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!