Free Performance Profiling

Well, I have had a couple of people come through and beta test my performance profiling app on my website. It seems to be working so if you’d like to give it a go then you can register and login to the site here.

At the moment the site allows you to complete a performance profile, that highlights your five weakness, and suggests that you spend the next month working on these five performance attributes, before recompleting the performance profile, to see if you have improved in those areas during your months focusing on those aspects.

The next step for me is to add some training logbooks, and after that some graphs to allow a more visual comparison of paired results and logged training over time.

If you do use the site, I would be keen to here any feedback.

Merry Christmas

Well, I’d just like to take this oppotunity to wish all my readers a Merry Christmas. I hope you get what you want for Christmas. I am constantly amazed that people venture over cyberspace and visit my little blog. I wish I could give you all a christmas present!

Enjoy the cheesy chrimbo telly, that christmas day bloated feeling, the meat sweats from too much protein and of course the odd hangover of two.

App Review

“I think this is by far & away one of the best iPhone based guides I’ve seen to date. Steve has done an excellent job. There are a couple of spelling errors (forgivable) but this is completely outweighed by the superb imagery, detailed & comprehensive route descriptions & interface with google maps.

This will work as an excellent tool to choose venues & also when you forget your ‘actual’ guide.”

Was great to read, I have worked on those spelling mistakes, as well as added two new areas and around 60 more routes to the guide, and new topos. The update should be out early in the new year, as Apple have gone on holiday! There’s a link on the top right of this page!

Beta Tester required!

Well, I have manged to code together my little online app for profiling your climbing performance. The idea is that the process helps you identify 5 areas to focus your training on over the following four weeks, before coming back and re-scoring the profile to see if you have made any improvements.

You can then redo the profile from scratch, and start the process again. It is an adaption of how sports scientists try to focus athletes training over short cycles. It has been designed to be used with my book How to Climb Harder, as many of the lessons within that book correspond to the attributes.

If you enjoy climbing, and dabble in a bit of training and would like to help me out by testing the site for me. I can email you a link. All I ask is an email back saying how you found the site. There are various things I want to add to the site, to make it a better tool for training, but at the moment, it functions as a nice littel app.


Day in the Snow

Dark Clouds surrounding Meol Siabod

I had a late start, and then decided to head out into the hills. After driving up the pass and deciding Snowdon was perhaps too big a day out for a short walk, we head to Capel and Moel Siabod look great, so we decided to head round the back and take the south ridge.

I think we made a great choice, as we managed to catch some of the sun, whereas just over the road in the Carnedau it was black, as was the coast, and some how we managed to slot between these two areas of poor weather. I have to say after hearing the news last night about the avalanch in teh Glyders, I was pretty cautious, and did notice a weird snow near the top of the ridge.

Basically is was really poorly bonded snow that basicaly collapse under foot, and simply fell apart. When loaded a little, although it sounds like the incident in Ogwen was a cornice collapse, and there was even a conice on Siabod, I guess these strong winds we’ve had have help them form.

Anyway it was a nice day, although still lots of unconsolidated snow about, and given the warm spell we are promised next week, we’ll probably lose the snow soon. There are a few piccies as well, taken with my iPhone, which I am reasonable please with.

Heading up the start of the ridge
Rainbow over Siabod

Christmas Present Ideas for Rock Climbers

Some of the ideas for Climbers this Christmas

Hi All

If you are struggling to think of some ideas for a climber this christmas, then might i suggest one of the following;

How to Climb Harder (Self coaching book) from Pesda Press £15.99

iPhone Guidebook to North Wales Climbing from theSend £5.99

Winter Skills Courses from Snowdonia Mountain Guides from £140 per day

Rock Climbing Courses from Snowdonia Mountain Guides from $140 per day

Hope you have a great Christmas and New Year.

Winter Skills Courses

Winter Skills Courses

Last year I was lucky enough to have an absolutely cracking winter season, mainly based up in Scotland trying to tick as many classic Mountaineering days out as possible, and at the same time get my Winter Mountain Leader Award. All that preparation and the years of experience I have mean that this year I am offering a selection of Winter Mountaineering and Winter Skills courses that will help you become confident and competent to venture into the British Mountains in Winter Conditions.

So what do the courses offer?

Well a variety of Winter Skills Courses and guided classic routes in both my now native Wales and Scotland. In Wales we can pick the best routes that are in condition and are appropriate for your training needs.

On the courses we can focus on either you learning the key winter skills of the use of ice axes and crampons; Route finding and navigation in winter; Using a rope to get yourself out of a tricky situation; and even the construction of emergency shelters.

Alternatively you might have a mountain peak or route that you want to summit, and focus a couple of days of getting you there.

During the course we will also cover the practical assessment of avalanche risks and how to avoid triggering one through observations both before we leave for a day in the hills and what we see on the way which may us make ‘real’ decisions to turn back or divert around potentially hazardous areas.

Where are the courses based?

The welsh winter courses are based out of my home base of Llanberis, this gives us great opportunities to head out all over the Snowdonia mountain range and find the types of terrain that will help teach you the skills you need to conquer your own challenges in the Winter Mountains.

Our Scottish based courses can be based anywhere across the Scottish Highlands. Whether you want the easy access of the Cairngorm corries or the rugged beauty of Glencoe and Fort William. If its true adventure into the remote North West, then we can head up to Glensheil or Torridon. Again we can chat about what you want to achieve and select a area that will help you reach those needs.

Either way I can advise you on places to say, and even book you into the same hostel or B&B as myself. Making sure that we get the most out of our stay.

For more details visit: Snowdonia Mountain Guides

Some links to typical days out from last season to give you some ideas!

Carn Mor Dearg Arete

Glencoe – Buachaille Etive Beg

The East Ridge of Ben A’ Choarian

Three Days in the Cairngorms

A day in the Mamores

Forcan Ridge – Glen Shiel

Some Torridon Images

Some Welsh Winter – Cwm Glas Bach

Welsh Winter – Crib Coch

My Top Ten Winter Days out in the UK

PHP and Climbing Coaching

Most people who drop into this blog will be aware that I have been rather quiet on the work front. People that know me well, and you might be able to gauge this from my online witterings, that I find it hard to sit down and do nothing. Whilst I will say to people that I haven’t been up to much the truth is something very much different in that I have spent the last few months trying to learn to programme a computer.

The reason why I have wanted to do this is that I have wanted to make a more interactive website that combines my love of web2.0 and coaching climbing. My first project is to make a site where you can register and login in, before going onto add you current performance, and complete and online performance profile. I have succeeded in many of these aspects, and only have a few more bits and pieces to develop.

Performance profiling is a process that many sports scientist use when they are coaching an athlete or team to look at the aspects of performance and rate those aspects and attributes against where you ideally want them to be compared to where you actually see them at the present time.

The descrepancy between the ideal and the actual scores, lead to highlighting the most important things to train over the coming training period, usually a month.

I have been trying to automate this process, and over the last months and weeks have been getting closer and closer to finishing a mini site, that does this. The idea of the site is to help people focus their training and practice, and potentially make a few more training protocols, features and functions.

The reason I want to have people register is to allow me to gather information on training behaviours and what climbers precieve as there training needs. If I start putting on training protocols then there is also the potential to see what effect these have on climbers performance, given the dearth of research into training protocols and climbing it might prove very enlightening.

I would be keen to hear what you guys think about a coaching website? Hopefully I’ll get it online for all your new years resolutions.