Sunday, August 30, 2009

Single Pitch Award Training..

Today was the second of two days Single Pitch Award Training, delivered on behalf of Peak Mountain Training.

Group skills were the main focus of the day, with a visit to Burbage North looking at top rope, bottom rope systems and group abseils. All this, combined with plenty of discussion on the skills and judgement required to run good climbing sessions...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Single Pitch Award Training..

Jonny, John, Rob and Will joined me for the first of two days SPA Training today with the provider Peak Mountain Training.

We spent the day looking a personal climbing skills at Stanage Edge, before visiting Lawrencefield and The Climbing Works in Sheffield.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Glyder Fach and Bochlwyd Buttress..

Tom Chamberlain and I were out in North Wales today. The morning started fairly bright following the previous days rain - ideal for a trip to the mountains.

We decided to head up to Clogwyn Bochlwyd, climbing 'Marble Slab' HS 4b and 'Chimney Climb' S before slapping up the hill side to Glyder Fach.

Here we started up the route 'Gamma' S before finishing via the scramble 'East Gully Ridge' (2/3) and descending by Y Gribin.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Introduction to Outdoor Climbing..

Ruth, Franco, Cath and Kavita joined Darren Saxton and I this weekend for an introduction to rock climbing.

The aim of the weekend was to give a good idea of various facets of climbing available in the Peak District. We spent the time bouldering, doing a little bottom roping at Burbage North and climbing in a more traditional style by leading and seconding at Froggatt.

From here this should give everybody the skills required to visit an indoor wall, climb with more experienced friends, join a club or just get out bouldering.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Stoney Middleton..

Steve and I decided to make a quick visit to Stoney Middleton today climbing 'Padme' HVS, 'Cock-a-leekie Wall' E2 6a, and 'Double Scotch' E2 5b. Despite the showers the quick drying nature of Stoney did the trick.

Sean and Natasha have been out with Ian Hey for the last couple of days on a Resin to Rock course. The weather has been fairly challenging, but they have managed productive visits to Burbage North, Stanage Edge and the Foundry.

The weather does look to be improving for the weekend..

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mixed weather in the Peak..

It's been a mixed bag of weather here in the Peak District, alternating between sunny spells and truely minging showers!

Steve Clos and I decided to head out to Water cum Jolly this afternoon as the weather was improving. The result was 'Ping Pong' E1 5b before getting another dousing.

The nearby Rubicon Wall remains dry for those with big arms and steely fingers...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lead Climbing day 2 at Stanage Edge...

Matt, Perry and I were at Stanage Popular End today for the second of two days Lead Climbing.

Having put the ground work in yesterday Matt and Perry again made fast progress choosing and leading routes independently. This was a great opportunity to pick varied routes with various styles of climbing in the Diff-Hard Severe range.

It's been quite breezy on the eastern edges over the last few days keeping the midges at bay. The unsettled British weather looks set to continue for a while yet, due in part to the position of the jet stream. I remember a similar summer like this in perhaps 1999 (although I could be wrong), with a correspondingly early winter. Andy Lole and myself climbed 'Savage Slit' and 'The Message' in the northern Cairngorms in full winter conditions on the 24 October! Maybe we are going to be in for a good winter!............

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lead Climbing at Froggatt

Matt and Perry joined me for some lead climbing at Froggatt today. Both are confident leaders on bolts making for fast "trad" progress.

Having spent the day looking at belays, runner placement and route selection both Matt and Perry made their first leads. The aim for tommorrow will be to build on this experience and do plenty of routes on the "sharp end"...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Stanage Lead Climbing..

Ian Hey, Katherine Schirrmacher and I were at Stanage today doing a Lead Climbing weekend for Katherine's company LovetoClimb.

Despite being warm and overcast the friction was particularly good today due to the cooling westerly gale. We spent the day looking at the essential skills of lead climbing with both Nick and Andrew completing their first routes on the "sharp end".

This was a particularly good performance given the slightly unsettling buffeting we received from the wind...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

High Tor..

Ian Hey (Climb Mountains) and I visited High Tor today in some showery weather combined with high winds.

Hoping for the best we rapped in and started 'Delicatessen' E2 5c,5b but a significant shower soon resulted in retreat and an ascent of 'Skylight' VS 4c.

After a brief break the breeze was drying the crag so Ian decided to have a go at the classic 'Flaky Wall' E4 6a (pictured). This long and sustained route proved to be as good as it's reputation suggests with superb technical sequences.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Stoney Middleton..

Dave Barker and I visited Stoney Middleton this evening to climb the usual circuit of 'Windhover' E2 5c and 'Dies Irae' E2 5c. Windhover is actually a bit of a soft touch, most of it being HVS after you have pulled through the initial tricky start.

Dies Irae is a bit of a different proposition with pumpy climbing followed by a delicate and sequency headwall. It's also at Stoney so there is an obligatory loose finish to content with!

Another team made light work of 'The Flakes/Flakes Direct' E2 5c,5c followed by the largely ignored line of 'Special K' E4 6a.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Clogwyn yr Oen and Tremadog..

This weekend I joined Carolyn and Bradley for two days climbing on a Plas Y Brenin Lead Climbing Coaching weekend.

With good weather forecast we visited the Moelwyns and the popular crag of Clogwyn yr Oen. Sunday saw a visit to Tremadog in slightly drizzly conditions.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Dinas Mot..

Keith Ball and I squeezed in a quick route this evening on Dinas Mot in the Llanberis Pass.

We opted for 'Super Direct' E1 4b,5b,5b, one of the best middle grade routes on the crag, giving delicate and technical slab climbing with a thuggish finale. Keith is pictured setting off on the middle pitch..

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Gogarth Main Cliff..

James Edwards (blog) and I visited Gogarth's Main Cliff today. With low tide at around 2 o'clock a sluggish start was in order allowing the sun to come around onto the crag.

Arriving at the sea level traverse a little early, the climbing on the right hand side of the crag was the best choice. We opted for 'Devotee' E2 5b,5c,5b,5c, an interesting eliminate close to the crag classic 'Gogarth'.

Pictured is the first pitch of Devotee, taking the arete to the left of Gogarth. Good airy climbing but probably only 5a rather than 5b as stated in the new guide.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Improvised Rescue at Milestone Buttress..

I joined Allan and Danny today to look at improvised rescue and problem solving. As experienced climbers they have a number of trips planned to some of the more adventurous crags in Britain and the Alps.

They chose to have a private day of instruction looking at self rescue and solving problems on the crag, as well as a refresher on crevasse rescue.

Milestone Buttress on Tryfan gave a suitable venue to practice hauling, lowering past a knot, abseiling past a knot, assisted abseils, counter balance rescues, escaping the system etc, with a few tricks thrown in. Finally the large boulder field at the base of the crag yielded some impressive makeshift crevasse slots!

Coincidentally, I have recently written an article for BMC Summit Magazine explaining some of these skills. Keep your eye out for it in the autumn..