Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Ben Ice

Today I went up on the Ben with Greg. We climbed Smith's Route. The fisrt pitch had good ice all the way, but was not alway thick enough to take a screw (1/2 in 16 cm). The icicle is not there, but the original finish is in fine climbing nick. It felt like a stiff, pushy V,5 today due to some thinish ice on the steep section (5m at 85/90 degrees) and the same issue with screws on the first pitch. Overall, it was a joy to climb. We were being lazy and came down Tower gully and the climbed Tower Scoop, which is offering some good sport on very good ice. We saw a few teams climb point 5 and good Friday climb as well.

Tony went out for a bit of a solo mission today. here is a run down of what he did.

Point 5, Glover's, Cascade, Comb and Green Gully, Central right hand. He came down No.2 REaburn's Easy Route and ledge route saying that everything he climbed was in good shape.

Good effort Tony.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Point 5

I had this report in from Fran about his day.

A quick report. We done point 5, and it was in great nic. I think it will get thicker later on in the season, but it was plenty thick enough today, bomber first time placements all the way. 20 mph wind at CIC hut and no wind on route, done the last 2 pitches in the dark, but no cloud at all, so the stars were out. Hard pack snow on way down, so crampons on untill 800m. 2 other teams on point 5 and some other teams in other gullies. Buttresses and ridges were black, mega route x not even close to being in.

Thanks Fran

Some Ice on the Ben

Hope everyone had a good Christmas.

Neil was out yesterday and rock climbed to the top of the tower on observatory ridge then climbed good smow and ice steps to the summit. There were teams in point 5 moving very slowly (the 1st pitch looking slightly thinner than the rest), Mick Fowler climbed Good Friday climb and teams climbed Comb and Green gully. The Central gullys are looking in good condition as well.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Where did it go?

I walked into the corries today only to turn around and walk straight back out. There had been a significant thaw over night which had stripped the buttresses of all snow and ice. All the ice that had covered the base of Fluted buttress has gone and there turf visible at the top of Aladdin's buttress. The main gully lines seem to have weathered the storm, but even the goat track had sustained casualties.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

The weekend Hordes

Today I was in Sneachda with Greg, Neil and Neil. As expected it was a busy place to be, with many teams in all the gully lines. Goat Track Gully and Red Gully looked in good condition with plenty of ice. Neil and Neil climbed Aladdin's Mirror Direct which looked fat but had a sugery feel about it. The y commented that the screws had no core coming out when placed. They then climbed Patey's Route which had held its snow well. There was no rime on the buttresses, but there was snow and ice on ledges, in grooves and crack features. The Seam looked filled in across the corrie.

Greg and I climbed Finger's Ridge Direct. This was a very thin and quite poorly protected climb that offered some excellent climbing. There was alot of snow and ice in the grooves and cracks and the slab had ice and snow on the ledges/ foot holds and the turf was frozen to the point it was hard to use. We are hoping to be out tomorrow but the weather is a bit suspect.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Takin' a Chance

Despite the crap forecast Greg and myself ventured into Lochain. I was soaked to the undies within 40 mins thanks to the driving wind and rain. Alot of the snow that had fallen over the previous few days has been stripped, leaving saturated snow for the most part. Even though the outlook was not looking good we carried on anyway (no one wanted to be the one to say lets go home first, that was probably just me). As we walked to the apron nearly all the buttresses were black so we soloed a nice little ice pitch towards No. 4 buttress. We were hoping that the area from Hooker's Corner to Y gully right hand would have been sheltered enough to hold of the rain (I've found in the past this can be a good option). No surprise it was still in. The thaw was on but the turf was frozen, the rock was white and there was still alot of ice in the cracks.

We climbed Hooker's Corner which felt hard going. The ice was not very usable in the cracks and made the gear a little hard work. I found this out when my axe ripped and I stripped a few runners to stopped 30 ft later. Only 3m from the belay one of my axes remained. Greg was cold and had two axes so of he went. avoiding the ice where I parted company, he finished well.

If the temperature comes down again the conditions should return quickly and the snow left will be excellent.

El Mancho

Well this well bring me up to date now i will try and not be so slack in the future! So Yesterday it was back up to Clogwyn DU were we (my self and Ian) climbed the uber classic El Mancho. What a route it is steep, good hooks, turf pulling and a little bit of weirdness in there for good measure 4 stars at least. We also climbed Hidden gully brilliant fun to. Sadly this was the last route off the year for me so i make the long trip home to the flat lands of Norfolk for christmas.  Route 5 is Blenderhead, Route 6 is El Mancho, you can find more about this crag on www.welshwinterclimbs.wetpaint.com

Welsh Winter!!

So just before a double christmas party weekend i managed to get up to Clogwyn du (friday). We climbed a route call Blenderhead. A team the day before had had an exciting time with a few air miles collected and so head down, so we were keen to have a bash. well it was all going well till the top of the crux pitch were i was so pumped that my vistion had gone a tad blurry my axes ripped i to collected some air miles (not to many though), any way we got to the to with very tired arms what a route. we think it might be a little harder than the grade given. (It still waits a second free assent!!! First assent Paul Pritchard/Dave Towse 1 pt FFA Nick Dixon) 

Monday, 15 December 2008


Sorry this is a tad late. Last week i was helping out with a white water block for the College of west anglia The DOA. This was there first time on the rivers of wales, we did not have much water but enough to get stuff done. First day we paddled the upper Dovey brilliant little river some poeple paddled there first grade three drop awesome!!  The next day was the coldest that i have paddled!! but we did a small section of the LLugwy only just enough water but a good day was had. The final day we had no other choice but to head to the Dee, on the way their it snowed!! but we all got stuck thanks to dry suits. 

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Savage Slit

Greg and James have had an excellent day on Savage Slit. Greg said the weather was good all day with light snow showers. The climb was under heavy rime which made it hard going clearing. Overall, despite the forecast things could be promising.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Honey Pot

Today Neil and Patryk climbed the Honey Pot. They said that conditions were excellent, with white buttresses and clear blue skies. Neil and Rob Started up Pot of Gold, then switched to the Message after pitch 2. With the current forecast there should be things to do for a little longer yet.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Good day out

Today I managed to get out for the first time this season. We (Greg, Neil and Myself) went into a cold, white and windy Lochain. We climbed Fallout corner, which was in excellent condition. There was ice in the cracks, but this was generally ok to clean out for gear. There were 2 other teams in the corrie, 1 on weatern route and the other on sidewinder. The snow had firmed up a little so the approach was pretty easy going.

Martin and Glenn went into Ben Udlaidh and climbed South Gully of Black Wall. Martin said the first pitch was thin and the second took good screws. Other teams were on Quartzvien Scoop and Peter Pan Direct. The road down the glen was extremely icy so take care.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Welsh Winter!

Last week was a good time to be in wales for some winter climbing. The weather was cold clear and good for some mixed climbing. Several new routes were done, these were on the north side of Crib Goch, Clogwyn y person, Glyder Fach and the Black Ladders. Sadly i was working (some ones got to it) all week on a hill skills course, which was a good week as we got to enjoy all 4 seasons in one week!  but i did get out on the weekend before work and managed 4 possible new routes all good. Now sadly I'm in my house with man fly (near deaths door) with the rain trying to break the windows I think winter here has come to an end will have to see the damage the rain has done tomorrow as it is getting cold again!! Fingers Crossed.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Central Crack Route

Simon, Andrew and Damian were the only people in Lochain today. They climbed a very white central crack route. Simon said that there was alot of fresh snow, particulaly on the great slab so care is needed on approach.

Get out there Folks!

Tuesday, 2 December 2008


Euan and Greg where in Lochain today and climbed the Migrant. They said the conditions were good and the corrie was quiet.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Where's that Chimney

Neil and Neil where in Sneachda today. Despite the poor visability they had a good day on Hidden Chimney Direct. There was another team on the message and one on the messenger.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Nice Ice

Greg and James where in Sneachda today and climbed Aladdin's Mirror Direct. They said that the ice was good quality, but thin low down and there was a good piller to follow higher up. Greg said that not much else in the corrie was worth looking as there was no rime on the buttresses. To see a picture of the Mirror check out Greg's blog.


Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Peaks Mini Break

We (Robin, Sheila, Rob and Duncan) Headed over to the peaks for a few days on the hope the weather forcsat was right. well it was right, very cold, windy and some snow showers perfect for climbing at Millstone. We climbe the routes as quickly as possible to not go though the pain off the hot aches, it didn't always work error. We incounted a small Blizzard while climbing and thought this was the last straw, we headed to the cafe to defrost. The next day we headed to Ramshore Rocks to get involed in some grit stone cracks, after climbing Dons crack and Browns crack we were missing  several layers of skin so we headed to some more convensional routes like the crank and Gumshoe. We all left the crag with painfall hands and big smilles!!! 

Monday, 24 November 2008

Wild and Wintery Gorms

Today Greg and Euan where in Coire nan Lochain and climbed the Hoarmaster. They said that it was hard going due to the climb being buried, but a great route. There was a lot of snow about and it was a wild day all round.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Pinnacle Ridge

On friday I was in the Lakes helping out with an article for Trail. The article is about my first grade three scramble. So we headed to Pinnacle Ridge a fine grade 3, one of the best in the Lakes, Mark the star of the article and Claire the journalist were in the team and we had Tom the photographer with us as well. There were a lot of photos taken and not all on my good side and i had a doo wop sticker on my helmet ops! A fine day out.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Craig Dorys!!

On monday we (Myself, Matt and Sam) managed to find some dry rock! We headed to the notoriours Craig Dorys. This was my first visit the the craig and was impressed but not so impresed with the solid rock! I climbed a route called Calf Crack. Had to take my self to the office a few times! A fine lose route. Matt and Sam then did Noble Savage, Steep, Pumpy and lose at the top! what a route!!! Craig Dorys lived up to its reputation ace.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Website Access

The Main Website should be back up and running today. It will now be www.hughesmountaineering.co.uk due to unforseen problems.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Mini Break

     I have just recently got back from chamonix. myself and Di (rope gun) were hoping for perfect weather and perfect conditions!!!! well we had that for a week, were we managed to climb a route on the Tacul Triangle, and the Ginat on the Droites both very good and we lauged are way up both routes even though i may have underestimated the amount of gas we needed for one of the routes ops sorry Di. for the next week or so it snowed, and snowed and yes it snowed. so we had a day out on the planks in saas fee again a very funny experience!! so after sampling the local wine we thought we should try something else, so headed in to the grand charmoz but were denided by warm strong winds. Still keen to climb we got the midi up and raped off the bridge to try a route but again we found less then ideal condition! After Swimming/climbing back to the station we were told the lift was shut so 20 hours later we were down and headed home all in all a good Trip.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Intro to Scrambling on Curved Ridge

I braved the torrential rain and gales today and found shelter on Curved Ridge. Carson, Alison, Eildh and I had a great day out despite the weather. The rain got heavier as the day went on, which made crossing the burn on return to the car impossible at the normal point, but much lower down was fine as the river widens. We only experienced the winds full force as we crossed from the summit to the corrie. The 110 mph gusts forecast was about right though. Despite the forecast there is always something to do it seems. I can't believe there was no one else out!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Yorkshire Climbing

Yesterday, despite the weather Neil and I managed to do a bit of Trad at Heptonstall Quarry. Even though it was raining, the wind direction meant the majority of the routes were dry. It was Neil's first visit to the quarry so he got to do a couple of the classics before the weather became too much.

Today we went to Malham to avoid the rain again. It was my first time at the crag today so some classics for me was the aim. Despite some routes seeping, I managed a to onsight a dry Free and Even Easier 7a+ which made my day. Neil ticked his route The New Age Traveller so there were smiles all round.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Climbing Wall Award

I have just finished working of a CWA training course at the EICA. This is the latest edition to the MLTUK qualifications, which is solely climbing wall based. We had 7 candidates on the course with a varied experience level which gave us alot to talk about. The EICA delivers the Abseil module as part of the same course. If your thinking about working in a climbing wall then this is the best award to do.

For more information about the award Visit http://www.mltuk.org/
And for course dates at the EICA www.eica-ratho.com

Friday, 10 October 2008

Cadair Idris

For the last three days I have been working for The College of West Anglia. They run several outdoor courses and this one is call the DOA Diploma in Outdoor Activities. The aim of the three days was to learn/improve there navigation skills. The first to days was a mini exped on and around Cadair Idris, were we would navigate into the night and then find some were to bivi and then walk out the next day. I was with Ben, John, Ben, James and Helen. we did not have the best weather!!! The next day the guys had planned a solo walk this was to put there skills to the test and let them experience the hills for them self's. They headed in to the Rhinogs. Much to are relief they all had a good day and all made it back safe and sound.