Paul James, MIC - - Winter and Rock Climbing Conditions

Thursday, 26 May 2011

26-05-11, Carneddau, Snowdonia - Expedition

 Carnedd Llywellyn with Crag Yrsfa.

The last few days I have been working with students from Wiltshire College. The 3 day programme involved a 2 day expedition with a wild camp and a day of rock climbing and gorge walking. Tuesday and Wednesday we walked over the Carneddau over Pen yr Llithrig Wrach and Pen yr Helig Du. Today we went rock climbing at Clogwyn Cyrau above Betws y Coed followed by ascending Afon Ddu gorge. The weather on the expedition was glorious, dry but windy and today it has turned slightly wet! Mountain crags will be out of action for climbing, rivers should still be paddleable tomorrow, or maybe Tremadog may be dry?! 

Sunday, 22 May 2011

22-05-11, Learning to Lead Climb - Tremadog, Snowdonia

This weekend I have been working for Sea2Summit on a Learn to Lead Rock Climbing course. The weather has been blustery and  very mixed, so Tremadog has been the venue of choice. Rachael had never climbed a single Trad route until this weekend. With an indoor and sport climbing background the aim was to get used to gear, how to place, extract and build belays and place runners. Saturday we climbed numerous VS and HVS routes and looked at seconding, taking out gear, building belays ad staying safe. Today with another belay partner; Tim, she got tied into the sharp end and led 3 pitches.

Over the last couple of weeks the weather has been wet and dry, despite this I have managed to get out climbing for myself after work, either in the slate quarries or by the coast, Gogarth and Penmean Head.

 Steve on Wild Rover E1 5b at Rhoscolyn.

Matt leading Blue Peter, E4 5c (North Stack Wall) and a team on The Grasper, E2 5c (Tremadog).

Sunday, 8 May 2011

06-05-11, Snowdonia and Peak District - Rock Climbing

I got back from the Alps at the start of May. There appears to have been a draught in North Wales - so better get out onto those north facing usually damp mountain crags! I have done some work for Plas y Brenin on a NNAS (National Navigation Award Scheme) Silver Award and Gorge Scrambling for Snowdonia Outdoor Adventure. Last week was warm but also breezy and the crags very dry. I have been climbing in the Llanberis Pass, Moelwyns and on Llech Ddu (The Groove - photos below). Thursday and Friday I have been in the Peak District climbing on the limestone in Dove Dale. Unfortunately the weather has changed and we have had blustery rain and general wetness over the weekend. No doubt there will be somewhere dry to climb near the coast next week!

April 2011 - Switzerland, France - Ski Touring and Sport Climbing

Kathryn and myself spent April in Switzerland and France doing a mixture of ski touring and sport climbing. It was very hot almost too hot for most of the time. Snowfall in the alps has been very small this season, we probably had more in Scotland! A combination of heat, lack of snow and huts being full had to think about where to go. Helena and Chris joined us for a 2 day tour from Arolla to Dix hut and over Pigne d'Arolla. Then we moved over to ski the West Oberland tour, starting from Diaberlets to Leukabad - a 6 day tour with 4 peaks. Fortunately we had a day of powder at the start and most other days were good visibility. After skiing we wanted to do some sport climbing we headed to Provence in France. We spent just over a week visiting lots of crags from Orpierre to Buoux and getting in plenty of rock millage.