Sunday 27 December 2009

Workshops and Route setting

As the winter draws nearer everyone starts preparing for the season ahead. My work this autumn has been a mixture of running Dry-Tooling Workshops and setting routes for Tooling Comps.
It all kicked off with a round of the Scottish Tooling Series over at Glenmore Lodge. I ran 2 Beginners Workshops and 1 Advanced. It was amazing the enthusiam that was shown by everyone taking part. From those who'd never picked an axe up before to those looking to hone their skills for the competition that day.

The day ended with myself giving a lecture of my previous winters activities with shots from Nepal to the Alps to Scotland.

The following weekend saw me back down in North Wales running workshops for the AMI AGM. This was a well turned out event hosted by Plas y Brenin. Myself and Dave Macleod ran CPD workshops over the 2 days. Dave looking at rock climbing/ bouldering skills and myself looking at drytooling/ mixed climbing skills at the Beacon Climbing wall.

The next weekend was a long journey back north again this time to set routes for the ICE FACTOR round of the Scottish Tooling series. This was the final round of the series and it was going to be a few close fought competition to decide the overall winners.

No pressure then. I was in charge of over seeing all the problems set and setting the final routes.

The day went off well with problems to challenge all abilities. Coming through to the final it was hard to know how the routes id set would go down. Some proved to hard where as others were made to easy but this made out for a few gripping Superfinals to keep everyone on edge.

Quick summary

Sorry for the lack of Entries over the summer, a lots been going on but finding the time to enter it always eludes me (to lazy).

The Big trip of the summer was a trip over to the States in October. Id been to Yosemite for a brief trip almost 10 years ago and always vouched to return.

The excuse for this trip I guess was to escape the autumnal weather in North Wales.

Myself and Ruth had an Invitation from the American Alpine Club to join their International Meet in Indian Creek. This was their 2nd year of running it and was the original idea of Jim Donini but this year organised by the ever enthusiastic Britney Griffith.

Between her and her group of friends they manageed to look after over 20 guests and a dozen hosts.

The trip started of with 5 days crack climbing in The Creek, where you could enlist the talents of any of the hosts to fire up ropes for you to try any of the hideous cracks you desired or if you were feeling brave enough head of on a lead yourself.

I opted the first day for some top rope practice of the hideous off width roof crack of 'Brothers from another Planet'(5.12-). After much entertainment hanging upside down I managed to get it 2nd go but the stomach muscles took a battering.

Over the next few days we worked our way through some of the creek classics such as Supercrack, Incredible Hand Crack and Big Guy to name a few.

After 5 days of cracks most people were looking to bear down on a few crimps so camp was moved to The Cragging Classic over in Cttonwood Canyon on the outskirts of Salt Lake City.

2 days were spent here enjoying a mixture of trad and sport climbing on the cliffs of Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons. After the sun went down the evening entertainment started up at the local ski resort. Free beer and food along with Lectures from Steve House and pictures from Andy Burr.

The following day everyone sadly went their separate ways. For myself and Ruth the second part of our journey started here.

We picked up our hire car from the airport and headed for Red Rocks on the outskirts of Las Vegas. We had an amazing 10 days from there on in taking in Maple Canyon, and various crags and towers around Moab.

Thanks again to Brittany and her team. Theres talk that next years meet will be in Yosemite?

Look out for it on the BMC website.