Christmas Dinner

I had a great evening last night, where 18 of my friends decided to have a Christmas Dinner at the Heights Hotel. More friends turned up later, and there were over 20 of us at points. The food was fantastic as was the company.

It made a change from the day before when I did a day as Kitchen Porter in Blue Skies Bangor, peeling chopping and counting 200 roast potatoes, prepping other dishes, helping serve and then washing up for over 60 diners, meant that having someone else do all that for me, made it even better.

Hats off to the Heights Hotel kitchen staff, great meal and well presented.

Blue Ice Release New Sack

New Sexy Rucsac from Blue Ice.

About 8 months ago I approached Blue Ice to see if they would supply me with a bag for my work. They kindly sent me over the Blue Ice 45l rucsac, which I have used and abused for the last 8 months on the hill working and out on the crags playing.

It has been dragged and thrown around the sharp edges of the slate quarries, squeezed up chimneys scrambling, sat on, kicked, scrapped and occassionaly used for what it was designed for. Despite being lightweight the material has stood up to all I could throw up it.

What is really good is that Blue Ice seem to have found a UK importer in Beyond Hope, if you like there facebook page there is talk of prizes as well. Anyway more importantly is I see that there has been a new rucsac design in the minimalist design from Blue Ice. Looks really sexy, and might make a great Christmas present for someone. (See picture at the top!).

I also like the look of the double mono for big multipitch routes, as it is a rucsac come bandolier.

Gogarth Recount: 99 routes

I found my old guidebook a while back, but hadn’t updated or ticked the routes I had done recently, what this meant was that my running total for routes from the CC 1986 Gogarth guide graded list was a quick sum from a friends guidebook. Today, in trying to put off real work I ticked and then counted from my guidebook.

I have 1 more route to do at Gogarth from that graded list and I will be in the 100 club. Not sure what to get on or what to do as I should really do something that is totally amazing for my 100th route, but not sure whether or not I am ready to push myself on another Big E5 or whether I should just go and enjoy a great E3 like Infidel?

Either way, I am now psyched to get out there and try and climb one last route before the year ends. Whether or not the weather plays ball, who knows, either way I am excitied to hit 99 routes on this iconic crag.

Winter’s On It Way

Well, there is a reasonable dusting of snow higher up, with more forecast on the tops today and tomorrow. The freezing levels are set to stay low until Wednesday, when they will lift briefly, and then drop rapidally for the rest of the week.

What does this equal? Well there is potential for some winter condition for Hillwalking and possibly climbing at the end of the week and potentially over the weekend. If you are interested in a Winter Skills course then I have a lot of availability in the run up to Christmas, so if you fancy a last minute course, it is worth getting in contact and I can keep you up to date with the ground conditions, and if neccessary cancel the course at no cost to you.

Basically, I feel that the fickle conditions might stay or they might go, and charging you for a Winter Skills course when the winter has gone is just bad form. I am hanging out doing nothing other than computor work, and I am really keen to try and get some ‘proper’ work.

I have a couple of pages on my Website, one in Welsh Winter Skills, and the other Scottish Winter Skills. I have set a few dates for both, but if they don’t suit you do consider contact me direct, as I am reasonably flexible on dates, and in terms of Scotland, I am happy to travel to either the East, West or the great North West.

So if you want to learn some essential winter skills, why not book a last minute course.