Sunday, July 25, 2010

Navigation & Hill Skills Course

I was joined for the weekend by Paul and Brian for a 2 day navigation and hill skills course here in Snowdonia. Yesterday we spent a day looking at navigation techniques in poor weather on the back of the Glyders. The poor visibility was ideal for looking at micro navigation, emergency procedures in the mountains and general hill skills. Last night I went out on the usual Saturday night rescue on Snowdon, the third rescue this week and another stretcher carry which is always tiring! Today the weather was much better and we headed up Pen Yr Ole Wen and across the Carneddau with the boys planning the route and navigating it for themselves and with us looking at a bit of security on steep ground. The clouds stayed low over the tops which was ideal for practising map and compass work but we then enjoyed some views in descent. A lovely weekend.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Out with SARDA & MREW

I have been helping out at an MREW event today that took place for the benefit of disabled children. They were given a day out in the mountains and this afternoon I took Skye along who enjoyed meeting them all. It was lovely for the children and their families to get out into the mountains for the first time courtesy of Mountain Rescue and to watch demonstrations from various teams and the dogs and to have a play on the helicopters too. I enjoyed it as much as they did!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

North Ridge of Tryfan

Pat, Sian, Kate and I headed up the North Ridge of Tryfan today for the second day of our intro to scrambling course. It was raining extremely heavily all morning but the weather couldn't dampen the ladies South Waleian (sp!) enthusiasm and we giggled our way up the North Ridge putting into practice the new skills we had learnt yesterday. We were rewarded as the clouds broke and the sun made an appearance as we arrived at the summit. It then stayed dry for our descent down the South Ridge and we enjoyed some lovely views - unfortunately I forgot my camera so apologies for the lack of photos!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Intro to Scrambling course

I have been joined for two days by Pat and her daughter Sian for an intro to scrambling course. My Mum & Dad are up for the week this week so Dad came out and joined us too and we were all ably assisted by Kate who has recently joined my Mentor Scheme. We headed into Cwm Idwal and climbed Seniors Gully (1) and Seniors Ridge (1) before descending the Devils Kitchen path. We have had beautiful weather, not needing the waterproofs all day and with lovely views. A great day out.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Idwal Slabs

I was joined today by repeat client Shaine for a day of multi pitch rock climbing here in Snowdonia. It was pretty wet as I drove in this morning and we decided to head to the Idwal Slabs to climb Ordinary Route (Diff). The rain halted as we climbed and we were treated to a Red Arrows fly past in low level formation down the Ogwen Valley which I have never seen before. We climbed the route in 5 pitches with Shaine building his own belays before scrambling off the top of the slabs and doing a spot of abseiling as the the rain hammered in again! A great day of perfect timing (luck rather than judgement!)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Winter Dates Filling Up

My winter courses are filling up quickly so if you would like to get out and play in the snow next winter have a browse of the diary page and book on as soon as you can! One of the winter skills weekends is full, I only have space on 1 winter mountaineering weekend and 1 space left for the Rjukan ice climbing trip - take a look here:

This weekend I have been playing with Skye on a SARDA Wales training weekend. She worked really well but nearly ended up in the Menai Straits after falling off a bridge over the river in Nant Peris with the river in full spate! Thankfully she managed to swim to the bank but it got the adrenaline flowing for those of us watching!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Pinnacle Ridge Route

When you work outdoors its amazing how much planning is based on what the weather is doing! As I drove to Capel Curig this morning I was dodging fallen trees, splashing through surface flooding and peering through a rain laden windscreen. After a couple of cups of tea and a browse of Joe Browns it brightened up and so we went looking for a multi pitch mountain style route that was low down, sheltered from the wind and in the sunshine! We actually found it in the form of Pinnacle Ridge Route on Braich Ty Du above Idwal Cottage. The guys lead it for themselves with me above and alongside them and we actually enjoyed some afternoon sunshine. The route offers a challenging first pitch (V Diff), a scrappy second pitch and a wonderfully exposed ridge on the third pitch. Another great day out after all!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Shower dodging

It has been a bit showery in North Wales today and very wet yesterday. We escaped the rain in the climbing wall yesterday and this morning headed to Milestone Buttress in the Ogwen Valley. The boys lead Pulpit Route (V Diff) for themselves in alternate pitches with me alongside on a rope and then organised their own abseil off the crag. We went to the cafe for a late lunch to warm up and then looked at some problem solving techniques on the Pinnacles crag this afternoon. A great day out.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Beside the seaside, beside the sea.

I took Steve and Kev to Gogarth this morning because the sun always shines on Anglesey, and it did today whilst it rained in the mountains. We climbed Lighthouse Arete (VS4c) in 3 pitches and then headed to Holyhead Mountain to get Steve on the sharp end of the rope. Steve lead a good V Diff and then the guys organised their own abseil off the crag. On the way home I diverted via Llanberis as we had a rescue on Crib Goch so ended up walking up in the rain after all!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hope, Lazarus, The Groove Above & North West Face Route

I have been joined by repeat client Steve and his friend Kevin for a 5 day learn to lead climbing course. Today we wanted to get some mileage in with a poor forecast for the rest of the week and so headed into Cwm Idwal. We climbed Hope (V Diff) in 5 pitches, Lazarus (Severe) in 2 pitches and The Groove Above (Severe) on the continuation wall. We climbed each route in series so that the boys could practice building belays, belaying each other and me and also looked at placing gear and stance management. We then looked at some ropework in descent on North West Face Route (2). A great day out in the sunshine on warm dry rock.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Scrambling & Navigation

I was joined by David and his two children Matty & Ed for a days introduction to hill skills looking at some basic navigation and scrambling. With a lot of water about and some high winds on the tops we stayed low and had a nice day out in Cwm Idwal, up Seniors Gully, navigating around Cwm Cneifion and into Cwm Bochclwyd before descending back to the car thoroughly soaked through! We had a fun day out and enjoyed some beautiful scenery with very few people and in ideal navigation skills weather!

Friday, July 09, 2010

Rock Climbing and sun seeking

This morning it was pretty wet in the mountains and so Tim, Vic and I went back to Tremadog to try and find some shelter in the trees. We climbed Boo Boo in two pitches and then did an abseil down Yogi. This allowed me to introduce the guys to multi pitch climbing before heading to Lion Rock to try and find some more friction in the rain! We did some movement coaching and some more single pitch climbing. Time to dry the kit out know! No photos today I'm sorry as I left my camera at home.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Intro to Climbing

I have been joined by Tim and repeat client Vic for a couple of days intro to rock climbing here in Snowdonia. For our first day we went to Tremadog today and climbed on the Upper Tier. We climbed a variety of routes from V Diff to Hard Severe and did a couple of abseils. We looked at fitting a harness and tieing in, belaying from below in a bottom rope situation and progressed them both onto seconding a lead climber. It stayed dry all day with a nice fresh breeze, nice to be out cragging!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Advanced Scrambling - learning to lead

Gez and I had to adapt our plans today as it was much wetter than the weather forecast had suggested. We wanted to look at placing wires and general problem solving and belay building skills for grade 3 scrambles and so with strong winds and heavy rain we went to Lion Rock. It brightened up as the day went on and Gez lead a couple of multi pitch routes and along the way we looked at building and tying into multi anchor belays, solving simple problems, multi pitch abseils and gear placement.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Bastow Buttress Variant, Tryfan

Today Julian, Jez and I headed up Bastow Buttress Variant (2/3) on the East Face of Tryfan. The forecast gale force winds dod not materialise but there was enough of a breeze to keep the midgies at bay and the day stayed dry too. Gez and Julian lead the route between them with me alongside giving advice on stance management, gear placement, belays, route finding and general efficiency on mountaineering routes.

Advanced Scrambling Course

Yesterday I was out with repeat client and friend Jez and Julian for an advanced scrambling course. They are both back out with me today and Jez is also out with me tomorrow. We headed up the Clogwyn Y Person Arete with Jez leading the upper half and me climbing alongside. My pager went off as I reached the car and I spent the rest of the evening on a search for a missing person, wrapping up at about 10:00pm last night.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

ML Refresher

I have been out with Alison, Ian and Alan today who are all preparing for their ML Assessments and wanted a day to refresh the key areas of the syllabus. We parked in the Llanberis Pass and did some micro navigation, security on steep ground, emergency ropework and environmental awareness using the ground around Dinas Mot and into Cwm Glas. It was beautiful and there were plenty of climbers on the crags enjoying the sunshine.

Friday, July 02, 2010

ML Refresher

I have been out with Jim today who is on my mentor scheme for trainee instructors. Jim has got his ML Assessment coming up this summer and so we spent the day doing some navigation practice and brushing up his environmental knowledge in readiness for his assessment. We were out on the hills above my house in Llanfairfechan and enjoyed lovely views and sunshine all day as well as trashing our brains with contour interpretation!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Late availability - advanced scrambling

I have had a client cancel due to injury for our advanced scrambling course on Monday and Tuesday next week (5 & 6 July). This is probably my most popular course so if you would like a space get in touch and come out and play! You can get full details here: