Friday, May 29, 2009

Guiding day at Wildcat Crags..

It was Morag and Callum's final day in the Peak District today; the culmination of five days climbing.

Having discussed doing something a little different we opted for a day of climbing at Wildcat Crags near Matlock. First up was an ascent of the superb solution pocketed slab of 'Cat Walk' HS 4a.

Following this we also climbed the crag classic 'Lynx' HS 4b,4a. This is a great route with a slightly tricky start followed by a tenuous traverse. The second pitch involves some steep jug pulling into the tree canopy above, classic varied climbing.

The weather looks to be good for the weekend, with high temperatures continuing. As such Peak Limestone venues could well be a good choice as the gritstone edges will feel greasy in the rising temperatures. It's a good chance to visit some of those less traveled venues..

On a different note there is a brief news piece on the British Mountain Guides Summer Training which I recently attended in the Lakes.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Yarncliffe and Lawrencefield..

Morag, Callum and I have been out at Yarncliffe and Lawrencefield Quarry's today. With a slightly damp and breezy start to the day these venues seemed the best place to start.

With quite a few good routes in the bag, we retreated to Outside in Hathersage to reward ourselves with some cake! The day gradually impoved to give a very pleasant evening on the Eastern Edges. Lets hope for more of the same tomorrow...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mountain Leader Assessment..

I have been over in North Wales for the last three days directing a Mountain Leader Award Assessment along with Dan Riley.

We joined Kuldip, Alasdair, Alex, Emily, Rachel and Anghared for the expedition phase of the assessment looking at navigation, group leadership, route choice in steep ground and ropework.

Hopefully they will all come out with a good result at the end of the week.

Meanwhile, Darren Saxton has been out with Morag and Callum back in the Peak District. In the last couple of days they have sampled the varied delights of Stanage High Neb, Crow Chin and Birchen's Edge. The weather looks set to improve over the next few days..

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Castle Rock..

Kris Hill and I have been to The Castle Rock of Triermain today. With much better weather in the Lakes the sunny South Crag was popular with many teams climbing the short routes here.

Despite the short nature of these routes the rock is fantastic being superb rough igneous rock from the Borrowdale Volcanic series, the result - steep jug pulling.

We nipped up 'Yew Tree Climb' (VD), 'Gazebo' (HVS), 'Direct Route' (VS) before moving to the North Crag to do 'North Crag Eliminate' (E1). This three pitch classic involves "some precarious ape moves" up an old Yew Tree at half height giving some interesting climbing.

Back in the Peak District Darren Saxton was out with Mariano and Barbara again today. They opted to stay away from the crowds and went to Dovestone Tor today - a great effort.

I will be away on a Mountain Leader Award Assessment for the next few days leaving Darren to climbing with Morag and Callum. Lets hope the good weather continues..

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Shepherd's Crag..

With showers in the Northern Lakes this morning, Kris Hill and I opted to go to Shepherd's Crag. This fast drying and sheltered crags is usually a good bet if the weather looks unsettled.

Despite the odd bit of seepage the crag was in good condition allowing us to tick off 'Creeping Jesus' (HVS), 'Aaros' (E1), 'Finale' (HVS++), 'Evil Kneivel' (HVS), and 'Conclusion' (E1).

Meanwhile back in the Peak District Darren Saxton was out with Mariano and Barbara for a days guided climbing.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Bored? Go climbing..

Here is a brief video clip from Mountain Guide Andy Perkins. Bored? Go climbing...

With better weather forecast over the Bank Holiday weekend it looks like there won't be any boredom in the Peak District..

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bouldering at Stoney Middleton..

Simon, Steve and I popped out to Stoney Middleton yesterday evening in search of dry rock..

We weren't disappointed, finding dry rock in the form of the Minus Ten wall. Other areas of the crag were also dry in all but the heaviest downpours, with other climbers in the 'Wee Doris' bay. The electric quarry is also a good choice in these conditions giving some of the best climbing at Stoney; although it's not the most aesthetic location!

Nic Sellars and Tom Briggs were taking full advantage by making light work of the classic 'Cabbage Crack' E4. The good news is that the forecast looks to be much improved for the Bank Holiday weekend..

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New Climbing Games Book..

Again the climbing in the Peak District has been defined by sunshine and showers!

Despite the challenging weather people have been out and about at the more sheltered venues of Lawrencefield, Stoney Middleton, New Mills Tors, Millstone along with the Foundry, Edge and Climbing Works!

For those coaching, supervising and coaching others Paul Smith's Climbing Games book may well be of interest. Paul has been working hard to provide a resource for anybody involved in teaching climbing - 'Climbing Games' is the result. It includes "fun" games to facilitate warming up, through to specific exercises to encourage FUNdamental techniques (aiding "learning by stealth"). All at the reasonably accessible price of £10.

I have a few copies to distribute if you want one..

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Extreme Climbing in the Peak..

Sabrina, Sam, Sam and Ceri joined Darren Saxton and I for two days climbing over the weekend. The weather has been variable to say the least with heavy rain at times - similar to being sprayed with a high presure hose while climbing!

Despite this extreme challenge we visited Birchen's Edge, Lawrencefield and Millstone climbing a variety of routes from Diff to Severe.

Hopefully the heavy rain will give way to isolated showers this week. Again, the more sheltered venues of Stoney Middleton, Lawrencefield, New Mills Tors and Willersley will be a good bet..

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lake District Training..

I have been out for the last three days with Adrain Nelhams for the British Guides Summer Training course. The weather has been great for the last few days despite some high winds.

Monday was a day looking a guided rock climbing at Raven Crag and Gimmer in Langdale, finishing with 'Kipling Groove' (HVS).

Tuesday, was a day short roping at Dow Crag in ascent and descent in some very strong winds.

Finally, we looked at teaching climbing at Black Crag and Shepherd's in Borrowdale.

The weather looks like it could be showerly for the next few days but the outlook is still uncertain for the weekend in the Peak District. Fingers crossed the winds willd drop and there will be some dry rock in more sheltered areas..

Saturday, May 09, 2009

"Turbo SPA" at Stanage Edge..

Tom, Dave, Jill and I have been at Stanage Edge today for a Peak Mountain Training "Turbo SPA" workshop. This is a one day Mountain Leader Training Association workshop for existing Single Pitch Award holders who are keen to use their award to the max.

Despite some high winds, conditions were good at the crag until some heavy showers arrived at around five o'clock. With this strong breeze I would guess that the crag will dry quickly leaving excellent conditions again on Sunday...

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Lawrencefield Quarry..

Pat Bell and I visited Lawrencefiled Quarry this evening climbing a handful of routes.

Due to the strong winds at the moment the quarry was a popular choice, being sheltered from all but the worst gusts. It looks like there are going to be more showers over the weekend.

Fingers crossed the strong winds will remain drying the more exposed crags between the showers.

Stoney Middleton..

Yesterday Jo Bawden and I were out at Stoney Middleton. Despite a day of heavy showers Windy Buttress was dry in the evening, living up to it's name.

After an ascent of 'Dies Irae' E2 5c, Jo jumped on the classic 'Circe' E5 6a making light work of the powerful undercuts - after testing the aging bolt for good measure!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Resin to Rock at Stanage and Froggatt..

Darren Saxton was out with Laura and Nicky over the weekend on a Resin to Rock Course. Over the duration of two days they have been to Froggatt and Stanage Edges; combining plenty of climbing with essential rope work skills. More information in Darren's Mountain Aspirations Blog.

Despite a slightly uncertain forecast the weather has been good on the eastern side of the Peak District over the weekend. Occasional rain is a possibility for tomorrow..

Climbing Wall Award Assessment..

Deb, Julie and I have been at Rockcity Climbing Centre today for a Climbing Wall Award Assessment course.

We spent the day running through various syllabus related topics including: movement coaching, the coaching process, personal climbing, lead climbing, group sessions, bottom roping etc.

Well done to Deb and Julie who displayed skills in excess of the minimums required, and are now fully qualified Climbing Wall Award holders..