Paul James, MIC - - Winter and Rock Climbing Conditions

Friday, 20 August 2010

20-08-10, Southern Snowdonia - Rock Climbing

This week we have had mixed weather in Snowdonia, warm sunshine and heavy rain. I have been working at Arthog OEC near Barmouth this week on a multi-activity week. In the evenings I have managed to get a few routes in. Bird Rock and Craig y Merched were the crags of choice for there closeness and quality of route, which can be hard to find in the Merionydd?!!?

Jack and myself enjoyed the steep 'Bolero' HVS 5a,5a at Bird Rock and the excellent, gritstone routes on Craig y Merched, we climbed all the starred routes on Rhino Buttress.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

15-08-10, Porth Dafarch - Coasteering

Today I have been Coasteering at Porth Dafarch. Tom, Tom and James have just graduated from Nottingham Uni and are having a holiday in North Wales and fancied doing something fun and adventurous. The sun was out, the sea was slight, conditions were great for climbing up, down and across the sea cliffs inter-tidal zone. We found several jumps into deep water, and ventured our way into some of the deep cut rifts. The lads thoroughly enjoyed themselves and came to the conclusion that it was a far better activity than the tree top adventure they did the day before.

Coasteering is a great natural, fun, exciting, adventurous way to discover the coastline. There is plenty of opportunity to jump, climb, swim and see the great architecture of the rock up and close which is hard to see from a far.

If you fancy getting a group together and going coasteering, in a safe environment with safety kit and instruction included, then visit to book.

14-08-10, Tremadog - Rock Climbing

Another day at Tremadog today, except this time it was hot and sunny! We left a drizzly Capel Curig in the morning to find glorious conditions at Bwlch y Moch. I was working for Climb Mountains with Ginnie and Sarah on a multi-pitch climbing day. We managed to climb several routes, the best of which being the classic Christmas Curry with its superb Micah Finish HS, 4b. Along the way we learnt how to tie into belays, lead belay technique, runner placements and route finding. For a Saturday the crag wasn't very busy, the sunny weather looks like it is going to hold so hopefully we can get cragging in the Pass and Ogwen again soon.

Photos - Right, exposed positions at the top of Christmas Curry, Above, climbing in series on Cynychwyr.

Monday, 9 August 2010

09-08-10, Tremadog - Rock Climbing

Today has been very wet in Snowdonia. I was working on a Multi-pitch Rock course for Kathryn Bromfield Mountaineering with Julian. We headed to Tremadog in hope to find dry rock, however today even Costa Del Tremadog couldn't come up with the goods. Despite heavy rain, we managed to climb 4 multi-pitch routes between VD and VS. Julian has done some climbing and scrambling before, so climbing in the wet wasn't that much of an issue. We looked at placing good runners, building belays, abseiling, double rope techniques and managing ropes on stances. We packed a lot in and Julian managed to use all of his new climbing hardware for himself. We climbed, Boo Boo VD, Oberon S (photo - right), Yogi VS and Cynychwyr P2 VS.
The top flake of Yogi, how do we do it??

That's how we do it!

Sunday, 8 August 2010

08-08-10, Pembroke - Rock Climbing

'Pigs on the Wing' pitch 2 HVS, an outrageous traverse on Triple Overhang Buttress.

Kathryn and myself went to Pembroke at the weekend. We headed to the Range in South Pembroke. The MOD doesn't fire at the weekend and with it being August, cliffs with nesting bird restrictions have been lifted so we went to Mewsford. The weather was very nice, sunny with a slight breeze, many climbers were in Huntsman's leap and at Saddle Head, but the further away from St Govan's car park you walk the quieter it got. We had a great couple of days climbing some outrageous routes, such as 'Pigs on the Wing' HVS (photo - right, the start!), which follows the underside of a massive roof on Triple Overhanging Buttress, and 'Space' another HVS which weaves its way up some massively overhanging rock of Block House Buttress at a very amenable grade, very spectacular and highly recommended. We also climbed the classic 'B Team Buttress' E1 again an excellent, varied pitch.
Hanging belay on pitch 1 of Pigs on the Wing.

Galactic Co-ordinator, HVS.

B-Team Buttress, E1 5b.

Abseil into Space Buttress.

Friday, 6 August 2010

05-08-10, Wye Valley - Rock Climbing

Jules 'its rock not..' Winter seconding 'The Bone' E1 5b, hoping for that elusive jug!

I have been visiting some friends who live in Worcester. As well as catching up we also had to do some climbing, we headed to Shorn Cliff in Wye Valley. Today has been sunny and very pleasant. Shorn Cliff is situated high in the woods over looking the river Wye and village of Tintern with its old Abbey. The limestone offers great lines and vertical walls, most of which are 20-30m high Trad routes with Abseil points off trees at the top. We climbed various routes between VS and E1 and had a great day. As well as giving us an easy way down the trees also gave us a welcome shade from the sun.

The old Abbey still stands, just!

VS climbing at Shorn Cliff

More VS climbing at Shorn Cliff

The J dog in action again, still looking for 'The Bone' E1 5b

03-08-10, Ogwen - Scrambling

A wet day in Snowdonia today. James, Liam and myself headed into Ogwen to do some scrambling. They both have an MIA assessment coming up and we thought we make use of a soggy day by ascending, Tryfan Fach, and then South Gully on Tryfan's east face, and finished up on Bristly Ridge on Glyder Fach. It was good practice for short roping and decision making. We met up with a few teams of hill walkers on the summit of Tryfan but had the scrambles to ourselves.