SW Turkey Paddling

Lake District Climbing

 The one night, one day climbing adventure started with a midgey infested boulder at Badger Rock in Kentmere.  I thought my little brother leaving the deet in the car was pretty stupid, later I discovered my older brother leaving the sleeping bags in Preston was much more stupid.

 The next after a misty start we climbed mossgill which surprisingly was mossy and wet.  There were three of us and we got lost on route – it took us 7hrs to top out on Scafell :-/

Good day though!

Matt, Me and Badger. Scafell Pike in the backround. 

World Challenge Expeditions – Norway 2008

16 year 9s, 2 teachers, an assistant leader and myself, nominally tagged Expedition Leader!  We had about 9 days in Norway and then a couple of days either side for travelling from and to Newcastle-Stavanger by ferry.

We completed a four day trek in the higher reaches of the Setesdal valley with clear blue skies and patches of snow still clinging to the north facing slopes.  In the whole time we only saw 3 other people.

Our trek ended on the banks of the River Otra, here we met up with our canoes, resupplied with food and set off on a 4 day, 3 night canoe trip.  Above the dam at Evje the Otra is more reservoir than river, some of the team had fishing equipment and caught brown trout and rainbow trout to be cooked on the fire in the evenings.  Campsites were on beaches and islands. 

Apart from one days paddling in a thunder and lightning storm the weather was fantastic.  To round off the trip we paddled the short section of fairly steep white water below the Dam.  The team rafted it and the leaders stole some kayaks (a battered redline, spoon like paddlers, ribbed BA and Roma helmet – classy!).

For more information on World Challenge Expeditions click HERE.

Moroccan Water (Some of it White)

I thought I’d better put some photos up from a paddling trip to Morocco – its a brilliant Easter destination; good weather, amazing food and even a bit of paddling hidden away in the Atlas mountains….

[All Photo’s are courtesy of David Fairweather and his rather large peli box full of technical wonders]

We got Lost

We got lost on this huge and beautiful lake as we paddled around trying to find out driver – the lake marked the end of our two day descent.

Pete Cornes and Chris Smith Providing Some Local Transport

The locals didn’t seem surprised by our arrival, this river is commericailly rafted, not quite a tryweryn but as close as Morocco gets (and hopefully ever will).  Its the remote gorges, a feeling of complete removal from the real world while being so close to Europe that is Morocco’s big draw. 

Launcing from someones house into a river which spring from the ground into perfect crystal clear blue grade four

Everywhere we went to locals seemed to continue to be friendly; from giving us their spare tire to fix our second flat in as many hundred meters; to letting us sleep on their floor for a very small price; to seal launching from their living room into a river which springs from underground caves into a perfect crystal clear grade 4 rapid.

And last but not least – there was some amazing white water.  Yes we did have to drive around a lot to find it, yes we (Chris E) had to battle with our driver to take us anywhere vaguely non touristy and yes we found our fair share of empty river beds.  But the white water we did find was clean, clear and very good quality and above all it was in a brilliant and remote landscape.

Happy Days

Awesome Walls Stockport II

Lizzie and the art of visualisation!

Climber: Lizzie Bowler, Photographer: Mark Alderson 

BMC Leading Ladder Finals @ Awesome Walls Stockport

Awesome Walls Stockport is rapidly approaching its 5th month of climbing and it can boast an active infancy.  Youth Climbing Series (Round 1), BMC Leading Ladder Final (results), Route Setting Course, opening of the Awesome Cafe and a whole host of internal climbing courses, sessions and parties.

The routes are fresh and well set, the weather continues to force us inside, its not a bad place to keep fit!

Wildcatz promoted to Div 2

In a crazy turn around final tournament we managed to get the right results to steal Manchesters top spot and win the Div 3 North national polo league: with the new rules this means automatic promotion.

It was all very exciting – we only beat Manchester with a last minute lob shot of a goal.  It came down to the wire with Selkirk as well.  Definitely a very close battle for the top two positions.  It leaves Manchester to fight through the play offs to regain their Div 2 position.

Many thanks to Duncan and team for organising the league. 

Wildcatz

The Peaks: Frosty Froggatt

10 in the morning and it was still -2 degrees.  Already talking about the deep fried brie wedges we’d be eating after the days climb, we headed to the impressive edge of Froggatt.  Waterways were icy, the grass was frosted, the grit was perfect.

Nick Bamber - Tody’s Wall

Nick Bamber on Tody’s Wall – Impressive E1 Lead [Photo: Chris Smith]

Rob topping out in Diamond Crack

Rob Coppage topping out on Diamond Crack (VS) [Photo: Matt Smith]

Nick Bamber - Three Pebbles Slab

 Nick Bamber leading Three Pebbles Slab (debatably an E1)! [Photo: Chris Smith] 

Bouldering at Froggatt - Chris Smith

 Bouldering in the setting sun – Downhill Racer, Froggatt