yet but carrying an axe and crampons is a good idea, especially after a good freeze tonight as its cold outside. The snow will become consolidated on the main paths and they will become icy and slippery so be careful!
This evening I was out on a rescue on Snowdon where a person had slipped on the Watkin path and suffered a head injury.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Navigation & Scrambling 5 day course

I have been joined for the week by Kurtis, Ben, Tom & Andrew for a navigation and scrambling course. Today we concentrated in micro navigation and headed onto the back of the Glyders behind the PYG Hotel. It was a lot colder today than it has been, we only got to about 500m but the temperatures on the summits can only have been a couple of degrees. It is forecast to get even colder tomorrow and a few snow showers might come our way so fingers crossed for some nice photos!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Navigation in Snowdonia

I have been working for Wilderness Survival Skills ( this weekend running a navigation course for Joe, Keith, Dave, Jason & Glen. Yesterday we headed into Cwm Tregallan on the back of Snowdon with 80 mph winds and lashing rain on the summits. We got a little damp but it was ideal navigation weather! Today we had a dry day with just one heavy sleet shower and we headed up Y Garn. The wind was still gusty but not so high as to be knocking us about. A great weekend in great company and we were joined by Sally my Jack Russell who was proudly showing off her new winter coat!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sport Climbing

I have spent the day with friends Bryn & Rich doing some sport climbing around the North Coast. It stayed dry this morning and then rain stopped play mid afternoon so we escaped to the pub!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Climbing on Anglesey

I joined a couple of friends, Sid & Tom, on Anglesey this morning for some climbing. We headed to Holyhead Mountain and enjoyed the views of white horses and great waves which would have made climbing on Gogarth interesting! We climbed Tension (VS) and Bruvvers (HVS 5a).
This afternoon I have been part of the way up Snowdon carrying a stretcher on a rescue. We were marginally beaten to the casualty by the helicopter whose crew did a brilliant job winching the casualty in high winds and lashing rain.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Advanced Scrambling

Shaine and I headed into Cwm Idwal today and looked at placing gear, building belays and abseiling. We climbed the first pitch of Ordinary Route on the Idwal Slabs and abseiled off before scrambling up the side of the slabs with Shaine on the sharp end. Another dry day in Snowdonia!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Advanced Scrambling - Dolmen Ridge

I have been joined by Shaine for two days of scrambling on some of the grade 2 and 3 scrambles that Snowdonia has to offer. We were also joined by Sally for the day who is preparing for her Mountain Instructor Award assessment. We headed up Dolmen Ridge on Glyder Fach, had a quick pose on the cantilever stone and then down the Gribin ridge. It was a lovely dry day with the cloud swirling around the tops and creating some lovely views and light.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Hill Skills & Navigation - Glyder Fach

We headed up onto Glyder Fach today from the Pen Y Gwyrd Hotel. We had some beautiful sunshine and enjoyed the fine autumn colours whilst practicing the navigation skills learnt yesterday within a mountain journey.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Navigation & Hill Skills Course

I have been joined by Marina, Gwen and Gemma this weekend for our navigation & hill skills course. It has been drizzly all day with low cloud so ideal conditions for learning how to navigate. We headed up into Cwm Tregalan on Snowdon where it was reasonably quiet and beautiful in the autumn colours and swirling cloud.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Rock Climbing in the Llanberis Pass

John and I headed to the Llanberis Pass today and climbed Wrinkle, V Diff and Crackstone Rib, Severe. It has been another lovely day and a real pleasure to be climbing in the crisp autumn air whilst enjoying the beautiful mountain views of the Pass.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Rock Climbing at Holyhead Mountain

It has been a gorgeous day today on Anglesey and unfortunately I managed to leave the camera at home! We have had blue skies and sunshine all day and were basking on the rocks like lizards between climbs. John and I had a great day and climbed Slab Direct, V Diff, Mrs Murdoch, Severe 4a, New Boots & Panties, Severe 4a, The Duffel, Hard Severe 4a and Teaser, Very Severe 4c. We celebrated with a good Spagetti courtesy of Kate tonight!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Gribin Ridge, Snowdon

We decided this morning whilst sat in the cafe staring out at the pouring rain that a day of scrambling would be more fun than a day of rock climbing. We headed for Pen y Pass and walked up the Miners Track to Glaslyn and then headed up the Gribin Ridge. This is a great grade 1 scramble that leads onto the Watkin path that we then followed to the summit of Snowdon. The cafe appears to be nearing completion but was a grim workplace today! We got some lovely views as we descended and the sun bravely broke through the cloud.

Monday, October 06, 2008

5 day rock climbing course

I have been joined this week by John and Roger has stayed on from the weekend for a couple of days for a rock climbing course. We headed to the Idwal Slabs today for Johns first rock climb outside. We climbed Hope and then looked at abseiling in our descent. The day started off dry and a drizzle set in from lunch time. This evening was spent on a Mountain Rescue training evening.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Rope Skills Course

We had a beautiful day of sunshine today and spent the day in the Ogwen valley looking at solving problems such as:
Stuck climber.
Accompanied abseils.
Escaping from the system.
Dealing with an unconcious second
Lowering past a knot
Hoisting - useful for crevasse rescue, haul bags or hoisting an injured or stuck second. I then met up with a couple of friends for a quick climb in the Slate quarries and a beer at the pub on a lovely crisp autumnal evening. Its beginning to feel like winter is on the way!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Rope Skills Course

I have been joined for the weekend by Rachel, Roger and Ian for a rope skills course. Today was spent in heavy rain at Fach Wen near Llanberis looking at Building single and multi pitch belays that are in reach and out of reach.
Building top rope systems.
Lowering a climber to the ground.
Holding a fall.
Using direct and indirect belays.
Double rope technique.
Protecting abeils.
Building efficient retrievable abseils.
Abseiling in a multi pitch setting.
The forecast is for a brighter day tomorrow so fingers crossed!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Frendo Spur - Film now available to view

I have spent the last couple of days at home doing some DIY and helping a mate do some DIY! The photo shows Bryn hacking of plaster with a DMM Alien! Last night was spent on First Aid training with the rescue team and this morning we were called out to a rescue on Snowdon. I have also finished editing the short film of our trip to climb the Frendo Spur. You can view it here: