Friday, 31 August 2012

ML Training

My final week at Plas y Brenin didn't go quite as planned, I was meant to be working on a Private Rock course but unfortunately my clients didn't turn, apparently they were stranded in Australia... Lucky them.  So instead I was moved on to an Mountain Leader Training course.  On Tuesday I took a group out locally from the centre and covered all aspects of using a rope in a emergency situations, looking at how to select suitable anchors, attach to them, safe guard groups as well as looking at confidence roping and all aspects of descending   On the Wednesday and Thursday I took the group on a mini expedition around Snowdon.  We were hit with pretty foul weather throughout, the thunder and lightening storms were very exciting and fortunately didn't strike any of my team down.  The foul weather continued into the night and made our night navigation exercise great fun and very realistic.  With a pretty wet week I only managed to get to the Beacon Climbing Centre for a session and went and climbed Cockblock (E5 6a) with Murdoch on the Tuesday after work.  Tomorrow I'll be heading back up North.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Rock intro week

This week I have been direction a Getting Started rock climbing course for Plas y Brenin. Again we had some mixed weather but managed to avoid overusing the climbing wall. We visited Fach Wen, Rhoscolyn, Tremadog, Clogwyn yr Oen (Moelwyns) and the Slate quarries. It was a great week with a great bunch of people. I was climbing with Jenny and Beeshman who both did put everything they had into the week which meant we got lots of climbing done and had a great laugh. Hopefully see them both again soon! Unfortunately I didn't get any photos with my camera as Beeshman wanted photos on his camera. After work I managed to get out to the Cromlech boulders a couple of times with Kenny and Donald, hit the Slate quarries and climbed Goose Creatures (E3 5c) and then Swan Hunter (E4 6b) and had a training session in the bouldering wall and had an evening in the Pass on SS Special (E2 5c), Brant Direct (HVS 5a) and a top rope on Cockblock (E5 6a). A good week, just could do with a good spell of weather now!

Saturday, 18 August 2012


After 7 days at work I had a day off today and it coincided with Kirby and Helen coming to visit. The weather cleared out in the afternoon so we headed out to Tremadog for a couple of routes. We started off on Merlin Direct (HVS 5a) which I led them both up. We then went and climbed One Step in the Clouds (VS 4c) which Kirby dispatched really well. Unfortunately we had to get back for dinner but it was nice to get out with old friends.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Climb Hard week

Just finished a week with climbers who have been wanting to push their grade as well as their skills set.  We had a fairly mixed week of weather, but managed to make the most of it and cover plenty of skills for the team to go home and practice with.  Due to damp conditions we spent a bit of time at the wall, which allowed us to cover movement techniques, rope work and introduced specific training programmes to the team.  For the last 4 days, we visited Tremadog, Castle Inn quarry and the Beacon.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Climb Harder

Today is the first day of the Climb Harder course I'm directing at Plas Y Brenin and unfortunately it was quite damp.  We managed to get 3 routes in early on in the day and then we headed back to the centre for some coaching in the bouldering wall and on some routes.  After tea and cakes we went out and went over belay construction.  Hope its dryer tomorrow!

Sunday, 12 August 2012

ML refresher Day 2

Today I took the Group into Ogwen and the aim of the day was to refresh the rope work side of things.  We started off with anchor selection and then introduced the rope and how to attach it to the anchors and create a safe system for ascending or descending walkers.  We looked at confidence roping as well as moving a group over steep ground looking at spotting and group management.  We covered descents with and with out the rope and chatted about river crossings, their hazards and effective ways of approaching them.  Unfortunately it rained on Murdoch and I as we were gearing up at the bottom of SS Special so we bailed and I went for a little explore around the slate quarries.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

ML Refresher and sending

Today was my first day back at Plas Y Brenin and I was working on a Mountain Leader Refresher course.  With my group of 4 we walked out from the centre and over the tops into Ogwen covering many aspects of navigation that the group need to be able to navigate well in varying conditions.  We looked at micro and macro navigation, use of different scales of maps, relocation and basic leadership skills.  It was a nice dry day with a nice breeze.  After work I went up to Dinas Cromlech with Keith and Murdoch as Keith wanted to climb Right Wall (E5 6a).  I didn't want to second it as I want to lead it soon so I climbed Left Wall (E2 5c) and Cemetry Gates (E1 5b).  Thanks for letting me on your ropes random climbers!  I was able to get some great shots of Keith!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Observatory Ridge

Today I was back to work and on Ben Nevis with Alan, Austin and Rhuraidh.  The consensus was observatory ridge as none of them had done it before.  It was generally pretty good on the route, a few damp spots but it was nice and dry where we needed it to be.  Vary busy on the summit and on the descent. Austin dropped his camera on the path up to the CIC hut so if anyone finds it can you please get in touch.  I'm off to North Wales for a month's work at Plas y Brenin and hopefully fit in lots of climbing after work and on my days off.