Friday, August 29, 2014

Thank You

Hi Rob
Many thanks, brilliant photos and we had a truly memorable time, with such a lovely group of people. And thanks so much for your calm and friendly leadership. I’m looking forward to booking our next trip (still trying to talk Steve into it J).

Thanks again Rob, it was amazing.

Sarah and Steve.
Swiss 3000's week - August 2014

Hi Rob - Thank you, it was a great week and perfect prep for MB. And man what a week we had with Twid, despite all odds the summit happened - it was perfect.

Your hut choice, summit choice and help for Bec etc was all perfect and made for. Great week. Thanks, Luke - Swiss 3000's week - August 2014

Hi Rob
Just a quick note to say how much I enjoyed the week in the Alps - it was an experience I'll never forget. The trekking, scenery and company were great. The photos were amazing - it's incredible to think we saw it all first hand.
Hope your knees are calming down - mine are after 6 days. Think I'm ready to book another trip now so don't count me out of things yet!

Once again, thanks for everything.
Best regards.

Swiss 3000's week - August 2014

Monday, August 25, 2014

A present!

I got home last night from the Alps and was opening my post. One item was a tube which is always exciting. Look what I found inside with a little note that read "Rob, thanks for introducing me to the joys of winter mountaineering. Ben." 
Wow! How brilliant is that! Thanks very much again Ben 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Swiss 3000's

I have just returned from a week in the Swiss Alps on our Swiss 3000's summits week. I was joined by Sarah & Steve, Simon & Penny, Luke & Becks and Graham and Dan and we had a superb week. This summer in the Alps has been pretty poor so far weather wise and so we were surprised, delighted and amazed to enjoy 5 days of wall to wall sunshine, despite a slightly dodgy forecast. The good weather, great clients and a flexible approach meant we were able to bag 5 great summits in two different valleys over the five days and enjoy some superb huts along the way.

We met on Monday morning in Zermatt and after coffee and pastries headed up towards Fluealp which gives fine views of the Matterhorn. We bagged our first summit (Pfulroe 3265m) as we had been given a poor forecast for the following day and so were keen to make the most of the weather. That night was spent in the hut and my memories of superb food and wine were proved true whilst the weather forecast proved false and Tuesday brought more blue skies and sunshine.

We headed down into Zermatt for lunch and then enjoyed a beautiful walk up to the Hotel Trift at a little over 2300m. Hugo the hut guardian was a great host and the girls were all impressed by the size of his horn, and the skill with which he wielded it!

An early start the following morning saw us head up onto the Platthorn, enjoying the sunrise over the Matterhorn along the way. Our summit sat at 3345m and was our biggest tick of the week in terms of height, and perhaps in terms of the wow factor too as it was a small summit with some great exposure,  surrounded by glaciers and snow capped peaks. Over 2000m of descent saw us back in the valley and we drove round to the Val d'Anniviers and walked up to the Cabane Bella Tolla where free hot showers proved a hit!

Burpies on the glacier!

Thursday morning had us out early again and we bagged the summit of Bella Tolla, one of Switzerlands most popular 3000m peaks and again giving superb views over the likes of the Weisshorn, Grande Cornier, Zinalrothorn and many, many more. We were back in the valley for lunch and with full stomachs enjoyed a steady afternoon plod up the 800m of height gain to the Cabane Becs de Bossons. This is one of my favourite huts of the week, it gave great food, amazing views to Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn and all of the charm of an older high mountain hut but with the comforts of its modern extension.

Friday morning saw some of the team tick off the Point de la Tsevalire (3026m) before breakfast to enjoy the sunrise whilst the others enjoyed a well earned lie in. We all then headed up the Becs de Bosson (3149m) to give a great scrambling finale to a superb week.

Thanks very much to Sarah & Steve, Simon & Penny, Luke & Becks and Graham and Dan for being such good company, great sports and up for anything - it was a brilliant week!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Off to the Alps

I am heading out to the Alps today for our Swiss 3000 summits week. I will be out of contact until the 26th, fingers crossed for the weather! 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Milestone Buttress

For the final day of our learn to lead course we headed to Milestone Buttress in the Ogwen Valley. Jude & Rob chose to lead Direct Route (V Diff), including the chimney pitch, whilst Marie and Laurie climbed Rowan Route under the watchful eye of Bryn. We enjoyed some nice sunshine as well as the odd brief shower to finish off a great weeks climbing. Thanks very much all.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Learning to lead on sea cliffs

I was at Rhoscolyn today teaching the skills involved in leading routes on sea cliffs. Jude & Rob have spent the last couple of days in the capable hands of fellow instructor and friend Sam on the Idwal Slabs and then at Tremadog. They are happy leading independently and with abseiling so today we put it all together at the coast and looked at some of the extra things to think about when climbing above the sea. We started the day with some basic problem solving techniques and then they lead Symphony Crack (Diff), organising their own scramble and abseil to the foot of the crag and then leading the route in two good pitches. To finish off the day I lead them up Truant (VS 4c) to make the most of the glorious sunshine - superb.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Family Wild Camp

Last night Kate and I took the boys wild camping on the Northern end of the Carneddau, walking out of our back door with everyone loaded up for a nights adventure. We enjoyed a spectacular sunset, ghostly stories and minimal sleep :-)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Film Work

I have been presenting today for a couple of films being made by the Association of Mountaineering Instructors (AMI) for the BMC TV channel. The films are being put together in a small series and I was presenting top tips and instruction for heading out onto grade 1, 2 and 3 scrambles. The weather was great for us in the Ogwen Valley and it was an honour to be asked to to be involved.

Photo thanks to Steve Long

Monday, August 11, 2014

Climbing in the sunshine

I have a five day learn to lead climbing course this week and I have been out with regular clients Jude and Rob whilst Bryn has been out with Marie and Laurie. I have been having physio on my knee for the last couple of weeks and it felt great to be out climbing again today, especially as the sun has been shining all day and its been pain free! We climbed at Holyhead mountain, consolidating the experience Jude & Rob have in preparation for them taking over on the sharp end of the rope as the week develops. There was a fresh breeze but it was stunning!