Hill Skills Day 2


Today was the second day of the Hill Skills course on Dartmoor that we started last week. During a theory session the students had planned a route and today we walked it to let them show the skills that they learnt last week. Stunning weather, good visibility and low wind gave a nice day out on the moor

Playing in the River

I am back down on Dartmoor with by FdSc Students from Bridgwater College. This week we started with a walk up the River Plym looking at leadership and working as a group. Although the water levers were low, there were still enough challenges to keep the group working. I had half of the group and Dan the other half. Once out and dry we spent some time setting up climbs and building belays before returning to the bunkhouse. Later once dark we headed out onto the moor for a few hour night perambulation

Checking out the new Bike

Sunday and Monday were pretty boring apart from picking up my new Mountain Bike from The Bicycle Chain in Bridgwater. They have been my bike supplier since 2010 and when I decided it was time to upgrade they were my first port of call.

The new toy is a Giant Talon 1 and it is a step up from my 4 year old Talon 2.

Today I found the time to get out and play up on The Quantock Hills taking in the trails at Triscombe as well as some more sedate peddling around Crowcombe Park Gate. I didn't think I would notice the bigger wheels (27.5 rather than 26) but I did (in a good way) but I think I may need to adjust my riding style slightly as although they float over roots and stones more smoothly I have noticed a slight tendency for the rear to drift on corners.

I also had my first crash for a very long time so clearly I was trying hard enough today.

Sailing Exmouth to Brixham

Today I was back out with Carol and Debs sailing their yacht in the Torbay area. The plan is to get it moved round to Plymouth to the new mooring but a few technical issues and poor weather report for the next few days means is will be resting in Brixham until we get a chance to move it on. We had a mixture of weather today but if we ignore the rainy part just off Teignmouth then it was a pleasant sail and saw us arrive in Brixham Marina around 6:30pm. I felt a small pang of sadness as we passed my old yacht moored up in the harbour where her new owner keeps her but it was good to see her on the water. A great meal in the Breakwater Bistro finished off a nice day

Indoor Climbing at Dart Rock

Today as the weather was looking a bit damp Dan and I took the FdSc Students to Dart Rock for some indoor climbing. Dan ran a bouldering class whilst I supervised the roped session (which the students managed themselves on) before we swapped over. As always the Dart Rock cake was up to a good standard and as we left it was raining so clearly a good decision made.

Hill Skills Day 1

Today I was out on Dartmoor running a Mountain Training Hill Skills course for the FdSc students. It was a fantastic day with sunshine and low wind. We looked at Navigational techniques such as handrailing, bearings, aiming off, timing and pacing as well as contour recognition. We also had time to talk about the environment and history of the moor.

If you fancy taking part in one of these course then please look at our dates here or contact me directly to arrange one for your group.

Climbing at Sheep's Tor

Today was the first day of a 3 day residential on Dartmoor for the FdSc Public Services students. Although windy we headed to Sheep's Tor to enjoy the sun. We started by building belays around the bottom before setting up 4 top ropes to get some climbing done.A good performance all round by the students before heading back to the bunkhouse for dinner. As I had a big group today I was assisted by Dan who will be working with us all week.

High Ropes Assessments

Yesterday I was working with a school in Northampton on their upcoming trip to Malawi/Zambia but today I was back at Cannington Activity Centre this morning assessing some new and old staff. A great day in the sun watching other people work.

Cannington Activity Centre are still recruiting for more staff this summer. Please see the link here for details

Exe Estuary Navigation

This afternoon I helped a couple friends move their new yacht from Topsham down to Exmouth. It didn't quite go to plan as I had to sort out the engine cooling system on the way down the river that caused it to go dark on us before finding the mooring bouy. Anyway we found a bouy and are spending an unscheduled night on the yacht before trying to get ashore tomorrow morning on the early tide.

Marine Mammal Medic Course

After a weak of teaching I swapped roles today and was a student on the British Divers Marine Life Rescue Medic Course based in Charmouth, Dorset. The reason I chose to do this course is that I spend a lot of time on and in the water and therefore have the capacity to be first or very quickly on the scene of a distressed mammal. The course looks at Seals, Dolphins and Whales and was a mixture of presentations and info in the morning with practical sessions in the sea during the afternoon.

No animals were harmed in the pictures as they are all made of rubber and flooded with sea water.

Back at Goblin

I was back at the Car Park Crag at Goblin Combe today working with the same group as yesterday. It was another progressive session with the students managing themselves at the end and experimenting with blind climbing and with restricted limb movements. a grey morning soon cleared up and it was yet another sunny day.