Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, life in the mountains was superb in 2013 with great company, great weather and of course some stunning days out. Heres to 2014 being even better!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Winter Course Spaces

It has been snowing heavily on the Scottish mountains over the festive period and I have spaces on two day and five day winter skills courses in January so come and make the most of some great winter conditions. I have 2 spaces from the 6-10 January on this course: http://www.expeditionguide.com/winterskills.php and 1 space on the 18/19 January on this course: http://www.expeditionguide.com/winterskillsweekend.php

Come and join the adventure!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

New Film - A Year in The Mountains

This year has been superb, we had a great winter with lots of snow and ice followed by a beautiful long hot summer. Throughout the year I have been filming away with my GoPro and this is the result! I hope you enjoy it, perhaps you are in it, and heres to next year! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Clogwyn Y Person Arete

I am back in Wales now and have been out with Jim today on the Clogwyn Y Person Arete, a great grade 3 scramble that leads nicely onto Crib Goch which we descended via its North Ridge to give a lovely day out on dry rock and in the winter sunshine.

For our last day in the Alps on Friday Bryn and I enjoyed a ski tour from the village of Le Tour down to Vallorcine. The snow was quite thin but we enjoyed a nice skin in the morning sunshine and a partial ski descent before having to carry the skis through some beautiful forests down into the village where we managed to hitch a ride back to the car. 

We spent Saturday with friends and then Kate and I took the boys down to Windsor for a couple of days where we visited Lapland UK, the closest we have to snow at the moment without going North of the border to Scotland! 

The boys with gifts from Father Christmas posing by his sleigh! 

The forecast for the Scottish Highlands is now looking suitably wintery with blizzards due over the next couple of days, dumping some snow down for our forthcoming winter skills courses! 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

La Thuile and Verbier

It has been stunning weather here in the Alps the last couple of days. Yesterday we headed to Italy and skied at La Thuile whilst today the international theme continued as we headed to Switzerland and the resort of Verbier. Blue skies, white mountains, good company, what's not to like! 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Skiing in Chamonix

I am in the Alps this week for some early season skiing. Today was spent at the Grande Montet and we had a beautiful sunny day although it hasn't snowed for a week or so which means we could do with some fresh! 

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Summit success in Morocco

This week I have been working in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco and was joined by Barry, Richard, Allan and Al as well as fellow instructor and friend Paul. We based ourselves at a mountain hut at 3200m and over the week enjoyed 100% summit success on four 4000m summits including Toubkal, the highest mountain in North Africa. We had a very sociable week as the Llanberis MRT were also in the hut for the week, as was friend and guide Twid Turner with a client along for a week of ice climbing.
We enjoyed some ice cragging on a rest day in the middle of the week just 200m from the hut and of course the obligitory night out in Marakech last night! I am off to Chamonix now for a week of early season skiing. 


Friday, November 29, 2013

Off to Morocco

I am heading off to Morocco for a week in the morning on our annual Toubkal trip. I have no access to the internet for a week so I will reply to any emails when I get home on the 8th December and look forward to sharing the photos with you. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Trail winter issue looking good

The January issue of Trail magazine looks great, there is even some bald bloke giving winter skills advice! :-)

Costa Blanca Long Weekend

I have been in the sunny mountains of Southern Spain this weekend with regular clients Jude & Sue. We travelled out together on Friday night with a short flight from Manchester to Alicante and an even shorter drive to the lovely village of Finestrat, at the foot of the beautiful Puig Campagna.

Saturday saw us head to Sella which provides a sport climbing mecca on superb limestone. The temperatures averaged about 22c all weekend and we enjoyed soaking up this precious winter sunshine as we climbed a mixture of single and multi pitch routes, including one of the classics of the crag Marion - a 3 pitch VS that gives some great exposure and a taster of what was to come.

Sunday was the main event as Jude & Sue had come to climb Puig Campagna via the all time classic route, Espolon Central. This is a 13 pitch Hard Severe Trad route with the occasional bolted belay and a grade 2/3 scramble to get off the top of the route. We started at sunrise at about 7:30am and enjoyed pitch after pitch of superb steep limestone and some amazing exposure. The views across the Mediterranean were stunning and a slight breeze meant the sunshine was only a pleasure. The ladies did a superb job and we climbed the route in six hours, taking another 4 to enjoy a safe and leisurely descent and the Christmas cake that Sue carried for the entire route!

We spent the next two days climbing single and multi pitch routes by the sea as Jude increased in confidence and skill in here leading, ticking off some great 5's and impressing both Sue and I in the process.

The whole weekend was only improved by the location of our apartment being 2 minutes walk from Ooolala restaurant in Finestrat, if you are ever nearby pop in as the food is amazing!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Warm rock and sunshine

I am heading off to Spain today for a long weekend of warm rock and sunshine - fingers crossed! I look forward to showing you the photos when I get home on Tuesday. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Crib Goch in the Snow!

John and I enjoyed a winter traverse of Crib Goch today. John is on my trainee instructor mentor scheme and is a fairly experienced winter climber so as we drove down the Llanberis Pass this morning and saw Crib Goch covered in snow and glinting in the sunshine it seemed rude not to head up and enjoy it. Despite some fairly high winds forecast, the clouds were not moving that quickly so we headed up with and open mind and a flexible approach and found that whilst it was breezy it was ok. The snow got better as we gained height and this afternoon the temperatures dropped noticeably so I would expect it to consolidate nicely with an overnight re-freeze. We used axes, crampons and goggles so got the full winter experience - first day of winter for me, superb!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

2014 Brochure Now Available

Our new brochure with photos decided by you has now returned from the printers. It looks great so thank you! If you would like a copy you can order one here: http://www.expeditionguide.com/brochure2.php

Snow on the mountains!

It was snowing heavily as I drove up the Ogwen Valley this morning, the sun soon came out though and we had a stunning day on Pen Yr Ole Wen and Carnedd Dafydd today for the second day of our navigation course. The snow was only cosmetic but it was freezing hard so all could be different tomorrow and it made for beautiful views as we put into practice the skills covered yesterday and looked at relocation skills along the way - stunning!