Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Crib Goch

Today was our second day looking at security on steep ground with the ML Trainees. It has been a stunning autumn day with a wonderful respite from the last couple of days of rain. We decided to make the most of the day by heading onto Crib Goch. Whilst this is at the upper end of an ML steep ground day it does provide a great intensity of terrain to learn on in the right weather and conditions and gets trainees working hard to look after each other. It is also an inspiring place to be which is part of the package!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

New Scrambling Video for BMC TV and the AMI

Here are a couple of videos that have been put on the BMC TV channel today that I have presented looking at roped scrambling skills and equipment.

Security on steep ground

It has been another wet and wild day here in Snowdonia and so the ML trainees and I headed into Cwm Idwal to look at security on steep ground and how the use of a rope fits into the ML scheme. Our evening session was spent looking at Mountain Rescue in the UK with an tour of the LLMRT base. One of the many great things about working on these courses is that people are super motivated and thats a big plus when the weather is challenging!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Quality Mountain Day

For day two of the ML Training course we kicked the day off looking at the sort of equipment that a Mountain Leader should carry on the mountains. We then headed out onto the Carneddau to enjoy a quality mountain day looking at leadership skills, the environment and navigation. There were some string winds and low cloud so the weather was ideal for training in. Our evening session then focused on the legal and moral aspects of being a mountain leader.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

ML Training

Today was the first day of our Mountain Leader training course for this week ahead. I have been joined by Becky, Elliot (who celebrated his birthday on the mountain today), Ian, Mark, Ben and Joey giving a nice mixture of repeat clients and new faces. We spent the practical element of our day on the Southern flanks of Snowdon looking at navigation skills and how to pass them on to our clients in some perfect navigation weather! Crikey it feels dark now the clocks have gone back!

Friday, October 24, 2014

SPA Preparation

I have been out with Rob again today, this time at Tremadog doing some preparation for his SPA. We did a mixture of climbing and rigging and the weather improved nicely as the day went on, a definite improvement on yesterday!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mentor Scrambling Day

I headed out with Rob & John today who are both on my mentor scheme. With some pretty grim weather we decided that climbing was off the cards and that a scrambling day was the way forward. With both of them having the MIA in their sights we spent the day introducing the dark art of short roping and safeguarding clients on grade 2 and 3 scrambling ground, examining the differences between going out with friends and going out as a professional instructor and weighing up the constant balance of speed versus safety.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Advanced Scrambling Short Video

I was recently joined by Shaun from "Simply Hike". He has an excellent boss who sent Shaun on the course so that he could increase his knowledge, test some gear and get a story for their blog. I took some GoPro footage over the two days and they edited this short video.

Climbing at Tremadog

I have been joined for two days by John who is on my trainee instructor mentor scheme and is currently preparing for his SPA assessment. We headed to the Upper Tier at Tremadog and climbed a few routes from Severe to VS and then spent a couple of hours looking at rigging top ropes and abseils. We had the odd patch of drizzle but otherwise stayed dry which is nice :-)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


I have been out with Rob today who is on my trainee instructor mentor scheme and is currently preparing for his SPA. We spent the morning focusing on single pitch rigging and then headed inside this afternoon to the climbing wall to focus on some actual climbing once the storm arrived. I haven't seen the tops to see if the promised snow has arrived!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Looking wintery

It looks like winter will make a brief appearance on the summits tomorrow, might be a bit windy to see it though!

Advanced Navigation Day

Its been a lot better than forecast today in Snowdonia, in fact I didn't even get wet which was incredible! I have been running an advanced navigation day using contour only mapping as an MTA workshop and we enjoyed a day of getting our head around contours on Snowdon. Good luck to those going on to assessments soon, though I'm sure you won't need it! There is a great new initiative from the National Park of putting the weather forecast at the start of each path (picture below) which is a very sensible idea, we still saw folk on Crib Goch though! 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Sam, Shamaila and I headed up onto the Carneddau today for the second day of our MTUK Mountain Skills course. We couldn't have asked for better weather as we enjoyed some atmospheric cloud and sunshine giving the perfect balance of views and skills testing as we journeyed over Pen Yr Ole Wen and Carnedd Dafydd before doing some off the path navigation in descent. A beautiful autumnal day.

Monday, October 13, 2014

On the tele!

This program is on tomorrow night (Tuesday) at 19:30 on ITV1 in Wales. It contains a few pieces of footage that I have filmed and I even get a mention in the credits!

Y Garn

I have been joined by Sam and Shamaila for two days of mountain navigation training here in Snowdonia. They have done some walking in the Peak District and wanted to up their skills to the bigger mountains. It has been a much better day than forecast and so we headed up to the summit of Y Garn via the Devils Kitchen, looking at lots of skills along the way. The poor visibility on the summit was ideal for putting skills to good use and we stayed dry all day!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Clogwyn Y Person Arete

Its been a damp but beautiful Autumnal day today with swirling clouds and sunshine chasing across the mountains. We headed up the Clogwyn Y Person Arete (3) for the second day of our advanced scrambling course and descended the North Ridge of Cwm Glas. Beautiful!

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Advanced Scrambling

I have been joined by repeat clients Shaun and Mark for our advanced scrambling course here in Snowdonia. The forecast wasn't great but we avoided the strong winds by heading up NW Face Route in Cwm Idwal, onto the Idwal Staircase, up Seniors Gully and then up the Cneifion Arete to give a brilliant day out with lots of banter along the way!