Friday, October 19, 2012

Off to Nepal

I am away now until the 12th November in Nepal. I have a couple of teams heading out to Everest Base Camp and Kala Patar, with one team continuing to Island Peak. I am looking forward to returning to the Himalaya after our trip to Mera Peak two years ago. I have packed, repacked and packed again so one more pack and I will be off!

I won't have access to emails or phone calls whilst I am away so I apologise for the inevitable delays in getting back to you, I look forward to sharing the photos when I get back.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

ML Preparation

I have been out with Matt today who is on my instructor mentor scheme and is preparing for his forthcoming ML Assessment. We headed on a journey into Cwm Idwal and then Cwm Bochclwyd looking security on steep ground and ropework within the ML syllabus. It was damp this morning but brightened up nicely this afternoon. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Autumn Colours

I have been out with Simon today who is on my instructor mentor scheme and preparing for his ML assessment. We wanted a day looking at navigation and steep ground and headed up onto the Glyderau from Nant Peris. We enjoyed some lovely light as well as some great terrain to push Simon a bit. A lovely day out. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Another big boot big route.

Shae and I headed onto Tryfan today and climbed Grooved Arete (HV Diff). We were hoping the early morning mist would burn off but despite some promise we were in the cloud all day which meant the rock was a little greasy - a good effort by Shae in big boots on only his 3rd day of climbing. 

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Amphitheatre Buttress

Shae and I wanted a big boot, big mountain route and so headed for Amphitheatre Buttress, often quoted as the biggest multi pitch route in Snowdonia. The route is a wonderful V Diff in a remote mountain setting and we enjoyed total tranquility today. There was no wind, hazy sunshine and that lovely scent of autumn in the air. 

Monday, October 08, 2012

Climbing in the sunshine

I have been joined for a couple of days by Shae who has previously done some scrambling with me and fancied a bit of rock climbing. We enjoyed some lovely hazy sunshine on Anglesey today and climbed a variety of one and two pitch routes from V Diff to Severe. We had the place almost to ourselves and it was beautiful. 

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Video from last week on Grande Jorasses

Here is a short collection of film and photos from last weeks route on the North Face of the Grande Jorasses:

Friday, October 05, 2012

North Face of the Grande Jorasses

I have had a quick hit trip to the Alps this week with my friend Alec. We flew out last Saturday and spent a couple of days walking slowly upto the foot of the North Face of the Grande Jorasses. Plans were temporarily halted by some reasonable quantities of snow and so we enjoyed Sunday night in the remote and wild Leschaux Hut. The following day we moved upto the glacier where we pitched our small bivvy tent at the foot of the face. This slow approach helped the acclimatisation but probably not enough!

An alpine start on Tuesday saw us weaving through the complex crevasses in the dark and picking our way to the foot of the face. We had our eye on a couple of routes but the conditions made the choice for us and we climbed the Petit Macintyre. (TD). This route is 600m long and is entirely on snow and ice, getting progressively harder as you gain height - and get more knackered!

We had waded through deep snow to get to the route and moved together on the easier ground at the start, enjoying nice neve that gave first time placements - unfortunately this was not to last! After about 100m the ice got harder and harder, by the top we were climbing steep glacier ice that was bullet hard. Our calves were screaming and lungs heaving!

We abseiled back down the route using V Threads and returned to the tent after a 16 hour day, just before it got dark.

Unfortunately the Montenvers train was not running as we descended to Chamonix so we had a long walk back to town where we enjoyed a cold beer or two!