Tuesday, June 30, 2009

East Face of Tryfan

I have out with Wayne & Steve again today and we were also joined by MIA trainee Simon who was observing. We headed up Bastow Buttress Variant (Grade 2/3) on the East face of Tryfan. It was hot and humid but we caught the Easterly breeze and stayed midge free. Wayne & Steve lead the entire route with input from us on gear placement, rope management, building belays etc and we then looked at a couple of abseils in descent. 

Monday, June 29, 2009

Cneifion Arete

I have been joined for two days by Wayne & Steve who are preparing for a trip to Skye to do the Cuillin Ridge Traverse. We headed up the Cneifion Arete with me leading initially and them taking over the sharp end for the second half of the route. It has been really warm with temperatures hitting 27c in the valley but we had a nice cool breeze up high. Yesterday I spent the day in the Llanberis Pass on a Mountain Rescue Training day looking at technical rigging for stretchers. We also had a rescue on Crib Goch. 

Friday, June 26, 2009


Well after a few days of consultancy work and even a bit of DIY at home (!!) it was great to be out cragging today in the sunshine. I teamed up with friend Andy and we headed to Gogarth on Anglesey. First off we climbed the route Gogarth which is 5 pitches long and overall graded at E1 5b. The walk in was hot and sweaty and the crag was a little soapy as the sun had not burnt off the sea mist but it was nice to be in the shade. Andy drew the top pitch which is the crux and pulled off a great lead. We then headed to Wen Zawn and climbed Concrete Chimney (HVS 5a) in 2 pitches and topped out just as the rain arrived. No photos I'm afraid as the camera was left on the kitchen worktop! 

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Rock Climbing Weekend

I was joined for the weekend by Michelle, Ellie, Adam & Chris for a weekend of rock climbing. Yesterday I took Michelle and Ellie for a day of lead coaching at Holyhead Mountain. I had taught the boys to lead a couple of years ago and they had passed the skills onto the girls but thought that a day of coaching would hone their skills and improve their climbing. We managed to push their grade in the sunshine and had a great day out. 

Today I took all 4 on the Cneifion Arete. They climbed in two pairs with me hovering around between them generally offering advice and taking photos. The route got us high enough to catch a breeze and avoid the midgies and was climbable in big boots to allow for the moist conditions! 

Friday, June 19, 2009

Idwal Slabs

For the last day of our 5 day learn to lead course Jo & Jason lead Charity in 5 pitches on the Idwal Slabs. The route is graded V Diff and they lead it in its entirety, alternating leads on each pitch. They then lead the scramble off and abseil descent. A great end to a great week and a nice feeling for me watching them operate independently. Happy climbing both! 

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Holyhead Mountain, Anglesey

Today we headed to Anglesey in search of the sunshine. The sun was indeed shining and we had a great day with Jo & Jason each leading their first routes, Black Owen (V Diff) and Slab Direct (V Diff) and then with a blast up The Bruvvers (HVS 5a) to finish their forearms off. Yesterday we spent the day looking at some of the more technical skills and movement skills whilst avoiding gale force winds and lashing rain in the climbing wall! This evening I have been out on a rescue on Snowdon.  

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Classic Rock in the Llanberis Pass

It has been another stunning day of blue skies and sunshine. Jo, Jason & I headed into the Llanberis Pass and climbed Flying Buttress (V Diff 6 pitches) and Crackstone Rib (Severe 2 pitches). There were folks out on the classics like Left Wall and Cemetery Gates and plenty of people enjoying the fine weather.  

Monday, June 15, 2009

Rock Climbing in the sunshine

I have been joined for the week by Jo & Jason for a 5 day learn to lead course. (I have 1 space left on the same course from 17-21 August). It has been glorious sunshine all day today on the West which we made the most of at Tremadog. We climbed Poor Mans Peutrey (Severe) in 4 pitches and Oberon (Severe). We abseiled off both routes and spent the day looking at movement skills, bely building and progressing towards Jo & Jason leading for themselves. 

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Dogs & Land Rovers

I have had a lovely weekend in the sun playing with Dogs and Land Rovers! Yesterday was a SARDA training day and today I was helping to run a driver training day for the Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team Land Rovers. As you can see my Collie Pup Skye came along for the ride. This evening I am heading out cragging with the kids in the sunshine. What a life! 

Friday, June 12, 2009

North Ridge of Tryfan

Today Mike, Linda and I headed up the North Ridge of Tryfan to complete our week of navigation and scrambling. The weather did us proud completing a week of very little rain and the mountain was also pleasantly quiet. 

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Snowdon Horseshoe

Yesterday Kurtis took Sam, Heidi, Linda & Mike onto the Carneddau. Kurtis is a Mountain Leader on my mentor scheme and it was a good opportunity for him to clock up some logbook days in preparation for his MIA training. Unfortunately one of the group took a nasty reaction to an insect bite and ended up cutting the day short. Kurtis and I spent the evening at the Beacon Climbing Wall looking at some more SPA skills in preparation for his forthcoming assessment. 

Today I took Linda & Mike up onto Crib Goch. The weather was glorious so we visited the summit of Snowdon and had a peek at the cafe that is due to open this weekend. We then decided to make the most of the day and head across to Lliwedd to complete the Snowdon Horseshoe. A cracking day was had by all. 

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Y Garn

Today the team and I were also joined by Kurtis who is on my trainee instructor mentor scheme. Kurtis has his Mountain Leader Award and is gaining logbook days in preparation for his MIA training. We all headed up onto Y Garn and looked at some macro navigation skills. The cloud dropped down just as we reached the summit which was ideal as it allowed us to practise our micro navigation in poor visibility. This evening Kurtis and I got midged to death on the Pinnacles Crag going over some ropework in preparation for his forthcoming SPA assessment. 

Monday, June 08, 2009

Navigation & Scrambling Course

I have been joined for the week by Heidi, Linda, Sam & Mike for a 5 day navigation and scrambling course. Today we headed into Cwm Tregallan on Snowdon for a day looking at navigation skills. It has stayed dry all day and we have enjoyed some beautiful forna as shown in the photos. You can read what they all are on my instructors tips page here

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Dolmen Ridge & Descent of the Gribin

The boys and I headed up Dolmen Ridge today and managed to stay relatively dry with just the odd shower on the summits. Carlos & Nikki lead the entire route between them with me soloing alongside offering pieces of advice and generally acting as team photographer. We descended the Gribin Ridge at a fair pace and made it down just as my pager went off. It was then a quick dash up onto Crib Goch with 5 other members of the Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team to assist to stuck walkers back down. A great day out in the mountains. 

Advanced Scrambling

I have been joined by repeat client Carlos and his friend and colleague Nicky for the weekend. Both are instructors on the fast jets at RAF Valley and so are ideally placed to enjoy the mountains of Snowdonia. We had a wet and wild day yesterday with 60 mph winds and heavy rain all day. We headed into Cwm Idwal and used the grade 2 ground either side of the Slabs to look at short roping in ascent and descent. Last night we had 3 rescues on the Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team. I found myself being winched onto the South Ridge of Snowdon in 100 mph gusts which was fun! 

Friday, June 05, 2009

Site Specific Training

I have spent the last couple of days delivering some site specific training for a group of teachers at a climbing wall in the West Midlands. It was beautiful weather which was ideal as the wall is outdoors! The training allows the teachers to supervise groups of pupils climbing on the specific climbing wall that they have been trained and assessed on. 

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Navigation Coaching

Sally and I have been out in the hills above Beddgelert today doing some concentrated navigation practice on contour interpretation. The sun has been beating down all day again so it has been warm work but we enjoyed an ice cream at the end of the day to cool us down! Good luck to Sally on her forthcoming assessment - I am sure luck won't be needed though. 

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Navigation Coaching

I have been out with Sally today who is preparing for a forthcoming assessment and wanted to spend a couple of days looking at micro navigation and contour interpretation. It has been beautiful weather and a lovely day to be out walking in the mountains. 

Monday, June 01, 2009

Cragging in the Llanberis Pass

It has been a stunning cloudless day today here in North Wales. I teamed up with Andy and we headed onto Dinas Mot to seek out some shade for some cragging. We climbed Super Direct (E1 5b), Gardd (HVS 5a) and Hornets Attack Victor Mature (E2 5c). It was lovely to be out in the sunshine with stunning views and all 20 minutes from home!