Sunday, June 29, 2014

Thank You

Dear Rob and Huw
I wanted to thank you both for the course. Having trudged, slightly heavy-hearted and slightly delayed, back to London, I have managed to recover from the pains, strains and jitters of the week and am now left with happy memories, a real feeling of achievement and somewhat bruised shins!
I wanted to join the course as a general improvement of my mountain skills, but I have come away with more than that; I have a new sense of confidence, a love of scrambling and an understanding of my shortcomings that I can work on. And I did all that in an incredibly beautiful setting with some lovely people. The week was great, including the great weather that you laid on for us, so thank you for everything. You can be quite sure that I will be back for more in future.
Be seeing you. 
From a tragically flat London...!
Lucinda - 5 day navigation and scrambling course - June 2014

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Toubkal Expedition Spaces

We have spaces on our Toubkal trip this coming December. You can learn winter skills and climb 4000m peaks whilst overlooking the Sahara! This is a brilliant week long trip for £900 including all food, accommodation, transport, logistics and leadership. Full details here:

Thank You

The best thing about my job is just how much people enjoy the mountains, heres a few unsolicited testimonials that clients have very kindly given over the last month:

Hi Rob, Had a great week, learnt lots and will be putting some of this knowledge into practice in the lakes and preparing for the Welsh 3000. Crib coch will be conquered!! ))
Speak soon pal, Steve - 5 day navigation & scrambling - June 2014

Hi Rob,

Thanks again for a brilliant day - I'm still grinning from ear to ear. The photos on your blog look great, too.

That odd white flower was indeed New Zealand Willowherb (score 1 point to me) . Never seen it in flower before.

As always, it was great to see you

All the best, Roddy Private Guiding - June 2014

Hello mate, I've already delegated the driving responsibilities for the day :-) Anyway thanks again for today, thoroughly enjoyed myself as always, despite my language suggesting otherwise haha.

See you next month and enjoy yourself in Glencoe next week, that's a lovely thing to be able to do.


John - Private Guiding - June 2014

In May 2014 the online retailer "Simply Hike" paid for one of their employees, Shaun, to join our Mountaincraft course. He then wrote an independant review of the course on the company blog. You can read it here.

Hi Rob, Just a quick note to say thank you for a tremendous week in Skye. As ever you and the team provided first class guiding and instruction, all delivered with great spirit and good humour. I look forward to a return to Skye just as soon as I’ve re-grown the layers of skin stripped from my fingertips by that wonderful Cuillin gabbro! Many thanks, Shae. Skye Scrambling - May 2014

Hi Rob,
Just to say a big thank you for such a brilliant week, scrambling on Skye. I don't think I have ever felt quite such a sense of achievement at having survived it!! The company was excellent too and they were very patient! Please say thanks to all the Guides, who manage to make hard labour such fun! Julia - Skye Scrambling - May 2014

From Facebook: ML course was awesome and a very high level of instruction from Rob and Huw who were willing to go the extra mile, give advice and answer literally hundreds of questions. highly recommended.
David - ML Training May 2014

Friday, June 27, 2014

Scrambling in Cwm Idwal

For the second day of our intro to scrambling course we headed into Cwm Idwal today for a journey up, round, over and down the Idwal Slabs looking at movement skills, risk assessment and emergency use of the rope. Contrary to the forecast (again!) it has stayed dry and the thunder and lightning didn't materialise either!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Intro to Scrambling

I have been out with Lucienne, Steve, Tom and Luke today for an intro to scrambling course in Snowdonia. It has been generally dry with the odd spit of rain and we enjoyed a day of coaching and scrambling on the Gribin Ridge, up onto the Glyderau and then down the Devils Kitchen.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Dad's last Munro

Sir Hugh Munro published his first list of tables of Scotland's 3000 ft mountains in 1891, a list that now comprises 284 summits. The first person to be credited with the achievement of climbing all of the Munros was Reverend A E Robertson in 1901. He finished his tally on the Aonach Eagach and is recorded as having first kissed the summit cairn and then his wife. 

Dad started his Munros in 1991 having taken my Mum, sister and me on a walking holiday from Glasgow to Fort William, The West Highland Way. We finished our week with an ascent of Ben Nevis on the 31st May. I was 13 years old and that first Munro had a profound influence on the path the rest of my life would take. It also started a campaign for my Dad that began slowly and gathered momentum over more recent years. Dad was joined for the most part by Mum, she has done 181 of the Munros herself, and by good friends and family along the way too. 

The last three days have seen us mopping up the remaining four. Dad hasn't purposefully left one for the end but our final summit today was Ben Cruachan. My sister lives in Hong Kong so wasn't able to join us but celebrated with us via phone at the end of the day. My Mum and I joined the old man in some pretty dreich weather and celebrated his achievement with a single malt on the summit. He made the clever move of kissing his wife first and then the summit cairn. Well done Dad (and Mum)! 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Beinn Mhanach

I have enjoyed another day of Munro bagging with my Dad in the Scottish Highlands today. Dad described the route last night as a 4 mile walk along a track, a steep pull up a tedious grassy slope and then do it all again in reverse. He also mentioned that his friend Tony had not enjoyed it when he did it. With expectations suitably low we had a surprisingly nice day, the clear skies definitely helped as the views from the top were lovely and the dog enjoyed the rolling grassy slopes too. An added bonus was not seeing another soul all day! 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Bonnie Scotland

My Mum and Dad are spending the whole of June North of the border on a road tour of Scotland. I have come up to join them for a couple of days walking and today Dad and I climbed Creag Mhor and Beinn Heasgarnich which gave a 17 mile round trip and over 4000ft of ascent with me pushing hard to keep up with him whilst trying to pretend it was easy. It has stayed gloriously dry and sunny and been a lovely day out. 

Friday, June 20, 2014


It always feels a treat to be climbing on Cloggy (Clogwyn Du'r Arddu on Snowdon) as this big mountain crag needs to be dry and that takes a sustained period of fine weather - something we are definitely in the middle of! Paul had not climbed here before so the choice of routes was endless. We plumped for Great-Bow Combination (HVS 4c, 4a, 5a, 4b, 4a) which combines the Kirkus route of Great Slab with Bow to give the best of both climbs. I hadn't done the route before and it didn't disappoint with continually interesting climbing and an exciting crux. Superb!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Gogarth - Wen and Britomartis

I have been climbing at Gogarth today for Pauls second day of private guiding. We climbed A Dream of White Horses together a couple of years ago and at the time Paul was struck by the aesthetics of Wen (HVS 5a, 4c, 5a) and so that was our route of choice for today. We abseiled in and enjoyed the route in isolation, a couple of chaps started off on Dream as we finished our route which gave some nice photo opportunities. After a bit of lunch we climbed Britomartis (HVS 4c, 4c) which is a good steep crack and starts pretty much at sea level so we noticed the not inconsiderable swell! We saw some huge seals which is always nice and enjoyed tea and cake to round our day off at the Breakwater Quarry visitor centre. 

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Rock climbing in the sunshine

I have been out with Paul today who has been on most of the expeditions that I have ever run and has climbed with me in summer and winter for the last 10 years. In all that time we have never climbed Main Wall together and so today was the day! This superb route is graded HS, is 6 pitches long and is by far the easiest route on the spectacular crag of Cyrn Las so it takes you through some amazing rock architecture and has some great exposure. Having enjoyed ourselves to the full we then headed up and climbed Gambit Climb (V Diff) which is described as the best mountain route of its grade in the guidebook and finishing at the top of the Clogwyn Y Person Arete (3). We descended this and then back to the stream to cool down in this 25c heat!