Llanberis Pass climbing in the sun

Jez on Pitch 1 

Me on Pitch 2 

 Jez on Pitch 3

Me on Pitch 4

Jez topping out (he has got trousers on)

Me at the top

After travelling down from Scotland over night and having the compulsory breakfast in Pete's Eats and shopping in Joe Brown's (new helmet and climbing shoes), I met with Jez for the afternoon and we swung leads on Babel on Clogwyn Y Grochan in the pass. The sun shone, it was hot and the climbing good. This route needs more traffic to clean it up but the 4 pitches of HVS 4c, 5a, 5a and 4c are all good in their own right. It is well worth topping out as the top pitch is great but the descent is awkward and it would be easy to get into some bother if you didn't take care.

International Mountain Leader Training

This week I have been on the IML training course at Glenmore Lodge in The Cairngorms. The course was not what I was expecting. It was too classroom orientated and time spent out on the hill was nowhere near what I was hoping for. There was a heavy emphasis on the environment which is great but this seemed to mostly be about flowers with little or no input on other key areas such as geology etc. We had a few hours looking at rope work and fixed equipment but I definitely think this should have been longer. The course also includes a speed navigation test (orienteering).

Alpine Flowers workshop


Today I was in Snowdonia with 5 other candidates out on the hill with Jim Langley from Natures Work looking at Alpine plants. This was a workshop run as part of the MTA CPD programme.

Play guess the plant from the pictures

I am writing this entry in a services just north of the Scottish border as I need to be at Glenmore Lodge for a course in the morning.

Indoor Climbing

Indoors at The Life Centre Climbing Wall today with Plymouth College students as the rain stopped us heading for the crag.

Pool Lifeguard Training and Assessment

Yesterday's rain put paid to my plans to climb and today it was back inside at Plymouth College training students for their Pool Lifeguard Qualification. This afternoon they were assessed and I am pleased to report they both passed.

MTA SPA Refresher

Today I was at Sheeps Tor on Dartmoor running a SPA refresher day for members of The Mountain Training Association. This is part of the CPD programme and ensures qualified members are up to date and helps trainees prepare for future assessments. The weather was fantastic and as well as looking at set ups, common problems and safety, we also managed to climb a couple of routes.

Weymouth Diving

Today I was diving with Somerset Divers on Divetime out of Weymouth. The first dive was The Black Hawk wreck at around 15m with good visibility and plenty of fish life plus 2 large lobsters. The second dive was a fast drift at around 18m unfortunately with a lot less vis. In between whilst on deck, a very large jelly fish swam by.

High Ropes and Climbing

I started the day conducting some staff assessments at the Cannington Activity Centre on the High Ropes course. All done by lunchtime and then it was off to Avon Gorge with Leon and Hannah to give them some tips to improve their Multi Pitch climbing. Sun and even more sun made a very pleasant day of training and assessing.

Hill Skills on Dartmoor

I was working on another Hill Skills course today, this time with students from Plymouth College. Fantastic blue sky, sun and (too) hot. Compasses away and it was map to ground navigation and environment. We were lucky enough to see an adder but it was "running" away from us unlike my last experience. We also found an intact fox skull which had a full set of teeth.

Pool Lifeguard Training

Inside today (which was shame given the weather) running some Pool Lifeguard training for students at Plymouth College.

Dewerstone Climbing

Back working with Plymouth College today for the first time since I stood down as Head of Outdoor Ed. Today I took the Adventure students out for some climbing at The Dewerstone and whilst some stuck with top roping, I guided 2 up Mucky Gully one of the Dewerstone classic routes. During the day we had hail, rain and sun but it did not stop us.

Sunny Sheeps Tor

Back out at Sheeps Tor climbing today and not only did we miss the rain, it was even a little bit sunny. The FdSc students set up all the ropes and organised the session themselves. At the end of the session I set up and abseil for them top have a go at. I have finished working with these students for the time being but may work with them again next year.

Hill Skills Day 2

I had an epic day yesterday with delayed/diverted flights, hanging around Airports and trying to get back home. I finally made it to Dartmoor nearly 24 hours after leaving the south of France. I could have driven quicker!

Today I was out with the Bridgwater College FdSc students for the second day of the Mountain Training Hill Skills course. The weather was poor with low visibility so we built on last weeks session including more difficult navigation and looking at contours. I had to rescue a pony who was caught in barbed wire during the day which gave us a chance to talk about wildlife on the moor.

Lifeguard Assessments in the Med

Pyrenees still holding snow

I left Luton on Saturday and have been working for Lifeguard International at PGL Mimosa in the south of France assessing their staff for the Beach Lifeguard Award. Actually, this took about 6 hrs so the rest of the time I have been enjoying the sun, sitting on the beach and swimming in the sea. I have one more day here relaxing in the sun before travelling back on Tuesday night to return to Dartmoor on Wednesday.