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Way back in time before the onset of adulthood I enjoyed countless days heading into the hills of Yorkshire with nothing more than a squashed sandwich & youthful sense for adventure! Despite long past youthful and work commitments keeping me in the city, the sense of adventure and love for the outdoors never left me. After digging my boots out and returning to the hills I attended a number of courses to improve my hill knowledge and skill base, during one of these courses it was suggested I join the Mountain Leader Training scheme and was delighted go on to gain the MOUNTAIN LEADER Award in April 2012. As well as spending time on the hills and mountains of the UK I have also enjoyed trips to the Nepalese Himalaya, Swiss & French Alps, Mallorca’s Tramuntana, Andorran & French Pyrenees, Morocco’s High Atlas, Tanzania’s Mt Meru & Kilimanjaro, Argentinian & Chilean Patagonia and winter expeditions to Norway’s Hardangervidda. Since gaining the ML I have also gained the SINGLE PITCH AWARD, INTERNATIONAL MOUNTAIN LEADER AWARD and the WINTER MOUNTAIN LEADER AWARD. I am now enjoying working in a freelance role whilst trying to get out climbing as much as possible.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

What a Difference A Week Can Make!

  The weekend before last was saw me squeezing the schedule so I could get some more winter miles before the thaw.

 Leaving work at 1am in Leeds I packed my kit and set off on the 2.5 hour drive to the Ogwen Valley in Snowdonia.
 After around 2hrs sleep in the car I was awoken by my mate Alan tapping on the window. Alan and I had met on a trip to the High Atlas in Morocco during 2014. Alan would be joining Rob Johnson in Scotland in a few weeks and wanted to sample a lo grade winter climb as a idea as to what he was in for.
 We made our way through ever deeper snow to the foot of the chimney that would take us up to Bristly Ridge and on to the summit of Glyder Fach. It was at the foot of the route I found I'd left my crampons in the car, again!! I blame it on the sleep depravation. I should make it clear that if the temperature had been lower and the snow firmer I wouldn't have carried on but I felt confident I could make the climb of the chimney in my boots and then the 'mushy' snow would be passable with a little extra care.
 After negotiating the chimney we found ourselves in deep snow before getting on to the ridge proper where it was obvious there had been a number of people crossing the ridge over the weekend.

  We then made our way past the 'Cantilever Stone' before finding our way through the murk towards the Gribben Ridge which we would descend.
 A good accessible route for a winter day though I would recommend crampons!
Well done to Alan for what was his first winter mountaineering route and maybe just a little insight into what he can look forward to in Scotland.

Monday morning I met up with my mate and occasional climbing partner Rob Gurr of Summit Adventures. Rob is also on the Winter Mountain Leader Scheme so was eager to get out and get a few miles under his belt.

 We decided we would head up to the summit of Snowdon via Crib Goch. Crib Goch is arguably the most famous ridge in the British mountains, possibly due to its accessibility from Pen y Pass car park.
 We made our way up to the ascent into the ridge where we put on crampons (remembered them for a change!) as the snow became firmer as the temperature dropped.
Visibility was low as we crossed the ridge and made our way up to the summit of Snowdon.
 At Snowdon summit we decided to continue on and completed the 'Snowdon Horseshoe' rather than walk back down by the Miners or Pyg track.
 Covering the summits of Crib Goch, Crib y Ddysgl, Snowdon and Llywedd Bach the route is just under 12km long with just under 1000m of ascent and it took us a respectable 6.5hrs I. Winter conditions.

 A good day and especially good to catch up with Rob to spend the day setting the world to rights.....

 What a difference a week can make as the thaw set in and saw heavy rain clear most of the snow 😕
 These pictures show the entrance to the summit cafe on Snowdon, around 6ft of snow cleared within a week due to a warm front and heavy rain.

 Also after finding that I was definitely getting winter stronger and fitter I managed injure my back doing absolutely nothing adventurous, not the best week!!

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