Monday, October 24, 2011

Away for a week

I am heading off to the Atlas mountains in Morocco for a week today so will be out of contact until the 1st November. I look forward to showing you the photos when I get back!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

ML Ropework Day

I have been out with Mark again today looking at ropework for the Mountain Leader Award. We spent the day on the crags above Bens Bunkhouse in Nant Peris and went through the different scenarios that an ML might need to resort to the use of the rope. It was generally dry all day with just the odd shower of hail and with much lower temperatures than of late. No snow on the tops yet though! 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Navigation on Cnicht

I have been out with regular client and friend Mark today who is preparing for his Mountain Leader Award. We spent the day on Cnicht trying to avoid the worst of the gale force winds and heavy rain. We looked at navigation skills and security on steep ground and had a good battle with the wind in the process. Ideal weather for Mark to practise his skills in! 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Playing with the dogs

I have been out with my Collie Skye this weekend on a SARDA Wales training weekend at Cader Idris. It has been a beautiful weekend and the dog worked well so we are both happy! It looks like we should be getting the first of the winter snow on the tops this week too so life is good!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Idwal Slabs

Simon, Tim and I have been climbing on the Idwal Slabs today. We wanted to look at pitched climbing to have the skills to deal with the crux sections of grade 3 scrambles and so we climbed Ordinary Route (Diff) in series with the boys simu-leading to practice placing gear, building belays and belaying from above and below. The boys then lead the scramble off the top and rigged their own abseil to retreat down into Seniors Gully. It has been dry all day and surprisingly warm for the time of year too. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Advanced Scrambling - learning to lead

I have been joined by repeat client Tim and by Simon who was out with me earlier this week for a three day advanced scrambling learn to lead course. For our first day we headed up Dolmen Ridge (3) on the Main Cliff of Glyder Fach which gives almost 1000 ft of grade 3 scrambling in a superb setting. I lead the first third of the route and then handed over to the boys. They lead the rest of the route with me alongside giving advice and tips. It was generally dry and we enjoyed some lovely views lower down, unfortunately I forgot my camera so have had to make do with the camera on my iPhone - my apologies! 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Advanced Scrambling on Tryfan

It has been another wet and windy day here in Snowdonia and so John Simon and I have been staying low again for the second day of our advanced scrambling course. We started with an ascent of the Milestone Buttress (3) before picking a grade 2 line up the North Ridge of Tryfan with the boys leading the route for themselves. We then descended Nor Nor Gully Buttress (2/3) with the boys leading for themselves and an abseil down the final section. We covered lots of varied ground and lots of skills and enjoyed the wild weather and the quiet routes. I took a lot more photos today than shown but they have all turned out as big wet splurges! 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Advanced Scrambling Course

I have been joined by Simon and John today for a two day advanced scrambling course here in Snowdonia. It has been a pretty wild day with winds of 70mph on the summits and continual rain and so we have had to duck and dodge to avoid the worst of the weather. We started the day by heading into Cwm Idwal and scrambling up North West Face Route (2) and into the Devils Staircase (2). We then traversed the top of the Idwal Slabs and did an abseil descent into Seniors Gully (1). We then used the gully to get the boys on the sharp end of the rope and look at direct and indirect belays, taking coils, belaying a lead climber, belaying a second from above and how to abseil off a route. This kept us reasonably sheltered but never dry! It was nice to have the mountains to ourselves!

Friday, October 07, 2011

North Ridge of Tryfan

I have been out with Barry today for a day of private guiding. Barry wanted to look at route finding on steeper ground and so we chose the North Ridge of Tryfan as our classroom for the day. Barry lead us up the ridge and as we went we looked at the skill of finding the natural line, exploring various options and enjoying the mountain with very few other people on it. The views came and went as the cloud rolled around us but the wind was much less than the previous few days and we got some nice autumnal light through the clouds too. A lovely day out in the mountains. 

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Norway Snowshoe Trip - 4 spaces remaining

I have four spaces left for our snowshoe week in Norway from the 5-11 February 2012. This is a brilliant week travelling from hut to hut across Europes biggest mountain plateau in Arctic conditions. You will be given skills training, be accompanied by a team of huskies and have a week of a lifetime.

For more details visit this link

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Advanced Scrambling Private Guiding

I have been out with Gael and Amelia today who joined me earlier in the year for an intro to scrambling course and fancied progressing onto grade 2 and 3 ground. They got caught in some early morning traffic on the way to Wales this morning so after a late start we headed into Cwm Idwal and made our way up North West Face Route (2) and onto the upper section of the Idwal Staircase (2) before descending Seniors Gully (1). It has stayed dry all day and we have had a very nice day of scrambling on dry rock sheltered from the high winds that have been hammering the summits again. 

Monday, October 03, 2011

Private Guiding - Navigation Skills

I have been out with Anton today who wanted a day of private guiding to consolidate his navigation skills and to try a little bit of scrambling into the bargain too. We went up Pen Yr Ole Wen via its East Ridge and did a good mixture of micro and macro navigation in and out of the cloud. It was extremely windy on the summits and we were getting blown off our feet which added to the fun factor of the day! We did manage to stay dry all day though and had some lovely views from the top. 

Navigating on the Carneddau

For the second day of our navigation and hill skills course we headed up onto the Carneddau today and put into practice the skills that we covered yesterday. The weather was a little more overcast but we still managed to stay largely dry. I was then out until late with Llanberis MRT in the rain where we definitely didn't stay dry! 

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Navigation & Hill Skills Course

I have been out with Marianne, Graham, Tom, John and Anton today for a navigation and hill skills weekend here in Snowdonia. We are enjoying an Indian summer and the temperatures have hit 25 degrees this afternoon giving a beautiful day to be out in the mountains in the autumnal colours. We spent the day around Llyn Cwmffynnon looking at micro navigation skills and managing the high temperatures! Its great to be back home in Wales after a couple of weeks away! 

Cosmiques Arete

The last couple of days in Chamonix turned into a holiday for Alec and I. We needed to rest tired feet after our Mont Blanc ascent and so had a day of sunbathing in the unseasonably warm sun sine. We then spent our final morning doing a fast and light blast of the Cosmiques Arete (AD) and the afternoon saw Alec fulfilling a lifetime ambition with a tandem Parapent from the Plan de l'Auiguille. A lovely chilled out trip in some beautiful scenery and weather.