Posts tagged Llanberis Pass
Summer in Wales and BMG Summer Test
It has been a great summer for me and all the hard work has paid off.  I spent the 4 weeks after India, in the mountains of Snowdonia.  I was climbing, mountaineering and getting to know the place as best I could.  My final week there I was assessed as part of the IFMGA Guide Scheme and happy to report that I passed this first step.  A massive thanks goes out to my clients I had this season, all the other candidates on the scheme and all my climbing partners and those willing to come out on the wettest of days.  Couldn't have done it without you!  Now I can look forward to the winter aspect of the British Guides Scheme, another training course followed by a 6 day assessment!  Is it winter yet?

Great weather in Ogwen

Dave on Gambit Climb

Dave on Tryfan

Dave doing his thing

Client Sean scrambling in Ogwen

Evening cragging on the Slate quarries

Evening cragging on the Great Orme

More routes at Gogarth

Essential post climbing analysis

BMG assessor Graham Ettle at Gogarth

Sunshine and sea at Gogarth

Jack leading on the Guides assesment

Evening cragging

My teaching day on my guides test (Photo credit:Steve Long)

A sunny summer update
Heading up onto Sgurr Alasdair
The past month seems to have flown by, I suspect it has something to do with the fact the weather has been so good and I have been so busy.  I we flick back to my last post where I was on Skye in the sunshine, this post picks up from there.  I stayed on Skye and worked with Nick Carter and we took 8 keen walkers onto the South End of the Cuillin.  We could tell the weather was on the turn from last week but we had a dry day with some great views and good craic.  I was working for Moran Mountain.
Heading down
Girl Power on the Cuillin
Good view on the Pinn
The next week started with a 4 day Munro course for West Coast Mountain Guides and this time I was working with Ken Applegate.  The weekend saw the change of the weather and this week we didn't get a view from any summit.  Despite poor conditions, we all dug deep and completed all the Munro's on the Cuillin, spurred on by some enthusiastic members of the group.  Our final decent marked the end of my two weeks on the misty Isle.  I packed up, fixed up and made my way south to Wales.
Digging deep!
More learning for me!
So as I arrived in Wales on Sunday, I went straight to the sea cliffs of Gogarth and climbed 4 routes to shake off my mountaineering legs and get the forearms working.  The following 4 days were spent on my second training course in my advance to become a BMG based at Plas Y Brenin.  We worked with Martin Chester and a host of local Guides to develop our personal skills, our coaching processes and looked into the psychology of guiding which was very interesting.  We had guest speakers and a great deal of input from everyone involved.

Getting 'Chestered'

Assessment prep
High on Idwal Slabs
After the 'Rock 2' course I was straight into work with regular client and all round good guy Sean.  Luck was on our side.  The weather was to hold.  The mountains were dry, a nice cool breeze and we both had heaps of enthusiasm.  Day one we had a great day linking up five classic scrambles in Ogwen.  Day two we we did a couple of laps on the East face of Tryfan, one up and down in the dry and another up and down in the rain.  But 4 great routes.  Our final day was bone dry again so we romped into Ampitheatre Buttress on Creig yr Ysfa and took pole positions.  This was a fantastic finale to a brilliant 3 days.  I'm not sure how much mileage we made but everyday was oozing with fantastic climbing and locations.

Cneifion Arete
A busy Tryfan
Getting rays on Ampetheretre Buttress
Great Alpine prep
After 3 days of work I have just come back from 5 days of personal climbing around North Wales with a whole host of friends.  I was super keen for some mileage, so I climbed at 7 different crags in Llanberis Pass, had a day at Clogwyn Bu'r Arddu (Cloggy) and a day at Rhoscolyn.  Its been such a good week and currently on my way back to Scotland via the Lakes for a couple of days.
Amazing weather at Cloggy

Kev engrosed

The final top out

I think this summer is going to be great!
Rock intro week

This week I have been direction a Getting Started rock climbing course for Plas y Brenin. Again we had some mixed weather but managed to avoid overusing the climbing wall. We visited Fach Wen, Rhoscolyn, Tremadog, Clogwyn yr Oen (Moelwyns) and the Slate quarries. It was a great week with a great bunch of people. I was climbing with Jenny and Beeshman who both did put everything they had into the week which meant we got lots of climbing done and had a great laugh. Hopefully see them both again soon! Unfortunately I didn't get any photos with my camera as Beeshman wanted photos on his camera. After work I managed to get out to the Cromlech boulders a couple of times with Kenny and Donald, hit the Slate quarries and climbed Goose Creatures (E3 5c) and then Swan Hunter (E4 6b) and had a training session in the bouldering wall and had an evening in the Pass on SS Special (E2 5c), Brant Direct (HVS 5a) and a top rope on Cockblock (E5 6a). A good week, just could do with a good spell of weather now!
ML Refresher and sending

Today was my first day back at Plas Y Brenin and I was working on a Mountain Leader Refresher course.  With my group of 4 we walked out from the centre and over the tops into Ogwen covering many aspects of navigation that the group need to be able to navigate well in varying conditions.  We looked at micro and macro navigation, use of different scales of maps, relocation and basic leadership skills.  It was a nice dry day with a nice breeze.  After work I went up to Dinas Cromlech with Keith and Murdoch as Keith wanted to climb Right Wall (E5 6a).  I didn't want to second it as I want to lead it soon so I climbed Left Wall (E2 5c) and Cemetry Gates (E1 5b).  Thanks for letting me on your ropes random climbers!  I was able to get some great shots of Keith!
Back in Wales

Today I was back in Snowdonia and out with Ben who was keen for some mileage.  The aim of our two days out was to do plenty of multi pitch climbing and scrambling and looking at the transition between the two, useful for Ben's future alpine trip.  We headed on to Idwal Slabs and started off on Ordinary Route (D) where I started off leading then Ben taking over for a bit, looking at belays, rope management and ways of using systems more efficiently.  We then carried on up onto Lazarus (S) and then onto Continuation Crack (HVS 5a) which was brilliant little route.  After all of this we headed back down to the base, climbed up two pitches and looked at multi-pitch abseil descents, how it can be done safely and efficiently.  Finally to finish I guided Ben up Hope (VD) and we decended off the left via the scrambling decent and back to the car for 5.  This evening I met up with John, Caff and Calum for a wee boulder at the Gravestones then onto the Cromlech boulders.
Team sendage

This evening I arrived up in North Wales and met up with Tim, John and Murdoch in Llamberis Pass. The guys were heading up to Dinas Cromlech so I tagged along. Tim and I climbed Resurrection (E4 6a) and Murdoch flew up Lord of the Flies (E6 6a) which was very impressive! Then Will and Dave turned up and Will cruised Right Wall (E5 6a) so a super impressive evening hit. Next stop was the pub and off to Fairhead tomorrow!
Summer Mountain Leader Assesment
Over the last couple of days I have been working in Wales assessing some candidates for the Summer Mountain Leader. An interesting transition from lots of winter climbing to walking around with the sun above us and talking alot about flowers and rocks. We camped out 2 nights around Snowdon, did two sessions of night nav and back down to the cafe for a bacon sandwich. Well done to all the candidates who all passed. It was good to be back in Wales working for Plas Y Brenin but now heading back up to Scotland to have someone assessing me!
Clogwyn y Grochan
Today we had blue skies and chilly winds. We headed up to 'the Grochan' for a little bit of mileage. We started on Brant Direct (HVS 5a), Kaisergebirger Wall (HVS 5a), SS Special (E2 5c), Mural (E4 6a) and did Brant direct again when Dan turned up at the crag. It was very cold today, fortunately none of us were hanging around, quickly up a route then down for the next one. Eventually the wind picked up and we retreated back for warm drinks and toast. After a while we heading back up Llanberis Pass and bouldered for an hour before getting rained/wind'ed/cold'ed off! Great to be back on the rock again. The next 3 days I'm off on a mini-break assessing a Mountain Leader Assessment for Plas Y Brenin.