Monday, September 17, 2007

Welsh Scrambling..

Darren, Aled and myself were out in the Ogwen valley today practising the techniques of short-roping and short pitching for scrambling. The weather was unsettled with a cold northerly wind, resulting in some sleet and hail showers throughout the day.

We started up the 'North West Face Route' (2), in Cwm Idwal before taking in part of 'Seniors Ridge' (1), 'Cneifton Arete' (3) and descending the false 'Gribin'.

The conditions have also been good in the Alps. The Grande Jorasses is in particularly good condition with 'The Shroud', 'Petite MacIntyre' and the uber classic 'Colton-MacIntryre' all getting ascents. The latter by Dave Hollinger, Owen Samuel and Rich Cross in 15 hours! Not bad for over 1000m of scottish VI,6..

Some further unsettled weather is expected over the course of the week, with cold northerly winds and some snow showers on the highest tops.

Latest News: The website has recently been updated with course dates for the Scottish winter season 2008. There are plenty of dates for private instruction/guiding, but these are going fast, so feel free to get in touch.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Gritstone climbing..

Peter and myself visited Froggatt Edge today to climb some classic routes on Gritstone. During our day long session at the crag, we took the time to look at some of the specific techniques for routes of this type.

Concentrating on sound footwork, smearing and the dark art of jamming we made fast progress through the grades, climbing: 'Gamma' (VD), 'Sickle Wall' (VD), 'Heather Crack' (S), 'Green Gut' (HS) and 'Allen's Slab (S).

The crag was fairly busy despite overnight rain. Dan and John were out and about making light work of many of the hard slab routes such as 'Great Slab' (E3).

The weather looks set to be fine on Saturday for Edale Mountain Rescue Team's Nine Edges Challenge...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A busy few days..

It's been a busy few days with excellent weather in the Peak District, North Wales and the Lakes.

On Sunday, I visited Harborough Rocks near Wirksworth to help Paul Smith out with a Single Pitch Award (SPA) training course. The rock in this area is fairly unique and is well worth a visit if you want to try well pocketed limestone at sub VS standard.

Over on the eastern edges John was out with Alex and Helen looking at the skills required for lead climbing. They visited Yarncliffe Quarry and the Crow Chin area of Stanage (a good bet at the moment as the breeze keeps the midges away).

Monday saw Andy Turner and myself over in North Wales climbing in the Craig Cwm Glas Bach area. The rock here is fantastic being exceptionally rough Rhyolite, although fairly compact resulting in less protection. The 'Stebbing' (E2) and 'Ecover' (E1) are definately recommended, the latter being a soft touch if you don't mind running the rope out!

Following this we visited Clogwyn Du'r Arddu ("Cloggy") on Tuesday climbing 'Troach' (E2 - pictured) and 'Longland's Climb' (VS). The crag was predominately dry although there was the inevitable seepage around 'Vember' and the drainpipe crack.

Again the fine weather seems set to continue so i'm sure the high crags will see some more traffic.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Malham and Gordale..

Pat Bell and myself visited Malham Cove on Thursday as part of White Hall Centre's staff development week.

The weather has been fine for the last few days resulting in 'baking' conditions on the south facing crags, Malham being no exception. We did a few routes on the traditional 'Right Wing' before moving to Gordale Scar in the evening to seek out some shade.

Meanwhile in the Peak District Sam and Daryl were out climbing with Amanda and John as an introduction to single pitch rock climbing. On Thursday they visited Stanage and Lawrencefield prior to a trip to Froggatt on Friday. Conditions were good, although the midges are abundant at Stanage at the moment!

Other folk have also been busy in the Peak, with Ben Cossey and Pete Whittaker repeating Ron Fawcett's Stanage traverse! This whopping traverse over 5km allegedly goes at E5 6b! For full details check out the article at PlanetFear.

Again the excellent weather looks set to continue into next week at least..

Sunday, September 02, 2007

John Lewis Climbing Weekend..

Rob Jarvis and myself have been out climbing with John Lewis Venture club over the weekend.

On Saturday we visited Birchen Edge, climbing routes along most of the crag. Including classics such as 'Trafalgar Wall' (S) and the fantastic 'Crows Nest' (VS).

Following this, we visited a further two crags on Sunday, with the team ticking through the routes at a fast pace! We warmed up at Harborough Rock's climbing all of the routes on the 'Trident Buttress', before moving to Willersley for some bigger pitches. Here the team really showed their confidence with ascents of 'Cucumber Crack' (HVS), 'Cucumber Groove' (VS), 'Adamant' (HVS), and 'White Wall Corner' (HVS).

The weather was fairly good on both days, although it has been windy at the more exposed venues. The forecast looks fairly promising into next week..