Coed Brenin Enduro 2014

Coed Brenin Enduro 2014

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Cat Wars

Somehow during a night time mission behind enemy lines, Wompus (the cat!) must have taken ginger (Tomcat) on grey fire. I managed to medivac her to the vets, and she seems to have survived after minor toe surgery (a few stitches). This close call makes me appreciate the NHS, and human care - the vet bill being £300!!!

At ease private Wompus....

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Gillercombe Buttress

The great weather continues so I'm trying to get out as much as possible at the moment, even though it was quite hard to get up today at 6am after a week at work. Paul was as keen as me to climb Gillercombe Buttress (another classic rock route!). Surprisingly (or maybe it shouldn't have been) when we arrived at Seathewaite (7.30am) it was already full of cars.

There she blows - Gillercombe Buttress

Pauls 'still going strong' 40 year old Karrimor rucksack, with metal buckles and a leather crampon/top patch. I wonder if these features will ever come back in fashion.

The walk up beside Sour Gill was a good warm up, and we soon arrived at the crag. Initially it looked like we would get held up as a party of 3 were ahead of us gearing up at the base of the route, but luckily they were simul -climbing and soon disappeared.

Paul 'throwing' some moves

One last look, homeward bound (can you spot the other 5 climbers?)
Gillercombe Buttress was a nice route, maybe more broken than I'd imagined, but some nice pitches in the 200m length. When we collected the bags after finishing there were a few teams dotting the length of the route.

Monday, 15 July 2013

The early bird doesn't always catch the worm...

Unfortunately I had to work all of this Saturday, but that made me even more keen to make the most of the good weather on Sunday. The plan was to head to Dow Crag in the Lakes with Ben, start early so that we had our choice of routes and could also finish earlyish, as Ben had family commitments in the afternoon.

We thought that leaving home at 6am would ensure that we were first at the crag. Wrong... we got to the base of the crag at 8.30am, after quite a hot walk in. Even at this time we found that we were the 4th team there! There was already a queue on Eliminate A (the classic 110m VS at the crag), so we headed to Murray's Route (S). I'd not done this 'classic rock' route before and it was very good, each (polished) pitch has something of interest on it.

Even at 8am it was hot (mist/cloud clearing over Dow Crag)
After finishing this route at about 10.30am there were over 10 teams at the crag and so we stuck to the quieter right hand side and climbed Eliminate 'C', a brilliant VS, with two great pitch's that are quite airy for the grade (loved this route). 

The slippy 1st pitch traverse of Murray's
Somewhere else on Murray's Route (so warm it could have been the Alps!)
We needed a quick route to finish the day, so shot up 'D' Ordinary Route (VD), which had 1 bush whacking pitch, one okay pitch and a final 'walking' pitch!

The 1st fun pitch on Eliminate 'C' (good views of Goats Water beyond)
Airy traverse, Ben just stepping on to a slightly loose spike!
Great day all the same, I'm a bit frazzled from the sun, trying not to think about work tomorrow, giving more brain power to when I can get out to play time will have to get up earlier.....

Monday, 8 July 2013

Hot day in the Lakes

Today we were torn between climbing and mt biking. In the end we opted for the bikes and headed over to the Coniston area to explore the quieter trails that head over from here to Seathwaite and the Duddon Valley.

The terminator about to cool off in the stream

Amazing singletrack
We were lucky that there was some thin cloud cover, but it was still hot going (around 26C). The trails didn't disappoint and were as good as I remember from when I was last here 3 years ago. The singletrack from Stephenson Ground round Ravens Crag to Kiln Bank Cross is one of the best tracks in the Lakes, technical bits, fast bits, short sharp climbs and big views.

The sloth hitting the short sharp climbs on the golden' singletrack

And still more amazing trail (and views)
Going, going, gone....
The only downside to this route is heading back over the Walna Scar road. Some biking gods may be able to ride this, but I've never seen anyone get more than 100m. Kev got 20m before his rear derailleur hit a rock and fell off (good excuse to push). After converting his bike into a singlespeed, we did the long 'push' in the blazing heat.

Nearly safely through this hard down (tough higher up)

The start of the Walna Scar road. Kev's bike broke after 20m! Good excuse to walk (push)

Heading through the eerie mine ruins (Walna Scar road snaking up to the sky line)
Eventually after what felt like we'd been in a desert survival situation we got to the highpoint and headed South to Natty Bridge and back through the forests. A great ride...... I'm back at work tomorrow so can have a rest from all this (fun) activity. 

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Lakes Classic Rock - Troutdale Pinnacle

Kev declared that he wished to climb on this visit to the UK, but also stated that he hadn't touched rock for 3 years, as the French lifestyle doesn't allow much time for this, predominantly going 'native' clearly involves eating lots of bread, cheese and not leaving home without red wine, whether in a glass bottle or hydration system!!!
Black Crag from the walk out (we were racing to get to the crag before another team on the walk in)
With these facts in mind I thought it would be a great idea to look at a 'classic rock' climb from Ken Wilsons famous climbing book of the same name. The climbs in this list are all classic and fairly easy, grade wise.

We picked Troutdale Pinnancle, as it has a reputation of being a great 6 pitch Severe route, and also it has an easy (up hill!) 30 minute walk to this great crag in Borrowdale.

Kev joining  me at yet another loose (well....ish) block belay
It was a fantastic route, each pitch getting better than the last, and fairly airy for the grade. After finishing this great route it was busy with other climbers at the crag (we'd been first on the route) and hot, so we headed into Keswick for an icecream chaser.

Kev posing at the top. Great views of Derwent Water and Skiddaw

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Gummer's How - mountain biking

Amazing weather at the moment, which is very timely because Kev our friend is over for a visit to sample Northern hospitality, and have a break from rural France (and the frogs legs).

Checking the views
Its this way....
When he arrived we allowed him a short rest and cup of tea before dragging him to the Lakes for a mountain bike ride. We were privileged to have Abi join us on this ride after frantically finding her mt bike, which hadn't been out for a while.....
Here she comes speeding out of the forest section

We did a loop in the Gummer's How/Southern Windermere area, because its always quiet (we saw three people this time - busy), with lots of variety and great views of the surrounding hills and Morecambe Bay.
Here comes the fun downhill....
Just got to think of tomorrow's entertainment now.....