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Showing posts from 2011

A windy day!

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I was out in the Llanberis quarries today and boy was it windy! Looks like we're in for another hit later in the week with a forecast of very strong/damaging winds on the way. This is a view of a very cold looking Carnedd Ugain from Twll Mawr. Looks like freezing level is about 850m with more snow forecast for tomorrow.

More weather!!

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Batten down the hatches folks. Looks like we're in for another hammering. Glad to say I'll be at home in front of the fire whilst the next meteorological battle plays out.

ML Assessment

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I was working for Blue Peris this week on an ML (summer!!) assessment. It was a big group so I was ably assisted by Mark Walker and Chris Guest. We had to put up with some awesome weather during the last 5 days with the last 3 day camp being particularly trying. We experienced rain, hail, sleet, snow and storm force winds so well done to everyone on the course and thanks to Mark and Chris for being total dudes and for the help and support under difficult weather conditions.



Yr Wyddfa / Snowdon

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Freezing level was at about 900m today with the snow level at about 850m. We didn't have much of a view but it was worth the trip to the summit just to get into the white stuff. The weather forecast was ok for this morning with rain (snow on high ground) arriving at about mid afternoon and sure enough its started to rain here in Caernarfon as I'm typing this blog. Endomondo

V12 and DMM Cosmetic seconds explained

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A great video explaining why cosmetic second are absolutely fine to use and a good way of saving some dosh.

Cheer up - Winter Inspiration

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Well, the weather isn't helping much but with the nights drawing in I thought I'd put some slides together to give people a bit of inspiration and hope for the coming winter season... won't be long now I hope. Enjoy :-) Click the caption on the photo and it'll take you to the photo set (or click here)

ML Ropework re-assessment

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With a strong, cold wind blowing from the south I decided to stay low to conduct an ML ropework reassessment today. I went to a rocky area above Llyn Marchlyn Bach which I'd never used for ML ropework before but was perfect for the job. The crag faces NE and gave use plenty of opportunity to shelter from the wind and had loads of anchors to choose from.
I'm glad to say Claudia pass with out a problem. Well done.

Technical Ropes Assessor and Consultant – PGL

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I headed down south on Wednesday to start a new role as a technical ropes assessor and consultant for PGL Adventures. I'll be working alongside a few other ropes assessors during next year which will take me across the UK and Europe assessing PGL staff on activities such as abseiling, climbing and high ropes courses. I used to do this kind of work for PGL about 10 years ago and was very involved with setting up their training and assessment standards so it's familiar territory for me and it's very nice to be back. The last couple of days was predominantly about getting familiar with the current systems and assessment standards as well as meeting up with some senior staff who were on a ropes update seminar.
I'll keep you posted, as usual, during the coming year as to where I am and adventures I may be having (I'll have to get used to posting from my htc I suppose!!)

NICAS Induction - Beacon

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I was over at the Beacon climbing wall last night running an induction course for 6 people who wanted to deliver the National Indoor Climbing Achievement Scheme on various walls around North Wales. This course lasts 4 hours and consists of a presentation and chat regarding the scheme and then about 3 hours looking at the practical application of delivering and supervising the scheme.  Everyone on the courses were really enthusiastic and keen to contribute.


ML (summer) training course

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I've just finished directing and working on a Mountain Leader training course for Blue Peris. I had 5 candidates on the course with every day covering a different aspect of the scheme. We had a centre based day on Wednesday with a quick jaunt over to Nant Ffrancon to look at the practical application of river crossing as well as discussions on emergency procedures, equipment and camp skills. We were out for the last couple of days on a 2 day expedition over in the Moelwynion. The weather was tough going with strong winds (gusting 55mph) throughout the 2 days and heavy rain over night.

A happy team on the way to our camp site

Carnedd y Filiast and Elidir Fawr

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Elidir Fawr (923m) from Mynydd Perfedd (812m) Barti on the summit of Carnedd y Filiast (821m)
I just had to get out on to the mountains this morning to take advantage of the beautiful weather and to take Barti for a walk. I tracked the journey on endomondo .

Mountain Leader (summer) training

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I'm directing an ML training course this week so I kicked off the course with some navigation skills on Cefn Du before heading back to have a chat about mountain weather and forecasting. Looks like the weather's going to be ok until the end of the week. Bad weather forecasted for Thursday - just in time for the overnight camping trip!!!

What a morning

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In-house Assessments

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I was working down in London over the last couple of days - unfortunately we were right under the flightpath of Heathrow Airport!! I was conducting some in-house assessment for a private school which I'm the technical advisor for. The school has two outdoor climbing towers one of which you can carry out group abseils from. The strangest thing about being in such an urban environment is having flocks of Rose Rings Parakeets flying above your head all day which are now native to parts of the south east, I also spotted a number of red kits hunting along the M40 which was a pleasure to see - glad to be home though.



AMI Trainee workshop

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What a stunning day. The weather was perfect for a short roping day for trainee members of the Association of Mountaineering Instructors - crisp and clear. We started the day on the left edge of Tryfan Bach looking at the technique of short pitching we then made our way up onto the Heather Terrace (Llwybr y Lechen Goch) to make an ascent of Bastow Buttress variant (3) with a descent of Bastow Gully (2).
Tim, Leo, Stuart and Phil Tryfan Bach Bastow Buttress variant

Yr Wyddfa/Snowdon

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It was a bit gloomy on Snowdon this morning but at least it stayed dry until about 50m from the top and then the rain remained heavy on the descent until after halfway house. I didn't have much of an opportunity to take any nice photos but I did get a bit of a view down towards sunny Caernarfon and Anglesey in the distance. I tracked the trip on Endomondo so if you're interested click here.

Lon Las, Llanberis

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ML Expedition

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The last part of the assessment takes the form of  a self sufficient 3 day trip in the mountains. We swapped teams for this part as I could then meet all the candidates before the end of the course. The other assessor and myself decided to disappear into the Carneddau for a few days so that we could have a look at the candidates ability to navigate at night and during the day as well as their route finding, camping and ML ropework skills. The weather was very changeable and we experienced poor visibility, strong winds and rain as well as dry, sunny conditions so pretty perfect for an assessment!! We covered at total of 27kms (17miles) and ascended over 1740m (5709') during the 3 days.

Foel Grach (976m)
Carnedd Llewelyn (1064m)
Steep ground in Cwm Moch above Cwm Pen-llafar

ML Assessment Day 2

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We were over in Cwm Idwal today to look at some leadership on steep rocky ground and a bit more navigation as well. We went up Seniors Ridge to the top of Glyder Fawr (1001m) and then down Y Gribin Ridge. The weather wasn't too bad with the worst of the weather (heavy rain and hail) coming in by mid afternoon but it didn't last very long. We even had some sunshine on the summit of Glyder Fawr (above)

ML Assessment Day 1

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I'm directing a Mountain Leader assessment this week for Blue Peris. It was a navigation day today so we made our way over to Cwm Tryfan to see if we could shelter from the winds. By the time we arrived at Llyn Caseg Fraith the wind had died away and the sun was trying its best to break through. We made our way down the NW ridge from the llyn back to Gwern y Gof Uchaf.

Turbo SPA - Holyhead Mountain

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I was running a Turbo Single Pitch day today with 2 clients who were looking at doing their assessment very soon. We were looking at leading at Severe standard over on Holyhead Mountain and climbed Pigeon Hole Crack (S), The Wandering Primrose (S), Stairs (S) and Teenage Kicks (S). We covered topics such as the rack, placing protection, anchors, ropework and equipment. The wind was quite vicious and cold but the sun smiled upon us and took the edge off any unpleasantness.

ML Assessment

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After a very damp second day (too wet for my camera!!) looking at leadership skills on rocky terrain we decided that the 3 day expedition would be on Snowdon.

We started from Pen y Pass and made our way over to Gallt y Wenallt but unfortunately two candidates had to pull out of the assessment due to previous injuries. After a short delay we resumed the trip with an ascent of Lliwedd and then down to Cwm Tregalan for the first camp and night navigation exercise. The second day was across to Allt Maenderyn with some confidence roping thrown in and up to the summit of Snowdon via Bwlch Main. After a nice cup of tea in Hafod Eryri we made our way up Carnedd Ugain and down to Bwlch Cwm Brwynog to do some mountain leader ropework. We then made our way to Llyn Du'r Arddu to finish off the ropework, night navigation and camp for the night.

The morning dawned dry but misty which made the magnificent cliffs of Clogwyn Du'r Arddu even more spectacular. After a bit of macro navigation over …

ML Assessment Day 1

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I'm working on a Mountain Leader assessment this week for Blue Peris. Even though the weather forecast was a bit grim today we did find some shelter from the wind in Cwm Dyli and the Horns area to do some micro navigation using a 1:25,000 map. We also covered topics such and fauna and flora, geography and river crossing. We did encounter some strong gusts of wind but it was mostly the rain that was the major problem with some quite heavy downpours at times but it could have been worse!

Cragging

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I was climbing with an old friend of mine from my Plas y Brenin days today. Steve lives out in Chamonix these days so I haven't seen him for ages and haven't climbed together for years so it was fantastic to be out on dry warm rock with him and a great opportunity to catch up. We decided to visit Tremadog this morning as I had to be back home for the kids by mid afternoon. We climbed Leg Slip (E1 5b) and First Slip (E1 5c).
Steve on the first pitch of Leg Slip
Steve going through the roof on the second pitch of Leg Slip

Idwal Slabs

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The weather forecasts had been a bit unreliable regarding today as it had been changing to be more unsettled as the day approached - so with a 30% chance of light rain we decided to have a go at a mountain route. Roland and Michael were keen to have a go at Tennis Shoe (HS) on the Idwal Slabs but by the time we arrived our route had received a bit of a soaking from a heavy shower but as it was so warm the route was almost dry again by the time we had geared up so apart from the odd patch of moisture the route was on. The first pitch was soon dispatched and it looked like the weather was going to be ok but, unfortunately, it wasn't to be as the weather closed in again as we approached the last pitch so we had to escape to the descent path and miss out the last (sting in the tail) pitch.

As it had dried a bit by the time we arrived at the bottom of the slabs, and we had a bit of time to spare, I gave Roland and Michael the challenge of climbing the alternative start to Tennis Shoe wh…

Tremadog

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I was working for Jagged Globe today and had an awesome day with Roland and Michael who were preparing themselves for a trip up Mount Kenya. We decided to beat the crowds by going to Tremadog and, true to form, it was relatively quiet considering that the Llanberis pass was absolutely heaving when I passed through this morning. We climbed Cnychwr (S), Xmas Curry (S) and One Step in the Clouds (VS) with a variation finish. A great day and fantastic weather.

Michael on One Step
Roland coming up to the stance of One Step
Roland and me on the top of One Step in the Clouds

Carnedd y Filiast and Elidir Fawr

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Elidir Fawr Summit 923m
Differential erosion
Fir Club Moss Boy was it windy today it even made breathing difficult at times but it was incredibly warm which was a real bonus. I tracked the trip with Endomondo so if you're interested click here.

Moel Eilio to Snowdon

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The weather was very damp and misty this morning but the forecast suggested that it would clear after midday and sure enough it did clear at about one o'clock. The nice thing about this route is that you can bail out at almost any point if you run out of time or if you're not feeling up to the challenge. Once beyond Bwlch Brwynnog you are pretty much committed to an ascent of Snowdon or you could go down Cwm Brwynnog to Llanberis or the Snowdon Ranger path and catch a bus or train to Caernarfon. I was a bit short of time when I arrived at Bwlch Glas so I made a quick getaway down the Llanberis track to be home in time for the kids from school (I had 5 minutes to spare). I tracked the route on Endomondo if your interested.

Foel Gron
Snowdon from Bwlch Glas
Llanberis
Approaching Allt Goch