Saturday, 27 February 2010

Snowdon Horseshoe - Photos to follow..........

This morning Dan and I headed up to the Pen Y Pass carpark with an open mind and a full rack, we didnt really know what conditions were like and we didnt know what to expect. The freezing level was given to be 650m today, it was slightly higher but a good estimate by MWIS, however the temps down at the carpark were pretty warm, probably +2 degrees in the early morning, and rose throughout the day. MWIS also gave a -1 temp for 900m, and although it is a - temp, isnt all that cold, so we were immediatly concerned with snow conitions and avalanche risk. We opted to do the full Snowdon Horseshoe, in the past i have done both halfs but never strung it all together, plus Dan hasnt been over Crib Goch before and wanted to do the ridge in full winter glory.
A great day which started clear but not for long, the cloud soon set in and which meant us getting very brief clearences in the cloud throught the remaining day. Once at the summit of Snowdon, it was quite clear from the rime on the finger stone, rock etc, that the fresh snow which has fallen recently had been scoured of the summit and more than likely deposeted on the leeward slopes of Clogwyn y Garnedd, so anyone climbing there today wouldnt have had brilliant snow conditions, however im sure people got stuff done.
A good drop in temps would bring fantastic conditions as the Trinity face and Lliwedd have good cover and full lines, but it looks like the freezing level is set to rise next week bringing a thaw to lying snow.
We got round the horseshoe and back to the Pen Y Pass in 6 hours, taking a steady pace and some time spent trying to navigate down from Snowdon in a SW direction, down where the steep scree is in the summer at the end of the Watkin Path ascent route.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Mind boggling new routes and stupid ammounts of snow.....

Dave Macleod has just made a winter ascent of his own summer line Anubis on the Comb, Ben Nevis. Now he's still thinking about the grade, but bear in mind this is a summer E8!! WTF!!
Read more here
Andy Turner has also climbed an impressive looking ice route on Ben Udlaidh's lower tier which a grade of VII, 7 has been given. Again a write up and photos on Dave Macleod's blog,

Our planned trip to the highlands this weekend has been put on hold due to the ammount of snow which has fell over the last few days. See Dan Goodwins blog  for some amazing photos which really captures the situation up north
We cancelled as i suspect climbs are going to be buried at the momment, thats even if you can get to them, drifts of fresh snow being meters deep are reported up in the Cairngorm's, and the avalanche risk will be pretty high at the mo, so stay safe out there!
Ben Udlaidh or the NW may be a wise choice this weekend, the routes are seeing quite a bit of action on Ben Udlaidh recently, although the forcast is predicting fairly strong winds for the weekend.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Iker Pou repeates Chris Sharma's Demencia Senil 9a+

Super strong Iker Pou has made the second ascent of Chris Sharma's Demencia senil, 9a+, at Margalef.
Read an interview here to see what Ikers thoughts are of the route, his training and his future ambitions.

IKER POU - DEMENCIA SENIL (MONTAJE 2.1) from jordi canyigueral on Vimeo.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

The Groove

BigUp Productions have just released this teaser excerpt from there new film Progression.
It features Kevin Jorgeson's second ascent of 'The Groove', and also Kevin trying and trashing his finger on 'Equilibrium'!!

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Climbing Photography

Recently there seems to have been a spate of climbing photography related write ups and articles doing the rounds. This article featured on ukc is worth a look, even for those like myself who just point and shoot!

Another great video featuring Simon Carter, who is recognised as one of the leading climbing photogrophers, gives both amateurs and professional some good ideas for shooting climbing related shots.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Allterrain MBC looking good

Earlier this week, some of the comittee members of AllterrainMBC including myself, engaged in a meeting with Tom Howarth who is the Club, Coach & Volunteer Development Officer for Warrington council.
We discussed how to push AllterrainMBC to be a bigger and better club in many different aspects including funding, resources, youth/junior schemes, qualifications and generally being all above board in the H&S and CRB areas.
It certainly sounds promising for ATMBC and Tom is already hard at work looking at ways to improve and aid the club, so thanks there to Tom.
A follow up meeting in a few weeks will hopefuly start to put some of the discussed topics into a p.o.a, and hopefully set the ball rolling!

Monday, 8 February 2010

Glen Coe Mixed....

Ive just returned from a fantstic weekend up in the highlands, well more specifically, Glen Coe.
Dan and I ventured up to get a taste for some harder mixed climbing with the help of James Thacker.
Dan and I have been getting a fair bit done recently and have started to cruise through the grades, climbing upto V,5, but pushing it into tecnical 6 or 7 teritory is a different ball game and James gave us a good insight as to what is needed to pull of these more techical routes.

Saturday we opted to head into Stob Coire nan Lochan, where we climbed Twisting Grooves, IV,5 and Scabbard Chimney V,6. Both fantastic routes, with great climbing. Conditions wise, the freezing level was higher than expected resulting in a slighly warmer day than forcasted, but the climbing was good with well frozen turf and neve.

Sunday we opted for Church Door Buttress on Bidean nam Bian. As we approached, it was clear that the crag was in stonking nick, well iced and well rimed. The approach to the base of the buttress, up the steeper slopes from the lower boulders held a fair ammount of slab, although this wasnt too poorley bonded, care was needed to avoid any slides.
With our aim being, Flake route right hand, V,7, we sorted the ropes and James got underway on the initial crux pitch. A series of tough, sustained hooks and torques up a corner crack with the slightest footholds, opened up this fantastic route (nice work from James!). The rest of the route felt like a real adventure, (with excellent climbing of upto tech 6) meandering around corners, squeezing through tunnels, climbing up a series of small chockstones and traversing over a hanging rock bridge!
A brilliant couple of days out out, for more info visit James Thackers blog here: