March Madness: 20% off all Snowdonia Mountain Guides Courses

Snowdonia Mountain Guides - Rock Climbing Courses
20% off Snowdonia Mountain Guides Rock Climbing Courses - Symphony Cracks Rhoscolyn

I have been rather quiet on the work front and in an effort to get people to book onto courses I am offering a 20% discount on all Snowdonia Mountain Guides Wales based courses for anyone coming on a course in March 2013. We are also offering a 33% on private guiding, instruction and coaching meaning it cost £120 a day.

So if your keen to come on a climbing or mountain course then you can contact me via this page or via Snowdonia Mountain Guides.

New Home Page for iCoach Climbing

Having gotten to grips with Jquery and using various libraries I decided to have go at redesigning the home page of iCoach Climbing to make a nicer looking frontage, as well as highlight just what information the site has on it for climbers wanting to improve. So I set to work customizing div’s to make a nice mosaic and brought some information I though would be of interest to climbers to the front page.

So there is now scrollable links to the dynamic news page on the home screen and a random selection of the online articles and videos that have been added to the library feature.

There will hopefully be some adverts on the page from google adsense and amazon, which is sadly a necessary evil to monetize the site. I have mainly choosen my own books to show on this page. Although if you want to buy a coaching or climbing related book you can vist iCoach Climbings amazon store. Again a move to monetize the site.

My next plan it to revamp the profile pages more and get more information into a smaller area. I am also working on a new feature the ‘Fear Test’. Which may make its premiere in conjunction with an Article in Climber Magazine. It will help you customise your training to help address the specific way that fear effects you.


Kindle Edition: Effective Coaching: The Coaching Process for Climbing Instructors

Well, having nearly put the iCoach mobile logbook app to bed, I decided to spend some time putting the Kindle edition of Effective Coaching: The COaching Process for Climbing Instructors together. There is a full run down of the book and a few snapshots of the iPad addition of the book on a post I made last week here.

If you are an SPA, CWA or MIA trainee or assessed instructor then this book is like the manual you never got with with any of your training courses. As it actually covers the process of teaching people skills and other effective coaching tools and tips. It will  help you through the new coaching awards if you choose to follow the coaching pathway.

These coaching skills are as applicable anywhere in the world and will help you teach people any skill from how to tie a simply knot right the way through to how to perform a dyno.

It cost 8.12 as a Kindle book and £7.99 on iPad

iCoach Climbing Mobile App

I have been busy coding a mobile logging facility so people can log climbs as they climb. I am hoping that the end is in site and need a few people with different devices to test the mobile app. So if you have a mobile device that is compatible with web SQL databases (See this table the green denotes support), and it is a device I have not tested then please drop email. You will have to be a registered user of iCoach Climbing online coaching app.

So far I have tested iPhone and iPad. Be really keen for Andriod and Blackberry users.

Get in touch via here.

I Do Hope the BMC hasn’t Insured Ranulph Fiennes

Well, it seems to be over before it began for Sir Ranuplh Fiennes, after he got severe frostbit after taking his glove off in -30 C. As moves are underway to have him rescued from Antarctica a month before the real expedition which I have dubbed the worlds most extreme and ill conceived caravanning holiday before (see my post on this ‘charity expedition‘.

I also noted that the BMC lost a lot of money thanks to Bear Grylls’ broken collar bone in one of my more popular post called Bear Grylls, the BMC and US. Which resulted in a rescue that cost in the order of £200000. I just hope that the BMC turned him down for what is an rather ridiculous publicity stunt for the teams numerous corporate sponsors.

A spokesman for the exped said,

“In seeking to reattach his binding he felt that he couldn’t get it on and had to take his glove off in very cold conditions and exposed his hand to snow and as a consequence he has contracted frostbite.

“After five years of preparation, a small slip like this and a few moments can undermine the most meticulous preparation.”


Castell Helen: More Classic Rock

The good weather continued today, but I had to take the day off to do some typing. However I did manage to get out yesterday and climbed a random line on Castell Helen. I started from the niche on the left and traverse all the way right across the lower wall below the girdle and finished up near the arete onto the ledge.

Our plan to do NW passage was scuppered by seepage. So Tom finished up Rap. We then went back down and Tom lead Blanco or something around that area. It was a great day and nearly T-shirt weather out of the wind on the crag.

Not sure what I am doing tomorrow.

A History Lesson on the Slate

My job requires me to be diverse, ask questions, observe and try to find out just what my clients want even if they don’t realise it. With adults it is often easier as they have a real idea of what they want to get out of a day. Climb this route, lead that route or just consolidate skills.

Today I was working for the Brenin on a private rock course for two young lads. Whilst we went out climbing and taught them a little refinement to their technique and had fun. One of them was doing a project on Victorian Britian and we were stood climbing in one of the biggest relics of that period, the Slate Quarries.

It was a great opportunity to share with him the stories of how these quarries became to be owned by two people through the enclosures act. Then how those owners got involved in the Slave triangle, right the way through to one of the owners locking the gates of the quarries for two years in an attempt to employ his workers outside the new Health Act (the UK’s first HSE laws).

After we finished our climbing in the sun, we walked back and I took these two lads to a winding house which still have the break on it and ask them how they thought the device was made. Going on to explain that there was a blacksmith in LLanberis that made all of the components, right the way down to the nails. As there was no B&Q at the time. We then nipped down a tunnel with the railway still in place to get a view of Austrailia and they loved.

Education outside the classroom is a great thing to be involved in, even if it is only in a secondary role to the main climbing activity. That though is my job whether it is on a hill walking or at a crag climbing. There are parts of history, geology, geography or science that whilst not essential add to the days experience.

So whilst I was gutted to miss out on climbing the Moon on Yellow Wall today. I do have to pay my bills somehow!

Tremadog Classics

Was out today with Lakey again we climbed, well he climbed Weaver and Snake, owing to the fact I have done these routes many times before and he hadn’t. So seemed selfish to blow his onsights.

Weaver is perhaps one of the best E2s around and is a big pitch that goes direct up from the first stance on Vector. It is steep and interesting climb whose crux is that damn groove at the top of Vector. I challenge anyone to find it easy, its seems to get harder every time I climb it.

After that I sent Si up Snake a hidden gem that is the easiest if somewhat intimidating way to get onto the vector headwall, where you traverse past Vois and into the top of cream in an absolutely mindblowing position.

We ran into Robin, Sheila and another climber on Grim Wall, great to catch up as I hadn’t really seen them since Porth Ysgo and they were as upbeat as ever. Although it is hard not to be in this weather.

I took some topos for the far end of Tremadog and will add them to the North Wales Rock App tonight. We did have 745 route in the database, so will be getting close to the 800 mark soon.

Off out tomorrow, we shall have to see what happens as to where we go although I fancy some Gogarth action!

More Photo’s From Today….

Getting ready to climb Pull My Daisy, Rainbow Slab

I have almost lost count of the number of photo shoots I have been involved with on the Rainbow slab the snappers. These include Ray Wood taking the last cover guide for the Slate guide with Leo on Bungles, I was heroically holding the ropes, Ironically I also made it onto the cover of the latest guide doing the same for Pete Robins.

The same day I was out with Pete on the Quarryman, we headed down to get some pictures of Released from treatment. I was rather unfit or so I thought so suggested Ian Parnell went wide and expect some big air. As it was I raced across the top ptich so quickly he barely had any time to hit the button.

I did take big air for Dave Simmonite deliberately falling off the crux of Cystitus By Proxy and also climbing up and down the run out section of Pull My Daisy about 5 or six times. I have also taken my fair share of pictures there.

Today we ran into a snapper for a local village who was out getting some more images. It keeps him out of the house long enough to avoid the wife apparently! He stayed around and snapped Simon on Pull My Daisy. He has a small single page website with some pf his work at ephemeral photography. I have to say a massive thanks to pete for letting us have the images and so quickly, as I know the pain of lightroom post precessing. It can longer than you think.

So a selection of Pete’s images are below. All of them are his copyright and are posted with permission here.

Not a pretty site a close up of my ear as Si climbs Pull My Daisy on Rainbow Slab.I thought he was quite composed on the lead, this says otherwise! Pull My Daisy, E2 Rainbow Slab
The essential boot clean pre-crux! Rainbow Slab.
Running it out to the Moon at the top of Pull My Daisy, Rainbow Slab, DInorwic Slate
The iconic rainbow slab in fantastic sunshine today. Simon by the shot hole failling to get a runner on Pull My Daisy

More Slate and Sunshine

Simon Lake on Pull My Daisy one of the best E2's in North Wales

I can see a theme developing without my realising it. Slate, Slate and more slate. It is certainly premo conditions up there at the moment. We headed out early to catch the morning sun on the Rainbow Slab area. We managed to tick all the Bella Lugosi Slab routes (Horse Latitudes, Bella Lugosi is Dead, Alive and Kicking and Catrin). All of these are really good routes and around the E1/2 or F6a+ mark, often with a little bit of a run out between bolts.

As we did the last few rotues we were joined by a photographer from Rhwlas, he took a few snaps and then followed us round the corner where Si lead Pull My Daisy, perhaps the best route on slate for the grade and certainly a route that is up there for a best in Snowdonia.

Having made rapid work of 5 routes each, we had to admit to ourselves that despite the perfect weather and dry rock that our feet were sadly not used to being crammed into small places and then expected to stand on micro edge after micro edge. So we escaped to Pete’s Eats as if we were some early slate pioneer returning triumphant from another foray into the convent danger of the quarries.

Hopefully we’ll get some more photos soon from the guy we met, and hopefully he’ll let us share his work with you here.

Si Lake climb Catrin, a route I did the first ascent of with Llion after I spotted the line just after his first child was born.