Friday, August 27, 2010

Advanced Scrambling Learn to Lead

For the final day of their 3 day course I took John and Shae into Cwm Idwal again. We climbed North West Face Route (2) and the Cneifion Arete (3) with the boys leading for themselves with me alongside giving advice and ideas. Everything clicked into place today and the guys were moving well, covering the ground efficiently and enjoying themselves. On the way down we refreshed the abseiling skills we had looked at yesterday and enjoyed a cup of tea to summarise what we had learnt. A great 3 days.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Idwal Slabs

For the second day of our advanced scrambling learn to lead course John, Shae and I headed to the Idwal Slabs. We wanted to look at placing gear, building belays, belaying from above and below and abseiling and so climbed Ordinary Route. The guys then lead the scramble off and we did an abseil looking at the use of prussiks to self protect. It stayed dry all day. After work I headed out cragging with Baggy in the Pass, the nights are drawing in now and there was an autumnal freshness in the air.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Advanced Scrambling Learn to Lead

I have been joined for the next three days by repeat client Shae and by John for a three day learn to lead advanced scrambling course. Today we headed up the Clogwyn Y Person Arete (3) for a refresher of the rope skills involved and the decision making process in choosing and using appropriate belays and protection for the leader. We then descended via Crib Goch and its North Ridge. It was sunny all day, it was a little humid but it did stay dry and there was no wind. A cracking day in the mountains.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

AMI Workshop for MIA Trainees

I have been working for the AMI again today on another workshop for MIA trainees. Today the ratio was 1:2 and we were looking at improvised rescue and problem solving for multi pitch climbing with 2 clients. We looked at simple problems such as a stuck second, a jammed belay plate etc and moved onto more complex problems involving escaping the system, abseil pick ups and eventually a  couple of multi pitch crag evacuations with an unconscious second on a traverse pitch several pitches up from the ground using just a simple climbing rack and standard ropes. The boys did well and the weather stayed mostly dry and so a good day was had by all.

Monday, August 23, 2010

AMI Workshop for MIA Trainees

I have been working for the Association of Mountaineering Instructors today running a workshop for MIA trainees on how to look after clients on graded scrambles. We focused on grade 2 and 3 ground in ascent and descent and worked our way around Cwm Idwal in heavy rain. It was a very good day with lots of good questions and practical experience to build upon, best of luck to the guys and girl when they go for assessment!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Its windy!

It has been blowing a hooley here in North Wales today and lashing with rain for good measure! Becky, Paul and I went to Lion Rock and refreshed all of the skills we covered this week culminating in them leading for themselves and organising their own abseil retreat off the crag with little input from me. It has been a great week despite some challenging weather at times!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

Becky, Paul and I decided to have a sea cliff adventure today on Anglesey and abseiled down into Castell Helen first thing this morning to climb Light House Arete (Vs 4b, 4c, 4a). The sun was shining and the waves were crashing beneath us to give a lovely morning. We then headed to Holyhead Mountain for them to do some more leading and to look at rigging top ropes. Another lovely day.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tremadog in the sunshine

Yesterday was very wet here in Snowdonia so Becky, Paul and I went to the climbing wall and did some movement coaching and got them both leading indoors to 5c in good style. We also looked at building and equalising belays and some simple problem solving skills. Today the weather was much nicer and we spent a day in the sunshine at Tremadog. This morning we climbed One Step in the Clouds (VS 4c) in 3 pitches with Becky and Paul simu-leading each pitch. We then moved onto Oberon (S) which they lead for themselves in alternate pitches with me alongside on a rope. This gave each of them their first outdoor lead so big smiles all round!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Learn to lead climbing course

I have been joined for the week by Becky and Paul for a 5 day learn to lead climbing course. It was great today to be out climbing in T-Shirts, we went to Anglesey and climbed on Holyhead Mountain for our first day. We combined single and multi pitch routes and looked at abseiling off the crag too. A very nice days cragging.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Security on Steep Ground Day

I have been out with Jim today who is preparing for his Mountain Leader Assessment in a couple of weeks time. We headed into Cwm Glas looking at poor visibility navigation on complex ground and security on steep ground. We then made our way onto Crib Y Ddysgl and down the North Ridge of Garnedd Ugain in the cloud the whole time with Jim practising group management on steep ground and relocating on a couple of different map scales. As soon as I got down at about 4:30pm the pager went off so I got home late and tired!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Advanced Scrambling - Skills day

Abseiling off our route
Direct Belays
Moving together over easy ground
Today Rachel, Steve and I headed for the Llanberis Pass for the second day of our advanced scrambling course. Having had a chat in the cafe this morning as the rain thrummed against the window the guys decided that it would make sense to avoid the summits and that they would like to look at the skills involved in leading grade 2 ground for themselves. The best way to do that is to get on with it so thats what they did, with me alongside offering advice, tips and pointers. The sun came out later in the day and we had a very enjoyable day.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Advanced Scrambling

I have been joined for two days by Rachel and Steve for an advanced scrambling course here in Snowdonia. Today we headed into Cwm Idwal and scrambled up North West Face Route (2) and then the Cneifion Arete (3). We had the odd shower this afternoon but not too bad compared to recent rain! Over the day we looked at the ropework involved on this type of ground, efficiency of movement and the judgement involved in selecting and using appropriate belays. Neither Rachel or Steve had been on this grade of ground before and we all had a fun day out!  

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Clogwyn Y Person Arete

I was out with Kate today who has recently joined my instructor mentor scheme. Kate wanted to regain some confidence after a break from climbing and roped scrambling and so we headed up the Clogwyn Y Person Arete. I lead the first half with Kate taking over the lead for the second half, including the feisty top crack. We then descended Crib Goch to Pen Y Pass soaking up some lovely views in the afternoon sunshine, a great day out.

Monday, August 09, 2010

ML Refresher

I have been out with Kat today who wanted a day of navigation to help prepare for her ML Assessment that she is doing in the next couple of months. We parked at Pen Y Pass and navigated off the path all day in poor weather and poor visibility looking specifically at relocation skills and contour interpretation. We also did a bit of refreshment on the ropework skills that she will need. The sun came out as we descended from an enjoyable day in the mountains.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Away for a week

I will be out of contact for this week until Saturday the 7th August. If you send me an email I will get in touch then.

This week I have had a week off at home with the kids. The weather has been pretty damp but we managed a choppy sea kayaking session, a trip to the climbing wall and I have been pretty busy with Rescues too. The Indian summer will be on its way soon I am sure!