Friday, July 31, 2009

Milestone Buttress, Tryfan..

With good, dry conditions this morning Milestone Buttress on Tryfan was a great place to be today. This was part of a "Rock Improver's" course from Plas Y Brenin.

The image on the left was taken by James Edwards a few days ago abseiling into Castell Helen at Gogarth (click for a bigger image)...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tremadog again..

Tremadog was the crag of choice again today, this time with a Rock Improver course from Plas Y Brenin.

The day brightened up nicely after a grey and drizzly start, giving some good climbing.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Scrambling in Cwm Idwal..

With prolonged torrential rain last night I had assumed that today would be a total write off. By 10 o'clock the last rain showers had stopped, the cloud base lifted and the rock was drying fast.

James Edwards and I headed into Cwm Idwal making an ascent of 'North West Face Route' (2), before descending the upper section of 'Senior's ridge' (1). This took us across to the classic 'Cneifion Arete' (3) and a short roped descent of the 'False Gribin' ridge back into Cwm Bochclwyd.

The picture to the left shows the upper section of Cneifion Arete, good technical scrambling in a fine situation.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tremadog in the rain..

With rain of almost biblical proportions this morning, Tremadog was the obvious choice. Sadly, North Wales premier wet weather option didn't stay dry for long.

Tony and John did 'Atomic Finger Flake' E4 while James Edwards and I did some climbing in "big boots". James is pictured setting off up 'Grim Wall' VS 4c while pretending he is in the alps!

James Thacker Mountaineering also gets a brief mention in 'The expert's guide to UK National Parks' at The Check it out here

Monday, July 27, 2009

Holyhead Mountain..

James Edwards and I visited Holyhead Mountain this evening on the way back to North Wales. I must admit that I have frequently walked past this crag heading to Gogarth's Main Cliff, not really giving it a second glance.

Of course the reality is that the climbing here is as good as any at Gogarth. We opted for the Yellow Wall climbing 'King Bee Crack' HVS 5a and 'Breaking the Barrier' E1 5b.

I had always fancied the steep diagonal crack line of 'Katana' E4 6a (pictured), and gave it a go with much tussling mixed with a few expletives. Room for improvement; but a deep satisfying pump at the end of the evening is aways worthwhile...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Climbing Wall Award (CWA) Training..

The last couple of days have been spent directing a Climbing Wall Award Training Course for providers Peak Mountain Training.

Saturday involved a full day at the Foundry Climbing Centre in Sheffield, before visiting NE Lincs Council's base to use their mobile wall and on site facilities.

For more details about the CWA feel free to get in touch via

New Haglofs Products for 2010...

I have been lucky enough to be provided with some excellent equipment from Haglofs over the last couple of years. The quality has always been very high, making you think just what are they going to produce next!

Well this Jacket, the Arete might just be it. A highly technical and durable Gore-Tex Performance Shell, it should be just the business for those Scottish winter routes in wild conditions...

More details should appear on the Haglofs site, if you can't wait check out some of the other latest products at Outdoors

Friday, July 24, 2009

Scrambling in North Wales..

James Edwards, Chris Plant and I were in Cwm Idwal today for some scrambling. We short roped up the side of Idwal Slabs (2) before ascending and descending Seniors Ridge (1/2).

The weather was a significant improvement on previous days, and also looks good for Saturday...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Gogarth, Castell Helen..

James Edwards, Chris Plant and I enjoyed a slightly sluggish start to the day due to heavy rain this morning in North Wales.

A drive to Anglesey paid off as Gogarth was bathed in sunshine, although the crag was a bit damp just to remind us of the preceding days weather.

First up was the line of 'Atlantis' E1 5a,5c followed by 'Blanco' HVS 5a,5a,4a, 'North West Passage' E1 5a,5b and 'True Moments/Freebird' E2 5b,5b (James Edwards pictured).

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Carreg Hylldrem Girdle..

James Edwards, Chris Plant and I decided to visit Carreg Hylldrem near Tremadog today.

This awe inquiringly steep crag hides the "perma-dry" line of the classic 'Carreg Hylldrem Girdle Traverse' HVS 5a,4b,4b,4c. A great line in just about any downpour for lovers of up, down and sideways scuttling.

Go and try it, you might just like it...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

More Slate..

With torrential rain for most of the day here in North Wales, it wasn't until late afternoon that the slate dried.

Viv Scott and I nipped up to the Llanberis slate quarries climbing 'Bella Lugosi is Dead' E1 5b and Horse Latitudes E3 5c (~F6b).

Access is restricted here at the moment due to the filming of Clash of the Titans,

Haglofs wins OutDoor INDUSTRY AWARD

At a prize ceremony at the OutDoor trade fair in Friedrichshafen, Germany, Haglofs was awarded the OutDoor INDUSTRY AWARD 2009 for its new Grym trekking boot to be launched in the 2010 spring collection. The prize was instituted by the European Outdoor Group (EOG) in 2006 and is awarded the best European outdoor products according to the criteria of Degree of innovation, Design quality, Choice of material, Workmanship, Functionality and Sustainability among other things. EOG is an association made up by just over 40 of the world's leading outdoor goods suppliers.

For details of the Grym check out Haglofs

Monday, July 20, 2009

Welsh Slate..

Having traveled over to North Wales this afternoon I managed to squeeze in a quick route with Keith Ball in Vivian Quarry near Llanberis.

We climbed the line of 'Psychotherapy' E2 5c which has some good technical moves low down before a rambling upper section (watch the loose block!)

It looks like it's going to be showery for the next few days, so Slate is probably a good choice if you are in North wales..

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Climbing at Tremadog..

Ian Hey (Climb Mountains) was out with Mariano and Barbara today at Tremadog. This was the second of two days private instruction and guiding in North Wales, centered on improving their existing climbing experience.

Together they climbed 'Oberon' (S) before finishing with one of the crag classics: 'One Step in the Clouds' (VS).

All this was achieved while missing most of the heavy rainfall which made an appearance in both North Wales and the Peak District over the weekend. The week ahead looks to be characterised by sunshine and showers again...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Scrambling in North Wales..

It's been a busy day today with both Ian Hey (Climb Mountains) and myself working in North Wales and the Peak District respectively.

Ian was scrambling with Mariano and Barbara in Cwm Idwal, this being the first of two days of private guiding and instruction. They were quick to start this morning allowing an ascent along the side of Idwal slabs, before linking Senior's Ridge in ascent and descent finishing with Cneifion Arete.

Meanwhile I have been over on the west side of the Peak at Hobson Moor Quarry, for a small and select sponsored abseil for the staff of Queensgate Primary School in Stockport.

Tomorrow the weather looks to be showery in both the Peak District and Snowdonia. Reading between the lines it looks like there could be some good sunny spells between the showers..

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Clogwyn y Grochan

Following a days mountain biking at Coed y Brenin, Keith Ball and I managed to squeeze a route in at Clogwyn y Grochan.

We chose Spectrum E2 5b,5c,5a,4b which packs the climbing in with two contrasting pitches.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Scrambling on Tryfan..

A slightly different outing this week; a White Hall Centre away camp with New Mills School.

Pictured is a mountain goat spotted on the 'Heather Terrace'. With showers forecast we opted to make an ascent of Tryfan today, taking a scrambly approach via the south ridge. Fingers crossed the weather will improve through the week..

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Stoney Middleton..

Dave Hollinger and I decided to head to Stoney Middleton today in search of some shade.

The bays gave a bit of shade early on in the day allowing us to climb 'Fe Fi Fo Fum' HVS and 'Dead Banana Crack' E1 5c before moving to Horseshoe Quarry.

The crag has recently been the scene of a BMC crag clean up day giving it a revitalised feel. Check out the UKC News here for more information.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Hot on High Tor..

Dave Hollinger and I were at High Tor today. We opted for a fairly early start hoping that the crag would be in the shade.

We were able to climb the classic diagonal traverse line of 'Debauchery' E1 5b,5b; before the sun came round and the temperature went thermo-nuclear! Al and Guy braved the heat to do 'Delicatessen' E1 5c,5b,4c.

A quick change of plan resulted in a visit to Pic Tor which was shaded by trees, yielding the route 'Prognosis' E2 5c. This is well worth seeking out if you like well protected pocket pulling.

With high temperatures forecast tomorrow being out early in the morning or late in the evening is probably the best bet. Venues such as Staden Quarry, Willersley, Pic Tor, Stoney Middleton, etc are a good choice..