Coasteering Risk Assessments

Meadfoot Beach

Rhiannon showing her jumping skills

and again

Me demonstrating the "correct" way to enter the water, via a front somersault

Taking in the views

Today I have been in Torbay (in 25 degrees and and some slightly cooler water) updating my Coasteering Risk Assessments., basically that means playing around at venues I haven't been to for a while. I took my sister Rhiannon along both for company and as her first experience of Coasteering. We started at Meadfoot Beach and looked at a route that would be suitable for younger or more nervous clients. There were a few small jumps and a lot of boulder hopping.
We then moved on to Ansteys Cove and Redgate Beach. Both of which it is possible to go for a journey along the base of the cliffs and combine boulder hopping, jumping and swimming to progress along the route.
Now I have to update the paperwork!! .... but going climbing tomorrow so hopefully the sun will still be shining.

Gold D of E, Brecon Beacons

Corn Du and Pen Y Fan in a cloudless sky

A somewhat wet group appearing out of the mist

For the last 4 days I have been in the Brecon Beacons with a Gold Duke of Edingburgh Award Group from Haygrove School. The weather on the first day (Sunday) was amazing with fantastic views and plenty of sun. Unfortunatly it deterioated over the next few days culminating in todays low cloud, rain and wind with low visibility on the high ground. A number of peaks were reached by the groups over the four days including Corn Du, Pen Y Fan, Cribyn and Fan Y Big. All those undertaking the assessment were sucessful and those using it as a practice learnt alot and should be ready for assessment at a later date.

North Wales continued

Early morning rainbow

Me pretending the water isn't really that cold

and me testing the slide out first

The group waiting for the next challenge

Approching a tight squeeze

On Wednesday the day started with an amazing rainbow that even the students we awed by. We then spilt with half the group climbing with Alun and the other half undertaking a Gorge Walk in Afon Ddu with myself as the guide. Ironically it didn't rain whilst we were in the water but decided to pour down whilst we were trying to get changed. All the students enjoyed the Gorge Walk and a number of them spent the evening playing mud football.
On Thursday we decided to cancel the orienteering round the base of Tryfan due to the weather and head for home early in order to dry the equipment.

Multi Activity Week, North Wales

Looking down on The Causeway from the Pyg Track

The weather closing in

Limited views at the Summit

The weather clearing on the descent

This week I have been in North Wales working for Bridgwater College. It was touch and go on Monday morning whether we went or not but in the end, 19 students, 2 staff and I headed off to see if the weather could possibly be as bad as the forcast!! Fortunately for us it was better than predicted and most of the activites went ahead.
Monday saw us pitching tents in the Ogwen Valley in near Gales and heavy rain having spent 6 hours traveling to get there.
On Tuesday the wind dropped enough for everyone to make it up Snowdon via the Pyg Track and Miners Track. We went as two groups with the students managing the day under the watchful eye of myself and Alun who was the ML in the other group.

Open Boating, Brecon

Over the last couple of days I have been in Brecon teaching Open Boating for Haygrove School who I work with quite often. Although the weather was somewhat inclement at times, it was dry when we really needed it to be so it is fair to say we were lucky. Whilst I was teaching boating on the Brecon Canal, another group of students were out on my bikes cycling along the towpath.

River Walking, Dartmoor

Squeezing through a very tight hole

Trying the climbing traverse (it is deep if you don't make it)

Today I took the Bridgwater College students for a river walk up The River Plym on Dartmoor. We walked about 500m just beloew the Dewerstone. Not much to report other than a great time had by all (including me) and a thumbs up from all the students who can't wait for next weeks Gorge Walk in North Wales.
That is it for college work this week, I am out with a school for the next few days

Dartmoor Climbing

Top Roping some VD's at Sheep's Tor

On Top of the Tor

Sunny but Windy Conditions

Today was again out with Bridgwater College students climbing at Sheep's Tor on Dartmoor. The Sun was out but the wind had failed to subside so plenty of layers were needed. We looked at Top Roping from both the top and bottom and everyone had a go at abseiling. A range of Routes from VD to HS were climbed and most students had a high success rate.
The evening was spent with a fantastic meal in The Plume Of Feathers before settling down for another windy night and strangely I was hoping for a lot of overnight rain to assist with tomorrow's activity.

Dartmoor Walking

A lovely Summer Day

Group 1 Approaching the campsite

A Fleet of blue tents

Today I have been working for Bridgwater College with some students on Dartmoor. They were able to navigate across the moor safely from Buckfastleigh to their campsite at The Plume Of Feathers in Princetown. The weather was warm and sunny but there were some pretty poweful gusts of wind. I spen the afternoon wandering about the moor checking on the groups and it was a very pleasant day out for all involved.

Walking up the River Plym

Viewing the next step

Testing out The Traverse

Bigger step than it looks

Floating downstream (just before I hit a rock)

Today I was down on Dartmoor completing a new Risk Assessment on the River Plym before taking a group into it next week. Although I have used it before, it has been a while, so it was useful to go back and have a close look at the challenges without a group. Unfortunately the water levels were lower than I was hoping meaning that some of the slides are no good as you would land on rocks. As no one was available to come and play in the river with me, my Dad kindly kept an eye on me from the bank and took some photos.

Climbing at Goblin Combe

Looking down from the Abseil Point

Today I was again working for Bridgwater College and took 2 groups of students climbing and abseiling at Goblin Combe. I set up a number of top ropes and the students were able to work together to safely get themselves up and down the rock face as well as completing an abseil.

Biking and Sailing overnight expedition

Sailing or Swimming?

The campsite

The start of the long ride home

For the last two days I have been working for Bridgwater College and the students and I left the college early on Tuesday morning and I dropped them and their bikes at Holford. They then cycled off road for a couple of hours before following the country lanes out to Wimbleball Lake.
On arrival at the Lake they had to set up some dinghys and sail round to the buoys collecting tags entitling them to equipment for the night ie tents. The wind was fairly strong so it made it all the more challenging.

The evening was spent with a BBQ and then early this morning everything was packed up and the students rode all the way back to the college, a ride of around 5 hours.

Dartmoor Climbing

Jonny on "Pulpit" at Hound Tor

Jonny on Omega Crack at Sheeps Tor

Building the belay on Barking Crack

For the last 2 Day Jonny and I were on Dartmoor and Jonny was learning to lead climb. We started the weeked by some shopping and Jonny had loads of new shiney climbing gear to play with. We headed to Hound Tor were we climbed Pulpit (V Diff) and Jonny's first onsight lead of Paddy (Mod). We then spent an hour or so bouldering working on footwork and balance.

We cooked up a meal in the carpark and then headed off onto the moor as Jonny wanted some experience of night navigation. We pitched Tents in the dark and went off into the moonlit night for some poor vis nav training. It was not as poor vis as it could be but it was still good training.

This morning we headed to Sheep's Tor where Jonny led Omega Crack (V Diff), Barking Crack (V Diff) and Slab Route (Diff).

The end of a very long but pleasant weekend of climbing. Mountaining Biking and Sailing tomorrow.

Avon Gorge Climbing

Jonny topping out

There was a constant stream of boats all day

Jonny at the top of The Arete

Jonny leading with pre placed gear

Today I took Jonny to Avon Gorge to experience some Multipitch routes and to start getting him in the mood for leading. We spent some time climbing "The Arete" VD 4a. I lead the first pitch placing some protection and Jonny followed placing more in the gaps I left. We then bot abseiled down and inspected the gear. Satisfied it was all sercure we continued to the bottom and Jonny lead the first pitch clipping the insitu gear and arriving at the pre built belay. I followed Jonny up and took over the lead again finishing the next two pitches of the route. We arrived at "Lunchtime Ledge" for a snack and then continued on the two pitch route "Direct Route" Severe 4a.
The afternoon was spent practising footwork on slabs and building belays.