Jan 31 2010

ESL Training & playtime

Category: Mountaineering,Scoutingash @ 10:12 pm

Top weekend up in the Lakes, based around Explorer Leader Training at GT with a 10 hr passout from Hugh.
3232 3236Helped on the Friday evening with the course, then crashed earlyish, and up to cool breakfast first thing Saturday. Met up with Caroline McCann just after flagbreak, then after reporting a crash on the main road due to ice, headed off and up into the hills. Very cold frost, quite a bit of snow left (I peered from Tower Rock), so headed for Helvellyn. Managed to park just down from Greenside mine – luckily, we were a bit late – then headed up from there.

First time with a full winter pack this year, so took our time, then kitted up at Red Tarn – which was pretty frozen. Decided to do Gully 1 – I’ve done a couple of times before but happiest on that ground for first route of the year.
The hoardes had been through earlier in the day, so had the route to ourselves! Caroline got some pretty painful hot aches whilst she was on the crux, but battled through the pain and led through up the snow bank. After there we moved together up the slope – snow was in fantastic condition – and topped out at the summit shelter.

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Grabbed a bite to eat, then headed down Striding Edge and off to the car, stopping for a well-earned pint at the White Lion in Glenridding.
Back to GT for food (excellent timing), then sat in on the final module of the day which managed to overrun by several hours – when we’d finished we realised it was about half 11 and Caroline was still with us – a caffine injection later and she was off on her way home. We watched the trainees trying to set fire to themselves for a while, I tried (and failed) to tune my ukelele, then crashed out. Sunday more training, I ran my Activities & Permits one for an hour or so, caught up with Dawny & had a wander round her Sub Camp for Red Rose so that we could get a feel for the place.
Wandered back home with Hugh to chill out and be impressed by photos!

Jan 28 2010

A scottish weekend anyone?

Category: Mountaineeringash @ 6:31 pm

Geoff and Jeff are planning a mission.  Welcome to the world of weekend planning.

Cheers to Caroline for the heads up 😉

Jan 28 2010

Eliza Carthy vs Nick Griffin

Category: Musicash @ 2:04 pm

Although that sounds like a definate potential for a “Celebrity Deathmatch” episode, this came to light a few weeks ago, when the Guardian published an article entitled “Osama Van Halen and the 50 Cent dictator“.  This article had a look at which favourite artists and genras were on the playlists of the worlds “…most evil men”, and pointed out that Nick Griffin had a certain something for English Folk Music and in particular – Eliza Carthy and Kate Rusby.

Needless to say, Liza wasn’t best pleased about this article, in particular the angle that the paper had taken trying to infer that English Folk music is a puritan art form.  She wrote a retort which got a good spread in the paper & across the blogging world (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jan/26/nick-griffin-bnp-folk-music), and on their current tour the Imagined Village (of which Liza is a contributor) have been inviting the audience to give a damn load “Bollocks!” en masse.

Worth a read.


Jan 28 2010

One long, grey weekend

Category: Mountaineering,Scoutingash @ 12:03 pm

Lots of driving, lots of good times, but God the weather’s been vile.

Thursday night met Ye Olde mate from Uni Times – Andy Longworth and headed down to crash at another Uni mate – Pippa Simpson – down in Coventry. Turns out she lives about 5 mins walk from Creed and Phil which is a bit mental, went to the curry house that I’ve been to several times before!  Great to catch up & see what the effect of 11 years has had on people.

Fri we headed up to the peak, and did a few hours of walking just outside of Bakewell, in thick fog & ming.  Fun to be out, good boozer for lunch, but very grey.  Headed back, dropped Andy off then home in time to get to the Ship for pre-Moonlight Meeting.

Saturday was Moonlight.  Good route, weather was worse.  Finding 500 kids in nil-visability fog is not easy.  Needless to say, them that couldn’t navigate at the start had issues, we had 17 teams out of time at the end and had to mobalise a lot of cars to pick people up.  Some useful stuff been identified for the review meeting, but a good event anyway.

Sunday went over to Snowdonia with Caroline & Hugh from Alpenstock.  Were hoping to set her demons to rest over an ill-fated Crib Goch incident many years ago, but the forecast crapped out and it was pretty horrible.  So, went and did THebog instead.  Pretty minging (again), nav was a little off on the top, but an enjoyable day out.  Unfortunatly a cold managed to hit me coming down the flanks of Hebog, and in about 30 mins had managed to remove all energy from my body.  Stuffed extra chocolate down & got off the hill, but felt pretty crap all the way back.  Only a cold, but not the best place for it to kick in.

Jan 17 2010

ESL Training & Fairfield

Category: Mountaineering,Scoutingash @ 9:07 pm

Just back from an excellent weekend in the Lakes. Up at Rydal Hall to do some developoment work with our existing Explorer Scout Leaders – covered some good ground, had some excellent in-depth discussions and evan resurrected concepts from Venture Scout days which we’ve proved have a place today!
Evan better than this (plus the laugh & the food), the hydro-powered bunkhouse seemed to be having some issues, and the power kept cutting off. In order to keep us sweet, we got free upgrades from the bunkhouse (atmospheric but draughty, cheapo accomodation), into the main hall (twin and family rooms, complimentary brew making stuff, decent showers, library, discussion rooms, copies of the Times etc). Not bad eh! We managed not to pick the lock into the Bar, but did make the most of our stay there 🙂
It got evan better when at the Badger bar on Saturday night (round the corner), the owner let us know that the Hall and the pub were the only properties in the whole Ambleside region that didn’t have their gas cut off – the Gas main in town was having major problems.

On Sunday the rest of the team were going to have an easier day, so I did a solo stomp round the Fairfield Horseshoe.  5 hrs door to door, but was breaking trail in crap snow all the way up – drifing had lost the path, so lots of fresh damp snow at knee depth to slow me down.  About 15′ vis on top, glad that I bought a new compass yesterday!

Jan 09 2010

Jacks Rake – in Winter mode!

Category: Mountaineeringash @ 8:45 pm

A fantastic day with Fitz and Freeman in the Langdales today, making the best of the stunning weather that’s going on. Big cheers to Martin for driving. The only downer on the entire day was getting down to find the Sticklebarn ‘closed for refurbishment’. The beer by recompense in the NDG was never going to make up for it.
Cracking weather, calm but cold, wind picked up later and prob gave the -17 wind chill we’d expected. Glad to find out that it’s a 1 axe route 🙂
Loads of other photos on there too.

Jan 05 2010


Category: Uncategorizedash @ 8:54 am

Tucked away in a small article in thte Khaleej Times that I got free on an Emirates flight, was an article that this has been leeched from.
Go look. And no, it’s not taking the michael.
Anyone got Bruce’s number?