Alpine Training

With today being wet and the date of departure for the Alps getting closer I thought I would get some proper alpine training in.

I parked at Pen Y Gwryd (in order not to have to pay for parking) then jogged up and along Crib Goch, down Bwlch Goch then down the Miners track and back to Pen Y Gwryd. The round trip took 1hr 48min, which I'm quite proud about. Now just need to add another 3000m of altitude!

Here's a few short videos I took, hopefully the weather will be better in the alps! :

Van Update and Alpine Plans

Apologies for the rather long post. I seem to have quite a bit to catch up on. 

Iv been working flat out (with quite a bit of help from my dad) on the van for the past couple of weeks. The conversion is getting close to completion. Its very exciting,

Milestones in the last few days have been getting the axillary battery charging system system working (took me ages to figure out that a bad earth connection was the cause of the problem) and fitting the top surfaces to the bed. 

The massive deep cycle auxiliary battery on loan from Trystan 

I leave for Chamonix in less than two weeks, I have stepped up the training and alpine psyche (guide book reading). The plan is to spend a couple of weeks alpine climbing in Chamonix and a couple of weeks exploring, rock climbing, sport climbing, chilling and via ferrata in the Briancon Ailefroide region in the Ecrins, with the possibility of a few days chilling in the south of France. 

The Chamonix portion of the trip will probably be the most intense, alpine route wise . The hit list so far conditions and weather dependant is (in order of level of psychness): Frendo Spur, Cordier Pillar on the Grands Charmoz, Rebuffet route on South face of the Aig du Midi and possibly if conditions allow the Kuffner arĂȘte on Mont Maudit. Any Route comments/suggestions would be welcomed.

Cragging wise I have not been climbing as much as I would like to due to van commitments. I did manage to fit in a couple of days with Andy psyche, Literally the most psyched person for climbing and life I have ever met. Last week we went to LPT to attempt a redpoint of the classic 8a Muscle Beach. I managed to link the route in two of three section. I was very impressed with the quality of the climbing and am psyched to go back. 

Today we got out for a trad climbing day. I took Andy along the Hylldrem Girdle which is quite an experience if its your first time on it. 


Then we did Kestrel Cracks in Tremadog where I found an in-situ nut (literally!) Very cool.

After topping out I went to have a look at the Neb Direct, a classic jamming pitch but time was running out. Am psyched to give it a go sometime. Iv heard it has a bit of a reputation for being rather brutal! I am of the opinion that it can only help improve my far from perfect jamming technique. Will report back... 

Bristol Bourton Combe Bouldering

Just over a week ago I spent a few days chilling out near Bristol with Amy. One day when she was working I went out on the hunt for my climbing fix local crags. I found a wicked little crag called Burton Combe less than a mile for her  house. I spent an enjoyable couple of hours working out the moves.

Camper van project update:

I spent today work on the auxiliary battery control electrics and making a start on the shelving units.

The hardest part has been the fact the no single panel, floor or wall in the van in level or straight!

Van Conversion Progress Update and Void

Van is still more of a van than a camper van but nonetheless progress is going well. In the last few days I have fully insulated, ply lined and fitted LED lights. The next stage will be to build the bed and storage unit.

Roof insulation going in

Drilling holes in roof ply to fix lights

Roof ply and LED lights

Iv also managed to get out climbing in what seems like ages. Trystan and I squeezed in a quite couple of routes at Tremadog last night. Trystan lead an excellent variation on the first pitch of Grim Wall VS then I climbed Void the classic E3 of the Crag.  I had previously seconded the route back in 2007. At the time I found it desperate and vowed never to go back an lead it. How things have changed in three years, it was actually enjoyable!