Winter Mountaineering Course - Scotland


ROCK CLIMBING - CUMBRIA (Lakes) (1 to 4 days),
SNOWDONIA (3 to 5 days)

NAVIGATION Courses - CUMBRIA (Lakes) (1 or 2 days)

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Scrambling with Berghaus staff

The gear company Berghaus give their staff a chance to regularly get out on outdoor activities.

Today Richard I were working for John White and took 7 Berghaus staff scrambling.

Across on Helvellyn another (sizable) group went up Striding Edge and down Swirral Edge.

The Berghaus staff came from everywhere; including head office, Customer Services, marketing, and  from the London shop where 2 of them work in the Covent Garden store.

 They were very competent and quick

Monday, 16 August 2010

Lead Climbing on Mountain Routes

Richard is back for his 4th summer in the Lakes with his family. Whilst here he takes the opportunity,  after a week, to have some "personal time" to climb with me. We've climbed for a total of 5~6 weekends and explored a lot of different places.
This weekend we visited 5 crags, climbed 22-pitches on routes from Diff to Hard Severe; gathered 17 'quality stars'; did 2 abseils; 'ticked' Classic Rock; had some very nice walking; and it was sunny!
Crossing Ash Tree Ledge
Saturday 14th - we climbed Middlefell Buttress Diff  75m 3-stars on Raven Crag. This route makes a very pleasant warm up ascent towards Gimmer Crag. Whilst it might not be as fast as the plod up the paths it is much more fun.
Richard and Steve Stoat at the bottom of A,B,E etc routes
At Gimmer we climbed Ash Tree Slabs VD+ 48m 3-stars, a lovely route that's in "Classic Rock". Next we headed over to "A" Route HS 75m 3-stars, a climb which finished by the block and chain at the top. A long abseil took us withing inches of Richard's pack on Ash Tree Ledge. We kept out harnesses on for the next short abseil down to the South East face of Gimmer to continue across to the walking path and on down to the car at Old Dungeon Ghyl pub.
Total for the day; 11-pitches of climbing, 9-stars, and 2 abseils

Sunday 15th - after a lot of thought we settled on a mountain day with the minimum of driving/walking time before starting climbing. Our first crag was Upper Scout - Route 1 VD+ 50m 3-stars.

Upper Scout - Richard & lady from Leeds Alpine Club,
Next we headed uphill and across into White Ghyll and The Slabs Route 1 Sev 69m 3-stars. It was so sunny and warm we were glad the route was still in the shade, but we topped out to strong sunlight and a storm of flying ants so thick we soon had them all over us (note to self - shorts aren't great when the insects are flying).
Richard leading on White Ghyll
A dash from the top of White Ghyll and a nice walk took us over to Pavey Ark aiming for Crescent Slabs but we decided the dripping dampness and grass wasn't as appealing as Stoat's Crack HS 112m 2-stars. I climbed SC a few weeks ago and it was wonderfully clean and pleasant, but in the meantime we've had a lot of rain; it was still damp and the soil and vegitation has increased, and to add to that a swarm of midges came out (note about shorts again!). Wildlife should be supported, but I'd prefer they didn't feed off my blood! We dashed for the top where a breeze got rid of the midges and had a very pleasant walk back down to the New Dungeon Ghyll pub.
Total for the day; 11-pitches of climbing, 8-stars, and a nice walk.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Family Mountain Days

Sue is back for the 3rd adventure.... first it was "Scotland in Winter" with her husband & friends who have been clients for many years; then a "Girls fun day" this spring; and now a 2 day "family fun" trip with Ian and their 17 and 20 year old sons.
Ian & Sue climbing at Kendal Wall
We started the night before at Kendal Climbing wall so Sue's son Andrew could chat with my daughter (who's at Welbeck DSFC) about similar career ideas they have.

Thursday 12th - The forecast for Thursday wasn't great but we made a dash for Pinnacle Ridge with Andrew practicing his map reading, leading us up Grisedale and navigating us to St Sunday Crag. We scrambled in waterproofs, ready for rain, but it held off until we summitted on The Cape (841). When we took our waterproofs off it seemed to be a signal for a very heavy downpor that made us scramble for jackets - a great fashion collection with Event; TriplePoint; GoreTex and Paramo jackets.
Matt and Andrew on the pinnacles
Sue, above the steep bit

Friday 13th - we drove round to Borrowdale and walked up the beautiful valley of Langstrath to scramble up Cam Crag Ridge and cross the ridge up to Glaramara to drop down into Combe Gill.

Before hitting the valley bottom we visited Dovenest Crag, where we did a wonderfully adventurous scramble through one of the large cracks. Reading the guidebook afterwards I was surprised to see it's a Grade 2 Scramble - I felt it warranted a "3" along with a seriousness warning - a mistake on the top part could have serious consequences.

Ummm not sure what Matt's doing, is it a student thing?
We then walked down the valley, passing Glaciated Slabs (with a Grade 2 Scramble and some easy climbs I've not visited yet) on a nice gentle path to finish back at the cars. A great day out with an adventurous family, with a couple of scrambles and a walk taking in 2 valleys.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Family Scrambling - Lakes

Great day scrambling with Steve, Jacqueline and their 2 children.

squeezing throught the dog-flap!
It's been raining recently so the ghylls are fuller than normal at this time of year, even if the reservoirs aren't full enough to lift the hozepipe ban in Cumbria. We scrambled up a Ghyll with some (roped) climbs up waterfalls, which felt like a rainy day.