Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Sunny day 2 on SPA Assessment

Well the weather gods were kind today and we were blessed with blue skies and sunshine for the second day of our SPA Assessment today. We were at Kingussie Crag looking out on a snowy Cairngorm panorama as the guys climbed routes from Diff to E2. Well done all.

Monday, 29 April 2013

SPA Assessment day 1

Day 1 of 2 with 4 candidates saw us at The Ice Factor and Polldubh.

Elsewhere violence on Everest and rejects from the Life of Brian chopping bolts in the Lakes... has the climbing world gone barking mad?

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Sun on my face and rock under my hands

Grand day putting in some more rock climbing mileage at Ardnamurchan. Some climbs are like old friends and it was a delight to climb a number of my favourites on some of the best rock in the UK. We climbed Greta Gabbro (both led), Crater Comforts, Yir, Claude and Volcane to give 9 great pitches of climbing and my winter glove softened hands don't know what hit them!
We had sun almost all day (a little high cloud watering it down later on) and although it was cool in the breeze I was climbing in thermals and a gillet.
Thoughts with the AMI Members enjoying the Cuillin in the snow at the weekend workshops organised by Sandy Paterson- I'd have joined you for the beers but the sunny rock called too loudly!
Al leading Greta Gabbro
 Al seconding Greta Gabbro (hat courtesy of Hats on the Hill!)

 Al on Crater Comforts P1

 Neil on the truncated (the end 10 inches have snapped off) 'flange' of Crater Comforts P1
 On top looking west
 Neil on Yir P1
 Great rock
 Great gear
Great climbing
Al on Yir P1 (a Great route!)
Al on one of the possible Yir P2 variations
Neil on Yir P2
Al on Claude
The view to Ben Nevis on the Road to the Isles coming home- plenty of fresh stuff!

Friday, 26 April 2013

Coaching at the wall... and snow on the Ben

Not me coaching today though. Max and I were observing some first year students who had planned coaching sessions for each other at The Ice Factor today. I was impressed at the level of though and planning that had gone into their sessions after feedback from a practise session last week. It bodes well for their futures the level of knowledge and effort already on display this early in their Degree Course.

On another note winter continues to reign in the hills with large deposits of fresh snow, cornice capers and avalanches today. Watch out (and heed the SAIS)... winter is most definitely still about!

Thursday, 25 April 2013

An unexpected day off and more fresh snow

Work with UHI students was cancelled at short notice this morning so I've been catching up on a sudden influx of bookings and spending some time with the kids. Kaye is 10 months and we are running out fo new sign language to teach her, Sandy and I were playing snap, hide and seek and on a wander to see the fire damage on Corpach hill he found his first stag horn.
Plenty more fresh snow lower down the hill today as the pictures show.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Polldubh crags and cragging

Today I was working for UHI's Adventure Tourism Degree Course. The students were doing the second day of 3 with local school pupils rock climbing at Polldubh in Glen Nevis. We also saw Pete from The Ice Factor and local Instructors Neil and Rich- a sociable day.
Fresh snow down to below 1000m in Lochaber this morning but sunny on the crags all afternoon.
 Neil on top of Repton's Buttress
 The Mamores
 Climber on SW Buttress
 SW Buttress and Pine Wall
Neil and Damnation

Monday, 22 April 2013

Site specific lead climbing teaching award

Back at GCC today to take 4 of their staff on a day's course in how to teach climbers to lead indoors. We played a lot of games in the morning focussing on movement and learning to clip efficiently and effectively. Then after lunch the focus was on belaying and we finished up looking at progressive ways to introduce falling and holding falls. A great fun day with a keen competent team.
Great to see Joe and a crew from Sense Scotland making use of some great adaptive climbing equipment from Equal Adventure at the Centre today.

For anyone teaching adults or juniors to lead climb Ian Fenton's book from Pesda Press is a great wee resource.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

CWA Assessment

Congratulations to the successful candidates on my CWA Assessment today. They coped well with their 'live' group at a very busy Glasgow Climbing Centre.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Sunny rock climbing on Anglesey

My third and final day with the Glenmore Lodge team was forecast to be fine so we decided to start our trad. Rock season at Castell Helen for a little ‘Gogarth lite’ action.
In 3 teams various routes such as Rap, Pel, Blanco and Lighthouse Arete were climbed (first pitches damp and chilly)then and some of us went across to enjoy the sun at Hollyhead Mountain where I climbed Black and Tans with Nancy followed by the bottom pitch of Thread and the top pitch of something harder. My first time climbing there and it was hot, sunny and felt more like a continental sport crag than a British Trad crag near to one of the UK’s best known sea cliffs.
We bumped into various old friends including Shelagh (who used to work at the Lodge) and Robin and Twid Turner all out enjoying the sun. Happy days; the rock climbing season is on!

Many thanks to JSMTC Indefatigable for hosting us throughout our stay.
 The team getting ready to abseil in
 Sandy heading down
 Jon explaining where the line goes to Derek and Sandy
 Nancy abseiling in whilst Andy leads up the first pitch
 Nancy nearly at the niche
 Nancy leading off
 Nancy on Lighthouse Arete
 Hollyhead Mountain
 Sheila in the sun
 Nancy starting up Thread
 Pulling over
 Let the rock climbing season commence