Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mountain Leader Assessment, North Wales..

Tim, Pete, Fiona and I have been away for the last three days in North Wales.

This has been the expedition phase of the Mountain Leader Award Assessment course, based at White Hall Centre in Derbyshire. The conditions have been wintery to say the least with fresh snow over 300 metres on Snowdon and the Glyders.

For the next couple of days we will be out on the hills in Derbyshire looking at the essential attributes of any Mountain Leader: group leadership and security in steep ground..

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Cold weather forecast..

It looks like winter is here with some cold weather forecast for next week. Have a look at The Weather Outlook for the long to medium range predictions.

Some folk are already talking about some early season mixed on Scotland's higher crags; with Beinn Eighe, No.3 Gully Buttress on Ben Nevis and the Northern Corries probably the best bet. The picture on the left is of some early action last year during December - Andy Turner's ascent of 'The Secret' on Ben Nevis (Thank to Viv Scott/Andy Turner for the photo).
From Monday onwards I will be Directing a Mountain Leader Assessment for White Hall OEC in the Peak District and the Lakes. In the mean time feel free to let me know what you get up to..

Monday, October 20, 2008

Settled Weather in the Alps..

The weather is settled in the alps at the moment and a few teams are making the most of it! Rumour has it that Stuart MacAleese and Rich Cross climbed the North Face of the Matterhorn yesterday.

Hot on their heels are Nick Wallis, Matt Dickinson, Dave Evans and Robin Thomas. I haven't heard from them yet but fingers crossed this classic North Face will be seeing ascents from these two strong teams!....

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Moy Rock..

There has been some good weather in the Peak District over the last few days, allowing some great forays onto the grit.

Up in Scotland Caroline Saunders, Sandy Patterson, Steve Carter, John Ore and Chris Plant spent a day at Moy rock. This 20-25 m crag just north of Inverness is in the process of being developed as a top sports climbing venue.

Chris describes the rock as a conglomerate similar to Dimmings dale in Staffordshire and Rigalos in Spain. Apparently it takes a bit of getting used to, as you pull and stand on rounded cobbles that don't feel that secure. This made on-sight climbing a challenge as the good holds are much more visible on the way down!

There is no definitive guide at the moment but routes were climbed form 5+ to 6c. A great venue and well worth a visit if you are heading north of the border..

Monday, October 06, 2008

Scottish Winter Dates and Nepal planning..

It's been chilly over the last few days and the first snow flakes gave a slight dusting to Ben Nevis last week.
I will be moving up to Scotland in late January to run some Scottish Winter courses from Fort William. The dates for open courses can be seen on the calendar page of the website. As usual private guiding and instruction can be arranged to suit.
Prior to this Andy Turner and I will be away for a month attempting to climb a new line on the North Face of Phari Lapcha (pictured) in Nepal. It's time to dust off those axes and crampons and think about the winter..
Thanks to Chris Walker for the picture above.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Bouldering at Burbage North..

It's been a great autumn day here in Derbyshire today with good conditions on the grit this afternoon, despite some heavy rain last night and this morning.

Dave and I popped out to Burbage North for a brief bouldering circuit and made the most of the dry sections of the crag. Other sections of the crag are really wet with '20ft crack' sporting an impressive waterfall down it's length.

Chamonix and Barberine sport climbing..

Dave Evans and I have recently been out to Chamonix following a spell of settled weather in the mountains.

Just before we arrived Es and Tony climbed the uber classic Colton-MacIntyre on the Grande Jorasses. Pictures can be seen here on Es' website.

Sadly, we missed the good weather and had to make do with some valley sport climbing. On of the highlights of our week being the fun 'Vipere au Pied' (F6+) at Barberine. This 12 pitch route gave good alternating climbing between granite slabs and steep walls. Dave is pictured on the left checking out the route description.