Wet & Windy on Pen Y Fan

A moment when the cloud lifted (slightly)



Blue Sky, Whooppe

Today I took my usual students up to The Brecon Beacons to see if they could survive the wind and rain on Pen Y Fan. Conditions were not great but to be fair, they could have been a lot worse. Wind speed was around 35 - 40mph and it was very misty with some very hard rain at times. However during the day the weather improved and I ended up walking down under blue(ish) skies and with my clothes drying out in the wind.
Today I was joined my Max, one of my colleagues at Bridgwater College who was keen to get out and about in the great outdoors.

Quantock Hills Mountain Biking in the rain

It was very wet at times

Today I was working with the same students as yesterday and we were up on The Quantock Hills for a spot of Off Road Riding. No mechanical issues today which was nice and a relatively short route so we could get back and plan activites for the next few weeks.
Unfortuantely the weather broke today and the weeks of sun has been interupted by some pretty hard rain which saturated us all.

Rock Climbing at Uphill Quarry

Today I was out with my usual students from Bridgwater College at Uphill Quarry near Weston Super Mare where we climbed a number of routes and the majority of the group completed a 20m abseil. The students set up most of the ropes themselves and they are getting fairly good at it now.
Weather was great for us again but I am not sure we will make the rest of the week without any rain.

Paddle in the Sun, Bridgwater

Trying to paddle straight!

Seeking some shade


Bridgwater Docks

Yesterday I was on site at Bridgwater College running Orienteering activities but today I was out on the Canal by the YMCA and in the Docks teaching Paddlesport to the BFD PES students. I had two groups out today, 6 students this morning who all wanted to Kayak and 8 students this afternoon who mixed and matched in both canoes and kayaks.
The weather was great, a bit too hot at times and we managed to get down to the Docks and have an explore around before heading back up to the YMCA.

Exmoor D of E Day 2

Culborne Church

"Quick, get the coats out"

Groups arriving at County Gate

On Day 2 of the Bronze D of E training the groups walked from Porlock to County Gate. I managed a nice walk with Jon, Gary and Matt down past Culborne Church and back into Porlock. For the first time in weeks it rained on me and we had to make a grab for our waterproofs.
Just arrived home and not looking forward to do some washing and domestic stuff before another week of activites start tomorrow.

More Sun on Exmoor

Matt and I hard at work on Selworthy Beacon

Today I have been out with Haygrove School for D of E Bronze Training. It has been very hot today and some added interest from the rally cars flying around. 64 students, 9 staff and 5 minibuses makes for a lot of people out and about but all groups did well and made it back to the campsite by later afternoon.

Hard Work on Exmoor

The colours of the Coastal Path

Me working hard

Sunny afternoon at Minehead Harbour

Today on their 3rd day of Outdoor Ed I took the students to Exmoor and dropped them off west of Porlock. Their task was to navigate their way to Minehead Harbour for tea and icecream. Although I spent most of the day driving a minibus, I did manage to snatch a few hours walking myself including a little bimble by Selworthy Beacon where I stopped for lunch and to take in the views.
All 3 groups of students navigated well and made it back on schedule.

Quantock Trail Riding in the Sun

Today was another day with the same students as yesterday an it was up onto The Quantock Hills for some Trail Riding. We started at Cannington College and rode up to the hills before starting the long uphill climb from Greatwood to Crowcombe. On the way we had a play on some bumps and humps and had two "over the handlebars" moment from a couple of the students about 2min apart.
After lunch at Crowcombe we headed over to Triscombe Stone and had a play on the downhill trails between there and Greatwood Camp before making short work of the road ride back to the college. I am sure after 5 1/2 hours in the saddle some of the students will be sore tomorrow.

Another Day at Goblin Combe

Another Day working for Bridgwater College and today I took the FdSc Public Services and Outdoor Education students to Goblin Combe for a spot of rock climbing. We have already visited an Indoor Wall so today we were looking at setting ropes up and climbing on real rock. Although somewhat chilly this morning the sun came through at lunch time and warmed us all up.

Paddling in the Sun, Bridgwater Canal

I am now back working for Bridgwater College having enjoyed a two week Easter Break so today I took the BFD Public Ermengency Services course out for a paddle around on Bridgwater Canal. The sun was shining and we took a leisurely paddle down to The Docks and back. Well some of us took a leisurely paddle while a few students decided to take a swim. Fortunately it wasn't too cold (or so they told me) and everyone made it back warm even if not exactly dry.

Trials Bike Fun in the Sun



Me having a moment of actually being in control


Today after conducting yet another Lifeguard Assessment at Quantock Lodge I spent a few hours on a trials bike as Max showed me round the courses they have there. It has been 3 years since I last rode a Motorbike and at least 6 years since I took one Off Road so I was very rusty.
I took one fall as I gave it too much throttle on the hill. Ooops but after that I improved enough to ride some of the tyres and log obstacles.

Sun, Sea and Rock in Dorset

Me on The Great Hamburger Disaster

Tim on Rock Lobster

Me on Rock Lobster

Bowleaze Beach

Today Tim and I headed to The Cuttings, Portland for some sport climbing. As an easy access crag it was already busy on our arrival at 10am and the sun was beating down. We managed to tick a number of routes called The Great Hamburger Disaster F4+, Bonsai F3+, Magical Misty Tour F3+, Amazonia F4+, Rock Lobster F4+ and Juggernaut F5 but due to the number of other climbers arriving and other comitments we had to finish up at around 2pm.
During late afternoon and into early evening I conducted a RLSS National Beach Lifeguard Qualification Assessment at Bowleaze Beach, Weymouth. Conditions were great and the sun was shining (although a slight breeze gave the air a chill). This award is for those who wish to work on beaches in the UK. It is more demanding than the Pool Course I was assessing yesterday as it requires a 400m timed swim before you even get into the sea.

Pool Lifeguard Asessments

Today I have been conducting assessments for the RLSS National Pool Lifeguard Qualification. This first was at Quantock Lodge near Bridgwater and the second at Backwell Leisure Centre near Bristol.

The National Pool Lifeguard Qualification is for those people who wish to work in a swimming pool as a lifeguard and following a week of intensive training they were assessed in Theory, First Aid, CPR and Water Skills.

Goblin Combe Climbing and the Sun was out

Phil Abseiling

Phil climbing on a Top Rope

Phil learning to Prussic

Constant drone of planes

On the last day of Phil's climbing course I took him to Goblin Combe (which is in the Bristol Airport flight path) to look at a number of outstanding things we needed to cover. During the day we looked at how to set up fixed and retreivable abseils, how to use prussics and how to set up a top rope.

Over the last 4 days we have climbed 3 multipitch routes in Avon Gorge, 2 Single Pitch Routes and 3 Sport Routes at Cheddar, 5 Single Pitch routes on Dartmoor and spent a day hanging around on ropes at Goblin Combe. Overall the course has gone well and Phill is looking forward to buying some equipment and getting out climbing as soon as possible.

Dartmoor Climbing but no Sun today

Phil belaying on Pulpit

Phil & Hannah on Top of Hound Tor

Phil about to Step Across on Haytor

Looking for gear on Zig Zag

Today I took Phil and Hannah down to Dartmoor to try some Granite and to give Phil a chance to get a number of leads in. We started at Hound Tor where Phil led Paddy (Mod), Pulpit (Diff /V. Diff) and a variation of Paddy (about Diff) whilst I haung around on a rope or soloed alongside giving advice where needed. After a quick brew at the "Hound of the Basket Meals" tea Wagon we headed over to Haytor where Phil led Step Across (Diff) and Zig Zag (V. Diff) with me again climbing alongside giving advice. Today the weather remained dry but the sun failed to break through and a cold wind was ever present so none of us fancied an icecream from the van at Haytor