Time Off Work

Well, my May is looking like it is going to be very quiet. At the moment I am work free for a while, I did my last day on wednesday, and have been trying to keep myself occupied ever since. I have been playing around with a few ideas for another book and trying to write a few other things. But on Thursday night I went out and celebrate a work free friday.

I woke up with a hangover and a found that watching some of the royal wedding was entertaining, I guess in years to come I might be able to remember where I was. Looked like a great day. I then had a birthday party to go to, it was rich’s 50th, and the seocnd of his do’s I have been to. It seems the number of possible parties increases with each major landmark! and it just over four years till I hit 40!

Today I headed to Tremadog with a friend, I climbed Christmas Curry with the micah finish and then Yogi. Where I ran into Becky from Smart Climbing, who was out enjoying the lovely weather and awesome conditions. We of course stopped of for Ice Cream at the Bedgellert Ice Cream Shop.

Interestingly a friends has been trying to get me to enter the Snowdon Marathon again, not sure whether I’ll do it again. As this time I would have to try and break the 4 hour mark, which would require me to shave 30 secs of every mile! Who knows though maybe I’ll crumble.

ML Training for the Conway Centre

Well I have just got back in from a couple of days doing some ML training for the Conway Centre, it was the second course I had worked on for different companies that had asked if I had course provider status. This would allow me to run my own courses, and all I can say is at present I am starting the processes to see if that is possible. In that a few weeks back I sent an email to the MLT mainly to see what hoops I have to jump through, and whether they think that I am a) suitable and b) there isn’t too many providers in my areas, which is North Wales. Sadly I suspect that b) might be an issue as there are many registered course providers in the area. Either way it may well be an interesting process to go through.

Instead one of the Conway Centre staff who is a registered provider is fronting up the course and I worked day one and two of the course which was the navigation and ML ropework days. We head around Crimpau for the nav and Nant peris for the rope work. WHilst its was a bit damp yesterday, it was much better today. I also had the joy of putting together a Weather talk, for the group, and thank goodness for google images, I also found a great synoptic of what looked like the ‘perfect storm’ from the end of October 2000.

Sadly my day isn’t over yet as I have to head back out this evening to do some night navigation practice, which as the year goes on gets later and later. It won’t be dark by 9.30 tonight, so I suspect a 11 to 12pm finish. By which time I’ll be goosed.

Dinas Cromlech on a Bank Holiday

Katie looking strong on Ivy Sepulcar

It was a lovely day when I looked out of my window this morning, however the shorts I had dressed myself in seemed a littel too casual after I went out the front door and into cloudier and windier weather. The moral of the story is just like crossing a road look both ways before commiting to dressing or crossing, but preferably not cross dressing.

The plan was to head up the Pass so we did what any sensible climber should do, and help Snowdon by leaving the car at home, and getting the old Sherpa Bus up the Pass, which is now down to £1 a ride, cheapest ride in town! Although it is about to go up to £1.10. Walking into the Cromlech it didn’t look too busy, and I was hoping that the car parking issue would have kept the crag quiet, and looking up from the road I was hopeful.

Unfortunately the looking up means that a small army of climbers can hide on the many ledges, and we were surprised to see so many teams, and basically struggled to see where they have come from. We eventually plumped for Ivy Sepulcar as it looked free from traffic, only when Llion reach the ledge did he realise that there were already people on it.

A good hour wait and Liion and I point Katie at the pitch, she walked up with disappointing, ease, and I was glad they could see me struggle, although I suspect they heard the grunts as I thrutch through the crux! It was then time for us to descend back to Llanberis, where like true bums we thumbed it home, after realising that the Sherpa bus might not every turn up! Certainly not in teh 30 minutes we were waiting!

Anyway a lovely day out, the sun shone although my climbing didn’t, I think I have issues with the cromlech, I was having a lovely day until I walked past the spot where we rescued a student after a nasty fall, not to mention Tom another student who wasn’t so lucky! It sometimes seems very hard to get away from these thngs.

Someone on Left Wall

Postcards from Snowdon Summit

I mentioned a few post ago after I had been up on Snowdon and visited the summit garrison, and made a deposit in one of the Loo’s there. I was fairly amused but thought essentially the messages on the back of the doors of the Loo’s at the summit, gave some great ‘general’ environmental advice, but nothing really that would help save Snowdon from its own popularity. anyway here they are.

Help snowdon?
more gems of wisdon
I hope they aren't talking about the paper I was wiping my arse with?!
This was left about 20 metres from the summit, less than a metre from the path. No signs up there said take your own litter home!
Storms over Snowdon

Fatal Zip Wire Accident

Greenwood Forest Park New Zip Wire

I like many people can get things wrong, however in the case in question I think I was so incensed by my anger in this case that I let it over come my objectivity and for lack of a better word had a knee jerk reaction to the situation, especially when put into the context of the image I found on Greenwood Parks website. I have chosen to edit my opinions from this piece, rather than making another post.

In the weeks that have passed there has been many rumours and suggestions heading back and forth amongst the community that I move in, as to the causes of the tradegy. All of them have expressed their sadness that a poor boy lost his life. Our main aim as instructors should be to know what happened so we can prevent it ever happening again.

I edited this again after the reprecussions the post has had in my life. At times I forget that I keep this blog as a diary of my life, and whilst passing opinion on such situations is common place in the cafes, pubs and bars, this blog really isn’t the place for me to air them. I can get very carried away at times and there are some personal reasons why I believe I do that, but often they are not clear to me until I have some hindsight.

I hope that my readers and the family involved will forgive me, and I pray that the official investigation manages to explain the events of that tradgic day.

Easy Slate

Well I was about to head out this morning, and had just texted a friend when the the phoned beeped, I thought it was my friend replying to my arrangements for the day, but it was a rescue at about 10.30am, so texted the friend and headed to base. We drove up to Llyn Llydaw and fortunately watched from there the RAF pull off an amazing bit of flying to pluck someone from the second pitch of a route on Lliwedd.

So more rapidally then anticipated I was back out on the crag. I went climbing with a friend whom hadn’t climbed outside for over a year. I just can’t imagine that. So we headed up to Australia and climbed above Looning the Tube. Pretty much ticked the crag, save for teh dyno and one of teh steeper routes.

It was then round to Llion’s to leand a hand with project decking, then out for a BBQ.

Nice day lots of sun, and even more people around the area than normal!

A mixed day out

A varied day for me today, I started with a well deserved lie-in, after I suggested to my group of the first night we were camping that trying to get away at 8.30am, and them not being ready to leave by ten to nine, that they might want to considered ‘getting there shit together’ when they come back on assessment. They then proceeded to get up an hour early on thursday and we were away 30 minutes ahead of schedule. So I feel that the bed rest was well worth it.

Llion wasn’t free till three so I went round and gave him a hand doing some decking, and was going to meet another friend who’s up from pembroke for dinner, but my pager went off, so I dashed out on a rescue. A climber who had fallen off in llanberis pass. Fortunately they had managed to only break their leg, and we quickly treated them and got the RAF to pick them up.

I then headed back to Llanberis to do some climbing with Llion, Katie and Tom. Llion suggested that as the visitor Tom choose the venue, so we headed up to The Dervish slab, Llion was keen for me to make my first ascent of the Dervish this year, and despite me coming up with many excuses, from I had forgotten my bag and it was locked i the rescue base, to the fact that it was drissling as we approached the slab. No excuse seemed enough to stop the abuse that I should man up and climb.

Which I did, and was pleasantly surpirsed, as whilst not easy, it is E3, it wasn’t too hard either, and I made rapid progress. Tom and Katie climbed Last Tango and then we headed to the conscience slab. I sent Tom up Is It a Crime, whilst Llion nipped up Never as Good as the First Time. The sun finally came out and the evening was a pleasant one.

Finally my climbing feels like it is getting back to the place I want it to be!

3 day ML Training Camp

I had a great three days in and around snowdon over the last few days. We covered a moderate amount of ground but a lot of the syllabus. Starting off at Nant Peris we used the sherpa bus to get to Pen Y Pass, and then walked across to the start of the North Ridge of Crib Coch, before camping in Cwm Glas.

A little night navving in Cwm Uchaf, before getting up and heading up to Blwch Coch and onto the summit. I spent my second brief spell in the Summti Cafe, the prices don’t get any cheaper, but I did notice the words of wisdon on the back of the toilet doors. I will have to get my images of them up soon, as they are true gems, that are meant to help snowdon!

Anyway we then headed down to Cloggy, and I did some star nav course exercises whilst I sat and watched the climbers make there way up the classics. A night in the cwm and then we navigated out along the valley that leads down towards telegraph valley, in the hope that we would find the river big enough to do a river crossing. Unfortunately it wasn’t big enough to make it off putting enough, although we did go through the thoery.

It was a lovely few days and I must thank Chris Butler from outer limits explore

1/3 of All Climbing Courses in May

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The sun beat a hasty line through the curtains as the drone of the alarm brought the day into life. Gogarth was on the cards again, the plan hatched to climb the main cliff classic Nightride. A stunning looking line that overshadows much at main cliff but is hidden like a secret gem at the far end of the cliff, unless you approach via an interesting abseil.

As Llion and I drove, he started telling me tales of how the route was used as a sandbag on guide assessment courses. Another friend told of it being a hard route, and with that this great line started to grow in reputation, it wasn’t just another route now, it was a right of passage.

Abseiling in, the warm air blew pleasantly across us, and at the base the sun was only just breaking the yardarm as llion scampered up the first pitch. looking across at the amazing looking arete, weird horns, rounded dimples and steep rock abound. The route definitely didn’t look easy anymore, it was turning into the sandbag, the only thing was we had sandbagged ourselves. Well, I had sandbagged myself!

Looking out from the belay the angle had not changed, the rock definitely overhung, traversing out below whats above you forget whats below, and charge ever onwards. Around the arete, and rejoice in its slabbiness. ‘This ain’t no sandbag’ my mind says, as I work my way back across the arete to the now steep wall, the line above is obivous, the gear not, a quick side step and the world is now a nicer place.

There is still the problem of the next 12 ft to a large fang undercut, it is a target and the climbing flowed upwards to this thankful jug. Passing it with relief the crack above looms, is this the sandbag? No, sinker jams relieve the tired arms and lead onto the tiny perch on the arete. Looking down, the sea, the rock, a dolphin and then remember that your duties aren’t done there is a Llion to bring up.

Llion passes pausing at the ledge for a relax handing over of the rack, with an almost changing of the guards efficiency. Then up again to our bags, another three hours has passed, the sun moved but that boat fighting that current of north stack hasn’t! At the top we saviour the adventure, the route and those moves.

So there it is our story of becoming Nightriders, and avoid the worse form of sandbagging that which you do unto yourself! Picture to follow hopefully