Vivian Quarry iPhone App on iTunes

Well it has finally arrived, the vivian quarry taster app is now available to download for free via iTunes. It is the result of a great collaboration between myself and the programmer and climbing coach Steve Golley. Despite only meeting face to face once, we have managed to piece together the app and make it a great resource for climbers.

The main app will follow along in time, I am not going to put a date to this, as guidebooks printed or on the phone are a bit like british rail in that they have a tendency to never arrive on time. If you like the app, then it would be great if you could ‘like’ us on facebook, similarly it would be nice of you visited us at as you will be the first to know of the other apps that are being put together.


Work and Web Design

Well, I have had a few days working, one day for the Conway Centre doing an indoor climbing session with a group of kids, follow by spending this weekend at Plas Y Brenin. I delivered a ML Refresher course for the Brenin. These are always good courses and I much prefer them to assessing.

We covered much of the syllabus over the two days, from Nav to the environment to steep ground and rope work. We also spent a short time giving each person some individual feedback on where they are and where to go and what to do next.

After I finished on Sunday, I came home and fell asleep on the couch, only to wake up in time to head to the climbing wall. To say I was sluggish was the biggest understatement of all times. Still a good session considering how tired I was, I think going out in Bangor to the Noodle Bar for tea didn’t help.

Anyway in between all this work, I have been trying to teach myself some basic programming, so started with a little PHP and HTML. So I made a new website for my domain Snowdonia Mountain Guides, based on hand coding my own CSS, HTML and PHP files. Hopefully you like what you see, and hopefully it is better than the old site, although it is a step away from using wordpress to design the site.

I am pretty happy with the layout, I probably need to go through it and check for mistakes, it is however a starting point for me learning a little more about the magic code that makes this interweb and computors work, albeit the shallow end of the pool!

Hope you like it.

RIP: Steve Jobs

I opened my internet browser, whose home page is set to Apple, their front page had changed to the news that Steve Jobs, one of Apples founders had past away. My thoughts go out to his family and friends. I have spent a lot of time over the last 10 years using the products he helped develop, and will hopefully go on using them for years to come. Here’s an obituary from BBC news, for one of the leading technological innovators of our times.

I noticed there was a prominent chair empty and reserved at the keynote speech on Monday, I am guessing that it was reserve for the great man himself. RIP Mr Jobs.

Just in Case you Missed it! Apple’s Keynote

As a dedicated Mac head, I have managed to watch about 1 hour of the much hyped Keynote speech, that Apple made today. There is a video of it here, if you to need to know just how dominant the Apple brand is in the world we live in.

Apps for mac devices are selling at 1 Billion a month! (Not that I have an interest in this  :-)). I haven’t even got to the iphone 4s part but I already want one! 10 days to wait till they are available in the UK.


New Website: How to Climb Harder

Well, I have finally got an independant website to help advertise my book, ‘How to Climb Harder’. Hopefully it will help market the book, although it is only a small site, and will take a wee while for google to get hold of it.

Have a look round, I expect there there are some typos and smell pistakes in there. If you like the book and have a website, blog, facebook or twitter account it would be great if you could link to this new site.

The Taster App on its way

Well, the iphone app is coming along nicely, Steve has emailed me say that it has been sent off the Apple for approval. So hopefully next week it will be available in the App store?

I guess I should let you know what the app is going to feature, starting with the cold hard facts.

Number of routes: 666 (no that’s just a coincidence!)
Number of Topos: 140

This guidebook app includes several major areas which are


Amazing aerial photo-topos, see gogarth like you have never seen it before.

Gogarth HS and below 4 routes
Gogarth VS to E1 42 routes
Gogarth E2 to E4 25 routes
Gogarth E5 to E6 4 routes

Llanberis Pass

All major crags covered save for Cryn Las and Lliwedd. These may appear in later generations of the guide if the smart phone screens improve enough to cover these massive crags.

Llanberis Pass HS and below 25 routes
Llanberis Pass VS to E1 62 routes
Llanberis Pass E2 to E4 18 routes


An extensive guide, featuring all the new easy sports routes, with over a staggering 300 routes covered, as well as nearly all of the most classic lines.

Slate 5 and below 20
Slate 5+ to 6a+ 53
Slate 6b to 7a 38
Slate 7a+ to 7c+ 27
Slate 8a and above 8
Slate HS and below 1
Slate VS to E1 41
Slate E2 to E4 96
Slate E5 to E6 26


We have yet to get Wrysgan and Clipiau online yet. This will be one way the guidebook will grow should it prove popular.

Moelwyns HS and below 14
Moelwyns VS to E1 5

North Wales Limestone

This is a mere taster, as local activist have put together a complete app, available shortly through

North Wales Limestone 5 and below 2
North Wales Limestone 5+ to 6a+ 12
North Wales Limestone 6b to 7a 9
North Wales Limestone 7a+ to 7c+ 2
North Wales Limestone 8a and above 2

Ogwen Valley

A nice covering of easy classic routes. We have not covered the mountain crags of Glyder Fach and Glyder Fawr.

Ogwen Valley HS and below 59
Ogwen Valley VS to E1 29
Ogwen Valley E2 to E4 5
Ogwen Valley E5 to E6 1
Ogwen Valley E7 and above 1

Tremadog and Beyond

Sadly our crag shots for tremadog, aren’t as good as we’d like, we are waiting for the leaves to fall off the trees, and hope to have this area updated before the end of the. At present there are no routes on Pant Ifan or right of Grim Wall Area on Blwch Y Moch.

Tremadog and Beyond HS and below 8
Tremadog and Beyond VS to E1 18
Tremadog and Beyond E2 to E4 8

There will be an online website for the information as well. At present this is at it still is awaiting the intergration with the routes and topo database.

theSend is a resource that may be of interest to any number of guidebook publishers or groups of local activists that want to make there own local guidebook for the rest of the world to share. This selective guidebook to North Wales Rock Climbing is just one of the many projects that theSend is doing. It has been a real privilege to work with Steve the designer of the functionality of the app, all I have done is enter the data. The plan is to update the functionality with free up dates, as well as add more an more routes as time goes by.

There will hopefully be a free ‘taster app’ in the app store next week. Soon after that the main app will be in the store, and for a small cost you have the entire database embedded in your phone, to search and access whether you are in signal or not!

Tremadog: 3 routes I’d never done before!

Well, the weather finally broke today, although it seemed everyone was trying to catch the last breath of summer leaving. Trying to avoid some showers we headed to Tremadog, which is always hard, as the routes seem to fit into on of the two catogories – a) Routes I have done before and b) Routes i can’t do.

So looking through the guide I remembered I had unfinished business to address on Geireagle, a ‘classic’ E3. The last time I tried it, the holds were damp, well running with water. Given they were dry today, I was glad I didn’t make it up the first crux back then.

The route follows a rampline above Obleron, which is steady away. At the top you have to move up a steep wall to gain a ledge. It is quite commiting getting up there, but nothing too bad. At this point I thought it was all over, as from the ground the groove on the left looks easy! Whilst its not desperate, the off nature feel of the climbing, means you never feel 100% sure whether you are going to manage to move up or fall off. By the final slab, I was pretty tired, but what a good route!

After that we headed to the Oakover area, a place I haven’t climbed before. Llion climbed an E2 called Blood….(something), and I climbed the E3 arete to the right, which was pleasantly technical, and with just enough gear.

Anyway, three routes, none of which I’d or we had climbed before made for a nice day out. We escaped to the Gwynant Cafe (Top Cake and Coffee), and it started raining as soon as we left the crag.