Monday, September 30, 2013


The boys and I headed up Cnicht today for the second day of our mountaincraft course. We were looking at navigation skills including contour interpretation and the skills we learnt yesterday as part of a mountain journey. Despite a poor forecast we stayed dry all day again and enjoyed some lovely autumnal light shows and some surprise views from the summit, lovely.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Mountaincraft Course

I have been joined for 6 days by Nick, Nigel and Leander for our new Mountaincraft course here in Snowdonia. The first two days are navigation skills based and today we headed onto the South side of the Glyderau to look at micro navigation skills, followed by a lecture on mountain weather. It has been a lovely dry and sunny day with a fairly brisk breeze and some beautiful views in the mountains. It looks set to change tomorrow but for navigation practise thats no bad thing.

Friday, September 27, 2013

North Ridge of Tryfan

David and Eve wanted to look at how to look after their children on grade 1 scrambling ground so I took them up the North Ridge of Tryfan today. We looked at movement skills, risk assessment, spotting and emergency use of the rope as we gained height, making our way up to a quiet summit with stunning cloud free views. A beautiful day in the mountains.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Navigation Day

I have been joined for two days of private guiding by David and his wife Eve who are keen to brush up on their hill skills so that they can safely take their children out in the mountains. We spent the day today looking at navigation and route finding on the South side of Snowdon and once again managed to stay dry all day. We even spotted some unusual wildlife in the woods on the way down!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Idwal Staircase and the Cneifion Arete

Andy and I headed into Cwm Idwal this morning with a showery forecast, keen to see how long we could keep the waterproofs off for. We started up the Idwal Staircase (2) and as we gained height we pulled up through the clouds for the second time in as many days to give some more stunning views. It was still pretty muggy and a bit more overcast than yesterday but waterproofs stayed in the bag once more. We then headed up the Cneifion Arete (3), enjoying both routes entirely to ourselves and then being treated to a Billy Goat scrap on the Gribin Ridge.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Shark Buttress

I have been joined for two days by Andy who has done my intro to scrambling course and is now looking to progress onto grade 2 and 3 scrambles on our advanced scrambling course. It has been a stunningly beautiful day with blue skies and some fantastic cloud inversions. We climbed Shark Buttress (3) on main cliff, Glyder Fach and then descended the Gribin Ridge (1). It was 28c when we got back to the car!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Picos Climbing Week Video

Here is a video of last weeks climbing trip to the Picos de Europa.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Via Ferrata

The boys and I headed to La Hermida today. Having climbed what we wanted to climb and with the boys fancying a rest day we took the day off and went and did the local Via Ferrata. It has only been installed recently and gave some great exposure on the steep limestone cliffs of the Deva Gorge. The cable span and bridge were particularly exciting! 

Naranjo de Bulnes II

Jude, Sue and Alec were a day behind us heading upto Naranjo and they summited yesterday in more beautiful weather. Well done to Jude and Sue and thanks to Alec, another great trip with more great summit success. Here are some shots courtesy of Alec. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Picos de Santa Ana

After our big day yesterday Martin chose a day by the pool today so Gez and I headed back up to Feunta Du for a day of mountaineering. We headed towards Aguja de Canalona but once we got to the bottom of it we were put off by the looseness of the rock on the lower pitch. We opted for plan b which was to head to the summit of Picos de Santa Ana via the East Ridge. The summit sits at 2601m and had a nice section of scrambling at the top and was superbly exposed. Interestingly as we descended under Aguja de Canalona another pair of climbers had made the same decision as us and were walking away. Another stunning day in the mountains. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Naranjo de Bulnes

We came to the Picos to climb Naranjo de Bulnes, known as the Matterhorn of Spain. With a good forecast we headed upto the hut yesterday and after a good nights sleep we climbed the Direct Route on the South Face this morning, getting down to the car by mid afternoon. The boys moved exceptionally well in ascent and descent and can feel proud of a great tick!