Looking back on the last 10 years of climbing and skiing I realise how much I’ve learnt and how much I’ve grown in that time. Sometimes mentors are hard to come by and although I don’t claim to have all the answers I have made my fair share of mistakes for better or worse. Here are 10 things I would’ve told my younger self 10 years ago, which I hope might help some younger wannabe mountain dudes and dudettes on the their mountain quests. Hopefully to do even better than I have with their mountain careers!
Its certainly been a while since I posted anything on here. Where to start I would keep asking myself. A lot has happened since the start of 2017 and I’ve either been too busy or too lazy to write about it. So here goes… Part one of three blogs about what Ive been up to so far this year covering Climbing, Running and Mountain Biking. Yes Mountain Biking!
At the start of January I headed out to Scotland for the 2nd part of my journey to become a IFMGA British Mountain Guide. After a few weeks of warming up on some classic Continue reading
First up I’d like to apologise for my lack of blogging in the last few months.. I’ve been pretty busy and I’ve not really been doing any properly interesting days out in the mountains due to the lack of good conditions. I’ve been out loads though and Ive been enjoying training, climbing and skiing on my days off.
Here a list of my 5 favorite pieces of gear from the summer so far. Things that have made my life easier, or more comfortable.
Petzl Sitta Harness
The Petzl Sitta has been a big surprise for me. Its super comfy, yet light weight and easy to pack in the rucksack. Enough gear loops for trad climbing and perfect for sport. It works for nearly all my climbing and I don’t need to worry about choosing the right harness for the job as I know it will work for me. Check it out on the EpicTV Shop here.
DMM Pivot Belay Device
It’s surprisingly hard to find the perfect belay plate but I’m pretty close with the DMM Pivot. Easy to use in guide mode and very smooth for giving out rope and abseiling. Great stuff from the welsh manufactures. Check it out here.
With the summer well and truly underway and after an abysmally rainy June it feels pretty good to get some short easy alpine routes and a tone of good rock climbing done. With the British Guides Summer assessment looming in September I’ve been trying to focus on getting back on the rock to practice the skills we need to pass the test, namely rescues, short roping and navigation. This means that my personal objectives have fallen by the wayside, but it’s OK because I was mentally prepared for this situation when I started the scheme last year. Soon I’ll be heading back to north wales to practice more in the appropriate environment and get my head back in the trad game! It’s going to be awesome!
Hopefully I can have one last jaunt into the big hills to propel me in to the summer in wales. Fingers crossed for the weather!
Here’s some shots from the summer so far.
First off… Happy New Year and thank you for following this blog or even reading it from time to time. It means a lot to me that anyone at all cares what I have to say and this gives me reason to keep going!
2015 was a bumpy year with a rough start. With the loss of friends from skiing accidents and also my dearly beloved Grandfather who was a great inspiration to me, motivation for skiing and general mountain activities was low. Ordinarily I’d expect to ski of a mountain or two and have at least a handful of long days in the mountains with friends. Looking back I realise that I hardly had any stand out days last winter due to work commitments, lack of snow and lack of psyche.
I’d like to give my take on this mixed seasons conditions for those of you interested.
Some of it is speculation, some of it experience and some just from talking to others and seeing others reports of routes. I’d welcome comments bellow if you have any input or want me to further shake the magic 8 ball.
Despite the hot and dry summer the mountains have recovered somewhat and there seems to be, in the right places, some good ice about. Here is a brief run through of popular areas to give you some insight.
Seemingly good conditions on most routes, lots of fun snow ice on the German gully, Profit Perroux, Chere and other mixed lines. A good choice for a day hit to get some fun climbing in.
Passerelle Couloir/ off the Midi Bridge
Theres been a few teams going of the bridge each day. Reportedly Vent du Dragon is good but the Pérroux-Profit Gully is lean and in a bad way. Other routes might be good but I’ve not heard.
Midi North Face
The Chere Couloir is a Plastic neve Romp as ever and the top seracs are fairly begnin looking, however the serac next to the Frendo spur is very threatening right now. The Mallory would be climbable but needs more cover to make it enjoyable. I climbed the Eugster Diagonal (see previous post) yesterday and it was fine. I started 150m to the right in the next gully system and traversed hard left after 60m. This avoided the thin and spindrifty start. The Direct looks a bit thin but should be passable. I did hear of a team climbing it but that’s just hear say. Charli Chasagne looks ok aswell.
Pellerin North Face
Not heard of any teams on this but the Carrington/Rouse would probably be pretty good. Beyond is starting to form also.. Are you keen?
Looks quite snowy from this photo but I bet some of the routes are climbable. Not heard of any ascents but it will be quieter up there than last year for sure!! Any news? Send me some photo’s and I’ll post them here!
I’ve heard of some teams climbing the Droites, ColtonBrooks Etc. Probably most classic routes, Ginat etc are good if your keen for the romp up there. Trip report of the DEBRUYNE-MANU/GABBAROU 79 here showing some pictures of the basin. However my friend Pete told me that the Chardonnet descent definitely requires a sense of humour! I’m sure this is true for the Droites too!
Nant Blanc and Dru Couloir
Nant Blanc is looking OK but I’m sure the glacier is horrendous to get to the base of it. not sure about the Dru Couloir area but It is probably ok.