Enriched Air

Today I undertook the PADI Enriched Air course at Aquanauts and fortunately for me it is a theory course so no need to get cold and wet. I have however dug the diving gear out so am getting ready to hit the water as soon as the weather settles down.

Gold D of E

For the last three days I have been out on Dartmoor with 3 Gold D of E groups undertaking a practice expedition. The weather managed to throw everything at us from high wind, torrential rain, ice and thick mist. All the students sucessfully made it through and this has helped them learn about their kit and self management prior to their (hopefully) warmer qualifying expedition in July.

Dartmoor Nav (and snow)

Out on Dartmoor today with the Adventure students for some more navigation practice. Heading out from Shipley Bridge to find some interesting features as chosed by the students. It was a mixed weather day with sunny spells and a few snow showers.

Longships Lighthouse

On day 2 of the 5 Star Training we launched from Sennen Cove and headed out into a much friendlier Force 4/5 to Longships Lighthouse which is about 2km west of Land's End. We looked at ferry gliding in tidal flows, losing paddles and using spilts (without falling in), a rocky landing and some surfing.

Thanks to Rich from Paddlecrest Coaching who organised everything and Sid who directed the course

5 Star Sea Training

Paddling out from Penzance into Force 6 gusting 7, hail, massive swell and spray, I did question my sanity. The weather conditions fluctuated and there was even some sun at times. We looked at leadership, rescues, landing through surf and had our personal paddling tested from the word go. After a evening meal, it was back out into the dark for the night navigation exercise. No pictures afloat as I was too busy staying upright

Glencoe Skiing

 Hmm, this looks bare

Whole piste all to myself

Being my last day in Scotland and short of a climbing partner I decided to end the trip in the same way I started, by hitting the slopes. Actually, that is not true, I was going to solo Curved Ridge but it wasn't looking very wintery so I ended up at the ski centre instead. It didn't look that good from below but was actually in good condition up high and very quiet today.

It has been a good couple of weeks and I have covered over 200km on skis or on foot as well as climbing a number of ice, snow and rock routes.I am back off down south tomorrow as I really ought to go back to work at some point.

Third time on The Ben

Graham and I headed back up onto Ben Nevis today and on an intial look, Green Gully (IV 3) seemed only to have one team on it. However, once we had started and I reached the first belay I became aware that the team ahead were stopped by the two teams ahead of them. Just as I was thinking about abseiling off and going elsewhere two other teams started behind and there we were, sandwiched at the belay. The rest of the route continued like this with upto five people at any belay until we reached the upper pitch and ran for the cornice.

The routes high up have survived the last few days of thaw well and there is still plenty of ice about. Todays weather was pleasant but there was a chill in the air which looks good for the next day or two.

Glen Nevis Cragging

After a rest day yesterday, Graham and I decided to have an easy rock cragging day today as it is still warm and reports from others were things are "wet" up high. We headed to Polldubh Crags and climbed Three Pines (S 4a), Right Wall (VD) and Pinnacle Ridge (S) in the sun.

Broken Fingers

Today we took the option of a much shorter walk in and headed into Corrie an t'Sneachda for a few routes. Although I was really keen to climb Patey's route (IV 5), there were 4 already on it, 2 starting and 3 waiting below so that wasn't going to happen. In the end we climbed Broken Fingers (III 4) a mix of Broken Gully and Fingers Ridge (which I have done before). Our second route was Red Gully (II/III) but I was unable to persuade Graham into doing a 3rd route. Great weather to start and back to the Alpine weather of last week but the cloud rolled in mid afternoon, maybe it is changing back to normal!.