Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Clogwyn Y Person Arete

Simon, Carlos and I headed up the Clogwyn Y Person Arete today which gave us a fine mountaineering route despite driving rain, strong winds and a fresh coating of snow on the higher ground! No photos today I am sorry as the camera stayed at home. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Learning to lead on Milestone Buttress

Simon and I were joined by Carlos today for the last two days of Simons learn to lead course. Carlos is another repeat client and friend of Simons and was also keen to learn to lead outdoors. We headed to Milestone Buttress where it stayed dry all day and we got the afternoon sunshine. Simon lead Rowan Route and then shared leads with Carlos on Pulpit Route with an abseil descent off both routes. 

Monday, April 27, 2009

North West Face Route, Cwm Idwal & Cneifion Arete

Simon and I decided a day of scrambling fitted the bill today as the rain was falling heavily on the cafe window at 9:30 this morning. We headed into Cwm Idwal and looked at belays in a scrambling setting with Simon taking a share of the leading on North West Face Route (2). We then made our way into Cwm Cneifion and climbed the Cneifion Arete which gave a wonderful grade 3 blast in the afternoon sunshine. 

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Rock Climbing in the Llanberis Pass & the slate quarries

Simon and I headed into the Llanberis Pass this morning in the sunshine and climbed Crackstone Rib before the crowds arrived. We then headed into the slate quarries and ticked off some sport routes. Simon took over the sharp end and lead his first routes and we then did a multi pitch sport route to top the day off. 

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Rock Climbing at Holyhead Mountain

Regular readers of the Blog will recognise Simon as he is a regular client and friend and is also the man responsible for my fast jet flight last month. (Read more here) Simon has joined me for 5 days of private guiding with a view to going rock climbing or advanced scrambling every day to suit the weather. Today we ticked off 6 routes at Holyhead Mountain, from Sever to VS 4c and including some multi pitch. We had a brief shower first thing but otherwise it has been dry, bright and warm. 

Friday, April 24, 2009

Scrambling on the Glyders

Today we headed up Bristly Ridge allowing Jason & Dave to practise their new found rope skills on the steeper section at the beginning before ditching the ropes and scrambling onto Glyder Fach and down the Gribin Ridge. More sunshine today - we are being spoilt! 

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Advanced Scrambling Course

I have been joined for two days by returning clients Jason & Dave for some advanced scrambling. Today we headed up the Idwal Staircase in light drizzle. The sky brightened as we got higher and we then climbed the Cneifion Arete in the sunshine. A lovely day. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bolt clipping in the slate quarries

I have had the last couple of days off and this afternoon Bryn and I headed into the slate quarries for some afternoon cragging. We met up with Colin & Sue Goodey and tried some of their routes and had a wonder around looking at their future projects. It stayed dry all day with some warm sunshine on the coast. 

Monday, April 20, 2009

Clogwyn Du'r Arddu & Llanberis Pass

I have been joined for the day by Kurtis & Danny who are both on my Trainee Instructor Mentor Scheme.  Both guys are aiming for the MIA and so wanted a day of multi pitch cragging on VS 4c ground on a mountain crag. We decided to head to Cloggy and have a look at Longlands Route. It was very wet in the gully that gains access to the foot of the route so we headed for Curving Crack. We climbed the first pitch and then bid a retreat which gave us the opportunity to look at multi pitch crag evacuation before we headed for the sunshine of the Llanberis Pass. We climbed Crackstone Rib (Severe) in two pitches looking at stance management and belay equalisation. It has been another stunning blue sky day.  

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The sun always shines on Anglesey

Wow - another blue sky day with warm rock, sunshine, ice cream and rock climbing! Its not a bad life this! We headed to Holyhead Mountain on Anglesey for the 2nd day of our intro to climbing course and climbed a variety of routes from V Diff to Very Severe 5a looking at rigging top ropes climbs, building abseil stations and self protecting retrievable abseils. A gorgeous day where I was ably assisted by my two dogs Sally & Skye. 

Intro to Climbing Course

Today I have been working with Terry, Chris, Jason and Russ with Kurtis observing. We headed to Upper Tier Tremadog for an intro to climbing day. It has been wonderfully warm with blue skies and sunshine and no wind. We ended the day with a bouldering session at the RAC boulders. I then went climbing in the Llanberis Pass with Terry & Chris and we climbed Phantom Rib (Vs 4c) making the most of the evening sunshine. 

Friday, April 17, 2009

ML Training Overnight Camp

I have been out on camp last night with the Mountain Leader trainees that I have been working with this week. We headed onto the Glyders and had a great two days with virtually no visibility and a really good night navigation exercise in pea soup cloud and of course pitch darkness. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mountain Leader Training Course

I am working for the rest of the week on a Mountain Leader Training Course. Today we were in the Llanberis Pass looking at ropework for Mountain Leaders and this evening I gave a lecture on Mountain Rescue and Mountain Hazards. It has been another lovely day with no rain and some nice spells of sunshine. 

Mountain Leader Assessment

I have been working on a Mountain Leader Assessment today assessing candidates on steep ground. We have also been busy on the Rescue team with 5 rescues between 4:00pm and 9:00pm so I have been up on Snowdon 3 times today! It has been beautiful weather though and a cracking day. 

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Wow what a gorgeous day!

Happy Easter! It has been a cracker of a day here in Snowdonia. The boys and I headed up into Cwm Idwal and enjoyed a day of gorgeous sunshine with no wind, no midges and even a suntan by the end of the day! We continued to improve our navigation skills and looked at emergency use of the rope and movement on steep ground too. 

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Navigation & Hill Skills Course

I have been joined for the weekend by Paul, Mick, Drew, Simon, Andy & Danny for a Navigation & Hill Skills course. It has been a beautiful day here in Snowdonia today with not a drop of rain and blue skies all day. The car parks have been ram packed and the mountains heaving with people. We managed to avoid the crowds and had a lovely day looking at navigation techniques, with a bit of imagination required for the poor visibility parts! 

Friday, April 10, 2009

Ice Factor

For the last day of the their course the cadets and I headed to the Ice Factor at Kinlochleven. We had an indoor rock climbing session and then an indoor ice climbing session followed by a slideshow of photos from the week so that we could re-live the highlights. A great week of fun in the snow! I am home again now in North Wales. 

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Ben Nevis

The Cadets and I headed up Ben Nevis today. We split into two teams with Alec leading one group and me leading the other. It had snowed heavily in the night down to about 500 meters and this slowed down our progress. My group made it over 3000 feet and we then made the decision to head down in white out conditions. Alecs group were ahead of us and had to break trail in fresh knee deep snow to the summit. We all enjoyed sunshine for the final part of the descent and some lovely views across snow capped peaks. Well done to all of the Cadets as they all worked hard in difficult conditions. 

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Snow Shelter Building Day

We headed up onto Aonach Nid today for a shelter building day. In two teams we built and shovel up and a snow hole. It has been wet and warm and windy and is set to be stormy for the next few days. We did get some beautiful rainbows though and had good fun. 

Monday, April 06, 2009

Stob Coire Nan Lochain

The cadets and I headed up Stob Coire nan Lochain in Glencoe today. We enjoyed fine views as the cloud stayed above the tops. The temperature stayed above freezing all day so the snow was wet but it is forecast to get colder over the next couple of days with some fresh snow on the way. 

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Scottish Winter Skills

I am back up in Scotland this week for a week of winter skills. I am working with a group of cadets through Blue Peris Mountain Centre. We spent today at Aonach Nid in beautiful sunshine looking at basic winter skills such as use of the axe & crampons, avalanche avoidance and ice axe arrest. The snow was soft and got softer as the day warmed up and it has been sunny all day. Lovely!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Evening cragging in the Llanberis Pass

I spent that last couple of days working in Worcestershire so it was nice to get home last night and get out on the crags. The extra hour of daylight has made a big difference and fallen nicely with some beautifully warm weather. I met up with Baggy at 6:00pm at Clogwyn y Grochan and over two hours we climbed Wind (HVS 5b), Karwendal Wall (HVS 5b), Brant Direct (HVS 5a) and Slape Direct (E2 5c). Baggy was climbing well after a day of building on his house! A gorgeous evening and a great start to the rock climbing year.