Thursday, 22 April 2010

Spring Time

Were enjoying this fine weather up in Snowdonia at the moment.
Snowdonia Nat Pk is so dry it's unbelievable and there's still pockets of snow on the tops which makes the Park looks stunning.

We have been busy running navigation courses over the last few weeks.
All the course's have varied from the NNAS Award Scheme to Mountain Leader Refresher Course's and Night Navigation.

Next weekend is the first of our Welsh 15 Peaks of the season and the forecast is looking good.

Everyone on the May Toubkal Climb have been trying to squeeze in some training and reports from Jamal our man in Morocco is that all the snow has now cleared and it's warming up nicely, which is great news as were camping.

See you on the hill


Friday, 9 April 2010

Welsh Ridge Walks

Spring is finally here and we've also had some great sunny days.
It's been a fab winter, but were happy to see spring finally arrive.
Our first weekend this spring was spent doing some of the lesser known walks in Snowdonia, but just as stunning as the popular walks, the bonus being it's very quiet and free from all the more popular routes.
On Saturday we headed out for the Nantlle Ridge, with stunning views of Snowdon and the coastline plus some easy scrambling the Nantlle Ridge is a must for all those looking for something new away from the crowds.
Once we had got over the initial shock of a very long steep climb onto the ridge and were rewarded with magnificent 360 views.
On the ridge the route starts on a broad ridge then narrows into a smaller brother of Crib Coch the great thing about Nantlle is you can take the more challenging route or the more relaxed route.

Sunday we climbed Cnitch known as the Matterhorn of Wales this is one of those quiet parts of the National Park that when your there you think why have I not been here before it's simply stunning again great views of Snowdon, Cadir Idris and the Coast.
There's a short scramble to the summit which just adds the whole experience once on the summit it was lunch time before following a short wide ridge then finally descending to our start point.

Both these routes get very little visitors which make it's such a special place.

Remember mum's the word.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Scottish Winter Skills

We Loaded up our Land Rover for what was going to be a slow trip to the Scottish Highlands.
The joy of driving a land rover, well we would be going slow enough to enjoy the stunning Scottish Highlands but get a very numb backside in the process.

Arriving in Aviemore and the sun was shining, Wow this is going to be a good week. Of course it was't to last about an hour in fact.

So our winter skills started off ice axe arrest then moving onto snow pack asessment and winter navigation skills and finally crossing step ground.
After 3 days practising all our new skills in strong winds and zero visability we headed out on our expedition.
Once on the Cairn Gorm plateau we were down to zero visability so good navigation was need to find a venue for our night in a snow hole.
After 3 hours digging we finally had our cosy little home and a brew on.

Everyone had a good night's sleep if not a little damp.

The folowing day we spent practising our navigation before covering some steep ground decending Fiacaill Ridge and finally a controlled bum slide into Corrie Sneachda.

After a hot shower we headed out for a curry and well earn't beer..
Everyone then headed home the following day.
I stayed on a few days to make the most of the last few weeks of winter conditions, another day on the Cairn Gorm and then climbed gulley number 4 on Ben Nevis in glourious sunshine before heading back to Wales justv in time for more snow.

What an amazing winter this has been, lets hope we continue to have more winter like this year.