Archive for the ‘Scrambling’ Category

Discounted Summer Courses – 20% off

April 21, 2016
Learning to lead in the Llanberis Pass

Learning to lead in the Llanberis Pass

I’m Back! and running the full range of rock and mountain courses again this summer.

After spending 4 of the last 5 years working at a wide range of locations in Antarctica for the British Antarctic Survey I am now back in Snowdonia – and loving it!

Already in the last month I have enjoyed scaring myself on sunny sea-cliffs and mountain crags, been for some lovely evening mountain runs over the summits and dusted off the road bike to explore further afield.

With renewed psyche and energy I am looking forward to teaching and guiding in these mountains again. Seeing old sights with fresh eyes after a chunk of time away, while still looking for new challenges and adventures yet to be experienced.

As a ‘welcome home’ gift from me to you I am offering a 20% discount off all guiding rates and course prices on courses taken in North Wales before the end of July.

While the website lists a wide range of courses please don’t think this list is prescriptive. If there is something very specific you want, or you just want to discuss what we could offer that would be suitable for you please get in touch for a no-obligation chat.

I’d love to hear from you.

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Challenge, grades, surfing.. the experience.

October 30, 2010

First I was a walker. Later I got into scrambling and only then did I get into climbing.  The link through all these was the desire to explore new places, have an adventure and challenge myself. Grades meant nothing, it was all about the experience. If I am totally honest that is not always the case these days. Comparison with your mates, tick lists, graded lists, peer pressure and the ever increasing concentration, by the magazines and websites, on the pursuit of difficulty and comparing performances, means there is often a little devil sitting on my shoulder, whispering in my ear, when I am considering what and why to climb next. It may be telling you to do a route because ‘your mate just did it’ but it may also be telling you NOT to do a route because ‘there is no way I can climb that grade’. Now I am not a surfer but I have tried it a few times. Every wave is unique and different. They don’t have grades you cant compare one to another very easily and you cant go out intending to match or go one-better than your mate. You simply go out and contend with what nature throws at you. Like going climbing but without a guidebook. Now I’m not saying that we should get rid of guidebooks but just that i’ve realised that for me having all that information (and the attempts to be so precise with the grades – E4 hard for the grade, TD-, 5.10R, E2 or E1 for the tall) changes my experience. Some of my best climbing experiences have been whilst new-routing on expeditions abroad. The experience becomes everything again. You may fight for your life on a pitch and there is nothing or no-one to confirm whether you just pulled off the lead of your life, or just made a complete dogs dinner of a really easy pitch! By not knowing you are simply rewarded with the warm satisfaction of completing the pitch, having given it all that you’ve got.

Maybe I need to do more new-routing or go climbing without guidebooks. Or perhaps I should give surfing another go. This video may be about surfing but it reminded me of why I got into climbing and the mountains and gave me a prick of reality as to how far I may have slipped on occasions from my original reasons for getting out in the wild and challenging myself. I hope you enjoy it to.

 

 

Cuillin Ridge preparation

August 9, 2010
The northern half of the Cuillin Ridge from Sgurr Thearlaich

The northern half of the Cuillin Ridge from Sgurr Thearlaich

The last 2 days I have been out with David and Jane prepping them for their upcoming trip to Skye in September. They are heading there with a more experienced friend to attempt a traverse of the Cuillin ridge. While they have both done a lot of mountain walking and completed triathlons and marathons they knew they were lacking in some technical climbing and scrambling skills

So on Sunday we went climbing and climbed routes up to VS and refreshed their abseiling skills. Then today we scrambled up one route on the main cliff of Glyder fach and then scrambled down a fairly direct line on Bristly ridge. It was a great 2 days out and I wish them all well for their trip to Skye.

Classic North Wales Scrambles

July 12, 2010
Canon Stone. North Ridge of Tryfan

Canon Stone. North Ridge of Tryfan

After the heavy rain of the last few days today was dry but rather cloudy. Simon, George and I had a fantastic day on Tryfan and the Glyders. We started with an ascent of the North Ridge of Tryfan looking to add as much interesting scrambling as we could. The picture shows the guys pausing for breath on the famous canon stone. After dropping down to Bwlch Tryfan we then ascended Bristly ridge again choosing to add some extra difficulty to spice things up a bit. We were still making good progress so there was still time to visit the cantilever stone and the summit of Castell y Gwynt before descending back down via the Gribin.

Today I was working for Silvia Fitzpatrick

The Adam and Eve stones on the summit of Tryfan

The Adam and Eve stones on the summit of Tryfan

adding 'extra interest!' near the summit of Bristly Ridge

adding 'extra interest!' near the summit of Bristly Ridge

Summer course availability.

July 5, 2010
peaceful scenes in the Llanberis Pass

peaceful scenes in the Llanberis Pass

Its been one of the driest starts to a year on record and we have been sure to get out and enjoy it. We have been scrambling, navigating and rock climbing recently. Coming up we have a problem solving weekend for members of the Austrian Alpine Club where we shall be looking at how to get out of a pickle if things dont quite go to plan while you are out climbing.

There is still availability left this summer so get in touch with any ideas you may have. It does not just have to be in Wales either. If you have always fancied, the Lake District, Pembroke or Scotland we’d love to go there too.

We have a brand new web-site on the way soon too so keep checking back for some new developments…….

Scrambling – Tryfan and the Glyders

June 7, 2010
High on Bristly Ridge, Glyder Fach. Tryfan behind.

High on Bristly Ridge, Glyder Fach. Tryfan behind.

Today I have been out scrambling with Oliver. He is off to Chamonix in a week to attempt Mt Blanc while raising money for charity. Final opportunity to work on some last minute mountain fitness and a first opportunity to play with some new toys. He had  just taken delivery of a helmet cam with which he hopes to film his ascent of Mt Blanc. This was the first chance to try it out. Maybe a little of todays footage will even make it through to the final edit of the completed film and a new career as a film star beckons!! Best not give up the day job in the meantime.

We started with an ascent of Bastow Buttress Variant on the East Face on Tryfan before continuing up the very crest of the North Ridge to the summit. We then descended to Bwlch Tryfan before a pleasant ascent of Bristly Ridge.

The mountain flowers are just coming in to full bloom now and we had fun identifying most of them. The bog loving plants such as cotton grass, butter wort and sun dew were particularly evident as we made our way back under the west face of Tryfan back to the car.

Good luck to Oliver next week. I hope the weather gods shine on him and he makes it to the summit of Mt Blanc.

Today I was working for Sea2summit

Summer Rock Climbing, Scrambling, Walking

March 11, 2010
Sun, sea and smiles on the Llyn peninsula

Sun, sea and smiles on the Llyn peninsula

Winter is still in full force in Scotland but come 3 April I will leave it all behind for this year and head back to N Wales. Freinds have already been out enjoying warm sun-kissed rock at Tremadog, Llanberis Pass and on the Slate.

I will be available for the full range of Climbing, Scrambling and walking activities. Guided days out or personalised instruction to develop your skills. Please get in touch with any ideas you may have. I am happy to discuss any ideas you may have with absolutely no commitment to booking. Please also see the earlier post about dates for scrambling and climbing on the Isle of Skye in June.

more sun and smiles - this time its Tremadog

more sun and smiles - this time its Tremadog

and these smiles are on some fine scrambling in the Ogwen valley

and these smiles are on some fine scrambling in the Ogwen valley

Cuillin Ridge – Isle of Skye. Scrambling & rock climbing

March 7, 2010
Joy on the summit of the Inaccessible Pinnacle

Joy on the summit of the Inaccessible Pinnacle

Skye Dates 2010 – June 2 to June 20 (approx)

I am planning to be working on the Isle of Skye from June 2 till June 20 with possible slight extension either side. Please get in touch if you have any interest in scrambling or climbing on Skye during that time. I am happy to discuss your plans however vague at this stage with absolutely no commitment to book. Similarly if you were interested in scrambles or rock climbs elsewhere in scotland it might be possible to tack this on to the end of my time in Skye so please get in touch with those ideas also. This could include sea stacks such as the Old Man of Stoer, the Old Man of Hoy. Rock climbing on Ben Nevis or Glencoe, Aonach Eagach ridge or Curved Ridge, Glencoe.

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Scrambling on Skye

total price per day depending on number in party:

1:1 – £160 1:2 – £200 1:3 – £220

Available for periods from 1 to 5 days. We will undertake sections of the ridge appropriate to your level of fitness and experience. You must already be a keen hill walker with a good degree of fitness and preferably have some experience of scrambling.

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Rock Climbing on Skye

total price per day depending on number in party:

1:1 – £160 1:2 – £200

Skye has some of the best rock climbing in the UK. As well as fantastic mountain crags it also boasts some great sea-cliffs that are often climbable when the mountains are shrouded in rain clouds. Book for periods between 1 to 5 days. To get the most from this opportunity you should already have some basic climbing skills though that is not essential.

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2 day Cuillin Ridge attempt

total price per day depending on number in party:

1:1 – £200 1:2 – £240

The full Cuillin traverse is a unique challenge to mountaineers in the British Isles. More on a scale with Alpine ridges and traverses. The whole ridge is around 13 km in length plus 7 km approach and descent and never descends below 700 metres. In its length there are some twenty peaks of 914m (3,000ft) of which eleven achieve ‘Munro’ status. Completeing a traverse requires massive continuous effort, considerable exposure and technical scrambling & abseiling, along with sections of simple rock climbing. It requires 2 days of both mental and physical toughness. Succeed and the memories with live with you for a longtime. Get the good fortune to time it for a period of fantastic weather and the experience will last a lifetime.


The 2 day traverse will involve carrying full bivi kit and water for the duration of the traverse. Ideally it would be booked with at least one day as a training day. This would give you chance to familiarise yourself with the type of terrain and possibly stash some food and water on the ridge to lighten the load for your traverse attempt. You should expect two 10-12 hour days of continuous physical movement in exposed terrain.

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1 day Cuillin Ridge attempt

total price per day depending on number in party:

1:1 – £280 1:2 – £320

See the section above for details of the full traverse. Attempted in 1 day this is an even greater mental and physical challenge likely to involve continuous movement for 15-20+ hours. The one bonus over the 2 day traverse is that you can carry a lighter bag. You must be in top physical shape to attempt this and used to long days out over rough ground.

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Scottish Sea stacks

prices available on request depending on objective and timescale


The Old Man of Hoy – undoubtedly the best sea stack adventure in the Britsish Isles

The Old man of Stoer –

Am Bodach

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Scrambling/Climbing mainland Scotland

total price per day depending on number in party:

1:1 – £160 1:2 – £200 1:3 – £220

Climb some of the great rock routes on Ben Nevis, Buachaille Etive Mor, Etive Slabs. Get the coffee table books “Classic Rock”, “Hard Rock” and “Extreme Rock” and start dreaming!

Or enjoy some of the best scrambling on mainland Scotland – Forcan Ridge, Aonach Eagach, Curved Ridge

Old Man of Hoy

Old Man of Hoy

Sunrise heading to the Cuillin ridge

Sunrise heading to the Cuillin ridge

Snowdonia Scrambles and Climbs

December 10, 2009

Delicate Footwork on the Milestone Buttress

I’ve been out with Gordon the last 3 days. We first met last winter when we did Ledge Route on Ben Nevis. Since then Gordon has got the bit between his teeth and now has various alpine aspirations  – in europe and possibly also in New Zealand. These 3 days were aimed at improving his ability to climb in big boots with a rucsac – a very necessary skill for alpine climbing.

Spectacularly wet and greasy rock meant we did not quite push the grades that he had hoped for but in terms of developing delicate footwork in adverse conditions it was ideal. In the 3 days we climbed scrambles and easy rock climbs on the Idwal Slabs, the Gribin Facet, East Face of Tryfan and the Milestone Buttress.

On the last day the sun even came out and it was a surprise just how few people seemed to be out enjoying the great late autumn conditions.

Slippery rock on the East Face of Tryfan

Hurrah! Sun at last in the Ogwen Valley

Trying hard on the Milestone Buttress

Trying hard on the Milestone Buttress

Sunshine & Availability All Next Week

October 8, 2009
Catrin on Grim Wall Direct, Tremadog

Catrin on Grim Wall Direct, Tremadog

The sun looks like it is going to continue to shine all next week and I have availability Monday through Friday. It could be the perfect time for some sea-cliff adventures, valley cragging  or mountain scrambling.

Whatever you fancy get in touch and we’ll make it happen

Snowdon and Llyn Padarn from Brynrefail

Snowdon and Llyn Padarn from Brynrefail