Monday, 6 December 2010
Friday, 3 December 2010
Friday, 19 November 2010
Going to the Lakes this weekend to work, Kendal Film Festival is on which should be fun. Out to Chamonix on Monday for a few days!
Thursday, 4 November 2010
Please could you take a second to vote for us, all you need to do is hit the button - no need to fill any forms in!
The link is here: http://www.berghaus.com/en/adventure-challenge/shortlists
This is what we are planning on doing:
The British Mount Hayes Expedition 2011
The proposed adventure, due in May 2011 is to complete a full traverse of the large and remote Mount Hayes (4216m) in eastern Alaska. For this mountaineering adventure, the party of 3 aim to travel by air taxi to the nearest glacial approach then travel by ski to establish a base camp. The group will seek the best conditions to establish the best route to achieve the objective. A full traverse of this rarely climbed mountain would be the first of its kind. it is likely that the party will come across significant but achievable mountaineering and skiing challenges.
Thanks for voting.
Wednesday, 3 November 2010
Gavin, Rick and I have got a bit of spare time this week so watch this space for some Esoteric and worked Grit routes that we just cant wait to get stuck into next week!
We went out in the drizzle today and top-roped Pebble Mill (E5 6B) until it got too wet. Really great fun looking at pushing the grade a bit. More of this please!
Friday, 24 September 2010
Saturday, 28 August 2010
Wow. What an amazing week Dave and I have just had. I was running a learn to lead climb week in Cornwall. Could not have had a better 5 days of work really. One day rained off (went indoors) and on the other days we visited Sennen, Bosigran, Lands End and Chair Ladder. Dave and I had only one cheeky evening cragging session and during the day we ticked the Classic Rock Cornwall section.
Great week with clients Dan and Antoni.
Our final day at Chair Ladder enjoying the classic Terriers Tooth and Pendulum Chimney
Thursday, 12 August 2010
I have not posted up here for a long time. And going by the number of hits I am receiving, I assume a few of you are looking for route beta etc and searching through Google. At least all that hard work was worthwhile. Anyway, I have not given up!
Just been in the UK recently. I have had some great days out cruising with mates and working around Swanage, North Wales, Lake District, Peak Grit and the Isle of Skye. This week we have been on Gogarth, North Wales. An amazing place home to some truly absorbing adventurous climbing. Dave Chapman and I found a dry day on Dinas Mot on Monday and we did Superdirect. I have been waiting to do it for ages. It really is an amazing route!
Dave in a great position on Imitator.
(thin moves pulling onto the slab, then it eases!)
We set off in a couple of weeks. Pretty psyched for it now. Byron and I have been occasionally training and climbing and talking about training (drinking tea). We have been constantly ordering kit which has made it seem like we are not spending a lot of money!
I think we have our system fairly nailed. It is just a case of doing it lots. I have spoke to a few people who have done the Nose this week and they have been really good to have a chat to.
I was planning on climbing about 30 E1's this summer in preparation for our trip. I have not quite achieved this but the list is now around 25 multipitch E1-E2's. Maybe this autumn will bring some trips to Cornwall and Pembroke.
I am going to Cornwall with work next week and am really looking forward to it. I have just bought the new copy of 'West Country Climbs' , another beautiful book from Rockfax. This covers all that you would expect plus Swanage and a nice little section on Lundy. I am working for Highpoint Mountain Guides on a learn to lead week, so driving aside - should be fun.
Alaska plans are fairly slow, if anyone has any inspiration or knowledge or great photos about possible new ascents/descents in the St.Elias range, be in touch. Next stop the Alpine Club library in London.
In the words of Mr.Kirkus, Lets go climbing!
Tuesday, 13 July 2010
Thursday, 1 July 2010
First time for me on Swanage, serious rock type / soap and head game issues!
Still, a great 2 days spent in Swanage climbing with Rick.
Saturday, 26 June 2010
After a morning of frigging around at Yarncliffe and aiding a couple of cracks. We sat back, had a think, picked up some gear and got the wisdom from Scott. We then went to Millstone (first bay) with our newly bought cord to set up our jumar systems and play with the fifi!
Playing 'Pull the Pig'
Originally we played with 1 fifi hook to get higher on a piece of gear and enable a more stable position when high on gear. However, played with this technique today.... Need to experiment more.
2 etriers, 2 daisy chains, 3 fifi hooks. larksfooted to harness. Ends joined with a carabiner and a fifi hook on each end. A fif hook also attached close to belay loop.
When high on the first runner... reach as high as possible and:
1) clip gear with a quickdraw and clip in rope
2) hook fifi/etrier/daisy on gear
3) test and weight gear by moving bodyweight onto etrier
4) hook harness fifi onto daisy chain for stability as move up etrier.
5) get as high on etrier as possible and place a high piece of gear
6) clip gear with a quickdraw and clip in rope
7) pull daisy chain up therefore pulling first fifi off the first piece of gear
8) Repeat. Found this pretty easy to place gear 1.5-2m away from your previous piece making progress efficient.
Friday, 25 June 2010
Thursday, 24 June 2010
Sunday : Froggatt, to be expected, sweaty and warm grit! Not pleasant, still we were after slabby routes to prevent the finger strain so Byron and I did Trapeze Direct, 3 pebble slab, 4 pebble slab and 2 sided triangle.
Four pebble slab is a funny one, graded E3 5C, but I think if you are happy on slabs and can trust your feet it feels OK. The gear is reasonable too. On the other hand, it could go terribly wrong as you would hit the floor if you fell. Felt more like E2 5B.
Monday: Gogarth, had the drive over with Paulo and climbed A Dream of White Horses. Stunning situation, nice climbing. Beautiful day out.
Tuesday: Went to the shady Plexu buttress on Dinas Mot and climbed Plexus and Nexus. NExus has an amazing first pitch, great climbing and a wild 3rd pitch! Yuk, them sweaty pockets!
Wednesday: Went to work at Burbage, climbing all day! Nice day for it.
Now it is time to concentrate on some clean aid climbing with Byron. We have got out Etriers through and are going to go have a play in Thor's Cave this weekend! Cant wait!
Thursday, 17 June 2010
Today however was very special, we did all of the normal things - talked shite, pulled on some hand holds, placed gear, watched Byron take a big whipper.... except this time. We decided that hey, lets not finish the route. Lets leave all of the gear in and then try and abseil this massive overhang to get the gear out. Lets stop for a minute! What were we thinking, of course we couldn't ab the route...we would be dangling in space. We attempted anyway. What a surprise, it didn't work.
So what am I ranting on about! I think it is something to do with form. 2 days ago I was pulling through awesome moves on Vector at Tremadog, Byron and I were having an amazing time on Central Buttress at Scafell - Just yesterday I was struggling but still pulling moves out of the bag on Gogarth Main Cliff... Where did it all go wrong?
So for this very route in the peak, I think next time I will need to:
a) try harder
c) not underestimate E1
Until next time route!
I haven't posted since I went to the Lakes last week but after having a great Saturday, I went over to North Wales to go climbing with a chap called Stu. Anyway, had a great couple of days and did:
The Fang (HVS)
Nice top slab
The Plum (E1)
Heaps of amazing moves
Stunning, amazing, pitch 3 wow!
'Gogarth' Main Cliff (E1)
A very classic Gogarth experience
Sunday, 13 June 2010
Since leaving Chamonix, have got settled here in Sheffield now. Excited about the summer and loads of trips planned including Lundy, Sea Stacks, Scotland Cragging and possibly Cuillins. I am now blogging work related days out on the Pure Outdoor Blog (http://www.pureoutdoor.co.uk/pureblog.php) and play related things on this blog.
Nice couple of routes on Scafell main crag yesterday.
Good to get back into the swing of things on trad leading.
A 'hard rock' route and a fantastic crag with so much mountain atmosphere Central Buttress is 6 pitches and graded E1. Though the difficulties are really getting over the 'Great Flake'.
Hard Rock Description....
Located high in the centre of the Lake District Scafell Crag has a prominent position in English climbing historically as well as geographically. From the ascent of Central Buttress in 1914 to modern routes by Dave Birkett, the crag has always been at the forefront of climbing in terms of both commitment as well as technical difficulty.
Central Buttress, initially climbed with the use of combined tactics stood for two decades as the most serious expedition in the Lakes. Affected by rockfall in 1994 the original line of Central Buttress is now E3.After, we headed around to the East side and climbed 'Leverage' E1.
Sunday, 23 May 2010
Saturday, 22 May 2010
So I think it is safe to say that is time to move on, we had a great 18 months or so in Chamonix and got loads done. We aren't going to stick around this summer - moving back to the UK to get a bit of work and get strong on the climbing front with my mate Byron ready for Yosemite in September.
I guess it is time to think back a bit to what we have achieved this winter... It was very different than last year in a way that I worked more, the snow was not quite so epic and the climbing was not easy. Still, with the experience of my first year it meant that when we did get chance to go in the mountains we made it worthwhile. We learned a lot about conditions and how each month changes your objectives.
Arrived in mid December, to find a decent amount of snow. It was time to get the ski legs back so spent some good days cruising around resort and especially on some tasty laps on the Plan d'Aiguille
Needed to nip up to Scotland to run a couple of winter skills courses. What a season they had up there! I hear people are still ski touring high in the Cairngorms - good effort! Upon my return I was ready to get stuck into my season. Had some great runs down the Envers du Plan and the Toule glacier. Climbing conditions never seemed to be up to scratch in the mountains, and we always prefer alpine climbing rather than valley ice. So we took up steep skiing. Our first outing was the 'Dru Couloir' by accident. We were still keen to set off where we left last year and despite the temperatures high up, went ski touring. It was nice but really hard work, best to be left for late Feb > March. Our enthusiasm here took us to Mont Velan a beautiful peak I skiid past last year and the Breche Pusieux.
I had wanted to do the Cosmiques Couloir all last season but never felt up to it, hadn't been skiing that long afterall. Anyway, february started with Plum and I skiing it in great snow. It was fantastic and really addictive. I think we found ourselves a new hobby for the winter. We were still on the look out for some winter routes to do, things were in condition but we were holding out for improvements come March. We had a load of great skiing in March, especially the Combe du Pouce with Glenn and Plum. Decided to get stuck into a bit of valley ice and climbed the direct version of the EMHM icefall from which I got a return of the chilly fingers. Good times.
The snow was fantastic, great days out in Courmayeur skiing the steep trees and untracked powder. Loads of mates out this month, good to spend some time with you all! Had another steep ski on the Capucin Couloir with Andy, quality day out. Our eagerness for alpinism was still strong. We had a piss poor attempt on the Bettembourg Thivierge but a cold night and schoolboy errors got in the way. We decided to lower the grade a bit and stand on a mountain, it had been so long - we traversed the Aiguille du Chardonnet. A beautiful peak. Rick came out on his splitboard, more touring to come!
A busy month. Loads of wee trips as work had quietened down. Loads of powder still to be had on routes like the Col du Passon. unfortunately for Rick, he nipped away on a stunning week where Plum and I had the Cunningham Couloir and the Barbey Couloir (from the Aiguille d' Argentiere). More skiing with the Col de la Buche and the Col de Belvedere where Plum took a wee ride down an icy slope. The 3 cols again and some Vallee Blanche rock cragging was great fun and made for mixed adventure days out! A couple of highlights towards the end of the month was the Lafaille Goulette and we ski'd to the top of Mont Blanc! One of last years goals.
I think this month was the best! With the highlight, skiing the Barbey face from the Aiguille d'Argentiere.
Back to the UK again for another taste of home. Had a weekend on Stanage before returning back to Cham. Rain had set in for the spring, but once it had cleared we had a few jollies includign the Aiguilette d'Argentiere and general cragging. Had a fantastic trip down the valley to the Pierre A Voix which hosts some fantastic sport. Recently, with some good weather Plum and I enjoyed the Burnier Vogler Couloir on the NW face of the Aiguille d'Midi. Just yesterday we attempted once again to do something a bit daft and walk into the Argentiere refuge for some more Alpinism. Unfortunately leaving ski's at home was not the best idea as there is stil la heap of warm soft snow up there!
So thanks everyone who I have been in touch with this winter for great tips & trips, route knowledge, days out and beers. Thanks to Plum for holding ropes, been a great Alpinist and top quality mountain Comrade, roll on Alaska. Thanks to Pelforth and the Vallee Blanche Bar for good apres, headaches and aborted routes. Thanks to Jennifer for good Shepherds Pie and calming my frustration when it was raining for 16 days. Thanks to all mates' in Chamonix for all good times!
It's time to move on somewhere else for more adventure. I will be back very soon as the tick list has only got longer.