Friday, May 27, 2011

ML Refresher

I have been out with John today who is on my trainee instructor mentor scheme. We spent the day looking at emergency ropework in the context of the Mountain Leader Syllabus as a refresher for John who is preparing for his assessment. We used the area above Bens Bunkhouse in the Llanberis Pass and enjoyed some nice spells of sunshine and stayed dry all day. As you can see from the photos part of the ML is about looking the part when carrying the rope across your chest, John has got this aspect sorted now! 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

AMI Workshop - Improvised Rescue Day

I have been working for the Association of Mountaineering Instructors (AMI) today on a workshop for MIA trainees preparing for assessment. The topic for the day was problem solving in a multi pitch climbing environment and we looked at simple and complex problem solving on VS ground including crag evacuation with a casualty. We spent the day at Tremadog and basked in the sunshine all day, team Marmot were out also enjoying the fine weather as you can see from a couple of the photos. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Navigation & Hill Skills Course

I have been joined for two days by Peter, Lorraine, Paul, Ade, Jim and Julian for a navigation and hill skills course. I also had Steve and John observing the course as preparation for forthcoming ML assessments. The weather this morning felt like armageddon with torrential rain and storm force winds just in the valleys making driving difficult! We spent a little longer than normal looking at maps and weather charts indoors and extended the day to make the most of the afternoon sunshine. The wind gradually dropped and we were reasonably sheltered in Cwm Tregallan on the Watkin Path of Snowdon looking at micro navigation skills. A wild day of contrast and with some beautiful colours as the afternoon sun lit up the mountains and heavily swollen rivers. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sgurr Alasdair

Another stormy day here on Skye but we were keen to get up onto the ridge and see how bad they were! We headed into Coire a Ghrunnda and climbed the SW Ridge of Sgurr Alasdair (3) to gain the highest summit on the Cuillin Ridge. The wind was strong and the rain getting stronger so we plumped for a fast descent via the Great Stone Chute which is always a lot more fun that it would be going up it! 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rock Climbing by the sea

We went climbing today to avoid the high winds and heavy rain on the ridge. Elgol is a lovely village by the coast and sits in the rain shadow of the Cuillin on Westerly winds so we headed to there and enjoyed some sea cliff cragging. We climbed three VS routes, managing to avoid the worst showers by sheltering under the overhang! A lovely days climbing by the sea. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bidean & Bruach na Frithe

Today dawned bright and breezy with some lovely views across the Western Isles. We headed up The Spur (2) on Sgurr an Fheadain onto Bidein Druim Nan Ramh. The traverse of its triple peaks give one of the more formidable sections on the main ridge at grade 3 and with several good abseils. We then traversed An Casteal making the two famous big steps and onto Bruach na Frithe via some more grade 3 scrambling and a couple more abseils. A brilliant day giving some engaging mountaineering and route finding that left us all happily tired at the end of it. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Isle of Skye - Am Basteir

Today was wet and wild on the Isle of Skye. Stu, Martin, Gez, Mick and I (with friend Sandy working alongside me) headed up onto Am Basteir. We scrambled the East Ridge (2) heading over the bad step and up onto the summit. From there we abseiled onto the Tooth and then squirmed down Kings Cave chimney via another 25m abseil. Despite the weather it was a great day out in the mountains. I'm afraid I didn't take the camera today for fearing of drowning it! 

Friday, May 13, 2011

North West Face Route, Cwm Idwal & Cneifion Arete

I was out with Tim and Barry again today for the second day of their advanced scrambling course. Today was wet for most of the day and so we moved quickly to keep warm as we climbed North West Face Route (2) from Cwm Idwal and then the Cneifion Arete (3). I am off to the Isle of Skye this weekend so fingers crossed for some improving weather! 

Thursday, May 12, 2011

East Ridge of Y Garn

I have been joined for two days by repeat clients Tim and Barry for an advanced scrambling course. It has been a pleasant dry day today and we headed up the East Ridge of Y Garn (2) to look at the step up from grade 1 scrambling and how we use the rope and some simple climbing equipment to protect this sort of steeper ground. The summit views were missing thanks to the low cloud but nonetheless a fine day out! 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Crib Goch

I have been out with repeat client Tim and his friend Tony today for a days private guiding on Crib Goch. It was a little bit damp this morning but the day brightened up nicely and the breeze was not so strong as to be a distraction. Both chaps were moving well and we enjoyed a cup of tea in the cafe at the summit too! 

Search Dog Training

I was out last night with SARDA Wales and Skye on a joint training exercise with the Coastguard on the NW coast. It was a beautiful evening and a good wind made for a good training session in the sand dunes! 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Climbing Coaching

I have spent the day with regular client and friend Mick today. Mick wanted to improve his climbing movement skills and so in the heavy rain this morning we decided to head to the Beacon climbing wall. We spent a really good day looking at the fundamentals of climbing and progressing Micks grade so that he was happy leading 5a by the end of the day. 

Monday, May 09, 2011

Crib Goch

I have been joined by repeat client Ric today for a day of private guiding along Crib Goch. We headed up the PYG track this morning to the summit of Carnedd Ugain and then descended Crib Goch itself. Skye joined us for the day and we enjoyed some lovely views and some fairly brisk winds along the ridge itself. We managed to stay dry for most of the day with just a quick shower as we descended the East Ridge. A lovely day out.  

Friday, May 06, 2011

Cneiffion Arete

Mick and I wanted a slightly easier day after our marathon scrambling session yesterday. We went into Cwm Idwal and headed up North West Face Route (2) and then onto the Cnefion Arete (3) before descending the lower half of the Gribin Ridge. The forecast was poor but the weather improved as the day went on giving a lovely day out. 

Thursday, May 05, 2011

A great days mountaineering

I was out with regular client and friend Mick today for a days private guiding. Mick is joining me on Skye to do the Cuillin Ridge Traverse in 2 weeks time and wanted a days scrambling in preparation. We left the car at 10:00am and headed up the Milestone Buttress Approach (Grade 3) and then onto the Milestone Continuation (3). We then headed up the North Ridge of Tryfan (1) to the top of Bastow Gully. We down climbed Bastow Buttress Variant (2/3) to the Heather Terrace and then climbed Nor Nor Buttress Variant (3) back onto the North Ridge. From here we followed the remainder of the North Ridge (1) to the summit of Tryfan for lunch. We then headed down the South Ridge into Cwm Bochclwyd and climbed Main Gully Ridge (3) above the Alphabet Slabs on the Main Cliff of Glyder Fach. This gives a great route to the summit of Glyder Fach providing almost 1000ft of scrambling. The weather closed in as we topped out and so we descended the Gribin Ridge (1) and managed to get back to the car for 3:30pm. A brilliant day with Mick moving really well over the steep ground and providing some great training for the Cuillin. 

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Craig Lloer Spur, Pen Yr Ole Wen

We wanted to escape the wind but stay in the sunshine today on a grade 3 scramble and the Craig Lloer Spur fitted the bill nicely. The boys lead the route for themselves in great style with me soloing above them and giving advice on gear placements, belays and efficiency. It has been another stunning day as you can see from the photos. Thanks boys for a great 3 days.