Monday, May 30, 2011

Turbo SPA..

I was out at Stanage and Yarncliffe yesterday delivering a Turbo SPA Workshop on behalf of Peak Mountain Training.

Steve, Simon and Rob joined me for a day to explore and build on the existing Single Pitch Award syllabus.  As such we spent the day looking at appropriate teaching strategies, progressions and systems in preparation for people being independent.

For details of this workshops and others visit the continuing professional development page of the PeakMT site here at


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Froggatt Edge, Intro Rock..

As I drove over the moors into Hathersage this morning it was raining heavily, far from idea for an Intro Rock session.  I was still hopefully that we might be able to escape the rain as I met Mark and Kerrie.

Froggatt Edge was an obvious choice being one of the fastest drying gritstone venues, combined with a slightly lower altitude.  Luckily, with an improving forecast we had the crag to ourselves for much of the day.  This allowed fast progress ticking most of the classics of the crag from Mod-Severe, in a variety of styles - leading and seconding combined with bottom roping.

Kerrie is pictured above on the regional classic 'Heather Wall'.

Finally, we retired to the car park with tired limbs after another good days climbing.  It looks like more showers tomorrow, lets hope that it might be possible to dodge them again..

Stanage Edge..

I was out at Stanage Edge with Mark and Emma yesterday for the second of two days climbing. Despite a slightly threatening sky the showers missed us resulting in a day of good quality climbing.

We spent the day doing plenty of varied climbing and developing skills to become a competent second.  This should leave Mark and Emma in a good position to visit climbing walls, join a club or climb with a more experienced companion.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Lead Coaching, Froggatt Edge..

I was out at Froggatt Edge today with Mark and Emma.  With heavy showers tracking down the Hope Valley from the west we decided to hedge our bets a little at Froggatt.

Luckily, the showers were fairly light for most of the morning allowing us to get plenty of climbing done.  Emma was keen for a reintroduction to climbing while Mark was keen to develop skills for traditional Lead Climbing, already being a keen sports climber.

Fingers crossed tomorrow will be a bit drier...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Stoney Middleton..

High winds and the odd heavy shower have been characteristic of the Peak's weather today.

Despite this the gritstone edges were predictably busy with plenty of climbers braving the gale force winds.  Between the showers I decided to visit one of the Peak District's best crags: Stoney Middleton.

This perma-dry venue is also great in high winds being relatively sheltered in the roadside bays.  It was great to see the crag busy today and I was slightly envious of folk on 'Scoop Wall', 'Bingo Wall', 'Wee Doris' and 'Dead Banana Crack' to name a few.  I had to make do with the usual highly polished bouldering traverses.

The photo above is of the uber classic 'Scoop Wall' (E2), James Turnbull and his mate climbing.  Can you guess where it's taken from..?

Friday, May 20, 2011

MMU Rock Climbing, Fachwen..

The second half of the week has seen the Manchester Metropolitan University team climbing at Fachwen and Little Tryfan.

With a brief sunny spell we made the most of the dry rock on Wednesday and Thursday with many of the group doing their first multi-pitch leads.

Finally, some rain showers this morning were well timed for our visit to the DMM Factory - a good opportunity to see how climbing equipment is manufactured.  It's just drying up now so time to hit the slate..

Manchester Met, Uni Rock Climbing..

I have been over in North Wales for a few days with the Outdoor Studies team from Manchester Metropolitan University.

The big aim has been to improve on personal rock climbing skills whatever the level, and the group have proceeded at their own pace leading or seconding.

On Sunday we visited the Joint Services Mountain Training Centre to use the "Indy" climbing wall.  A visit to Little Tryfan followed before we changed groups for the rest of the week..

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Gogarth - Castell Helen..

I escaped to the coast today here in North Wales in an attempt to avoid the rain.  Owen Davies (pictured) and I decided to visit Castell Helen, one of the most accessible of Gogarth's cliffs.

We had a good time climbing 'Atlantis' E1 5a,5c made all the more interesting by the heavy downpour that we experienced on the second pitch.  In fact it was really quite harrowing!

Meanwhile, Andy Turner was scrambling with Peter and Sally on Tryfan doing some specific training for the Austrian Alpine Club (UK Section).

Back in the Peak Ruth Taylor has been braving the showers with a group from the University of East Anglia (UEA), during a weekend of specific training for those leading club climbing meets.  It's all hands on deck at the moment with more of the same tomorrow. I will be out with the super keen folk from Manchester Metropolitan University's outdoor course here in North Wales. Phew!..

Friday, May 13, 2011

Snowdonia Guided Scrambling..

An early start this morning saw me arrive in Snowdonia to meet regular client Andrew, for some guided scrambing.

Meeting in Capel Curig we enjoyed a brief chat over a coffee before heading out into the Ogwen Valley.  Andrew was keen to try some slightly harder routes and perhaps experience grade 3.

We had quickly decided to head to Tryfan, starting with an ascent of the Milestone Buttress (3) before traversing around the 'Heather Terrace' to climb Nor Nor Groove (1/2).  From here we were able to do the best sections of the North Ridge of Tryfan before descending to Bwlch Tryfan.

With some heavy showers we decided to leave Dolmen Ridge (3) for another day opting instead for an ascent of Little Tryfan via it's left arete.  All in all a wet but productive day.

Froggatt Lead Coaching..

It's been a busy couple of days.  Yesterday, I was out in the Peak with Luke doing some lead coaching.

Luke had done some leading before but was keen to get some input and we decided to visit Froggatt Edge in the showery conditions.

After a brief session revising gear placement and belays Luke fired up quite a few routes between the showers.

After this I also visited Stanage Edge with regular client and friend Duncan who was preparing for his Single Pitch Award Assessment.  Having climbed with Duncan for a couple of years (most recently on Diadem) it was great to be hanging on the end of the rope seconding some gritstone classics.  Good luck with the assessment..

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Stoney Middleton..

Having just returned from a few weeks ski touring I was keen to experience the savage "Stoney Pump" last night.

I managed to make some time to hang off my arms, climbing 'Double Scotch' E2 and 'Om' E1.  This combined with a fair bit of traversing on highly polished holds resulted in the desired level of fatigue. With tired arms and a renewed psyche, I am pretty keen to hit the rock.

Simon is pictured on the tricky boulder problem start to 'Double Scotch'..