Wednesday, 22 December 2010

More Skiing Photos

Amazing Welsh Skiing!!!

What an amazing day!! Bryn, greg and myself skinned up from Deiniolen up on to Elidir Fawr through perfect fresh snow (greg walked as he's a boarder!) We then had a short run down the other side to test the snow which was over the knee powder! So we put the skins back on a hiked to the tope of Foel Goch and had an awesome run down into the valley followed by a wade out to Nant peris. The skiing was simply awesome - better than Chamonix last week. I'm a bit sore now after a good tumble on the descent... no pain no gain! We definately earned our turns today!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Chamonix ski fun

I'm just back from 8 awesome days out in Chamonix with friend Bryn of Mountain Leader Training Wales. It was my first time skiing in the Chamonix valley and I was blown away by the terrain and scenery. We were slightly limited it what we could do as the snow wasn't in great condition for high level tours and not all the lifts had opened yet. We got loads of off piste action on the Grands Montets and hunted around for nice powder in the woods. Great fun especially when I remembered how to ski and stopped falling over! We also had a great skin up to the Col de Balme at the top of Le Tour ski area. We got to the col just as the sun started to dissapear behind the mountains and set on Mount Blanc - awesome. What had tacken us nearly 3hrs to skin up took 5 minutes to descend! I'll definately be back for more action!!

View to Mount Blanc from the slopes of Courmayeur

Preparing for the descent from Col de Balme

Off piste action on the Grands Montets

Posing at Le Tour

An afternoon skin at Le Tour

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Back to a very snowy Snowdonia

I finally made it back from Chamonix after an epic drive. Still had time to get out for a bit of welsh skiing this afternoon! Awesome powder here but didn't have time to get into the hills so I just skinned up from the house up toward Marchlyn reservoir and had a gentle run down in the late afternoon sun.

I'll put some photos and video from Chamonix up in the next couple of days.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Testimonial from Olli

I've just received this email from Olli who I took out for 2 days sport climbing in El Chorro.

I went out for a couple of days instruction with Rory during my stay in El Chorro. Coming from a bouldering background I had experience on rock but had never climbed routes. Within a couple of days Rory taught me the basics of sport climbing and built my confidence level up enough to get me on lead. He was very good at judging my skill level and with his laid back friendly attitude I never felt out of control or pressured. I tapped into his huge wealth of technical knowledge which he was always happy to share clearly and concisely. He also made efforts to introduce me to other climbers and potential partners in the area, which I really appreciated. I would highly recommend Rory to new or seasoned climbers alike.

Winter in Snowdonia

Whilst I'm spending my last few days out in El Chorro (in the rain) Jen has been making the most of the early winter in Snowdonia. She got out at the weekend with some friends and completed the Snowdon Horseshoe. The photos look amazing! Very Jealous. I've have now added a winter skills page to my website so if you want to make the most of the winter check it out and book on a course!

View along a snowy Crib Goch

The Snowdon Horseshoe in winter condition - looks amazing!!!

Monday, 29 November 2010

More El Chorro Photos

Well its a wet day here in El Chorro so heres a few more photos from the past few days.

Thanksgiving dinner at the Olive Branch

A good spread!

View to the cliffs of Frontales and the Poema Roca cave.

Awesome climbing on the Navigador Pillar

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Its Snowy back in North Wales

The view from my pad to Moel Elio and snowdon. Taken this evening!

Whilst I'm sat in the rain in El Chorro the weather back home in Snowdonia has turned baltic! Snow is down to 100m and the temperature is set to be well below zero on the tops for the next week. I will be running winter skills courses in Snowdonia so if your keen to get out into the snow and enjoy our winter wonderland check out my winter course page.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Olli's intro to Sport Climbing

On Saturday I took out Olli for his first taste of sport climbing. Being a proficient boulderer already meant that for the morning we focused on the basics of tying in, belaying and seconding. We then progressed on to thinking about the leading process. Olli quickly picked up how to clip the rope into quickdraws and thread the anchors at the top of the climb. In the afternoon I lead up a couple of long routes to give Olli a chance to work on his stamina!

Olli climbing a 5 in Sector Castrojo

Practicing clipping into quickdraws - a vital skill for lead climbing

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Gary takes on the Camino del Rey

In 1901 it became obvious that workers at the hydroelectric power plants at Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo Falls needed a walkway to cross between the falls, to provide for transport of materials, and for the inspection and maintenance of the channel. Construction of the walkway took four years and it was finished in 1905.

In 1921 King Alfonso XIII crossed the walkway for the inauguration of the dam Conde del Guadalhorce and it became known by its present name.

The walkway is one meter (3 feet and 3 inches) in width, and rises over 100 meters (350 feet) above the river below. It is currently in a highly deteriorated state and there are numerous sections where part of or the entire concrete top has collapsed away. The result is large open air gaps that are bridged only by narrow steel beams or other support fixtures. Very few of the original handrails exist but a Via ferrata safety-wire runs the length of the path.

More El Chorro Action

Craig climbing Arabesque 7a at Escalera Arabe

The wilds of El Chorro

The view through the gorge - climber on the classic Zepplin

Mel and Garry of the Olive Branch on the Camino del Rey

Garry struggling to come to grips with the exposure on the Camino del Rey

Saturday, 6 November 2010


View from the crag

Martin Seconding Liron Carete 7c

Its been pretty hot here the past few days so we have been seeking the shade! Yesterday I headed up to Desplomilandia - which is about 20 minutes from the Olive Branch - with Silvia, Martin and a few other guests. This was my first full days climbing since arriving so it was good to get stuck into a few routes. There's lots to go at here from 6a to 8a - and all good quality climbing. I got warmed up then managed to onsight two 7b's, which I was pretty chuffed at, then had a play on a severely overhanging 7c which gave me a good beating! Hopefully I'll get back on it tomorrow and get it done!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

El Chorro sunshine!!!

I've been out at the Olive Branch in El Chorro for 3 days of sunshine and climbing. I have been taking some of Silvia clients - The Rock Climbing Company - for an Intro climbing course.

Today I took Mark and John on the Camino del Rey to Los Cotos where we did 3 climbs. We then made the long walk back to the Olive Branch for cold beer and swimming. Awesome day!

Walking to the start of the Camino del Rey

Mark balancing along a tricky section

View back down the El Chorro gorge

Crossing the river en route to Los Cotos

Nice slab climbing at Los Cotos

Finishing the day with a swim and cold beer

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Scrambling Adventures

North Gully

Using the rope in Little Gully

Summit shot

View from Tryfan South Ridge

This weekend I was working for the Rock Climbing Company and took brothers Joe and Jamie for an Intro to Scrambling course. The forecast for Saturday was not great so we opted for some low level scrambling around Cwm Idwal. We played around on Gribin Facet and and looked at the use of emergency rope work, scrambling movement and route finding decisions. We braved the hail showers and made our way up the False Gribin Ridge before running away! Definitely a touch of winter in the air.

Sunday dawned clear and crisp and Joe and Jamie made their way, under my guidance, to the start of Little and North Gullies on Tryfan. This is an awesome and challenging grade 1 scramble that takes an improbable line up the east face of Tryfan. The guys climbed it well, resorting to using a rope for one tricky section and we made it to the summit for lunch. A leisurely descent of the South Ridge and Cwm Tryfan took us back to the road. A great day.

A Day at the Roaches

Phil on the delicate slab of Track of the Cat E5

Dave seconding The Swan E3

On my favourite boulder problem - Three Pocket Slab V3

With a good cold and crisp forecast I couldn't resist the lure of the grit so on Friday Phil, Dave and I made the trip to the Roaches on the western edge of the Peak District. The Roaches is my favourite of all the Gritstone crags as it has such variety, great rock, a beautiful outlook over the Cheshire and Staffordshire plain and it was where I first started to climb outdoors as a teenager.

Gritstone is an amazing medium to climb on. For those not use to its subtle nuances (thats me) it can at times feel desperate and frustrating but when it all comes together it gives an amazing climbing experience. The key with gritstone is the friction - its amazingly grippy, especially when its cold. Climbs are often insecure with few positive holds so faith in the friction is paramount - if you don't believe you feet will stick to the rock then they wont!

I climbed the classic Elegy E2, a route which I have aspired to climb since I first visited the crag. It features a run out up a holdless slab at the top of the climb - if you keep you head and keep the faith you will be rewarded with one of gritstone most elegant routes, if you don't then prepare yourself for a 10m cheese grating slide back down then slab! Brilliant