New The Send Topo app for Prilep Bouldering in Macedonia


I have to say that I love my job, I have spent the last few days proof reading the final sections of three books. Yes three, one on Avalanche Awareness for Mountaineers, One of   the coaching process for climbing coaches and of course the Brief History, Science, Culture and Technology of Climbing. All are nearing the final stages for completion and will be available on iBook for iPad first before I roll them out elsewhere, although none will be ready for christmas if I am honest.

Other than that I have also been keeping up to date with Steve at TheSend to see what delights they have in store. Given my North Wales Rock App has been out for a year, there are still a few other areas that are currently being worked on and brought to completion. Inparticular North Wales Limestone for which there is a free lite preview.

The latest smart phone app guidebook is for an area in Macendonia called Prilep, it featured a while back on UKClimbing as a friday night video. The area looks great and having just thumbed through the guide I am keen to get out there for a look. The guide comes with all the usual app features if you want to see what those are there are free lite versions for all the apps, the Prilep guidebook app only cost £2.99 as well. Steve has mentioned the possibility of heading out there early next year.

It certainly appeals to the more adventurous spirit in me as bouldering destinations, as I have yet to venture into what was once the eastern block other than to climb on the awesome czech sandstone pillars. As such the mix of climbign and culture are a real appeal to this area and hopefully other climbers will think the same and turn this place into an alternative to Font, although teh climbing looks more like some I have seen at Bishop.

Hopefully by then I will have gotten those books off my back and be focusing on new projects and of coruse revitalising old ones, like adding another update for the North Wales Rock app probably ready for early next year, as well as finishing the chapters for RockFax.

Stuart’s Scratch Card and Quantum Theory

I have a friend called stuart and last night he was telling me about his scratch card, for the sake of the arguments below lets say the card cost £3 and he can either win £0 or £300000. To him it is worth more unscratched than scratched, as the thought of maybe having £300000 in his pocket is of greater benefit than knowing either way whether he has won or not.

This got me thinking about Schrödinger’s cat which is a thought experiment that attempts to help people understand Quantum Theory where a quantum particle can be one thing or another, but by measuring it you alter it. As such it revolves a cat in a box and potentially lethal dose of radiation. As such the cat is simultaneously dead and alive, we cannot know unless we open the box.

What I am suggesting is that Stuart’s Scratch Card is the modern equivalent of Schrödinger’s cat, although I am no physcists so I not sure if it is a modern version of Schrödinger’s cat or not. Any budding Einsteins think I am write or wrong or am I both at the same time?

Major Flooding in Llanberis

The major flood caught by Joe Browns stolen by me (click photo for link). The Black car is a friends parked outside another friends house. Sad TImes

Flooding in Llanberis sorry but I stole it from Joe Browns. The black car belongs to a friend parked outside another friends house! Sad times!

I was indoor route setting in the beacon, when at about 2pm I was ask where I lived in Llanberis, as much of it was under water. I instantly headed to Facebook and saw some awful sights. I eventually got home to a thankfully dry house, but my heart goes out to my friends who weren’t so lucky.

A usually small stream that runs down the side of the Hights Hotel via a bridge that means it usually flows out of sight and out of mind, burst over a 3ft high wall that is usually 6 foot above the normal water level. The result was a deluge onto the high street. With Petes Eats and the Doctors at either end of teh high street being lower the water rushed both ways and cause major damage to many homes and business.

A close friends house will probably need the entire ground floor stripping out as will many other houses. Another friends car nearly got washed away. I went to check on my friends and the high street is carnage.

Absolutely shock. in this video 3.40 minutes into it you’ll see how high the water was as it poured into the high street. I suspect as the weather is moving west more flooding for the rest of the UK is in the pipeline.

Just like to say thanks to Joe Browns for hopefully letting me use there image?! There facebook page is here if you want to like it.

I should also link to Boulder Adventures as the owner was out helping people who were being flooded today. There facebook page is here. My friends say thanks Dave.

Money Back Guarentee on Welsh Winter Skills Courses

I am being quite optomistic, but given the weather this year I am hoping that like a few years ago Wales gets some great early season conditions. Two year ago we had great conditions throughout Novemeber and December. As such I am taking bookings for either witner skills of guided days out in wales between November and Decemeber.

To book on these courses we still need a deposit, but I will offer your money back should the conditions not appear. Thats right a money back guarentee on winter skills courses in Wales up until the start of 2013.

You can find out more about my winter skills courses at Snowdonia Mountain Guides Winter Skills Courses.

Odessey: Video Review

I mentioned this film a week or so ago, and last night it went live for 10days of free viewing pleasure. So this morning I took my time to watch and see what HotAches latest offering was about.

The films concept is simple get four great climbers to attack some of the UKs most celebrated climbs in one roadtrip. The climbers are of course important in any climbing film as they can add depth and character to the action that fills the screen. The entoruage includes two of Britians most accomplished trad climbers James Pearson and Hazel Findlay alongside Hansjorg auer and Caroline Ciavaldini.

Whilst James and Hazel need no introduction it is the getting to know both Caroline and Hansjorg that I really like about this film. Caroline comes across well as a sport climber who is quite literally learning the ropes when it comes to trad and what a quick learner she is. Bringing the kind of grit and determination that see her through some impressive ascents during the film as we witness her come to terms with the strangeness of British Trad climbing.

Whilst Hansjorg brings a different look at trad climbing in the UK, as he has no preconceptions brought about from years of history of these famous climbs that he dispatches with comparitive ease. Including a flash/onsight or whatever you want to call his ascent of Strwberries at Tremadog. Style pendants might say that due to the amount of chalk from the other three climbers who attempted the route might have made it easier to climb in the style he did, but he did climb it in style non the less.

For me the highlights of the film were certainly from all the climbing they did in Wales. Which in my opinion stole the show between North Wales and Pembroke. Another impressive sight from just over the welsh border was Nesscliffe where James Pearson cruised his way to onsighting My Piano. Again any pendants out there who complain about the holds being chalked have probably never climbed there, as you really need to have someone abseil and brush the dust of the holds before you climb. It really does make the routes the grade they are as the sandstone is so soft that any rain just washes new dust into and onto the crucial holds, so without brushing these route are much harder.

Hazel gave a lot to the film in her pieces to camera and especially her giggles of nervous joy having falling off. Although seeing as she is such a talented climber, she often cruised the routes she did. Seeing her walk up Sixpence in the lakes was inspiring stuff.

I really liked the film, it might not be the best climbing movie I have ever seen, but it got me psych to get training this winter, although that might be my tennis elbow starting to sort itself out. However I am not sure how Paul Diffey and HotAches could follow up a two great films like The Pinnacle which has inspired me to climb some of those classics on the Ben and The Long Hope. For another 8/9 days it is free to stream online and half price to by a download you can keep or DVD.

To get the free stream you need to go to the HotAches website and give him your email to unlock the film. If you do share the link on Facebook, twitter or social media channel of your choice.

Death of the Outdoor Education Industry: Continues…

I have over the past two years now given various updates and thoughts on the death of the outdoor education, inparticular highlighting that it is struggling ion the financial climate of cut backs and austerity. This week apparently North Wales lost another Local Education Authority Outdoor Education Centre, Aberglaslyn Hall, a part of Leicestershire OEC, they also recent annoyance the closure of another centre in England Quorn Hall.

There is a new item from local new paper from a few days ago here.

On top of this there are already several centres who are under real threats of closure, and there is a rumour going round that another of the North Wales LEA centres that was formally operated under a local authority has been sold to a private firm (Think PGL or Acorn Adventure). Although this is just still a rumour. I have cover the difference between what I describe as real outdoor education done well by people trained specifical to enhance educational benefits to the outdoor holiday market, in a post about Outdoor Education.

Hints I am getting from other quarters is that times are still well and truly tough, with some friends and ex-colleagues feeling so strongly about their future that they are for the first time becoming members of trade unions, why? So they can united against the management to argue pay and conditions with one voice rather than individuals.

Free Coaching Sessions

If you would like a free coaching session at the beacon climbing centre, then as part of the BMC Cymru/Wales fun day/AGM I am offering two session. You need to book through the BMC. There is a page about the fun day here.

Those sessions are going to be based on coaching movement where I’ll get you to climb and analyze your climbing before developing some plans for you to improve your technique. As such they aren’t for beginners.

If you would like a session on fear of falling then Rebecca from Smart Climbing will also be running a couple of sessions on that.

Have you ever had an injury that mad you stop climbing?

Like the title says, have you ever had an injury or set of circumstances that radically effected the amount of climbing/physical activity you could do? If so please either post a comment at the bottom, if you don’t want it published just say and I won’t make it live, or email me.

In those comments I’d like to know how it effected your feelings or mood.

Cheers, its for so stuff on my book.


I have just had a phone call from Doug Scott

One of the pictures on its way to Doug.

To many of todays wall bred climbers Doug Scott, might not be a well known climber/mountaineer. However to me he represent an icon who pushed hard routes up himalayan peaks, but he was also author of a favorite book of mine that I have only ever seen a couple of copies of Big Wall Climbing.

I was down stairs working on my own book trying to do battle with the motives behind why we climb, so missed his call. So when I went upstairs I had a message from an unknown number, as I heard it I was taken aback as it was none other than the mountaineering legend himself, asking if he could have some of the photos I took of Sir Chris Bonnington on the summit of Snowdon when he took the Olympic torch to the highest point in England and Wales. The answer was of course he could as it is part of a fundraising campaign for Community Action Nepal.

The photos are part of a closed bid auction for Sir Chris Boningtons Olympic Torch, as part of the winning bid you get one of those photos signed by Sir Chris. They are hoping and expecting the torch to raise between £8000 – £12000 for Community Action Nepal. If you have that kind of money hanging about you can make a sealed bid via their website here.

The process ends on 14th November next week when the winning bid will be revealed.

Odessey Trailer and free download for 10 days

Paul from Hot Aches posted some news last week about his plan for his latest film Odessey. As well as realise it onto DVD he is premiering the film at the works and across the interweb free of charge for ten days from 10th November. It is a really brave step forward, but I think in the long run he could potentially change the way that film are financed.

The reason I think this is that take red bull and felix baumgarten, he had 8 million LIVE view on the internet. Thats live views, after that there were hits from YouTube and global news that was dominated by this. Whilst I don’t think he will get 8 Million viewers in those first ten days of free downloads. I imagine it could be counted in the tens of thousands, who knows he might reach hundreds of thousands.

Each of those viewers will be a climber, so imagine the nbext time he makes a film and turns to sponsors and says, I want to make a film that is free for download, its going to include four or your sponsored climbers. My last film got x thousand viewers. What is that worth to you as a sponsor? For the big companies the like of The North Face, Berghaus, Mtn Equipment, Mtn Hardware it must sure be worth more than a few thousand pounds. Given that Berghaus recently not only made adverts for cinema but TV as well, and TV adverts just for the air time don’t come cheap. Hit up a couple of other sponsors for slightly less and what you have is a way to fund films. Sell a Blu-ray version for the ultra hi-def fiends and the future is intersting.

Then again it might just be an experiment to see if he can get more sales.