Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Sea Kayaking to the Skerries

Today I went out to enjoy the sea, journeying by kayak to the Skerries (small rocky islands 3-4 km off the North coast of Anglesey). We started at Church Bay and managed to cross on slack water landing on the Island around midday with friends James (see Adventure Elements) and Mark.
The return crossing was a little more exciting due to tidal race starting, running in the opposite direction to the 15mph winds. This created big standing waves that were breaking in places and required a lot of ferry gliding to return to Carmel head.
One porpoise seen, lots of seals and blue sky and the hands were only slightly chilled - a good day.

Advanced Scrambling Course

Last Saturday I ran a scrambling course, a Christmas voucher bought for Adam last year. Fortunately he waited for a crisp, still winter day with plenty of blue sky.
We started off up the Idwal Staircase by the slabs and ascended up into Cwm Cneifion which covers a lot of grade 2 ground. We looked at route choice and assessing when a rope is needed.
The second half of the day, after admiring the spectacular views, saw Adam leading up Cneifion Arete - a classic almost Alpine like route. The top was gained in the light of the day, but a quick descent was needed as darkness approached.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Welsh White Water

This weekend I ran a two day intermediate white water course for Tom and Paul. Saturday was on the Llugwy which steadily rose throughout the day to give a nice bouncy run through forestry falls (grade III). A half day on Sunday was on the Glaslyn near Beddgelert. Both enjoyed the quick run down to town which includes sustained grade II water, especially at the given water level. A productive weekend, working on smooth breakouts and river leadership.

In the afternoon I met up with some friends to make use of the water conditions, blasting down the Aberglaslyn Gorge, a good grade IV at this level with many waves and holes.

WW Kayaking in Ireland

Fortunately I have been able to make the most of the recent rain with a kayak trip to the southwest of Ireland. Over four days we paddled 10 different rivers that ranged from grade III to V in full flood! Highlights include the middle Flesk, a gorge with numerous rocky drops, Gaddah, high mountain spate run with continuous grade 4 and the Roughty, a mix of open grade III rapids to tight grade V drops.
All this with no access trouble, in fact the locals were all friendly and happy!

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Fairy Glen

Ideal low water conditions on the infamous Fairy Glen today on the Afon Conwy. We did a quick afternoon run down to Fairy Falls, running all the drops along the way which range from grade III to V. Excitement is added as you enter the gorge sections, limiting your view of each upcoming drop.

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Tyn y Maes Gorge

I woke to hear rain this morning, but unfortunately it only lasted for a few hours - not enough to make many of the rivers runnable.
Instead I nipped down the top gorge on the Ogwen with my house mate. A nice short run with some drops of V. We also ran Ogwen Bank Falls, which gave a fast and exciting descent in the low conditions (giving enough excitement for one day).

Introduction to White Water

This week I ran a 5 day white water course for Sarah. We had enough rain to allow paddling on sections of the Afon Llugwy during the week. This was combined with a day on the Afon Dee and some rock hopping and clean surf at Trearddur Bay.
A good week with many new skills learnt, evident from Sarah's progression to run the grade III Forestry Falls on the final day.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

River Lledr

The rivers came up on Sunday, after an evening of rain - the first time for a couple of weeks. A group of us ran the Lledr in the afternoon. This is a fun river that has every grade from II to VI, though we decided to give the grade VI a miss.
It must of been the first time in 3 weeks that North Wales received a useful amount of rain, not something you expect in November.

Sunday, 11 November 2007


Winter will soon be upon us. I heard that there was a sprinkling of snow in the Cairngorms today. Although snow was forecast for Snowdonia too, none materialised.

Sea 2 Summit will be running a full range of winter walking and mountaineering courses up in Scotland this winter. These will start in January, unless the conditions come in sooner.

White Water Course

The other day I took Will and Tom on a private white water course. A day was spent at Mile End Mill where they both rapidly improved from novice river runners to being able to surf in the bottom stopper.
Hopefully next week we will receive some rain to allow some personal paddling to be done on the local rivers.