Friday, 30 September 2011

First Aid day 1 and some hard climbing

Today I was on the first day of REC first aid course run at Plas y Brenin. Its been about 3 years since I last did a course like this so it was great to see how the school of thought has changed. It was a very practical day with the group interacting and getting hands on with one another. After the day Baby Dave and I went to have a look at Beginners Mind (E7 6c). Dave has had a play before but still not got it. We dropped a top rope down and Dave flashed it right away. I had a go and couldn't figure out the crux, my fingers just aren't strong enough for it, I did get to the top though. Dave had another go on top rope and flew up to the top, looking super cool. I had another play making slightly more progress but still couldn't get through the crux. Dave then decided to lead it, very bold climbing up to 2 poor pegs then run out to the top, very balancey and super barn-doory! Dave cruised it which was amazing to watch, a true talent! I had another go, got to the top, but fell at the hard bit again.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Suicide Wall

Currently having a super dry spell!! An Indian summer! Will and I headed up to Ogwen's Suicide Wall, a crag which is rarely dry. I've walked past the routes here many times and its great to finally get on them. I started on Suicide Wall Route 1 (e2 5c), which was brilliant, gear was spaced but adequate...(just). After abbing off Will led up Suicide Wall Route 2 (E2 5b) which was great also but did feel bolder that Route 1. A quick walk down and I then led up Capital Punishment (E3 5c) which is awesome. The climbing is steady but pretty sustained and the gear is space but again adequate. After another abb off, Will tried Penal Servitude (E4 5c) but couldn't find a way through so we just headed down and finished off on Homicide Wall (E3 5c). Another fantastic line despite being a little dirty.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Walking Group Leader Training

Today was the last day of the Walking Group Leader Training run at Plas y Brenin. Over the 3 days Helen and I covered all aspects of the syllabus through classroom and practical based activities. We headed up above Penmaenmawr on the first day, looking at navigation, leadership skills and group management. The second day we looked at hazard awareness, new navigation techniques and more consolidation of the previous day. Tuesday evening we went out night naving out the back of Capel Curig just after I was for a wee boulder at the RAC's. The final day took us up behind Rachub, around Moel Faban (409m), Llefn (443m) and Gyrn (542m).
This evening Dave and I quickly headed up to the slate and climbed Massambula (E2 5b) before it got dark.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Assessors workshop

This weekend I have attended an Assessors Wokshop run by Plas y Brenin. The two day workshops identifed and developed the skills I required to assess others in a mountain context. The programme examined the generic skills of assessing through theoretical presentations and practical application. Over the two days we looked at different aspects of assessing and approprate techniques. Through many practical and open discussions, the group built up a good structure for running an assesment. The group was quite varied, some scout leaders, teachers and other instructors. I was on the course as I am looking to work on WGL, SPA and ML assesments.

Friday, 23 September 2011

The Diamond

Mint conditions down at the Diamond today! Tim Dave and I all headed down for the afternoon, things were already kicking off! Shauna Coxey was down there along with other strong climbers, this seems the place to be at the moment. Conditions were perfect so Tim and I got straight onto Boat People (7c) and we were making good progress, managed to do the route in 3 overlapping sections, just need to link it together now! Dave was on Never Get out The Boat (8a) which he made brilliant progress but didn't warm up and got a super flash pump. Tim and I had quite a few goes, not taking into account the tide. We got so pumped it took Tim ages to get up the route to strip the draws that we nearly got wet feet escaping! A great little project for me at last!

Thursday, 22 September 2011


After a nice relaxed start Dan and I headed out to Upper Tier of Gogarth, armed with fizzy drinks and junk food. Our first port of call was UFO (E2 5b/c). I strung the first two pitches together which make a much nicer pitch and a comfortable belay, Dan went on and finished the last pitch. After this we nipped back down and Dan led up the Strand (E2 5c), a route he's had his eye on for a while. I had never done it either and it was such a great line. After abbing off we strolled over to Strike (E4 6a). I led up to the abseil tat, just before arriving I took a lob. I learnt that Blair's beta was right, 'don't try and pull into the niche'. Unfortunately I did try and got spat off. I got back on then finished it off. A great day but a little bit chilly. The rock was perfect!

Winter Courses here

Monday, 5 September 2011

Snake and Ladders

Today's climbing was ruled out by the constant rain which had spread over North Wales. So instead John and I went for an adventure in the slate quarries. We had heard about a journey called Snakes and Ladders by various folk. Its given HVS but the climbing is never difficult. The scary bits are climbing up the ancient ladders and moving over loose slate and rubble. The route goes through all of the main climbing areas, through tunnels, up ladders, down steep rock. I did feel a little short changed as there were no snakes. Lost world was very cool, honestly felt like being in Jurassic Park. A great couple of hours out when its raining.

Check out the Winter Courses Here