Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gloves? What do you use?

What are folks preferences in gloves for each of the seasons.

I have tried out hundreds of pairs during my work as an outdoor instructor, none keep my hands dry after prolonged use.

Dachsteins are great

Showa cold gloves these look a bit weird but do work

Showa Thermo grip gloves fantastic grip and warmish

or these

Venitex Gloves

or this which i bought a pair of in Chamonix and are fantastic and cheap but could only find this Hungarian site

Silk Liner Gloves

what do you use? these are great alternatives to the branded expensive gloves that we tend to buy and use.


Stuart Smith

Mountain Rescue

I have just seen a Mountain Rescue conference report, this may have some interest even the nice pictures to you when you off having your adventures.

Bear these in mind.

Take care and hope to meet up with at some point in the New Year.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Seasons Change

Since my last post the seasons have definatly taken a change toward Winter. The mornings are getting darker when I am working with the Army. They have a great "nip to the nose" feel along with some stunning sunrises and sunsets. I have been also working with Chelmsford Girls School on their second training weekend for Greenland 2010 with Bull Expedtions. We had horrendous weather here in the Lakes 80mph winds and heavy rain, but the weekend was a success with the girls going home tired and smiling.

I have completed my first LDWA event in approx 10 years over the weekend with Morecambe and Bowland Group. 21 miles and 4000ft ascent, it took me 5.15 Hrs. It follwed the Derwent lake skyline from Rosthwaite to Keswick and return over Catbells. Thanks to Barry from Bootle for the chat all the way round. A great informal event with no prizes no winners but a great day out good company and loads of tea!

I have no photos so have included random shots for your pleaseure and mine.

Monday, September 28, 2009

More Stuff

Well its been another busy period since my last post. I have been working at several differnt places an ML assessment with Chris Ensoll in the Lake District. With the Army taking Adventure Training with Recurits and then with Apex Training doing a D of E gold practice with a group from Charters School. This was a great last night wild camping. We sat and watched the stars and satellites with some hot chocolate "special mix" and some strong cheese and caviar. This I thought tasted strange as it should, but it was 14 years old!!
I have also been out with a group From Silva compasses with a group from Up and Running doing some navigation Training in North East Lakes.
During this time I have also competed in the Lake District Mountain Trial. This was a very hot day with a lot of the old school of mountain runners taking part. A great day out am not sure of my finishing position.

I have also just done the Rab Mountain Marathon a Two day event in the Howgills. Again not sure of position as a solo entrant. Now I have a few days off. Hooray!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Even on Robinson

Well its been a long time since my last post. I have spent the summer in Ladakh working for World Challenge and Stamford School. We were heading for Stok Kangri at 6000mtrs after trekking for 12 days over 4000mts. Unfortunately we didnt summit due to me being ill and bad weather. But a good trip all the same, then to the plains at 47C and the Taj Mahal. Back to the UK and its been like a monsoon here. I have worked with the Army and Apex training on a ML Training course. If its bank holiday its generally wet but we had a windy day out on Robinson with Sarah, Tara and the dogs an a great day biking in Scotland.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Adventure Week

Working this week with Windermere St Annes Year 6 end of year Adventure Week. We had the best of the weather, unlike one just under 4 weeks ago when it snowed! Three groups had a fantastic adventure on Hellvelyn, Climbing and Gyhll Scrambling. Thanks to Sarah, Caz and Sarah and all other staff who came along for all their help. To top off the week a Bivi by the shores of Windermere including the burining of marshmallows....

Monday, June 15, 2009

Going for Gold!!

Another great week. First of all with The Army, working with some of the best soliders in the British Army, The Gurkhas. True Genlemen and a great willingness to learn and perform at their best. Congratulations to Joanna Lumley for all her work done for Gurkha rights.

At the Weekend I was then camping with the Going for Gold group. A wild camp with 10-11 year olds from Windermere St Annes Elleray School. A visionary program put together to better the education to primary school age groups; offered by using the Outdoors as a learning tool. We had a great campsite located near to Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England. Night navigation and campcraft skills were practised by a great group. I hope they go on to complete the Gold standard and use this as a starting point for greater adventures that they have in mind.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Four Seasons in One Week !!

End of May and begininng of June gave us a four seasons start to the middle of the year.
I was running part of the Cumbrian Way with Sarah and Keela our dog in 25C on Saturday. I then worked with a great group of four lads and three staff from Red Balloon London at Ormside Mill near Appleby. During the week we paddled on Ullswater in 25C and rock climbed and then the lads did an independant climb up Blencathra in cooler conditions. On Friday it snowed on the summits of the Pennines and higher fells!!
Sunday saw Sarah, Keela and I on Intake Ridge a 3* scramble in the Lakes in a cold wind but bracing.

A great adventure day out and if you have one in mind its easy to get in touch and make it happen.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

In the Drink Again!!!

Its been wet weather again hooray! and boo!! I have been bringing in controls from the GLD3 weekend. A great event of stature and self reliance 3 days out running. Boo!! to that as it was snowing and very wet windy and cold bringing those in. Hooray cos I was doing a Swiftwater Rescue course with Howie Crook at Re-Think training. Maryport Rescue crew were also on the course based in the Southern Lakes. The water was cold even in May and I was very glad of my wetsuit shorts and knee pads under my Lomo drysuit. I found the drysuit brilliant, at a great price with all the added extras that I need. Even a relief zip is included and let me say its a great relief to have it after being in the cold water. Howie had also got a set of Lomo suits so we all looked very professional and turned a few heads as a group of eight in yellow and black. A very good course and well delivered and great to meet up with the volunteer crew of the lifeboat. I hope i never have to use them in the best sense. Back to work on land again, if you have any courses hill to climb and adventures to include, its easy to get in touch with me.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

California Dreamin'

Another week of unseasonally wet weather. "All the skies are grey...."
I have been helping Joe Faulkner at NAV4 out with the GLD3 event. A tough solo lakeland challenge for runners. Planning the course and putting out and taking in markers is a challenge in itself.I have been testing a new OMM rucksack, the very aptly named OMM-i-Drate. Its now on sale in some shops but not up on OMM website as yet. Its a 15 ltr sack ideal for a cross over of sports. Ski climb bike run etc. It has a bladder level visibilty panel in the centre of the pack and of course all the usual linking features that you have come to expect with OMM gear of late. That means this will connect onto bigger packs and the Trio chest pouch and OMM-i-Gamy aslo add invaluable usable space. I think its a great pack very stable and versatile that I have used over several months now.

The picture above is the edge of the world as seen from Hellvelyn summit on a minging wet Tuesday after Bank Holiday Monday. On my 1hr 40 min journey up and down I collected 7 banana skins and 2 orange peels. Please do not dispose of litter like this! Its my office! If you need any advice on this bio-degradeable rubbish please ask or book onto a course. I look forward to hearing from you all soon. Cheers

Prior to that i was working with Paul Lewis Peak Mountaineering on Coniston Old Man with 27 women. Ideal.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Power Kiteing In Northumbria

Here is a quick video of some extreme power kiteing to the min taken over the Easter Weekend in Northumbria. Click on the link above to view it on You Tube.
I dont think Keela the dog is helping to much but the American Family walking past thought it was AWESOME!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Striding Edge with Keela

A days to long to be doing admin for all of it at at this time of year. A quick text to Bernie then up Striding Edge on Helvellyn then down Swirral Edge with Bernie Keela and Skye for a three hour extended lunch break today.

We saw the last of the sugary cornices around the edges and the start of the work on the new path which avoids the face of Helvellyn. A great warm spring day with a gentle breeze on the ridges with a few people out and about.

We travelled very light weight with windproof Montane tops and OMM Ultra wasitpack. Keela was using a Ruffwear Webmaster Harness, this aided in moveing her whilst on the edges. She didnt need it though and at 10 months old proved to be very agile.
If you have an adventure in mind and want to complete some of the countries finest edges get in touch, we aim to please.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Peak District, Wales and back to Lakes

This week has been busy in a mixture of weather terrain and driving. I was working with Bull Expeditions in the Peak District planning a Greenland Trip with CCHS for 2010. Then working with Proactive Development and Simon McElroy in North Wales. A great trip over Snowdon in some very cold conditions on the summit then down to finish the day at LLanberis. Climbing was awesome and the Port Merrion day magaical. A fantastic busy full week with a great group. I also had a meeting on the way North with Laurence at Seren Ventures. Then back up to the Lakes for the Spring Nav4 weekend. I had a very strong group of Adventure Racers and runners. Mixed weather and night navigation saw some big smiles on all concerned faces. A busy time for me but very rewarding. Time now to spend a bit of time with Sarah and Keela.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Snowshoeing in France

A busy week of week of snowshoeing with Tara in France staying with most aminable host Phill Jarrett of British Snowshoe Tours. It was his birthday while we were out there and celebrated in style. Chamonix is expensive at the moment due to exchange rate. £5 for a beer!!

A great week with the weather being warmer than the UK but made the avalanche forecast a bit higher. We were out for four days recce-ing routes and one dy on cross country skis. One day we snowshoed up to 2000 mtrs then donned blades and skied back down, rather like beginners on mountainering boots!! My OMM Villan rucsac and Ultra waistbelt coped brilliantly with all the carrying needs of all the different tools needed during the week.
I then worked the weekend with Ben Keen and Bishop Wordsworth School on their D of E Gold Training in Patterdale Cumbria. A complete mixture of weather tested all involved, a great group and I wish them the best of luck on their final expedition.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ramblings on and on

This last couple of weeks has seen me busy with the Army. Nav4 symposium and working with Chris Ensoll on a Mountain Leader Training and Assessment in the Lake District.
I then drove up to Aveimore, thanks to the local constabulary for reminding me of the speed limit! I was working at Glenmore Lodge for the MCof S Student Intro to Winter Skills weekend. My group of 5 are studying to be vets at Royal Dicks College in Edinburgh. We had a good weekend and found some very wet snow after the great thaw.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Winter Skills in The Lake District

Thanks to Bernie and Anja for a great day out in the Lake District learning some new skills to help with their confidence to get out more safely in winter. A full on day with good conditions. Eastly winds bowing powder snow and some blue sky moments all helped. The snow was great and helped with the digging of belays and Bernie and Anja showed some nice balance on and off crampons. Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team and the Air Ambulance were busy with two call outs on Saturday; both rely on donations if you are able to help.
If you want to develop your skills to travel more safely in the current winter conditions I will be running more course please contact me or check my Facebook group.

at 00:42 on 09 February 2009
A huge thank you to Stu for a fantastic winter skills course on saturday. He shared a huge amount of skills and knowledge with us and helped our confidence grow massively. We both found Stu to be a brilliant coach by creating a safe and productive learning environment with a great big lump of humour thrown in to complete the equation. We cant wait to go out with him again and really enjoyed digging up just a bit more snow today! Thanks again Stu, Anja and Berni.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Long Hours Travelling

This week I have been working for BPE interviewing potential candidates for a Expedition to Greenland in 2010.

After an 11 hour drive to Aveimore in Scotland I was then working with Mike Margeson for Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team on a winter training course.
The weather on the Saturday was great, Sunday another story, very windy and poor visibility. We did the honourable thing; after 3 were sadly killed in an avalanche the same weekend in another area of Scotland, and didnt venture out. I then had a 5 hour drive back to the lakes where there had been avalanches on Hellvelyn. I will be running more Winter Skills courses please contact me regarding dates etc. cheers.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Trail Magazine Article

If you have a copy of the current best read outdoor magazine Trail Feb 09; you will see an article by me on the sleeping system I used when I was working on Killimanjaro with a group.
I took two one season bags, mad or rad?
The summit temp was about -17C and was made even colder by our "poley poley" pace and the effects of altitude. Want to know why and more about my choice of kit for my expeditions; please get in touch with me ?
Winter kit these days dosent have to big and bulky and with application can be honed down, therefore making light of the travel.

Happy New Year

Its been a month since my last post and I have been busy. Testing some kit for Furtech, its a great system for our British wet n warm climate. In the recent cold snap all I wore is the Claw 2 and a base layer and trousers. Have a look at the website for the technical information. It should change your mind. I would like to see some changes to the jacket and trousers Overall they work well and can only go from strength to strength.
I have been observing Summer ML Training being run by Tim Blakemore in December great course and very testing. Over the Xmas break I was in Devon to do some kayaking and Surfing with Sarah. However due to lack of water and poor surf ended up with a gourmet xmas break. We went geocaching on Dartmoor and Bouldering at Leigh Tor. I aslo did some Dancing on Ice with Keela, nothing like John Sargent!!

Thanks to Andy at Furtech for the link also;
I hope you all had a good New Year and to see you all soon in 09.