Sunday, June 28, 2009

Introduction to Outdoor Climbing..

Darren Saxton (blog) and Katherine Schirrmacher (website) have been out over the weekend working with John Lewis Climbing Club in the Peak District.

This was a meet for members to experience climbing outdoors for the first time, many being confined to London's climbing walls. Over the weekend, the team have braved the midges at Stanage High Neb and visited the esoteric Harborough Rocks near Wirksworth.

If you haven't been it's worth checking out the solution pockets in this fantastic dolomitic limestone. In the warm weather prevailing at the moment the limestone crags are probably a good choice e.g Harborough, Staden Quarry, Pic Tor, Wild Cat, High Tor, Stoney Middleton etc.

Failing that it might be worth checking out the Northern Edges of Kinder and Wimberry if you are keen for the grit.

I have been up at Rockcity Climbing Centre in Hull today doing some Site Specific Training and Accreditation for visiting staff.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Busy on Windy Buttress..

Steve and I were out yesterday evening at Stoney Middleton's Windy Buttress. With good steep climbing close to the road this is a great choice for a quick evening session.

Frequently you can enjoy the solitude but it wasn't to be - three teams on windy buttress alone; which was great to see. The new enthusiasm for this awesome crag could be due to the proposed BMC crag clean up, see details here on the BMC website

We climbed 'Windhover' E2 5c, 'Inquistor' E1 5c and 'Dies Irae' E2 5c, other climbers were on 'Scoop Wall' E2 5c and 'Rippemoff' E1.

The Limestone could be a good choice at the moment as the midges have been abundant on some gritstone edges with no breeze..

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tremadog again..

With drizzly showers continuing in North Wales Tremadog was the obvious choice again.

On Saturday, the crag was busy with plenty of other teams enjoying many of the classic routes including 'Vector' E2, 'Cream' E4 and the usual classics of 'Christmas Curry' S and 'One Step in the Clouds' VS. One Irish pair were also particularly pleased to have spotted both Eric Jones and Mick Fowler in the same day!

Simon and I climbed 'Grim Wall' VS 4a,4c, the first pitch of 'Void' HVS 5b, 'Grim Wall Direct' E1 5b,5b and 'Yogi' VS 4a,4b. Sunday resulted in more damp climbing with a brief ascent of 'Hail Bebe' VD in the rain before retiring to the cafe. It looks like high pressure is returning over much of the UK next week so we should see and improvement in the weather.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Ian Hey (Climb Mountains) and I have been fully engaged with the three dimensional dolerite weirdness at Tremadog.

This excellent North Wales crag has been busy over the last couple of days due to the windy and showery weather.

On Thursday we visited Craig Pant Ifan climbing the classic 'Falcon' E1 5b, and 'First Slip' E1 5c (pictured), with Ian making a final big effort on the soaring line 'Vulcan' E3 6a - quite possibly E4!

Today, we visited the crag again, climbing 'Weaver' E2 5b,5c,4b and Ian making light work of the strenuous and precarious 'Geireagle' E3 5c, 4a. The large flat holds creating a significant and lasting pump!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Problem Solving and Improvised Rescue at Wildcat..

Duncan, Angela and I were at Wildcat crags near Matlock today to practice problem solving and improvised rescue techniques.

With Duncan's Mountain Instructor Award Assessment coming up later in the year, we practiced some simple problems including: assisted hauling, 3:1 hauling out of the system, rescuing an unconscious climber from an abseil rope, traverse rescues and counter-balances etc.

Thanks to Angela for basking in the sun while dangling on the end of the rope, and good luck for the assessment Duncan..

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Single Pitch Award Training, Burbage North..

Andy, Rich, Jonny and Ryan joined me for a second day of Single Pitch Award Training today.

We spent the duration looking at group rigging, group management, bouldering activities and group abseils etc.

The weather was good again, although it did feel a bit warm for optimum grit friction. Maybe it's time to hit the Limestone?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Single Pitch Award Training..

It's been another great day out in the Peak today, with warm dry weather on the Eastern Edges. The forecast showers never arrived!

I have been out on Stanage Edge (Popular End) with Andy, Ryan, Jonny and Rich for the first of two day's Single Pitch Award Training. This is one of two courses running this weekend under the providership of Peak Mountain Training.

Dave Hollinger and Katherine Schirrmacher were delivering the second course, experiencing similar glorious weather at Stanage End.

We also visited Lawrencefield Quarry briefly before heading to the Climbing Works in Sheffield to look at coaching climbing and managing bouldering sessions.

Fingers crossed tomorrow will bring similar weather..

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Gogarth Upper Tier..

Owen Samuel (Ibex Guides) and I decided to go to Gogarth's Upper Tier today on a slightly threatening forecast. We hoped that Holyhead might avoid the worst of the weather; it didn't!

Owen made light work of 'The Strand' E2 giving me the pleasure of following it in the rain.

Back in the Peak District there has been some heavy rain with some localised flooding in Sheffield. However, the weather appears to be improving towards the end of the week..

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Sun at South Stack..

Andy Turner and I enjoyed a day at Gogarth's South Stack today. The south facing sea cliffs of Castell Helen and Yellow wall were sheltered from the chilly easterly breeze making for a pleasant climbing experience in the sun.

With an early high tide we opted for the 'Atlantis/True Moments/Freebird' hybrid at E2 5a,5b,5b, 'The Moon' E3 4c,5c,5b, and 'North West Passage' E1 5a,5b.

Andy is pictured finishing the last pitch of 'Freebird'..

Monday, June 08, 2009


Andy Turner and I visited Rhoscolyn today. The crag was sheltered from the wind making for pleasant climbing. We climbed 'The Wild Rover' E1 and 'The Savage Sunbird' E2..

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Walking Group Leader Training, day 2..

The second day of Peak Mountain Training's Walking Group Leader Training saw us visit the western side of Kinder Scout today.

Varying visibility, heavy rain and hail gave us some good conditions for more technical navigation. We also took the time to look at group leadership in moorland terrain as well as some emergency procedures.

Lets hope that the weather will improve on Sunday...

Friday, June 05, 2009

Walking Group Leader Training on Kinder Scout..

Kinder Scout was the venue today for the first of three days Walking Group Leader Training.

Under the providership of Peak Mountain Training Neil Johnson, Dave Hollinger and I were joined by seven candidates on the moors today; the focus being accurate navigation.

Tomorrow we will be out on the northern moors again looking at the skills of group leadership..

Millstone Edge..

Yesterday Dave Hollinger, Neil Sambridge and I nipped out to Millstone Edge for the afternoon.

The crag was in good but slightly greasy condition which resulted in plenty of "airtime" for a German team attempting 'London Wall' E5 6a.

We enjoyed some slightly more amenable routes such as 'Bond Street' HVS, 'Great Portland Street' HVS, 'Knightsbridge' E2 5c etc, before the midges made an appearance in the windless bays...

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

West Buttress Eliminate..

Yesterday, Andy Turner, Dave Rudkin and I made the hour and a half walk in to Cloggy for a second time.

With warm weather forecast for a second day we opted for 'West Buttress Eliminate' E3 5c,5b,5b,4a,4c followed by 'Shrike' E2 5c,5b. Andy and Dave finished the day by climbing the fantastic route 'The Axe' E4 6a as I was leaving the crag. Dave Rudkin is pictured in the classic 'Walsh's Groove' a classic "back and footing" pitch.

The crag was again busy with teams on 'White Slab', 'Great Wall' and 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' to name a few. Lets hope the good weather continues..

Great Wall at Cloggy..

Andy Turner, Owen Samuel (Ibex Guides) and I visited Clogwyn Du'r Arddu on Monday.

With great weather forecast, the shady walls of "Cloggy" were the best choice and the crag was comparatively busy. We opted for 'Great Wall' E4 6a,6a which was dispatched by Andy and Owen before heading over to do 'Silhouette' E2 4c,5c,5c.