Thursday, April 28, 2011

Grand Paradiso Ski Touring..

I have spent the last few days with Jonny Baird working on an Alpine Guides privately guided Ski Touring trip.

Steve and Vanessa were keen to visit a different area making a few forays from local huts.  We first visited the Benevolo Hut (Val di Rhemes) enjoying some excellent hospitality and the biggest leg of lamb I have seen in an alpine hut.

An ascent of Punta Galisia (3346m) followed along with some great spring snow on the descent.  Following this we decided to reposition and head up to the Vittorio Emanuele Hut for an attempt to the Gran Paradiso (4061m).  A punishing walk followed from Pont up to the snowline just short of the hut.  A cold skinning ascent followed, prior to a short exposed scramble to the top.

A good ski descent followed after the obligatory shots with the summit Madonna...

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Ski Touring Nevache-Mont Thabor...

Last Sunday I joined Bruce Goodlad, Dave, John and Mateo for a six day tour of Mont Thabor - a quite area sandwiched between the Ecrin and the Italian frontier.

Over the course of six days we did a series of day tours and a linked traverse of Mont Thabor skiing some good spring snow.

The huts in the area were particularly welcoming as demonstrated by Bruce sampling a homemade Mt Thabor beer (pictured)...

BMG Ski Touring Training..

Apologies for the lack of updates.  I have had a busy couple of weeks Ski Touring in France.  Having arrived a fortnight ago it was straight onto the British Mountain Guides Ski Touring Training course delivered by Terry Ralphs.

With warm weather requiring some early starts we traversed the Haute Maurienne from Bonneval sur Arc.

I was lucky to join the next years intake of Aspirant Guides, having been unable to do the course the year previously.  A week of good skiing with Andy (factoid) Townsend, Paul Chiddle, Andy Nelson and Euan Whittaker..

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Ski Touring..

I am just about to head out to Europe for a few weeks Ski Touring and Ski Mountaineering.

As usual I will try and update the blog when I can, in the meantime there will be some mini updates via my Twitter page.

In the mean time I will leave you with a photo of Dave Hollinger pushing out some well earned turns in the Valle d'Aosta...

Monday, April 04, 2011

Rockcity, Technical Advisor Day..

Another day up at Rockcity Climbing Centre in Hull today doing some Technical Advisor work.

It was site specific assessments today for staff working at the wall delivering climbing sessions, and training/assessing on the NICAS Scheme.

Well done to Anna, Helen and Chris who all passed and will  be delivering sessions soon...

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Stanage Edge, Lead Climbing...

Today was the second of two days with the Not So Trad Climbing Club, the aim being to do plenty of leading at Stanage Edge.

We split into climbing pairs and spent the day putting all the skills together.  Routes climbed included: Martello Cracks, Heaven Crack, Mississippi Chimney, Amazon Crack, Balcony Climb, Balcony Buttress, Scoop Crack, Left Twin Chimney.

Andy Turner is pictured here with Mark leading Mississippi Chimney (VD)...

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Burbage North, Lead Climbing Skills..

I have been out on the grit again today, this time with a group from the Not So Trad Climbing Club.

We spent the day at Burbage North practicing some essential skills including anchor placement and belay set ups, combined with belaying at the top and bottom of the crag.  Basic skills, but those that need to be done well.

The aim will be to build on these tomorrow with a reduced ratio of 1:2, with the addition of Mountain Instructors Andy Turner (MIC and Mountain Equipment Athlete!) and Luke Brooks (MIA).

Today the conditions were excellent out on the grit following a slightly damp start.  The crag was definitely busier towards the end of the day when there were some fine sunny spells to be enjoyed.  Scott Brooks, Kris Hill and a group from Benmore Centre were climbing next to us, Scott being pictured on 'Greeny Crack' VS 4b.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Resin to Rock at Stanage....

I was out again today with Andrew and Ben for some more Resin to Rock action.

We decided to brave the wind, which was marginally less than yesterday, at Stanage Edge.  Despite a damp start the crag soon dried out giving some great climbing conditions, these being enjoyed by quite a few folk.

Consolidating on yesterdays skills we concentrated on building good belays and top roping where appropriate, allowing us to get plenty of routes done.  All being well we should be able to build on this experience and see them out leading on 'the sharp end' soon...