Monday, 25 July 2011

Scrambling in the Glyders

Yesterday I met up with new client James for a day of scrambling to prepare him for a trip to the Alps in September where he hopes to climb Mont Blanc. James wanted to work on his hill fitness, take in some challenging ground and get used to a bit of exposure.

With a perfect forecast we headed for the Glyderau with the aim of scrambling up Tryfan and Glyder Fach. James' fitness work in the gym (hours on the step master!) had obviously paid off as we mad excellent time to the foot of Little Gully on Tryfan's East Face. We put a rope on here and scrambled up Little Gully and into North Gully to pop out on to the North Ridge just below the summit. We paused to take in the summit and have some food before scurrying down the South Ridge and across to the North West face of Glyder Fawr. We scrambled up this by the tricky Main Gully (grade 1 in the guide but definitely grade 2!) to the summit plateau where we made the obligatory visit to the Cantilever Stone for photos. We finished the day by scrambling down the Gribin Ridge where James put into practice the route finding skills he had picked up during the day.

It was a fantastic day out in warm sunshine and I'm looking forward to taking James out for another day in August.

Little Gully, Tryfan East Face

Tryfan Summit

Main Gully, Glyder Face

Main Gully Glyder Fach

The Cantilever Stone

Learn to Lead Course - Last Day

For the last day of Louis and Jeremy's learn to lead course with The Rock Climbing Company we headed to the Ogwen vally and Clogwyn Bochclywyd. We decided that they were both ready for a bit more of  a challenge today so we started off with Marble Slab HS, which they both led in great style. They went on the lead Five Pitch Route HS in 2 pitches and 2 Pitch Route in 1 Pitch - confusing hey!
The guys have done really well and now have the skills and confidence to show up at a crag and go climbing under their own steam.
We finished the day with a short stroll to try the Idwal Squeeze - a bouldering/caving challenge which is always highly amusing!

Jeremy emerging from the Idwal Squeeze

Friday, 22 July 2011

Learn to Lead Rock Climbing Course

For the past 3 days I have been working for The Rock Climbing Company on a Learn to Lead climbing course.
After 2 days of preparation Louis and Jeremy tied on to the sharp end of the rope and led their first climbs. We made the drive out to Holyhead mountain to escape the low cloud in the mountains and were rewarded with a fine and sunny day. We started of on central slabs where Jeremy and Louis climbed D'elephant in 2 pitches which we followed up with Slippers and Hat - all good V Diffs. To finish the day off I lead up Bruvers HVS to really get there arms working.

Jeremy on The Bruvers HVS

Louis leading Hat V Diff

Louis leading Hat

Sunday, 17 July 2011

The Welsh Monsoon Arrives!

Bang on time for the first weekend of the school holidays the Welsh Monsoon has arrived. I was supposed to take client Tony out for a day of advanced scrambling but having seen the forecast we decided to re-schedule! Check out todays forecast from MWIS:

Headline, Snowdonia National Park
Severe upland gales. Considerable rainfall; local flooding.

How Windy?
West or northwesterly soon 40mph gusts 55mph and by midday on higher western hills 50 gusts 70mph.
Effect Of Wind?
Widespread considerable buffeting. On higher summits, general mobility very difficult; you may be blown over. Severe wind chill.

How Wet?
Extensive heavy rain throughout daylight
Rain off and on eastern hills. Elsewhere, particularly all hills toward the coast, incessant often heavy rain, giving falls of 1 to locally approaching 2 inches, with local flooding on paths and streams in spate.

Cloud on the hills?
Very extensive, lowest west and north
Cloud will shroud western and northern hills below 400m most of day. On eastern areas, base generally in range 500 to occasionally 750m.
Chance of cloud free Summits?
Less than 10%
Sunshine and air clarity?
Sunless. Visibility extensively very poor in heavy rain and cloud.

How Cold? (at 900m)
6 to 8C but will feel as cold as minus 7C directly in the wind.

Mental - especially the section where it suggested winchill will be -7 on the tops!!!
Sometimes you have to take the decision to not go out - no matter how far you have come. I would expect the rescue teams to be busy today.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

A Grand day out on Glyder Fach

Well its been another beautiful and warm day in Snowdonia - a great day for a walk and scramble in the Glyders! I took out regular clients Therfield School who are visiting Snowdonia for a Mountain Experience camp. Last week I was down in the Brecon Beacons supporting their Gold Duke of Edinburgh expedition and it was good to see some of the challengers in Snowdonia helping out and passing on their enthusiasm to the younger year groups.

We scrambled up the Gribin ridge then headed over to Glyder Fach for the obligatory photos on the cantilever (I cant post them here). After an enjoyable stroll down we stopped at Llyn Bochlwyd to cool our toasted feet in some chilly water before heading back to Ogwen Cottage for an Ice Cream - perfection!!