Posts

Zero Carbon Future (low carbon present)

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It’s well agreed that in order to avert dangerous climate change we must reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the middle of this century. The next 20 years are set to be an incredibly exciting time as we work hard to switch our energy systems away from fossil fuels to a zero carbon energy system. As climbers, mountaineers and adventurers we can see first hand the damage climate change is already having on the mountains we love.

This transition to a zero carbon future does admittedly sound daunting. The good news is that there is a lot of evidence that this transition can be done in a way that is socially and economically beneficial with no loss in living standards using technology that we currently have today. See the Zero Carbon Britain Report for a tangible plan for how this can be achieved. A key component of every zero carbon strategy I’ve seen is the electrification of transportation and reduction / elimination of flying.  It's amazing the carbon reductions that we as i…

Still having all the fun...just with less impact

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This evening I watched a this fantastic film from Salomon. It epitomises everything I enjoy:



I can relate to the uneasy feeling of doing environmental damage while having outdoor adventures. I made the decision a number of years ago to give up flying, drive an electric car and become veggie...I still travel and climb just as much, just with slight less impact and greater fulfilment.
Thanks to my friend Terry Taylor for posting this video with his own words:
Nice to see that other people in the industry are aware of their footprint. I'm a professional skier based in France, and drove to the Alps from North Wales in my 24kw LEAF EV, with a seasons worth of kit, 7 pairs of skis, and a house plant called Barbara. The car has been mega in the snow, and we've had the biggest winter in 30+ years. The cold not a massive problem (-28 at times), and remote climate control is amazing! The local charger is supplied from the hydroelectric dam. Best decision I ever made.

Morocco Overland (Climbing in Talambote/Akchour)

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I'm currently travelling at 300 km/hr, sitting on a TGV fast French electric train on my way back to the UK after a couple of weeks climbing and exploring in Morocco. We travelled overland to keep our carbon footprint to to minimum*; first via electric car to London then high speed electric trains through France and Spain and finally a ferry across the Strait of Gibraltar to Morocco.
Overland Travel We followed the excellent Seat 61 London > Morocco train booking guide for advice on booking trains and ferries. Seat 61 is an amazing source of information for everything train related. We have their knowledge to book trains as far as Sicily (see blog post) and even China (see blog post)!  
To maximise available time we left home on Boxing Day. Since there were no trains running we drove to London in our Nissan LEAF electric car. We have done this 280 mile drive many times before; there are so many rapid charging options at motorway service stations the journey is straightforward …

North Wales to Fontainebleau via Electric Car in winter

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We recently took a trip to Fontainebleau, a magical forest just south of Paris that contains lots of awesome sandstone boulders which a great for climbing on.

Unfortunately it was a bit damp (100% humidity!) therefore we didn't do much bouldering. We did however do some tricky boulder trainer ascents and fantastic fell running and forest exploring, the highlight being the awesome 25 Bosses Trail (17km, 830m ascent).

We drove to Fontainebleau from North Wales in our Nissan LEAF electric car (EV), a return trip of 1300 miles (including driving around at our destination) in winter. It wasn't very difficult (even in our 'old' 2nd hand 24kWh EV), however a bit of prior planning goes a long way.

Electric cars emit significantly less carbon than petrol/diesel vehicles and can be close to zero carbon if charged from renewable sources e.g solar PV  / wind. I charged the EV from a 100% renewable tariff at home, the UK ElectricHighway rapid charge network is also 100% matched rene…

New North Wales Bouldering guidebook launch!

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On Saturday I attended a meetup and party to celebrate the long awaited and much anticipated launch of the new 2017 North Wales Bouldering Guidebook!

North Wales has some of the best bouldering in the world. In 2004 Simon Panton published the first proper bouldering guidebook to the area:



I can remember my excitement 12 years ago (in 2006) getting hold of a copy. I grew up in North Wales and was just starting to lead climb outside. The guide opened my mind to the possibility of bouldering - another style of climbing I could try. Over the proceeding years I've visited almost all areas in the old book and enjoyed climbing many fine problems and visiting some special hidden areas of forrest and mountainside I would not have otherwise explored.

The old guidebook has been out of print for a number of years. In recent times we've relied on the treasure-trove of information on the NorthWalesBouldering.com website for updated info and the latest news on the endless stream of new disco…

Diamond Days

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Here in North Wales the outdoor roped climbing season is pretty much over. Cold, wetness and darkness are prevailing. Ah well, a change of scene is always good. I'm enjoying the Beacon Climbing indoor winter bouldering circuits and looking forward to getting outside bouldering.

I've finally managed to find some time to edit the video footage I shot climbing on The Diamond crag on the Little Orme in Llandudno.

The Diamond is one the best sport climbing crags in the UK. It's a shame due to bird nesting restrictions, tides and conditions it's only really possible to climb on it a few months of the year. These restrictions do make those rare days when all the stars align even more magical. 

Here's a short video edit of Luke Brooks and I climbing on The Diamond towards the end of the summer. 




Luke's project is actually Skip of Fools 8a+ (incorrectly labelled in the video) and my route is The Brute 8b. Both us made good progress but didn't manage to send our project…