Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ski Touring in Snowdonia

It has been a stunning day here in Snowdonia. To make the most of it I headed up Pen Yr Helgi Du for some ski touring. It was a popular option with good tracks on the way up and half a dozen other skiers about. The views were stunning and the ski down gave some good fun, I was able to ski car to car which is brilliant! A short film will follow later. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Cleft Gully, Clogwyn Du

I headed upto Clogwyn Du in Cwm Cneifion today with friends Bryn and Simon. We climbed Cleft Gully (V,6). A lack of ice on the first pitch meant it was a bit more mixed than the guide book suggests is normal but nonetheless a fun route. It was pretty claggy today with no views and lots of windblown snow, nice and cold though. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Video of Arch Gully

Arch Gully, Glyder Fach

I headed out with friend Huw today for some climbing to make the most of the conditions here in Wales. The day started off overcast but became a blue sky stunner. We climbed Arch Gully (V,6) on Glyder Fach which to our mind was as good as anything we climbed last week in Scotland. Awesome!
Thanks to Huw for the photos of me.

Conditions are great at the moment for mixed climbing and the ice is also beginning to form now - fingers crossed! 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Snow in Wales

I am home now after a great couple of weeks in Scotland. There is plenty of snow here in Snowdonia so I look forward to more sledging with the kids tomorrow.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Savage Slit

It has been another stunning day here in Scotland. I teamed up with friend Huw and we headed East to the Cairngorms. Our route for the day was Savage Slit (V,6) which has been on my ticklist for some time and was great fun. The conditions suited the route well, the fresh snow made for a bit of hard work cleaning out gear placements but otherwise it was all good - another great day in the mountains!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Aonach Eagach

Wow, what a day! We headed down Glen Coe today and traversed the Aonach Eagach ridge on our winter mountaineering course. I teamed up with Martin & Charlie whilst Huw took Neal and Tim. It has been a real stunner although trail breaking through deep unconsolidated snow was fairly hard work! 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Winter Mountaineering

I have been joined for 3 days by Charlie, Tim, Neil and Martin for a winter mountaineering course here in Scotland. Today was run at a 1:4 ratio before we are joined by fellow instructor Huw for the next two days. We spent the day looking at the skills required to tackle grade 1 routes including snow anchors, body belays, abseiling and also refreshed some winter skills. There has been more fresh snow overnight and through the day and it has been a beautiful day between the snow showers. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Pot of Gold

I headed out with Martin today into the Northern Corries in the Cairngorms. We climbed Pot of Gold (V,6) on the Mess of Pottage. It was snowing heavily as we made the drive across from the Fort and the fresh snow combined with the icey cracks from the last few days made for a good sporting route with lots of fun! My friend Alec has been on the Ben today and reports knee deep fresh snow above the CIC hut. It has snowed down to road level across much of the Highlands so a welcome return to whiteness! 

Saturday, January 12, 2013


For the last day of our winter skills course the boys were all keen to try some ice climbing. Unusually for a winter skills course all of them were climbers and were using the skills as a progression onto winter climbing and mountaineering. We headed to the Ice Factor which went down well with the tired legs all round and had a great final day to a great week. It has got wonderfully cold here and has been snowing on and off with a fair bit forecast for tomorrow meaning winter is definitely back. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Cold and sunny!

The boys were rewarded today having had some moist weather over the last few days we had a day of cold crisp sunshine today - woo hoo! We spent the day looking at crampon skills on the crisp neve, snow anchors and emergency shelters and revelling in the sun! It was 1c in Fort William as we arrived back at the end of the day and the ground was frozen above about 800m. 

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Ben Nevis

The boys and I headed up the Ben today to make sure we could have some snow to play in. There has been a small amount of fresh snow overnight and the freezing level was down to about 1000m so it was good to feel wintery! The poor visibility might not be great for photos but was ideal for practising winter navigation so we made the most of that. A great day out with no rain!