Sunday, November 27, 2011

Major Incident Exercise with LLMRT

I have been out with the rescue team today for our annual major incident exercise. The day was held in varying locations in the quarries around Llanberis and gave a great opportunity to work Skye, practice some First Aid and enjoy some nice winter sunshine. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Mountain Leader Training in Snowdonia

For the last two days of our Mountain Leader Training course here in Snowdonia we have been out on a wild camping expedition in the Carneddau. Our planned route involved several of the Welsh 3000 summits but winds in excess of 65 mph put paid to that and made for  a pretty wild night. Nonetheless we did gain some smaller summits and had a cracking couple of days exploring the beautiful Carneddau. Highlights included dinner in a bothy before several hours of night nav to our overnight wild camp and watching the clouds tearing across the higher summits. We finished the day off today with a session on river crossings before debriefs and farewells. The boys and girls have had a tough week of weather which is ideal for training and I wish them all well in their preparations for assessment. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

ML Training Day Four

I have been joined by friend and colleague Paul Poole today as we took the ML training team into Cwm Idwal to look at the use of the rope within the ML syllabus. It was pretty breezy but stayed dry until the last hour of the day. We looked at use of the rope in ascent and descent including abseiling, confidence roping and group management. This evenings session is preparation for our two day expedition where we will be wild camping tomorrow night in the wild weather Snowdonia has in store for us! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Security on steep ground

For our third day of the Mountain Leader training course that I am running this week we were looking at security on steep ground on the North Ridge of Tryfan. We were also joined by Bryn from MLTW who was out as part of the training boards commitment to quality assurance and standardisation between providers. The day started off overcast and cloudy but brightened up nicely as we spent the day looking at the skills that are necessary to look after clients in this type of ground in ascent and descent. We got down without needing head torches today and for our evening session had a tour of the Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team base and a look at the sort of equipment that an ML might be able to assist a rescue team with in the event of a rescue. We also had a look at some basic ropework in preparation for tomorrow. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mountain Leader Training Day 2

For our second day of the ML training course we have been out to undertake a quality mountain day as defined by the scheme. Along the way we looked at access and the environment and emergency procedures in the mountains. We based ourselves on the South side of the Glyderau from Pen Y Pass and it stayed dry for much of the day. This evenings lecture was on the legal and moral aspects of working as a Mountain Leader. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Mountain Leader Training Course

I have been joined for six days by Marianne, Nik, Will, Simon, Luke and Steve for a Mountain Leader Training Course here in Snowdonia. Each of the guys and girls have been out with me before and we will be spending the week following the syllabus of the MLT scheme with today being a micro nav day. We are based at Plas Curig Hostel for the week and headed out the back door onto the Crimpiau today, spending the last hour or so of the day doing some night nav. The mountain training is supplemented by evening lectures with tonights topic being mountain weather. A full week ahead so the blog might get a bit shorter than normal! 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Scrambling on Tryfan

Today we headed up Little & North Gullies on Tryfan which gave some great grade 1 gully scrambling whilst being sheltered from the morning winds. After lunch on the summit the winds had dropped as forecast and we descended the North Ridge (1). Towards the lower end of the ridge we played with the rope for a bit looking at how to give protection to a nervous second and how to retreat from a difficult section. It was wet this morning but brightened up and we all had a great day. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Intro to Scrambling course

I have been joined for two days by Charlie, Laurence, Nik and Peter for an intro to scrambling course here in Snowdonia. I have also had Jim along observing the course. We have had a dry day but with 55-60mph Southerly winds whistling over the mountains. We managed to avoid them by scrambling up Seniors Gully (1) and Seniors Ridge (1) but got hammered on the summit of Glyder Fawr. A hasty descent of the Devils Kitchen ensued! A great day out to blow away any cobwebs. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Video from Toubkal 2011

Here is a short video that Paul Poole put together on our recent trip to Morocco. I hope you enjoy it and if you fancy coming next year, have a look here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Micro Nav & Night Nav

I have been out with Katrina again today looking at micro navigation skills. We spent the day on the North East end of the Glyderau looking at off the path contour interpretation, bearings, pacing and timing and strategies for poor visibility navigation. We had a break for tea at Petes Eats and then went out in the Llanberis Pass once night had fallen for a couple of hours of night nav. Another great day out in the mountains and some more beautiful weather. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Stunning Cloud Inversion

It has been a stunning day in the mountains today. I have been joined for two days by Katrina to brush up on some navigation skills prior to her ML Assessment and we headed up onto the Carneddau today. As we climbed Pen Yr Ole Wen from the car we were in low cloud but as we scrambled up the East Ridge we emerged above it to a stunning cloud inversion that seemed to cover the rest of Snowdonia and beyond. We even had a brocken spectre at one point! I shall let the photos do the talking, it was magical.