Sunday, April 24, 2011

Navigating on the Carneddau

The boys and I headed up onto the Carneddau today for the second day of our navigation and hill skills course. It has been a beautiful sunny Easter Sunday with spectacular views and unbroken skies. Whilst not ideal for navigation we were not complaining! We put into practice the skills we learnt yesterday and did some micro navigation legs to simulate poor visibility along the way. We went over Pen Yr Ole Wen and Carnedd Dafydd spending the afternoon navigating off the paths. A stunning day.

I am away for a week now so email replies and blog posts will be on hold until the 30th April. Happy Easter! 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Navigation & Hill Skills Course

I have been joined by Andy, Steve, Sean, Tecwyn, Jason and Shem for a weekend of navigation and hill skills. Today we headed into Cwm Llynfinnon to escape the bank holiday crowds and despite being at the foot of Snowdon we had the entire Cwm almost to ourselves. We looked at micro navigation skills, emergency procedures and use of the map and compass without a drop of rain which was a nice surprise given the forecast. The Park is very busy as you would expect which is great to see. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Pushing the grade on Anglesey

Brett and Richard were keen to push their grade a bit today with them on the sharp end of the rope. We decided to head back to Anglesey to give us a choice of single pitch routes where we could avoid getting in other peoples way on a busy bank holiday and enjoy the climbing in the sunshine. The guys warmed up by climbing a V Diff each and then after a spot of lunch Richard climbed Mrs Murdoch (S 4a) in good style. Brett then fought his way up Teaser (VS4c) with a couple of pre-placed bits of gear on the pumpy crux. A brilliant effort on only his fifth day of rock climbing! All in all a superb week of great weather and great climbing. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Milestone Buttress

For a brief moment this afternoon the sun was hidden behind a large cloud and we worried it might rain, but thankfully we need not have been concerned and the spell of wonderful weather remained unbroken. We were climbing on the Milestone Buttress today with the boys leading Rowan Route (Diff)  and Pulpit Route (V Diff) and with me taking them for a quick blast up the first pitch of Super Direct (HVS 4c). The boys climbed well and organised a number of abseils from the crag too. Another lovely day. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Holyhead Mountain, Anglesey

For todays climbing in the sunshine we went to Holyhead Mountain on Anglesey and concentrated our climbing on single pitch Severes. I got Richard and Brett simu-leading on each climb and we looked at placing gear and consolidated the work we have done on building belays. We also abseiled off each route with the boys rigging the abs for themselves and looking at how to self protect the abseils. Another stunning day with no wind, blue skies and wall to wall sunshine. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Stunning day for cragging

It has been a wonderfully warm and sunny day today and e have been soaking it up in the Llanberis Pass, cragging in the sunshine. This morning Brett, Richard and I climbed the Classic Rock tick Crackstone Rib (Severe) before moving up a grade to climb Skylon (HS 4b) after lunch. We took our time climbing in series and both boys enjoyed the crux moves! After a quick ice cream stop at Pen Y Pass we headed to the RAC boulders and spent the last hour of the day looking at movement coaching and climbing styles. A brilliant day, where else in the world would you want to be!?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Five day rock climbing course

I have been joined by repeat clients Richard & Brett for a five day learn to lead climbing course here in Snowdonia. This course aims to take people from being a complete beginner to leading their own climbs by the end of the week. Today we went to Cwm Idwal and climbed Hope (V Diff) in 6 pitches and then Lazarus (Severe) in two pitches. Along the way we spent plenty of time looking at the nuts and bolts of climbing and enjoyed some lovely dry rock and sunshine. A great day out. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Crib Goch in the sunshine

This ones for you June

It has been another lovely day here in Wales and we decided to round the week off by heading across Crib Goch, arguably the best grade 1 scramble in Snowdonia. The ridge was not too busy and we enjoyed some lovely views, dry rock, no wind and had a thoroughly enjoyable day. Thanks very much to the boys and girls for their company this week and the last two days. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

North Ridge of Tryfan

Today I have been joined by a couple of extra people and have had my good friend Alec working for me as well as Kate from the mentor scheme observing. We split up into two teams of four to go scrambling for the next two days. I was with Gavin, Julian, Mick and Brett and we went up the North Ridge of Tryfan and down the South Ridge, doing lots of coaching along the way. We also looked at some emergency ropework skills and enjoyed a nice dry day with very little wind. The pager went off as we reached the cafe for the 3rd day in a row so then I was out with the Llanberis Team again. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Y Garn & Foel Goch

As we left Ogwen Cottage this morning it was raining heavily and the wind was rattling along the valley at a fair old pace, and we were all pleased! After a couple of days of nice weather its been great to put navigation skills into practice in some more challenging conditions. We went up onto Foel Goch first of all, picking our way up from the Hafod Scout Centre using contour interpretation. We then navigated across to Y Garn in the cloud before descending to Llyn Y Cwn, down through Twyll Du to Llyn Idwal and back to the car. We had the occasional spell of sunshine but otherwise it was pretty challenging all day which was perfect!  

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Glyder Fach via the Miners Path

Today Juliette, John, Gavin, John and I went up onto Glyder Fach via the Miners Track. It was beautiful weather and we used the day to look at macro navigation skills with a spot of route planning in the cafe beforehand. We also looked at some relocation skills to learn how to solve the problem of getting lost in the mountains. Once we were onto the Glyderau we avoided the main paths for the rest of the day, concentrating on navigating off the beaten track. On the way down we were able to help a couple with a leg injury before a cup of tea back at Pen Y Pass. A lovely day. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Navigation & Scrambling 5 day course

I have been joined by Juliette, John and Gavin for a five day navigation and scrambling course here in Wales. Today we went up into Cwm Tregallan on Snowdon and looked at micro navigation skills. It was a damp start but the sun soon came out and we had a pleasant day looking at the skills needed to be a self sufficient hill walker. Skye came out with us and enjoyed a spot of fox poo rolling which is always a joy! The colours on the mountains were beautiful with a real clarity to the light and the freshness of spring. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

AMI Workshop Staff Training

I spent yesterday at Plas Y Brenin with the other staff who work on the Association of Mountaineering Instructors trainee workshops. We spent the day with the PYB staff chatting through the MIA training and assessment program and best practice for trainees to make sure we are all upto date with the program. I then enjoyed a spot of bouldering in the beautiful sunshine before heading to the SARDA Wales AGM dinner at Pen Y Pass.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Clogwyn Y Person Arete

It has been a stunning day here in Snowdonia with crystal clear blue skies and hardly a breath of wind. What a difference a day makes! Julie, Mark and I climbed the Clogwyn Y Person Arete (3) and then nipped up Crib Y Ddysgly (1), over Garnedd Ugain and onto Snowdon to enjoy some wonderful views across the whole of Snowdonia, Anglesey and even as far as the Isle of Man. We then descended the Llanberis Path for a short while before diverting off to the North Ridge of Gyrn Las and descending that back into Cwm Glas Mawr. There were plenty of climbers enjoying the sunshine in the Pass and even a team on Main Wall. An absolutely cracking day.