A fine specimen of piste bashing!

A fine specimen of piste bashing!


A vertical panorama from the highest point in the 4 Valleys ski region

A vertical panorama from the highest point in the 4 Valleys ski region


FinsteraarhornMont Gelé - this way!Thanks goodness there's a track here!Gentianes bowl
L'éteygeonAiguille a BochardPanorama from Aiguille a Bochard 2766mPanorama from Aiguille a Bochard 2766mPanorama from Aiguille a Bochard 2766mTelecabine above the Aiguilles Rouge & a temperature inversion creeping in
Telecabine above the Aiguilles Rouge & a temperature inversion creeping inPanorama from Aiguille a Bochard 2766m, looking SWChamonix from the Grands Montets, The Aiguille a Bochard, 2766mAiguille du Midi, Vallee Blanche into Mer de GlaceView South from the Aiguille a Bochard towards Aiguille du Midi + Mer de GlacePerched on the Aiguille a Bochard ridge, 2766m
The Aiguille a Bochard ridge, 2766mGrands Montets ski area with Vallorcine/Le Tour beyondGrands Montets ski area with the Aiguilles Rouge beyondGrands Montets ski area with the Aiguilles Rouge beyondGrands Montets ski area with the Aiguilles Rouge beyondGrands Montets ski area with the Aiguilles Rouge beyond

Pre-season ski, Attelas 2727m, Verbier

Pre-season ski, Attelas 2727m, Verbier



iPad/iPhone users should be able to view this by visiting the Vimeo video page directly


17th-23rd Oct

Highlights: Directing a PYB course + HSE First Aid at Work in the Mountain Environment qualification

Summary: Short week to review; attending a Plas y Brenin course, and directing one!

Snowdon from the Llynau Mymbyr

Snowdon from the Llynau Mymbyr

Monday-Thursday

I’ve never been 100% confident in dealing with 1st aid incidents with mere 3-yearly attendances on the whistle-stop 2-day REC emergency courses. Thus I’d asked if I could attend a more thorough 4-day course which also doubles as an HSE approved Mountain First Aid at Work Qualification. Helen & Cath led the show and I was able to learn at a good pace, revisiting stuff that I’d admittedly done before yet was able to absorb more effectively. An assessment of CPR protocols and scenarios on the final day wasn’t too scary!

Friday-Sunday

Friday was the 2nd prep day for the coming weekend, on which I’d be let loose on some clients to direct the course “Discover Orienteering”. To be given this responsibility is generally outside the remit of my CA-ship, however, I was delighted to accept the challenge, and ensure I was well prepared for my two students. At 5pm, Friday afternoon, one of the students rang in to say he wouldn’t be able to make the weekend, thus leaving me to rethink and tailor my plans for some private tuition!
Saturday morning kick-off. Tony, my student, had booked onto the course in light of the upcoming OMM (Mountain Marathon) the following weekend. This was most convenient; although I was somewhat sad to stray off the ‘curriculum’, it was ideal that I’d done an OMM and could tailor the course to do some 1 on 1 navigation coaching. We quickly moved through the fundamentals of plan, scale, and relief to explore their more advanced counterparts – especially relief.
Having covered much about tactics and strategy on Saturday, by Sunday, I had Tony successfully leading me round a ‘green’ difficulty open fell course with minimal input from myself – implementing a decent amount of tactical navigation techniques along the way. We really pushed things that afternoon when we ran round some of a mock ‘mini OMM’ course on Moel Siabod, during which I could mainly shadow Tony’s progress and allow him to make decisions, confident in the knowledge that there was a safety net to fall back on.
Great experience!
That evening, I made a quick exit and drove back home to Nottingham…

10th-16th Oct

Highlights: BILBERRY TERRACE! directing an orienteering session, bought a CO2 bike pump, cheese & wine rave, long Carneddau run

Summary: A right mix – with grade 3 scrambling stealing the limelight, and healthily long runs and road biking trips…

Approaching the top

Approaching the top

Monday

This morning I was let loose with 30 kids doing some centre-based and forest orienteering. Very challenging to entertain, enthuse, capture attention, set-off, mark answers, and count in the kids, but nevertheless great fun (and they were well behaved)!
In the afternoon I joined in with some staff training on the abseil tower and in the climbing wall, and in the evening had a personal training session on the ski slope.

Tuesday

I’d promised Glyn that I’d go out with him so he could revise SPA stuff for his assessment later in the week (which he passed, woot!). After a short while at Lion Rocks, where we also met Lou with her group, we dived into Llanberis for a mug of hot chocolate in Pete’s!
In the evening, a climbing wall session – routes mainly
Pete's Eats large hot chocolate with cream & marshmallows!

Pete's Eats large hot chocolate with cream & marshmallows!

Wednesday

This morning I drove over to Chevron Driver Training to be assessed for ability in the run up to some training for acquiring my D1. This went well, and I must now do the 8 hours and test over 3 days at the end of the month!
On the way back, a cheeky stop at Tesco for some wine/chocolate.

Thursday

Not wishing to neglect the shiny road bike, I introduced it to another area of the park today down via Beddgelert and back round on the A5. On the way past Craflwyn I bumped into Rob Samuel and we had a good chat and promised to meet up on the weekend for a mountain run! The ride ended up as 2hrs 25mins, 41miles at an average of 17mph with 1000m ascent!
That evening, a cheese & wine party rave in the CA house!
Yours Truly, near Pinnacle Corner

Yours Truly, near Pinnacle Corner

Friday

A work day, preparing for directing a weekend’s orienteering course in a fortnight. Oh, and I bought a CO2 pump for the bike, it’s tiny!

Saturday

Bilberry Terrace has been on the cards for a while now. Ever since reading Scrambles in Snowdonia (Steve Ashton) for the first time C.4 years ago, I’ve regarded Bilberry to be ‘the ultimate’ in grade 3 scrambling.
It didn’t disappoint.
A glorious day presented itself in Snowdonia, very much the last (but brilliant) opportunity to make a decent summer outing for a scramble. After a slightly delayed start (Tom slept through his alarm!), we parked at Lockwood’s Lake, and made our way up the new Pen y Gwyrd – Pen y Pass path (oddly muddy in parts yet a nicer alternative to the road). A short walk in up the Miner’s Track and on to the foot of Lliwedd – already pausing to take in the immense scale of the North Face.
We had caught up with a team from Warrington who were also just about to set off up the 60ft wall – a sudden reminder of the serious terrain to cover ahead. We decided to solo on past to gain the terrace proper. Arriving at the 15ft corner, a safe solo ascent seemed unlikely, so we roped up. Tom led on and hereafter we moved together to Pinnacle Corner (where most of the photos were taken!)
Pinnacle Corner, Bilberry Terrace

Pinnacle Corner, Bilberry Terrace

The route finding is somewhat more demanding on the next section, yet not difficult – just a little awkward. We found our way past – excitingly – a handful of bilberries (surviving later in the season up here than their counterparts elsewhere) to the next spike. Heading on over stunningly exposed rock ribs, using running belays and moving together, made for a quick traverse back for 80ft or so. Nearer the top, some funky 3D climbing and a final mini-arête led us out beautifully onto the very summit of the West Peak, Lliwedd.
Only 2.5 hours on, this made perfect time for a spot of lunch, before Tom suggested a quick dash up the south screes, over Snowdon summit and back round over Crib y Ddysgl and Crib Goch. On the way down we came across the team from Warrington again who had taken a little longer on the face. Our circuit meant a lovely end to the day, gaining maximum time on the rock, all in good time for me to get back for a 6pm Bar shift at Plas y Brenin!
Solo next year? T.B.C.
P.S. it’s definitely Grade 3, no matter what UKC says ;)
N.B. the route – Outdoors Magic Guide

Sunday

Busy weekend – today Rob Samuel and I set our sights on a scramble-run from Gerlan up Cwm Llafar, up Crib Lem, over Dafydd and Llewellyn, and down via Pen yr Helgi Du to Capel Curig – 1180m ascent, 2hrs 40 mins at a leisurely pace. Most pleasant and great to be out running the mountains with Rob again, although I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to keep up with a GB Mountain Running Team member uphill :s! Tried out the new Salomon Fellcross on this run, it’s a really good running shoe off the beaten track, but don’t rely on it over anything too rocky!
"Proud to be here", West Peak of Lliwedd

"Proud to be here", West Peak of Lliwedd


3rd-9th Oct

Highlights: BMC Student Safety Seminar, road biking goodness

Summary: Chilled days off, some orienteering, climbing, and nice to be back on BMC Student Safety Seminar duties ;)

Plas y Brenin by night

Plas y Brenin by night

Monday-Tuesday

Unexpectedly I was granted the beginning of the week off owing to cars breaking down abroad (parents!). The plan had been to visit Nottingham for 2 days, alas, this became two rest days for sorting out the house; surround sound speakers were installed on the wall, UP (Pixar) was watched, room sorted etc. I also fixed a new cadence computer to my road bike; living life right on the edge ;)

Computer installed, the Glyder circuit was done in just 1hr 30m, not bad although I’m not brilliantly bike fit at present…

Wednesday

Today was another orienteering maintenance day, re-setting the courses, printing etc. Prep for SPA Thursday & Friday…

Thursday-Friday

SPA take 2, still it would seem that maybe 3rd time lucky applies quite aptly here, as some disagreements were somewhat incapacitating. Ask me the rest in private…

Ok, so I lined the minibuses up...

Ok, so I lined the minibuses up...

Saturday

Today most notably… “The World Conker Championships in Northamptonshire are cancelled for the first time in 46 years due to high winds.” [BBC].

Alas, a busy day finishing some orienteering work and meeting my students for the following day’s scrambling workshop. A bar shift saw the evening through.

Sunday

After some shuttling of buses to Ogwen Cottage, the scrambling groups made tracks. The forecast was for strong gusts and these didn’t disappoint, forcing us to hide on the west flanks of Y Gribin: The False Gribin. This lends itself well to talking points involving how to manage groups up an introductory scramble; hazards, line choice, spotting etc.

The group thoroughly enjoyed their day out – another cracking year helping out with the BMC Student Safety Seminar. It’s great to help out with these as my own experiences and background in student mountaineering clubs is very useful to relate back to – the discussions seemed to go very positively again this year and hopefully there’ll be some even more safely operating scrambling groups getting out into the mountains.


26th Sept – 2nd Oct

Highlights: OMM Mini Marathon, Level 1 Certificate in Coaching Paddlesport completed!

Summary: A welcome dash of glorious weather arrived in North Wales this week. Timely for a 5-day paddling course, and some Original Mountain Marathon (OMM) Training Camp goodness

Autumn has arrived at Plas y Brenin

Autumn has arrived at Plas y Brenin

Monday-Friday

A 5-day course to fill much of this week – UKCC Level 1 Certificate in Coaching Paddlesport. A small group of 4 of us made for a delightful week exploring all aspects of the paddle sport syllabus; Foundation Safety & Rescue Training, and all the coaching aspects expected in a UKCC course. I particularly enjoyed testing out the sea kayaks (although I do seem to have a knack of breaking the footrests) on the lake for forward paddling technique coaching.

For the teaching assessments, of which I rather more enjoyed the canoeing (vs the kayaking) I introduced the group to the ‘C’ stroke as a extension to a gentle introduction of the ‘J’ stroke family.

Woot! Level 1 acquired. Thanks Sid & Chris (Brenin instructors).

Sunset over the Llynnau Mymbyr

Sunset over the Llynnau Mymbyr

Throughout the week I also managed to grab a free evening for a run up Siabod to witness perfect evening skies as the sun slid down behind the Snowdon group. Apart from this departure from wettish sport, I also spent some time planning ahead for the weekend’s Original Mountain Marathon Training Camp to be hosted on Saturday & Sunday…

Saturday-Sunday

Saturday morning came round quickly. Prepared as possible for an afternoon’s 2.5 hour ‘Navigation Workshop’, I helped run out the control kites with Adam & Sally for the mini marathon event the following day. Success, they’re all placed correctly! (I hope)

That evening, I knew I’d be working on the bar – thus Pete had added an ‘Ask the Barman’ feature to the event’s evening programme. This was unsettling to poor Glyn who was working the bar with me, trying his hardest to avoid being asked anything about running (he climbs mainly!)

Sunday was a repeat 2.5 hour nav workshop followed by the mini marathon! At 3pm I set out to collect the top and eastern section controls… the weather turned on me as I was running round, and it took over 2 hours to battle through the pea-soup conditions to collect all the kites. Running wet, I managed to keep warm and get them all in before dark!

Challenging weekend, hard work, good fun!

A usual tesco run nowadays

A usual tesco run nowadays




Archives

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 501 other followers

%d bloggers like this: