Zero Carbon Future (low carbon present)

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…

New North Wales Bouldering guidebook launch!

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 website for updated info and the latest news on the endless stream of new disco…

Diamond Days

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…

Llanberis 'Driving With Electricity' EV Event

Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking at a CPRW Electric Car event at Electric Mountain in Llanberis. My presentation covered my experience driving an EV and the ins and outs of charging.

Here's a copy of my slides:

Here's a copy of the agenda:

Filming The Future is Electric: Tesla EV in Snowdonia

Recently I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to make a couple of promo videos for Whitecar a Tesla EV rental company.

I first hired one of their Tesla Model S EV's to surprise Trystan Lea. We're both EV enthusiasts currently driving Nissan LEAF's. It was amazing to experience the power, range and high tech features of a Tesla e.g. self-driving auto pilot, self-park etc. Not that had any doubt before but the future is most certainly electric transport! I made a short video of our time with the Model S driving around Snowdonia with a few drone shots.

Whitecar liked the video so much they asked me to make a similar clip for the Model X. Unable to resist a chance to experience a Model X for a few days I agreed. The filming over two days was a lot of work, I enlisted Ryan Brooks to help me. The weather was terrible for the two days we had the car, super high wind and driving rain! Ryan did an amazing job flying his Mavic Pro drone in extremely challenging environments. Tw…

Céüse 2017: N.Wales to French alps in an Electric Car!

I'm writing this post on a rest day while on a climbing trip in Céüse in the French alps having driven here from North Wales in our Nissan LEAF electric car (EV) fully loaded with 4 people plus camping and climbing gear. As always climbing and hanging out at Céüse was very pleasurable, it's one of my favourite places.

Here's a little video edit I made of Céüse and the climbing, shot using a DJI Spark mini drone (new toy!):

Driving to Céüse in an Electric Car (EV)  On the news today there has been much talk about EV's as the government has announced a ban on petrol and diesel cars by 2040. This is great news. Although I expect no one will want to drive a petrol car long before then after experiencing an EV. The government announcement today has sparked lots of concern from non EV drivers that it's not possible to travel long distance in an EV. I hope this trip will demonstrate otherwise, albeit with a bit of planning.
We drove a 2nd hand 2014 Nissan LEAF with a 24kW…

Mid Wales Electric Car Video Series

Last year Arloesi Gwynedd Wledig ran a pilot program to install five 7Kw electric car charging points at accommodation and tourist providers in Meirionnydd.

I got involved using our Nissan LEAF electric car and a Renault Twizy rented from the Eco Travel Network in the Brecon Beacons to create three short videos to promote the charging points and outdoor activities in the area, it was great fun!

Even though mid-wales does not currently have many rapid charging facilities (50kW) there are plenty of fast charge locations (7kW) that will charge a car in 3-4hrs. Checkout to view the locations of the charge points.

Here are the videos we made:

Day 1: Getting There..
Day 2: Renault Twizy 

Day 3: Nissan LEAF

Snowdonia From Above

Recently I acquired a 2nd hand DJI Phantom 3 drone, it's great fun! Really been enjoying shooting some photos and videos around N.Wales with added perspective:

Llyn Padarn

Llyn Padarn Swimming

Llanberis Pass 

Llanberis 'High' Street!

Elan Valley Hydro in Meirionnydd 

Dinas Dinlle

Menai Bridge 

Menai Straits