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)

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Prayer Flags; Hot Chocolate; but a Sad Day

We met at Esquires Coffee shop (opens at 8.00 so a great meeting place) before heading into the Langdale valleys.
Richard and Pav didn't want to do anything too hard so it was OK to bring Pip, hill & home companion since 2001 in Colorado, for a the walk.

Pip - a companion from Colorado 2001
 We headed up Stickle Ghyl and on the way climbed a few short waterfalls - beware, they're greener and slippyer than I've ever seen them. And carried on up the stream bed, rock hopping like the children we are inside.

We stopped for lunch on top of Pavey Ark before heading over to Pike O Stickle where to our surprise there are some Prayer Flags.
It's nice having this splash of colour on a Lakeland summit but I hope it's temporary and not the start of a trend. I hope whoever put them up has taken them down to save them for another time in the future.

And so back down for some brief "retail therapy" before returning to the start at Esquires.

A very sad end to the day. Later in the evening whilst I was sitting at the computer with Pip sleeping nearby, this friend, companion and confidant awoke suddenly and died. I think of a heart atttack.
I miss her.
Pip - 2001 to 17.10.10 - Rip

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Scrambling in Wales

OK - I admit to being "computer challenged" and that I'd rather be outside than working on a keyboard or website. But Dan found me via my website and got a group of friends together for a fun 2-days scrambling in Wales.

We met Friday night at the Bryn Tyrch - fantastic food, so good that I think there are now 6 blokes from London way who recon there's nowhere else worth eating in Snowdonia.
I'll have to get them to Petes Eats another time

Although Dan had only booked me they sounded an adventurous bunch and would benefit from a ratio of 3:1, so Andy T joined me.
On Tryfan's Adam (or is it Eve?)
Day 1 - Tryfan East Face. We navigated up Heather Terrace before selecting a route from the scrambles guide book. After practicing with ropes we headed up the scramble to join Tryfan's North Ridge near the summit. The teams learned fast and were soon ascending steep ground, in some cases up to Grade 3 / Diff. Then we headed over the top, past Adam & Eve, before heading down, and another meal at the Bryn Tyrch!

Day 2 - after a long discussion the night before in the Bryn Tyrch we headed off to Idwal Slabs and Ordinary Route (Diff). The teams led themselves, with Andy and I soloing alongside placing protection and building the belays.  
Tiny yellow & orange dots are my team taking the steep route
A gread "lads weekend" and an extreemly impressive result from 6 novice scrambler/climbers.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Cotswold Outdoors - Staff activities

In my "other life" I'm a gear person, previously for Petzl's UK company, and now for Lowe Alpine.
Imagine having a job where you can indulge your gear-freak tendancies and learn the intimate ins and outs of a product? And even sometimes test to destruction (yup, a hammer is often involved). Yipee.
This week I've been in Snowdonia scrambling, breaking kit, tugging ropes, demonstrating the use of technical climbing kit, and informing a load of shop staff on the intricasies of Lowe Alpine backpacks.
The retail shop Cotswold have been expanding across the UK and now have 50+ stores. This week they brought together a person from almost every store to do some on-the-hill activities, as well as indoors close and detailed training.
Katie & Roger on The Cannon

Scrambling on Tryfan North ridge
We were asked, for the second year, to do special backpack training and also provide a day of scrambling. To get the groups to a more manageable size there were 3 of us; Andy Cave; Andy Turner; and me.
Roger - stepping across Adam & Eve - mega drop!
Fantastic days, great people, and well done Cotswold for their staff training.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

First Aid course

Damp weather in Wales for a REC Mountain First Aid course which included;
  • tying a casualties boots together before asking him to hop off the mountain
  • Wrapping a casualty in baco foil before considering whether gas mark 5 is the same as 190 degrees in a fan oven.