After what seemed like months of walking, actually come to think of it, it was months of walking, I returned back to Wales to work on a Welsh Winter Mountain Skills course at Plas Y Brenin. The only problem was that there was no snow, so we had to be extremely creative, and turn to the only developing glacier in Western Europe, the North Face Plas Y Brenin, AKA the Boards. On saturday we did a few skills sessions, mainly teaching the groups out how to move in crampons on the various angled railway sleepers in the woods in front of the centre.
Despite seeming artifical, these boards are extremely difficult to walk on in crampons, in fact i’d go as far to say that if you can walk on thiese boards then snow, ice or neve will be a walk in the park. I also took some bivi bags and got the group to run through the basics of ice axe arrest. As a whole group of 24 we also looked at the difference between summer and winter navigation. Before heading up some local hills for a practice of doing some head down compass work and pacing.
On the Saturday evening I did an Avalanche lecture to the group at 5.30, before giving them the edited highlights of the last six months of my life running just a few days ago. Which mean they got to see a sneaky peak at part of my LLAMFF lecture, which seemed to go down very well.
Today I head up and over Cnicht with my group, concentrating on navigation, and giving the group an idea of what they would have to be able to do n terms of interpreting contours, relocating, using bearing and pacing to find there way up, over and off a mountain. We made it down in time for a latte in the Gwynant Cafe, before heading back to the centre.
This evening I headed up the wall with the usual suspects. All I can say is that things are starting to look up, and I am not as pathetically weak as I was, although I am still weak. Hopefully now I am back and settle I can get some secret training in.