Sunday, May 31, 2009

Inaccessible Pinnacle - Summit Success!

As you can see from the photos Monica, Geoff, Ian & Sue all enjoyed summit success on the In Pinn on Friday after a great week on Skye. We had a very wet day climbing the Cioch on Thursday but Friday saw a lifting of the cloud and some strong winds combined with the sunshine to dry the rock out nicely. Well done to all four and thanks to Bryn for his help all week - a great week. You can view the weeks photos on the gallery page of the website. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Skye - The Misty Isle

Well Skye has been living up to its name over the last couple of days. I arrived on Saturday and spent Sunday revisiting old friends and favourite places in driving rain and gale force winds. 
I have been joined for the week by regular client Monica and her friends Sue & Geoff, as well as returning client Ian. Friend Bryn has been working with me to keep the ratios at 1:2 and the aim of the week is to pick off some of the best grade 1, 2 & 3 scrambles on the island. 

On Monday we headed onto Sgurr a Mhadaidh (2) and Sgurr a Ghreadaidh (3). The cloud stayed low for most of the day but the wind stayed away and we only had a light drizzle to contend with. As the day went on the sun came out to play and we enjoyed some of the stunning views of mountains dropping straight down into the sea that we had come to see. 

Yesterday we headed up on Banachdich via its South Ridge. This gives a great grade 2 scarmble along a knife edge ridge that typifies Skye. The weather threw everything at us from snow to sunshine and we enjoyed some more fine views in the afternoon. 

Today is being spent at the Schoolhouse Buttress at Elgol looking at a spot of rock climbing and abseiling in preparation for what lays in store in the mountains later in the week.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Lake District Rock Climbing - Napes Needle & Little Chamonix

Its a well known fact that rock climbing in the Lake District is not as good as in North Wales (cue instant emails and abuse!!) but I have ventured over the border for a couple of days climbing with Jo and Adam. Jo has been out with me a couple of times before and fancied climbing Napes Needle, so dragged Adam along for his first ever outdoor rock climb. When we arrived yesterday morning the weather was dry and the rock dry enough so we decided to crack straight on with the main event.

Napes Needle is often described as the birthplace of English rock climbing. It is a free standing pinnacle of rock on the side of Great Gable, at an altitude of about 600m with fine views down to Wast Water and then out to sea. The day was dry and bright but with a chill breeze to keep us on our toes. 

We climbed the Wasdale Crack. The first pitch is only about V Diff but is highly polished and leads to a shoulder below an overhanging block. The second pitch leads to the top on balancy holds with little gear and is now graded Hard Severe. The summit has room for two people and a belay is fashioned by looping the rope around the back of the pinnacle and under the overhang. Adam & Jo climbed well and we all enjoyed the summit views before descending. The top pitch has to be down climbed by the leader to the shoulder, followed by an abseil. 

Today we chased the sun to Borrowdale for some roadside cragging above Derwent Water at Sergeants Crags. We climbed Little Chamonix which is a beautiful 4 pitch V Diff, continuously interesting and very pretty. This allowed us to look at the skills needed for Jo & Adam to lead their own climbs. We then headed to Brown Slab (Diff) which they both lead in succession. 

A lovely couple of days! I am now heading up to Skye for the rest of next week. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Off to the Lakes & then Skye

I am heading upto the Lake District this evening for a couple of days and then onto the Isle of Skye for our Skye scrambling course next week. This might mean that I am little slower than normal replying to emails etc so bear with me. Photos and reports will follow as long as I can get some internet access. Kate and family will be home to answer any telephone enquiries as normal. 

Monday, May 18, 2009

Learn to lead private guiding day

I was joined for the day today by Gavin and Lesley who climb together indoors and have done a little outdoor climbing in the Peak District. They wanted a day looking at leading climbs outdoors and so we headed to Tremadog and enjoyed some multi pitch climbing looking at the skills involved in leading. We worked with my goal setting chart and managed to stay dry despite a very wet start! 

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mountain Rescue Weekend

I have been with SARDA Wales this weekend. We spent both days in the Llanberis Pass in some pretty foul weather although it did brighten up this afternoon. We had 5 seperate rescues yesterday on Snowdon due to the high winds. It was gusting in excess of 80mph on the summit and people were literally being blown off their feet and suffering some quite nasty injuries. It just goes to show the value of knowing the weather forecast for the mountains before you go. 

Friday, May 15, 2009

Mentor Day

I have been out with Danny today who is on my trainee instructor mentor scheme. Danny is preparing for his Mountain Leader assessment so we spent the day looking at security on steep ground and ropework for the Mountain Leader. It has been drizzly all day but not as bad as forecast. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cneifion Arete

Robert and I headed bouldering this morning to improve his rock climbing movement skills in the form of some movement coaching. We then headed up into Cwm Cneifion in the beautiful spring sunshine and climbed the Cneifion Arete. It has been a gorgeous day with clear blue skies and brisk Easterly winds keeping the temperature down. 

Monday, May 11, 2009

Intro to Climbing

I have ben joined for two days by Robert and Hava for two days of intro to climbing. They are interested in climbing within a mountaineering context and so today we headed up Ordinary Route on the Idwal Slabs, catching the sun as we topped out and carried on with a scramble. It has been a gorgeous cloud free afternoon. 

I spent the weekend at home with the family, taking the kids climbing on Sunday. I have included a photo of our Collie pup Skye who is now 3 1/2 months old and full of fun! I am hoping to train her as a SARDA mountain rescue search dog. 

Friday, May 08, 2009

Cwm Idwal, Scrambling Day

I have been joined for the day by Paulo for a days private guiding booked as a gift voucher by his wife Davina. Paulo wanted to look at some advanced scrambling techniques as a refresher and with very strong winds and some equally strong rain and hail we headed into Cwm Idwal. The day brightened nicely and with Paulos background in professional work at height we enjoyed a geeky day talking about anchors, fall factors, kilonewtons etc whilst also managing to get some scrambling done! 

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Keeping the spirits up

This is a short video of last weeks 5 days of private guiding scrambling and climbing here in Snowdonia. It is for anyone sat in an office or sat at home and wishing they were out in the mountains. Not long till the weekend! 

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Moel Siabod

It has been another lovely spring day here in Snowdonia with no rain and lots of sunshine. We headed up Moel Siabod with the team doing the navigation and also looking at movement on steep ground, re-locating when lost and of course enjoying a beautiful day in the mountains.  

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Navigation & Hill Skills Course

I have been joined for the weekend by Emma, Sue & Nick for a navigation and hill skills course. today we headed into Cwmfinnon and looked at micro navigation in fine weather! We have also had 3 rescues this afternoon and evening on Snowdon.