Monday, 20 December 2010

Idwal Action

Today I took Mark out for his first day on ice. Keen for a well made trail, Idwal was the obvious choice. After finding some icy steps lower down to play on we headed up to climb The Ramp. This is an enjoyable 3 pitch route with a grade III section part way. As we dropped down we had a little excursion up Devils Kitchen itself before heading back to the car park.

The ice today was climbable but we could do with a bit more. Other routes that were climbed included the Screen and Devils Pasture which were also on the thin side. However water was dripping and then freezing as we climbed so a couple more days and things will be looking fat.

More photos.

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Skiing in the Carneddau

A great day on Ski Sunday. Kath, Paul, Tom, Mat and myself toured up Dafydd from Gerlan, then over to Llewelyn, Foel Grach and down. Obviously a lot of snow about. Some areas had been scoured and some hard slab had formed on the exposed parts of the ridges though still plenty of soft and enjoyable snow to ski.

Photo courtesy of Kath Bromfield.

Thursday, 16 December 2010


Tuesday I took Rajiv and Gary up Snowdon. A calm dry day, it was just unfortunate that the cloud came in as we neared the summit. Good frozen snow underfoot as we ascended the zig-zags. Trinity face looked thin but people had been climbing on slithers of snow.

Wednesday I had a look at Face Route with friends Paul and Si which unfortunately wasn't quite complete. With warm weather we opted for a slate day. There is an M8 called Ibex which provides dry tooling fun on such a day. Steep manufactured hooks gets the arms going.

Friday Snow and more snow. Ankle to shin deep outside my house in Bethesda this morning. Skiing is possible down my hill, driving is out of the question unless you have a snow plough.

Conditions? The turf seemed frozen on Wednesday before the dump of snow and the ice should certainly be reforming. Problem is without tracks the wading will be hard and lots of cleaning required to find any of the crags.

Monday, 13 December 2010

All gone (well almost)

The thaw did a good job of stripping the snow with most of the crags looking bare and black. However there are some slithers of ice still hanging in.

My friends Tom, Will and Garth found grade III ice to play on up in Nameless Cwm. I went up to the Ladders today with Si and Greg and climbed Icefall Lefthand. This was complete and in good condition taking screw runners and lots to swing at. Two other teams were on Eastern Gully and there appeared to be some good ice at its base.

Through the day the top of the crag was starting to hoar up and the turf had certainly refrozen.

More snow later this week.

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Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Winter Continues

A further 4 new routes since the last blog, there are still a few winter lines left. These included 'The Whiskey Made Me Late' V,6 up in Lloer with Paul and Dave and some winter ascents of summer lines down the Nant Ffrancon Valley with Matt and Chirs. Fellow instructor Tom Morris and Will McCormack also climbed 'Don't Forget Your Sole' III in Lloer too.

Today I went out with my Dad and his friend Norman for some ice action up Sgts Gully oh and a night ascent in Idwal and I'm looking forward to a rest while the thaw sets in over the weekend.

Photos on Flickr
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Saturday, 4 December 2010

More new routes.

On Wednesday Kath, Paul and myself climbed Oblique Gully on Glyder Fach. A great looking line that produced 3 interesting pitches of 5,6 and 4.
Yesterday I went up into the Carneddau again to climb 3 new routes - Turf Stomp IV,4; The Capstone Heel Hook V,7; and Wander Why IV, 4. All giving interesting mixed and turf climbing.

A little warmer today but with temperatures dropping again tomorrow it is only a good thing. The snow has been very light and dry with the turf frozen and ice forming quickly above 600 / 700m.

See Mountain Equipment Blog for more info.
More photos on Flickr.
Capstone Heel Hook, New Route Turf Stomp, New Route Oblique Gully, 1st Winter Ascent

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Winter has arrived

With cold temperatures there is certainly a fair few mixed routes in condition. I went out last Thursday to do a short route high up but today was much more productive with frozen turf above 700m. With Baggy I put up a new 5 pitch route "George" in Cwm Glas Bach, Carneddau which was nicely sustained around grade V.

After being keen for kayaking I have now got my head into the winter climbing - being on the River Dee with the water freezing on my spraydeck was no fun!

See Mountain Equipment Blog for more info.


Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Back to the Blog

It appears I have been neglecting it for a month or two now, still I have kept it more up to date than in previous years. Now things have slowed down and the dark evenings are upon us I'll try and get back on it.

Few photos below of Surf and Climb in Portugal, Yosemite climbing on El Cap and Washington Column and October sunshine in Pembroke.
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Saturday, 14 August 2010

July/August Update

A busy time of year with lots of different courses being run and not much time to update the blog!

July consisted of a visit from staff and friends from Connah's Quay High School - a weekend of team building and fun! Saturday was spent kayaking on the Menai Straits.
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Sunday brought heavy rain, wind and rough seas leading to a morning of sea level traversing and brighter skies in the afternoon allowing for some climbing . Thanks once again to Steff for organising the weekend.

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1st Barnston Scouts - Paddlepower
The scouts have been out for 4 days in July and August completing their Paddlepower qualification, instructed by myself, Tom and Simon (through our AALA licensed company Bryn Y Mor). They seemed to come at the best time of year with lots of water about. The boys had lots of fun paddling at different venues including Llyn Padarn, Menai Straits and Llynnau Mymbyr at Capel Curig.

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Have a look at the boys accounts of the days on their website:

Sea Kayaking trips continued during this month, with a school visit and then finally family groups showing the start of the summer holidays.

24th June Open Adventure Race
An early morning (6:30am!) start at Rhoscolyn beach was seen in preparation for the 24 hour Open Adventure Race. Organising the coasteering, myself and 8 instructors set up the course on the cliffs at Rhoscolyn. A route, which had been planned and revisited on a previous nights sea kayaking trip, with Sarah, was quickly adapted due to the force 4 winds and subsequent rough seas.
Then we sat in wait for the 120 competitors who swam across the bay to meet us. 2 hours later, after a few jumps and a lot of jelly fish the competitors moved on to the start at Rhosneigr whilst Tom and I took 2 different groups out for more jumping into the sea.
An early finish meant a visit to Y Felinheli to watch the end of the sea kayaking leg of the race, organised by James from Adventure Elements.
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For more information on adventure racing look at:

July came to an end, with a visit to St David's with the Anglesey Adventure Club organised by Jamie, from Ogwen Cottage. A keen and enthusiastic group, meant lots of climbing including a trip down to Mother Carey’s Kitchen, often called Mother Scarys by experienced climbers. The group enjoyed a variety of different routes with some personal leads notched up, by the end of the week. On those more cloudier days a trip into the sea was called for, jumping in rather than jumping off. A tiring but great week, working with enthusiastic young people.

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Started with another sea kayaking course, before I hopped on a plane to sunny Portugal.
Sarah was poised with many books ready for a long deserved rest, whilst I was sent off to entertain myself. With surf board under one arm and deep water soloing guide in the other I was happy. A week of fun, including some sea kayaking, and only the mosquito bites and hot tent which caused any problems.

Climbing and kayaking courses continued to run by Colin and Luke.

To the present day, we have just started a White Water Sea and Surf course. Today saw a visit to the Menai Straits to cover some key skills and different coaching.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Dry Rock and Full Rivers

Over the last week we have been busy with a variety of groups and schools, from white water with Barnston Scout Group and Royston School to Multi-Pitch climbing.

The rivers have all been full over the last week providing local venues for courses and early morning runs down the Ogwen before work.

Even with the rain we have also found dry rock, using various coastal crags including Tremadog, Holyhead Mountain, Orme and even over to Maeshafn near Mold on Sunday.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Tremadog and the Pass

Last week I took Tiny and Mat out climbing. They wanted to enjoy some multi-pitch routes but also begin the process of becoming independent climbers.

After a little bouldering we went up Western Slabs on Dinas Mot then with the onset of rain some belay building at Willy's Crag over in a drier Ogwen Valley.

The next day started a little wet. We went down to Tremadog and jumped on Striptease which was dry bordering on soaking wet - not an ever-dry route today. The afternoon cleared and the boys experienced their first lead on Boo-Boo and then finished the day on Yogi.