Tuesday, June 29, 2010

East Face of Tryfan

It was bit of an overcast start this morning after the mother of all thunderstorms last night! The day soon brightened up though and Wayne, Mark and I climbed Nor Nor Gully Grooves on the East Face of Tryfan. This grade 2 scramble was ideal for the two brothers to lead as a team, with me alongside to give advice as required. We topped out on the North Ridge which we used in descent to look at protecting the second and the leader when descending grade 2 and 3 ground and we did some abseiling as well. Another cracking day out.

Monday, June 28, 2010

A bit of a shock

I had a bit of a shock today. I took Wayne & Mark up The Idwal Staircase (2) and then up the Cneifion Arete (3) on their Advanced Scrambling Course under the normal blue skies and sunshine. We climbed on warm dry rock as is usual here in North Wales and picnicked on dry grass soaking up views across North Wales and the whole of Snowdonia, as per normal, carried a very light pack with little in the way of warm clothing and a waterproof jacket buried at the bottom in the knowledge that it will never be needed. As we descended we looked at how to tie off Alpine coils and something strange happened. It started raining! Fortunately it only lasted 10 minutes but it was a real shock, I still can't quite believe it now!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Mountain Leader Providers Workshop

I have been at Ogwen Cottage all day today on a workshop for providers and staff of Mountain Leader Training courses. We spent the morning indoors which seemed a shame given more stunning weather but was very interesting nonetheless. After a spot of lunch we headed out for a walk into Cwm Idwal to talk about all aspects of environmental issues and of course enjoy the sunshine!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Good news for Tryfan

This from Grough:

For decades, Tryfan has qualified as a Welsh 3,000-footer, a boast that, recently, has been in doubt. But now, the shapely mountain in the Ogwen Valley is swelling with a little more pride. It stands officially at 917.5m, easily beating the mark at a comfortable 3,010ft. A trio of amateur surveyors, John Barnard, Graham Jackson and Myrddyn Phillips using very unamateurish GPS measuring equipment finally nailed the mountain’s true height. We can now expect future OS maps to be amended. The peak has commanded respect among mountain lovers mainly because it looks exactly like a mountain should, but also because it qualified as one of the 15 or so 3,000-footers in Snowdonia. But, with an Ordnance Survey determined height of 915m – just 60cm above the metric equivalent of the magic 3,000ft, it was always on the hit list of the enthusiastic trio, who have already been responsible for the demotion from the munro tables of Sgurr nan Ceannaichean. The three men took their surveying equipment to the summit and strapped it to the rocks for long enough to determine its true height. And this afternoon, Ordnance Survey, which has been working with the sleuths, announced the result.

Not that it will make any difference to the aficionados of mountains who climb our peaks for their intrinsic worth rather than an arbitrary figure printed on the map next to its summit. It’s just that they can now have the satisfaction that they’re standing eight feet taller.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Crib Goch Rescue

I have had a day off today and so after a morning of chores I decided to settle down to watch the world cup! Not normally a follower of football I thought it the perfect excuse to give the legs a rest. My pager went off about 2:00pm and the team attended a lad with a suspected broken leg in a river. As I arrived at base a second job kicked off and so I headed up onto Crib Goch to help bring down two walkers who had got stuck, I had gone along hoping for a paddle in the river on a hot day and ended up sweating uphill instead!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Advanced Scrambling Course Day Two

Sean, Robin and I headed into Cwm Idwal today to progress the skills that we had covered yesterday. We climbed North West Face Route (2) with the guys leading it for themselves and used the Idwal Slabs descent route to look at the same skills in descent. We then zipped up Seniors Gully (1) and I lead them up the Cneifion Arete (3) before descending via the Gribin Facet (1). Another stunning summers day with lovely views and brill weather!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Dolmen Ridge & Descent of the Gribin

I have been joined for two days by Sean and Robin for an advanced scrambling course here in Snowdonia. Both guys have done a reasonable amount of mountaineering so we headed up Dolmen Ridge (3) with me leading. As we reached the upper third of the route I handed over the sharp end of the rope and climbed alongside them as they lead in alternate pitches. We looked at efficient ropework and belays on this type of ground before descending the Gribin Ridge. Once again we have had wonderful weather!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bochclwyd Buttress

For the second day of their rock climbing course I took Emma & Lizzie to Bochclwyd Buttress this morning for some shade and to be in the breeze to avoid the midges! We arrived at the crag early and had the pick of the routes, the girls chose Arete and Slab climb and climbed it in two pitches leading it for themselves with me alongside them. We then headed to the RAC boulders as the crag was seething with people! We did some movement coaching on the boulders and then spent some time going through all of the ropework we had covered over the weekend to make sure it was all second nature. Another lovely day with clear blue skies and warm sunshine all day!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Rock climbing weekend

I have been out with Emma & Lizzie today rock climbing at Holyhead Mountain on Anglesey. They have done some climbing before but wanted to progress onto leading and look specifically at ropework and technical skills. We climbed some severes and looked at how to rig top ropes up and multi pitch abseils. This evening Kate and I took the kids to the Mountain Rescue Team barbecue and we enjoyed blue skies and sunshine all day long once more - awesome!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Cloud inversion from Bristly Ridge

I met Steve and Mark at 8:30am today as we wanted an early start and finish for the day. As it turned out our timing could not have been better because as we scrambled up Bristly Ridge under a bright blue sky the cloud that had been sitting over the coast starting making its way up the Nant Francon valley and swept beneath our feet giving a spectacular cloud inversion. We snapped away merrily and enjoyed the ridge to ourselves to make it all the more special. We posed on the cantilever stone before descending the Gribin Ridge and practising some of the rope skills we had looked at yesterday. A stunning day out.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Intro to scrambling course

I have been joined for two days by repeat client Steve and Mark for two days of scrambling here in Snowdonia. Neither Steve or Mark had done any scrambling before and so with perfect blue skies and no wind we went up the North Ridge of Tryfan. Along the way we looked at movement skills, identifying and managing risk on steep ground, emergency use of the rope, route finding and of course enjoyed the fantastic weather. We had the ridge to ourselves for most of the day too!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Clogwyn Y Person Arete

Chris, Gary and I headed up the Clogwyn y Person Arete (3) today for the second day of our advanced scrambling course. It has been absolutely stunning weather with blue skies, sunshine and incredible views. We had the route to ourselves and enjoyed a paddle in the stream when we got back down to the Llanberis Pass. Does it get any better?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Advanced Scrambling Course

I have been joined for the next two days by Gary and Chris for an advanced scrambling course. Both chaps have done lots of grade 1 scrambling here in Snowdonia and in the Lake District and are ready to move onto grade 2 and 3 scrambles. This morning I took them up North West Face Route in Cwm Idwal (2) and after lunch we then climbed the Cneifion Arete (3). It stayed warm and dry all day again and there was enough of a breeze to keep the midgies at bay.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

SARDA Training Day

Skye and I have been out with SARDA Wales today doing our regular search dog training. The midges were out to play too but the good thing about having a dog is they tend to attract more than you do! The training went well and it was good to be out with the SARDA Wales crew who are always good fun despite some dreary weather later on.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Expedition Preparation Day

This autumn I am taking 6 of my regular clients out to Nepal to climb Mera Peak (6500m). Some of the clients knew each other from previous courses but today I got the whole team together for the first time and we had a day of preparation for our 3 1/2 week expedition. We spent a couple of hours poring over maps whilst sat outside in the sunshine, chatting through the route, food, hygiene, kit etc and then walked into Cwm Idwal and looked at some of the rope skills we will need. These include roping together for glacier crossings, crevasse rescue and ascending fixed ropes. After a leisurely afternoon we enjoyed a nice meal out together and the next time we all meet up will be in Kathmandu!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Llanberis Pass

Today I was back out with Julian and Gareth for the final day of their 5 day scrambling course. Gareth fancied a spot of leading so we headed to the Llanberis Pass and used the ground above Bens Bunkhouse to get Gareth on the sharp end and to look at taking coils and the transition from pitching to moving together. It was overcast this morning but soon brightened up as the day went on. Meanwhile the rock climbing team finished the week in style by climbing one of Snowdonias longest rock climbs, Amphitheatre Buttress (V Diff). A great week all round!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rock Climbing in the sunshine

Today I teamed up with Mick and Alex on the rock climbing course that I am running this week whilst Huw took Mick & Julian scrambling. We went to Anglesey where as usual the sun was shining and we pushed the boys grade on the single pitch crags of Holyhead Mountain. We started off on a couple of Severes and pushed their grade to VS4c over the day before retiring to the newly refurbished South Stack cafe for tea and cakes.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Scrambling in Cwm Idwal

For the third day of our scrambling course today we wanted to progress onto grade 2 ground and look at the ropework skills involved in protecting a leader and second on this sort of steeper ground. We headed into Cwm Idwal and scrambled up North West Face Route and the Idwal Staircase, using Seniors Gully to look at descents. It stayed dry all day until we got back to the cafe which is as perfect as it gets! If anyone knows what the nest is in the picture let me know as I haven't got any idea!