My final week at Plas y Brenin didn't go quite as planned, I was meant to be working on a Private Rock course but unfortunately my clients didn't turn, apparently they were stranded in Australia... Lucky them. So instead I was moved on to an Mountain Leader Training course. On Tuesday I took a group out locally from the centre and covered all aspects of using a rope in a emergency situations, looking at how to select suitable anchors, attach to them, safe guard groups as well as looking at confidence roping and all aspects of descending On the Wednesday and Thursday I took the group on a mini expedition around Snowdon. We were hit with pretty foul weather throughout, the thunder and lightening storms were very exciting and fortunately didn't strike any of my team down. The foul weather continued into the night and made our night navigation exercise great fun and very realistic. With a pretty wet week I only managed to get to the Beacon Climbing Centre for a session and went and climbed Cockblock (E5 6a) with Murdoch on the Tuesday after work. Tomorrow I'll be heading back up North.
Today I took the Group into Ogwen and the aim of the day was to refresh the rope work side of things. We started off with anchor selection and then introduced the rope and how to attach it to the anchors and create a safe system for ascending or descending walkers. We looked at confidence roping as well as moving a group over steep ground looking at spotting and group management. We covered descents with and with out the rope and chatted about river crossings, their hazards and effective ways of approaching them. Unfortunately it rained on Murdoch and I as we were gearing up at the bottom of SS Special so we bailed and I went for a little explore around the slate quarries.
This week I was working for 4 days on a Mountain Leader Training. On Monday the group and I spent the day mainly inside covering areas of the syllabus which are covered best in a classroom. In the afternoon after the torrential rain had eased, we went outside and we introduced the group to the rope work which they will need to learn for their assessment. We covered the basics on the grounds of the centre so on Tuesday we were able to get cracking on with putting it into context and practicing lots of skills. On Monday Dave and I took the group river crossing on the upper parts of the Nantygwryd. Tuesday we went out and spent most of the day looking at rope work around the Ricks and Rack and came in to get prepared for expedition. Wednesday and Thursday we walked from Ogwen up and over Creigiau Gleision and camped by Llyn Cowlyd Reservoir and walked back to the centre on the final day. Weather was pretty bad all week but cleared up just as we got back to Plas y Brenin! Good effort to all the team who kept on smiling in the worst weather!
This week I have been working on a Mountain Leader Training, covering all aspects of the syllabus. Day 1 was the navigation day where we went up and around Crimpiau, looking at was of teaching navigation to groups. Throughout the week we have a big interaction with the environment so we made a good start on the flora and flora of the area. Day two we went into Cwm Idwal looking at leadership styles and group management on steep ground. As the weather was close to Armageddon, we decided not to summit the Glyders as it would have not enabled us to cover as much ground as we did and give the candidates lots of experience on the steeper ground. Day 3 was an introduction to rope work and some classroom lectures and exercises and we finished with doing some river crossing. Day 4 was security on steep ground day, again we went into Cwn Idwal and then back to prepare for expedition. Day 5 and 6 was the overnight expedition, it was mostly wet throughout the day but cleared up before we got to camp and didn't rain again until the next day. A great week with a fantastic group.