Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Crib Goch - Private Guiding Day

I have been out with repeat client Pozz today for a day of private guiding. Pozz had previously done a bit of scrambling and wanted a benchmark grade 1 scramble under her belt to give her some confidence to head out on her own. We decided that Crib Goch would be an ideal venue as everything else would then be easier! It was a little damp in the low cloud but Pozz traversed the ridge in good style nonetheless and we enjoyed a great day out on what is probably the best grade 1 scramble in England and Wales. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Rock Climbing Private Guiding

I have been joined by Jude and Sue today for a day of climbing. After a bit of a break from cragging the ladies wanted a refresher and to get back on the sharp end of the rope. We headed to Holyhead Mountain to enjoy the coastal sunshine and dry rock and climbed New Boots & Panties (S 4a), Stairs (S 4a) in two pitches and then Sue lead Black Owen (V Diff) in two pitches.  We then looked at abseil retreats before enjoying a cup of tea and a piece of cake in the cafe. A lovely day out. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mountain Dog Training Course

This weekend I have been out with Emma, Pam, Gavin and Wayne with their dogs Misty, Dudley and Maisy. I have been joined by Gael McGuigan, a professional dog behaviourist and trainer, to run our mountain dog training course. The idea of the course is to educate dog owners as to their responsibilities and opportunities for taking their dogs out in the mountains and to provide the training necessary to make it a safe and enjoyable experience for the dogs, their handlers and of course the other people out enjoying the mountains. Yesterday we focused on our legal and ethical responsibilities, understanding the body language of our dogs, other peoples dogs and other dog owners and some basic commands. Today we progressed the skills on with some dog agility in a natural environment which allowed us to look at teaching new skills and progressing existing ones that are relevant to days out in the mountains. We looked at the recall, walking to heel on and off the lead, asking the dog to wait whilst the owner negotiates a bridge or gate, using the "up" command to negotiate styles or walls and some retrieving games to keep the dogs focused. We also spent an hour looking at dog first aid. Throughout the weekend we have also taught dogs and owners to deal with livestock safely and responsibly. It was extremely wet all day yesterday but today has thankfully stayed dry and sunny so the boots have dried out a little! 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Advanced Scrambling Course

For the second day of our advanced scrambling course John and Martin were keen to get some hands on experience of the ropes for themselves in a non-intimidating environment. John was also keen to tick off Crib Goch so we headed to the east ridge and chose the steeper lines for the boys to lead on the rope. We abseiled back down one section to look at retreating off routes and then continued our traverse of the ridge unroped in the lovely sunshine. It has stayed dry all day again despite a poor forecast - long may it continue! 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Advanced Scrambling Course

I have been joined by repeat clients John and Martin for a two day advanced scrambling course here in Snowdonia. It has been a lovely day with some nice sunshine, we headed into Cwm Idwal and climbed North West Face Route (2) into the top of Idwal Staircase (2) and into Cwm Cneifion. We then climbed the Cneifion Arete (3) and descended the lower half of the Gribin Ridge. A great day out. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Private Guiding Scrambling

I have been out with repeat client John today for a days Alpine preparation for a forthcoming trip to climb the Matterhorn. John had been suffering slightly with his knee and so wanted a technical scrambling day close to the road so we headed to the Milestone Buttress. We scrambled up and across the buttress (3) and then John took over the lead for the upper section. We then did the Milestone Continuation (3), traversed across the North Ridge and down to Tryfan Fach where we climbed the left hand side (3), dropped back down and did another half a route to do some abseiling. A great day out with the weather improving all day. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Mountain Navigation & Hill Skills Course in Snowdonia

I have been out with Christine, Pozz, Nik and Luke this weekend for a navigation and hill skills course. It has been perfect weather for us as the cloud has remained low over the mountains and visibility has been reduced still further by the heavy continual rain. Yesterday we were on the South side of the Glyders looking at micro navigation techniques whilst today we enjoyed a journey over the Carneddau putting it all into context. It has been great fun despite the weather and thanks to all for their cheery company in some fairly uncomfortable summer weather! 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Climbing at Rhoscolyn

I have been joined for the day by John who is on my trainee instructor mentor scheme. John fancied a days climbing and so we headed to Rhoscolyn and climbed a number of routes from Severe to VS in the sunshine. On the way home we did a spot of movement coaching with some bouldering. A great days cragging. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Welsh 3000 Challenge

I have been out with repeat clients Alex and Mark who, along with a couple of extra willing friends, fancied taking on the Welsh 3000 Challenge. We left Pen Y pass this morning with the sunrise and enjoyed some lovely views on Crib Goch as the sun hit the mountains whilst the rest of the country was still tucked up warm in bed. We reached Nant Peris after just over 3 hours and I handed the baton over to friend Brian who took them over Elidir Fawr, Y Garn, Glyder Fawr & Glyder Fach and Tryfan. I then met back up with them in the Ogwen Valley another 6 hours later to take them over the Carneddau. Unfortunately by that stage various injury niggles meant that the guys had enjoyed themselves enough and the prospect of a curry and a few pints were more appealing than a traverse of the Carneddau! Nonetheless we all had a fantastic day in perfect weather - thanks very much to all who took part and especially Brian for his help on the Glyderau. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

ML Refresher

Roddy and I spent this morning refreshing his knowledge of the emergency use of a rope in the context of a Mountain Leader. We based ourselves above Bens Bunkhouse in Nant Peris for the morning and escaped the worst of the rain that was falling in the mountains. After lunch we headed further up the Pass and spent the afternoon looking at micro navigation skills around Cwm Glas. Sorry about the lack of photos, the weather meant I left the camera in the car! 

Monday, August 15, 2011

North Ridge of Tryfan

I have been joined for two days of private guiding by repeat client Roddy who wanted to get some scrambling done and look at security on steep ground in preparation for his ML assessment. Today we went up the North Ridge of Tryfan with Skye coming along for the ride too. It has been lovely with clear skies, a steady breeze and lots of nice sunshine. We finished the day with a bouldering session at the RAC boulders to work on some movement skills in the afternoon sunshine. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Back home in Wales

I have been away in the Wicklow mountains of Ireland this week with Kate and the boys for our summer family holiday. We have had a great week as you can see from the photo! Normal service will now be resumed! 

Friday, August 05, 2011

Away for a week

I am away for a week now until the 14th August. I'll try and check emails when I can but won't be available on the phone.

Crib Goch in the sunshine

For the second day of our intro to scrambling course, Janet, Paul, Julian, Will and I headed up onto Crib Goch and had a lovely traverse of the ridge in fine sunshine with no wind. We had some lovely views and it was surprisingly quiet along the ridge. Another stunning day.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

North Ridge of Tryfan

I have been joined by Janet, Paul and Julian for two days for an intro to scrambling course here in Snowdonia. I have also had Will along observing to gain assisting days for his ML logbook. We went up the North Ridge of Tryfan and looked at risk assessment, movement skills and route finding. On the way down we did a spot of ropework and enjoyed the afternoon sunshine after a morning of low cloud. Its pretty quiet in the mountains considering its school holiday time and we had the route to ourselves for much of the day. 

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Sea Cliff Climbing at Rhoscolyn

Will, Rosie and I headed for the coast this morning to escape the drizzle in the mountains. We climbed at Rhoscolyn which was beautiful, warm dry rock, sunshine and even a friendly seal bobbing up to say hello. We progressed the skills nicely from yesterday and finished the day with a bouldering session at the RAC boulders to polish some movement skills. A lovely couple of days.