Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Mountain Leader Assessment, North Wales..

The weather has been mixed over the last couple of days in North Wales, with hail and rain showers making it feel quite cold at times.

We were out on the expedition phase of a Mountain Leader (ML) Award assessment course, for White Hall Centre. Despite the excellent visibility there were plenty of opportunities to assess all the syllabus areas including night navigation, security in steep ground etc..

For the Peak District it looks like further heavy showers over the next couple of days..

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Lead Climbing at Stanage and Lawrencefield..

Colin, Helen and myself headed out to Stanage today to practise essential lead climbing skills.

The weather was initially quite fine but somewhat cold. Despite this we climbed a number of routes around the 'Plate Glass Slab' area before moving to the more sheltered venue of Lawrencefield.

This previous quarry is below the surrounding moorland, resulting in some sheltered routes that often stay dry in the rain. Here we climbed a variety of routes on the 'Gingerbread Slab' as well as looking at belays and abseiling. The quarry was fairly busy with many teams climbing the classic routes such as 'Great Peter', 'Great Harry', 'Three Tree Climb', 'Suspense' and 'Gingerbread'.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Lead Climbing at Froggatt..

Nik, David and myself headed to Froggatt today to put our recent leading skills into practice. The conditions were excellent with a pleasant breeze resulting in good friction.

Nik and David managed to easily despatch a few leads including 'Slab Recess', 'Slab Recess Direct', 'Gamma' and 'Beta'. In addition, a few keen folk were out and about soloing, 'Long John's Slab' and 'Great Slab' amoung others getting the "treatment!"

Again the Eastern Edges have been busy and there were plenty of people out at Stanage and Burbage later in the evening. The restriction around 'Rusty Wall' remains at Stanage due to nesting Ring Ouzels.

The weather looks to be good for the rest of the week with rain expected on sunday..

Monday, May 21, 2007

Lead Climbing..

Nik, David and myself were out at Stanage High Neb today running through the essential skills required for lead climbing.

We managed a fairly full day climbing 'Twisting crack', 'High Neb Buttress', 'Boyd's Crack', 'Limbo', 'Tango Crack' and 'Mantleshelf Climb' as well as covering runner and belay placement.

The weather improved dramatically today with fine conditions, without the heavy showers we have experienced in the last few days! This is set to continue for the rest of the week..

Plenty of folk were heading out this evening at Stanage popular end, Burbage, Froggatt and Curbar. Looks like a nice evening..

Sunday, May 13, 2007

North Wales scrambling..

Mo, Sarah and myself were in North Wales yesterday scrambling on Tryfan. The weather was better than expected, with just a few showers near the end of the day.

The mountain was busy, with many keen teams on 'Grooved Arete', 'First Pinnacle Rib' and 'Gashed Crag'. We opted for 'North Buttress Variant', a grade 2 scramble which takes an unlikely line of weakness below Terrace Wall. This gave some interesting easy climbing (tricky scrambling!) in its lower section before topping out close to the summit blocks of 'Adam and Eve'.

Back in the Peak District, most moorland is open again following the recent high fire risk. The Peak Park were in the process of updating their website and removing local signage but some may remain. Details from the British Mountaineering Council.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Blustery showers in the Peak..

The last few days have been characterised by strong winds and heavy showers in the Peak District.

Despite the fairly wild weather we have got plenty of climbing done with students from the University of Derby, Buxton. As part of the 'Advanced Mountain Skills' module for the Outdoor Activities Management and Outdoor Recreation courses, we have visited Windgather, Alderly Cliff, Froggatt, Roaches, Stanage and Lawrencefield.

The strong winds have dried the crags very quickly, despite some of the heavy showers we have experienced. This weather pattern looks to continue for the next few days into the weekend..

Friday, May 04, 2007

Multi Pitch practice..

Darren, Dave and myself were out today at Wild Cat crags near Matlock. We spent the day practising multi pitch instructional and coaching techniques prior to Darren's Mountain Instructor Award (MIA) assessment.

The crag was fairly quiet allowing us to chop and change routes with a few traverses and abseils. We climbed some or all of the following routes: 'Lobo' VS 4b,4b, 'Lynx' HS 4a, and 'Sphynx' VS 4c as well as finding some time for some problem solving and prussiking!

The weather in the Peak District looks good for the weekend although a little cooler than of late. The initial forecast suggests that it might be a little overcast on Sunday..

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Lead Climbing..

The fine weather has continued over the last few days giving ideal gritstone 'cragging' conditions. For Dave and Julie this has been great for our two days of lead coaching.

Having visited both Stanage and Froggatt, I can say that it has been quite busy out and about despite being midweek.

Open access areas (i.e. moorland) are still closed due to fire risk, the situation being up for review on the 5th May. For updated access details check out the British Mountaineering Council Crags Database.