Friday, 29 June 2012

More Cotswold Product Training

This week we have delivered a further 2 training events for Cotswold.  Rob replaced Alex for DMM, but the rest of the team stayed the same.

The first was based in Sheffield with good weather to make good use of the crags.  Stanage was the venue on day one, where we covered a mass, and also got the more experienced members of the group leading.  Some for the first time.  Burbage North played host for the second day.  Again the chance to learn was enhanced by the amount everyone got to use the kit, with more leading done here also.

Kendal was the venue of the second event.  Unfortunately, the weather was sub optimal, so we spent 2 days in the Kendal Wall.  This did however provide a great venue to cover all aspects of the training.  Again, we managed to get the more experienced wall users leading and the none climbers working independently.

The training series has been a real success for us, and the feedback from all the events suggests the same for all those who have taken part.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Edelrid Product Training for Cotswold

I have been in Bristol for the past 4 days delivering Edelrid Product training for staff from Cotswold's.  The training was split into 2, 2 day event for staff in the South of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  Paul and I were sharing the time with Alex From DMM and Ben who was representing DMM and Evolv.  The 2 events have gone very well, with the feedback from the staff proving that this type of focus training is really beneficial to their ability and confidence to sell the products.
As 2 of the days where spent in the Avon Gorge, it would have been rude to not have bagged a few routes.  A solo flash of Connoisseur's Choice E4 6b (if done the original way, solo), 5b Groove E3 5b, 5b Wall E3 5c, and ascents of New Horizons II E2 5c***, Them E3 6a*** and Arms Race E4 5c***.   Add this to a long day at The Climbing Academy yesterday and I have manged more climbing than I would have thought.
Pretty tired after a busy week, but have 4 more days with Cotswold next week in Sheffield and Kendal.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Welsh 15 Peaks

Over an extended weekend that started on Friday, the plan was to walk the Welsh 15 peaks. I met Mike, John, Ginny, Jo and Camilla on the Thursday evening to chat about the event and the Weather forecast, which was less the perfect.  Everyone was still extremely keen to crack on and do our best.

Friday was an extremely wet and windy journey across the Cardeddeu.  Despite the weather we made good time, and once you got going surviving in your hood was not that bad.  Some would disagree.
Head down and dig in on day 1

Extreme wet on the Carneddeu
Saturday was apocalyptic!  The river Llugwy was over flowing into the surrounding fields and hand filled the bottom carpark of the hotel.  Despite this we went out to see what we could achieve.  We made a good, but unbelievably wet traverse of Tryfan, which was more a mountain of stream up the North ridge.  Everyone opted to bail after they were soak to their skin, so back for an early coffee and well deserved piece of cake.

Starting up the North Ridge

Ginny showing what she thinks of the conditions on Tryfan

Jo and John soak to their bones

The weather was a total switch on Sunday.  Dry, bright and sunny.  This made the traverse of Crib Coch and around to Snowdon a pleasure.  Everyone enjoyed the challenge and left on a high.  A great way to finish a wild weekend.
Making good progress across Crib Coch

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Grand Illusion

After all the rain, it was nice to meet up with Pete at a surprisingly dry Almscliff today.  After soloing around on Lower Man to get the body moving, with ascents of Matterhorn Arete HVS 5a and V Crack HVS 6a being the trickiest things.  We the headed up top, where Pete cruised Z Climb Eliminate E1 5b*** to continue our warm up.  I then on sighted Grand Illusion E4 5c***, which was excellent.  At this grade I was expecting it to be either bold or sustained, but it was neither.  Excellent cams at foot and knee height protect the crux, which is short lived and boils down to 3 moves really.  However, each one of them is worth a star.
Pete doing what he does best

I then soloed Syrett's Roof E3 6b**.  It took a few goes, as I was struggling with the slopers in the sun.  Pete then cruised up Wall of Horror's E3 6a***, so I took advantage of his gear to flash it.  This means I have completed the Almscliff big 3, which I'm psyched about.

We wrapped the day up with a quick flash up the Flying Arete V3.  Let's hope the summer improves.

Friday, 8 June 2012

The Only Dry Route in West Yorkshire?

Having checked the weather forecast more times than I can remember this week, I was hopeful today that one route many still be dry.  Heptonstall just keeps on giving at the moment, and my hunch was right.  The crag often does well when it rains if the wind direction is right.  Although not perfect today, it was good enough for Midnight Lightning E5 6b**.  Sheltered by big corners on either side and a roof above, the overhanging wall was perfect.  The fact that the route does not go to the top of the crag is even better, so you don't have a wet top out.  Instead, you can just scuttle off down rabbit ledge.

This is one of the few routes I had not climbed here, so was happy to get on today.  Also, after a week nursing a mild tear in a hip flexor, it was good to go climbing.  Easy climbing take you up the zigzag cracks and to a peg.  From here a mantle/press helps you discover a hidden slot.  Now the climbing kicks in.  Powerful and dynamic moves are needed to gain the big flake nose.  Not trusting my hip and finding it hard I fell off.  This process was repeated a few times, before I manned up and got the big flake.  It's not quite over there, a few good moves lead you to the comfort of Bull's Crack.

A great route that is overlooked, but definitely worth doing.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Injury, Looking on the Bright Side

After climbing on Friday, I started to stiffen up through the night which was a bit of a shock.  There had been no sign that I had hurt anything whilst climbing.  After being kept awake by a constant ache, I woke with a limp and extremely tight thigh/groin.  As things have settled down, it seems I have a tear in my hip flexor,  to what degree, I will find out tomorrow.  However, rather than moan too much,  I am looking for the positive.  This might be a good chance to work on my finger strength.  So the board is going up, and the program is set for daily 45 min sessions to boost things for when I return.

Fingers crossed it's only for a couple of weeks.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Paying Back the Numbers

Pete (the numbers) Harris made the journey from York to come and tick some classics at Heptonstall.  This is a crag that Pete has done very little at, so his usual encyclopedic knowledge of the routes and their runners was missing.  I however, have a large debt to pay for all the pointers that Pete has passed on, on so many routes.  With the rolls reversed.  I pointed Pete and some pleasant routes to warm up on.  As Pete is still on the road to full recovery, we started easy.  Pete cruised Main Line VS 4c** and Curving Crack VS 4c** and then proclaimed he was warm.  Next up on the PGH hit list was a Thin Red Line E2 5b***.  Again this was dispatched smoothly.
Pete cruising Thin Red Line
Pete chilling at a rest on Forked Lightening

With Pete wanting a break, I decided to have a go on Orange Crush E6 6b**.  I had been up to the peg a couple of times before and reversed down, so the flash was still on.  As I launched up the very steep wall, passing the pegs and entered the crux, I was suddenly air born.  After four falls from the same hold that I could just not get properly, I finally got my heel in the right spot to make the move easier.  This meant I was suddenly on the hold and through the crux.  A few steep, exposed moves on good holds up the arete and I was done.  Awesome wild climbing, and another classic Heptonstall route that didn't disappoint.

Pete was now rested and set about cruising Forked Lightening Crack E3 5c***.  He wrapped his day up with a swift ascent of Brown Sugar E2 5c**.  A pretty good haul for the man that said he was not sure how it would go.  It's good to be out with Pete again and hopefully there will be more days like this to come.

Pete sets about dispatching Forked Lightening

The Numbers is back!!