Sunday, 31 October 2010


Today Emma and I headed out to meet up with Ben at Bowden Doors. This sandstone scar provides great climbing of all grades on short routes and boulder problems. A busy sunday we saw SPA assesments, many boulderers, lots of climbing teams and several soloists. We climbed many routes from VD to E2 5c. Its a great crag, quick drying and a bit of a sun trap. All the starred routes are of good quality and the gear is good when you need it.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Back in the Lakes

Today Emma and I wen cragging at Castle Rock in Thirlmere whilst Jamie Hageman (who has an exhibition in Kendal, CHECK IT OUT) went for a walk up Blencathra. Emma and I climbed several routes from VD to VS4c. It was very windy again but the rain just managed to stay away all day. Nobody else was up at the crag but there were alot of walkers on Blencathra.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Aonach Eagach

After a drive up to a very wet Scotland last night Emma and I decided to do the Aonach Eagach. Emma has wanted to traverse this route for a while so she was very excited. She also wanted to walk in the dark with her head torch so we set off at 6.15am, she was very pleased! She also wanted a wet day as most of the days we have been out have been pretty dry, she was not disappointed. We got soaked to the skin. Not surprisingly we didn't see anyone else braving the 60mph gusts and constant rain!! We finished the traverse very quickly, too cold to hang around and walked back along the A82 back to the car. A brilliant day despite the weather, lots of soggy clothing hanging up!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Pinnacle Ridge

Today was scrambling day for Mike, so I suggested Pinnacle Ridge on St Sunday Crag. I hadn't done this route before so I was really pleased to get on it. It has some great little technical sections and some areas which require a cafeful judgement to safeguard your seconds. Perfect for Mike who was leading his boys up. I was soloing around giving Mike pointers as we went along, then I took over for a section so Mike had the opportunity to see how I guide two clients on graded terrain. It was a very sunny day but unfortunatly we were in the shade on the whole route which made it a very cold asscent. Look forward to doing this in winter conditions.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

MIA Preperation

Today I met up with Mike who I did my MIA training with in 2009. He has his assessment coming up so he asked me to head out with him for a couple of day to discuss and practice relevant content for the assessment. Today we looked purely at rope work. We covered stance management, looking after two client (his two boys), switching from parallel to series and other rope work tricks. We then went on and looked at rescues and more rope work techniques. Mike has been on several AMI refreshment courses which helped us advance on very well.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

North Face of the Eiger 1938 Route

I never imagined that I would climb this route on my first Alpine climbing trip! The right partner, weather and conditions allowed it to happen. Kenny and I had been keeping a close eye on the weather in Switzerland and spotted a good spell of settled weather. We left Chamonix and headed over to the Grindlewald valley, to be greeted by an awesome looking Eiger. The weather looked good. We heard that the route had been climbed recently and, with reports of good conditions, we prepared to get stuck in. We headed up to the foot of the mountain and bivied below the route for an early start. We set off at 7 am and arrived at the Traverse of the Gods Bivi at 6.30 pm. After a reasonable night's sleep, we set of at 7 am and topped out at midday. The route was in excellent condition. We overtook one other team on the face and were later overtaken Uli Steck and partner who were 'running' up the route! The climbing was amazing, several quite hard sections and very absorbing climbing. By far the best route I have ever climbed!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Alps Route 2

On our way down from The Ginat we had great views of the Grande Jorasses. Kenny had a few route in mind and we could see the face was in good nick. After returning to Chamonix we had a restful evening (poco loco's and beer) and the next morning we gathered together our gear and headed back up the Valley Blanche to the base of the Grand Jorasses. We were wanting to do The Croz Spur via the Slovenian start. After a long walk in we bivi'd at the base of the cliff and set off in the morning. We decided to start on the Croz as the Slovenian line didn't look in condition. During the night it rained, Kennys head torch ceased to work, we ended getting off route a little which took up a bit of time and we realised that it may be better the head back down. The route didn't seem to be in top condition so we made a few abseils back to the glacier and walked out. Will defiantly be back for some unfinished business! The Colton-Macintyre route had two teams on and looked in great condition.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Alps Route 1

Kenny Grant and I have set aside two weeks for a spot of alpine climbing. We drove out to Chamonix in foul weather to be greeted with a 10 day forecast of settled weather. To make the most of the conditions we headed straight up into the Argentiere Basin up to the North Face of Les Droites. After a night in the hut we headed up The Ginat which we got in amazing conditions. We didn't acclimatise but made great progress topping out in 11 hours. The ice was in excellent condition which resulted in a great climb.