Thursday, 2 December 2010


So pretty much stuck at home today as our driveway has turned into an icy ski jump leading straight onto the main road

whilst this weather isn't particuarly great on a day to day basis- for winter climbing in the Uk its a dream!

Myself and a few friends are planning our ice climbing trip to scotland this Christmas- we're heading up to Aviemore for what will hopefully be one of the best winters on record!

a quick round up of Kendal mountain festival- it really was a fantastic experience as a first timer. Listening to Alpinists such as herve barnasse and the Pua Brothers speak about their trips around the world, i wanted to pack my bags and head off to the Himalaya there and then. Leo Houlding's new film The Prophet, about his new route on El Cap was also very cool and well worth a watch.

The weather was beautiful and it almost seemed like a crime not to be out in the hills enjoying it. Rhys, Jon and I stayed in a lovely littkle farm cottage about 2 miles from the nearest village and woke up evey morning surrounded by the beautiful green fells and lots of sheep and chickens- and then went inside or talks and films all day!

the evenings were wound up with drinks in the Brewery arts centre where the entire festival seemed to congregate- it was an awesome weekend and if you have the chance to go next year- do!

the last two days of our trip was spent scrambling- we zipped up Jacks Rake and Sharp Edge. An attempt on some rock was made but embarassingly i got cold feet (literally) and called time on it with dark only a few hours away. We ended up at Kendal rock wall for some boulding once night as was our thirst to get some actual climbing done.

Jacks rake is a really cool scramble in the summer- grade 1 and requires a helmet. Its only 30 mins from the nearest car park and close to the top has some slabs which if you fancy can make quite a fun boulding session. the walk out is clearly marked on a well used path and for a few hours in the hills with great views its fantastic.

Sharp edge is slightly short lived and reminded me more of Crib Goch though perhaps not as scary. it was pretty icy and on the tops it was snowy. Again- stunning views of the lakes- views to easily compare with the Himalaya. something that kids or people new to scrambling would feel safe doing. I tried to go for a swim in the tarn at the bottom- it didn't last long.
I've since nipped up to sheffield and climbed at the Foundry which has a really good bouldering area and cool traverse wall which has been sculpted in places to be more like real rock.

Back down south i was the only climber at craggy island yesterday morning, and running today in the woods like id hoped seems a little fruitless. its a gym session then i guess.

Lastly- just finished reading Dave MacLeod's book '9 out of 10 climbers make the same mistakes'. if you rock climb READ IT! it is well worth it, i am climbing much harder already- it will improve your climbing, so buy it!

Next blog will be after i come back from germany where i am dusting down some skis for the first time in years. Ski touring in Bavaria is apprently pretty famous and hopefully will live up to such a great reputation. see you then and merry christmas!

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