Saturday, October 30, 2010

Stanage Plantation..

Managed a quick foray out onto the grit this afternoon with Dave and Hannah Hollinger.

Despite the overcast and slightly warm conditions it was great to be out at Stanage minus a rope for a change.  We dashed around a shared circuit of problems from 'Crescent Arete' across to 'Honorary Caley'.

The crag was busy with plenty of student teams climbing and bouldering.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Rock climbing at Birchen Edge..

Tim, Kirsten and I were out at Birchen Edge today near Baslow, often a good choice in less than perfect weather.

Unfortunately, it was a very wet day with strong westerly winds making it chilly to say the least.  Despite this we persevered and spent the time looking at some rope work, including setting up abseils, top ropes, bottom ropes etc.

Further north in Scotland the first routes have been done in the northern corries of the Cairngorms; early season favourites such as 'The Message' IV,6 , 'The Seam' IV,5 and 'The Hoarmaster' V,6 seeing ascents.

Back in the Peak District, it looks like the worst of the weather may well pass thought shortly giving a dramatic improvement...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Rock climbing at Stanage Edge..

Difficult to describe what the conditions were like on the eastern edges today - amazing views over to the golden brown moors of the Dark Peak, and superb crisp rock.

In fact just feel free to add your own superlatives!  I was out enjoying the weather with Tim and Kirsten today at Stanage Edge.

Having climbed a fair bit indoors they were keen to make the transition from Resin to Rock.

We spent the day cramming in as much as possible with some bouldering at 'Apparent North', followed by some leading, with Tim taking the lead at the end of the day.  Kirsten is pictured cranking it out at the Popular End of Stanage.

It looks like the weather will be a little more hostile tomorrow but hopefully better conditions will resume sooner rather than later..

Some extra pictures here on the JTM Facebook page.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Intro Rock at Froggatt Edge..

Despite a wet and blustery start to the day, great conditions eventually won through at Froggatt today.  Neville and Sammy had joined me for a second day of climbing and with a slightly delayed start we decided to head to Froggatt's 'Downhill Racer' area - famous for it's fast drying slabs.

We spent the afternoon climbing routes around 'Slab Recess' before finishing with an ascent of 'Heather Wall' HVD/S.  A great route rated as one of the top fifty in the Rockfax guide to the Eastern Edges.

Despite being eight years old it was pretty clear that Sammy was a natural climber; hopefully he will be leading his father Neville and I up some routes next time!..

Monday, October 18, 2010

Intro Rock at Windgather..

Neville and Sammy joined me today for an introduction to rock climbing, having done a fair bit of climbing at their local wall.

We decided to visit Windgather Rocks for their first gritstone experience, the crag living up to it's name in what felt like gale force conditions.  A few heavy showers also came through on the strong westerly wind, but the crag dried practically instantly.

Despite the "burly conditions" we managed to do quite a few routes in traditional style, leading and seconding.  Combined with some bouldering and traversing in the quarry at the far right hand side of the edge.  Finally, we also found the time to sink in a couple of "hand-jams", essential for the classic gritstone test piece 'The File' (pictured - Kris Hill on the lead).

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Curbar and Stoney Middleton...

 I had the pleasure of some really good varied cragging with Andy Turner today, visiting both Curbar Edge and Stoney Middleton.

After yesterdays heavy rain the crag was slow to dry, but a slightly sluggish start resulted in our arrival at Curbar being timed just right.  We kicked off with 'The Toy' E1 5c and 'Grey Face' VS 5a before moving down the edge.  Here Andy fired up the brilliant 'Kayak' E1 5b (pictured) before limbering up for 'Finger Distance' E3 6b.

Sadly, the ensuing rain shower was more than sub-optimal for thin slab climbing and a brief hiatus was called for.

A quick move to Stoney Middleton rewarded us with the usual "perma-dry" rock on the Minus Ten wall.  For me it was an opportunity to do 'Double Scotch' E2 5b - an old favorite.  Andy was of course keen for other things and made light work of 'Traffic Jam' E5 6a/6b, a great effort under a threatening sky once again...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Climbing Wall Award Training..

Neil Johnson and I were up in Grimsby today, on the second of two days Climbing Wall Award (CWA) Training.

Using a similar mobile facility to the one pictured on the left we were able to cover a good range of syllabus related topics focused around group supervision.

Although these walls are relatively common, this is the first one that have seen which incorporated a "dry-tooling" route complete with metal slots for ice axes! Maybe I need to move with the times..

For more details of the CWA check out the Peak Mountain Training website.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Climbing Wall Award Training..

Neil Johnson and I were down at the Foundry today delivering a Climbing Wall Award (CWA) Training course on behalf of Peak Mountain Training.

The Climbing Wall Award (CWA) is a national award for those who wish to supervise groups at climbing walls in the UK. The award consists of a training and assessment course which covers the essential skills to deliver safe, effective and enjoyable climbing sessions as well as an introduction to the coaching of climbing at a fundamental level...

Friday, October 08, 2010

Single Pitch Award Assessment Day 2..

I was out at Windgather Rocks today along with James, Phil, Tom and Hasit for the second day of their Single Pitch Award Assessment (SPA) course.

Today we spent much of the time looking at the group rigging and supervision aspects of the syllabus e.g. top/bottom rope set ups and group abseils etc.

It was misty across the Peak District today and Windgather was no exception, the cloud base only really lifting substantially late in the afternoon.

For further details of the Single Pitch Award visit Peak Mountain Training.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Lead Coaching at Stanage Edge..

Danny and I visited Stanage Edge today, for a day of Lead Climbing coaching.  A heavy mist enveloped the crag in the morning but soon dissipated giving a great autumn day - good friction, clear blue sky and fantastic moorland scenery.

We kicked off by revising gear placement and belays before Danny took over "the sharp end" and led some classic routes culminating in 'Hollybush Crack' VD (pictured).

The crag was busy despite it being mid week, with plenty of folk out enjoying the good weather.  Unfortunately, somebody skidded off the hideously polished start of 'Crack and Corner' HVD breaking their ankle as a result.  They were however able to hop off to the car park with out too much discomfort, saving Edale MRT from visiting the crag again.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Scottish Winter 2010/2011..

Last winter was perhaps one of the best in recent years with significant snowfall and prolonged cold temperatures.  There is already some speculation that this winter could again be a great one.

From January onwards I will be making the annual pilgrimage north for the winter.  This year I will be available for private instruction and guiding on dates to suit.

For details of suggested instructional or guided itineraries please visit:

For the winter weather watchers have a look at the Preliminary Forecast for Winter 2010/2011

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Intro Rock (again) at Stanage Edge..

It was another visit to Stanage Edge today for an Intro Rock session, this time with Charlotte and Kate.  Despite a slightly misty start Stanage was still a good choice, with plenty of varied routes at practically every grade.

The crag was particularly busy today with climbing pairs and bigger groups making the most of the fine weather.

Kate, Charlotte and I were also joined by Carole who is training towards her Mountain Instructor Award (MIA), allowing us to get even more climbing done.  As such we spent a large part of the day leading and seconding routes as well as top and bottom roping, picking up the essential skills along the way.

Despite being busy there was a very friendly and social feel to the crag today, and it was great to bump into John who I climbed the 'Mer de Glace Face' of the Aiguille du Grepon with in the summer.  This was perhaps one of the highlights of my summer season in the alps.

This day was provided as a prize for Charlotte and Kate as part of the Nine Edge Challenge to raise funds for Edale Mountain Rescue Team...