Mountain Leader Courses

Last week, Gwilym was directing a Mountain Leader Assessment whilst Simon was directing a Mountain Leader Training in Snowdonia (North Wales). Jake, Stu and Dewi were working as additonal course staff. A week of mixed weather (grim through to very pleasant) and we used venues in Llanberis Pass, The Glyders, The Carneddau and The Molewyns.

We are pleased to report that Beth, one of our long term clients passed the assessment but as we have now lost her as a long term client, we have now added her to our freelance list. Well done Beth.

Mountain Leader Re-assessments

Gwilym has just finished running some Mountain Leader re-assessments and we are pleased to report that both candidates passed. Well done Matt and Jamie who both appear in the photo on the back our our van.

Simon and Stu have just started running the Mountain Leader Training course that we have 9 candidates on and Jacob will be joining Gwilym tomorrow to start a full assessment of 8. It is looking like a busy week. Let's hope the weather is not too unkind.

New Van has arrived

After our post back in September we have moved forward with reducing our Carbon Footprint. The new van has been with us since mid Sept and we are already getting MPG in the top 50's on long runs so much better than the last van.

We have had a lot of support for this move and our attempt to become as environmentally responsible as we can

It has just come back from Image Sign Solutions who are our go to people for sign writing our vehicles.

If you see the van out and about, then give us a wave. We will be in Snowdonia later this month.

Brecon Beacons Round 2

Last week, we had a group of our instructors up in South Wales supporting Bridgwater and Taunton College with their apprentices just like we did the week before. Lots more climbing, biking and expeditions completed with all students and instructors having an enjoyable time. Better weather than the first week was a big moral boost as well.

New Kayaks

Really pleased to have collected our new fleet of boats from Dagger today. We have 5 WW Boats and 2 special order Sea Kayaks to colour match the rest of the fleet (plus a new instructor boat in orange)

We now have

River Runners - 1 x GT, 1 x GTX, 1 x Axiom 8.0

Creek - 1 x MX 8.0, 1 x MX 8.5

Sea - 1 x Stratos 14.5 L, 1 x Stratos 14.5 S

With a nice orange Axiom 8.5 for the instructor


All are available to hire when we are not using them

Busy in The Beacons

Last week, we supplied 8 instructors to support Bridgwater College with their apprentice residential programme in South Wales, 42 students, loads of equipment and minibuses arrived at the accommodation near Abergavenny for some team building and route planning before a week of climbing, biking and an overnight expedition. All had a great time and having just finished sorting all the kit and equipment, we start again on Monday for round 2 with the next group.

Improving our environmental footprint

Over the last few months with our van coming towards the end of its lease (well about 6 months away), we have looked long and hard at our environmental footprint. Unlike President Trump, we think that it is important to protect the environment as best as we can.

Although we looked at Electric and Hybrid vehicles, at the moment the range of these motors and the availability of charging points is not yet ready for us to go this way. Hopefully with Volvo’s commitment to all their vehicles being Hybrid by 2019 when we review the lease again, other manufactures will follow suit and there will be far more options and more charging points available.

We considered both Petrol and Diesel and although there are some concerns over Diesel emissions, with the better MPG and other fitted technology now available we think this is still a reasonable option for us to consider.

So what have we done?

The iconic Wet and High van will shortly be replaced by a slightly smaller 7 seater vehicle which allows us to only use one vehicle when working with groups of 6 (previously we needed 2), has a much better MPG (70% better than current van on paper - so even if half true this will be a significant reduction in fuel) and a lower C02 emissions. The vehicle also has Stop/Start fitted which will reduce our emissions in traffic and easily removeable roof bars that will only be on when needed. We predict this new vehicle will reduce our vehicle footprint by approximately 25% which equates to around 1 tonne of CO2e

Further to this.

  1. We will endeavor to use local instructors where possible for bookings of 2 days or less and where kit does not need to be taken to the venue from our base.
  2. We encourage car sharing for courses through our new lift share web page
  3. We will try to base courses to minimise transport as much as possible ie try to walk out of centres we use as much as possible rather than drive.

We are currently researching options for Carbon Offsetting in the future and once we find an appropriate scheme to record our carbon footprint (for all activities, flights, office and vehicles) will look at options for offsetting this. We hope to have this in place for the next financial year.

Hill and Moorland Leader Training

For the last 3 days, we have had 6 candidates out on a very sunny Dartmoor with Gwilym and Jay running a Hill and Moorland Leader training course. Lots of navigation, environmental knowledge, leadership skills and hazard management taking place in some of the best weather conditions we have had for a while. Normally when we talk about extreme weather we mean wet and windy but there was plenty to discuss about the hazards presented by a heat wave.

Foundation Safety and Rescue Training

Today, Gwilym was in Bridgwater running a British Canoeing Foundation Safety and Rescue Training course on the local Canal. Warm and sunny above water and not to bad in it. Canoes, Kayaks, Stand Up Paddleboard's and Sit on Tops all got turned upside down and righted again.

We can run these on demand for groups of 4 - 6 so please let us know if you would like us to run pone at your location

Single Pitch Award Assessment

Well done to Phil and Alex, 2 new SPA holders after a weekend in the sun. Day 1 at Chudleigh (Limestone) and Day 2 at Hound Tor (Granite) saw Gwilym assessing them in personal climbing, setting up rope systems for groups, dealing with problems, abseiling, teaching at a climbing wall and general climbing knowledge.

Well done again to both of you

Mountain Leader Training & Assessment

This week we have been in Snowdonia with 8 candates on Mountain Leader Training and 4 on Assessment. A staff team comprising of Gwilym, Keith, Jacob, Stu and Dewi have been working with candidates over the week in various parts of the National Park. The training over 6 days and assessment over 5 went to The Carneddau, The Glyders, Snowdon and Llanberis Pass. A mix of sun and rain over the week gave some really mixed navigational conditions.  As this is a a double course entry, I have added more pictures than normal.

Well done to the new ML's who passed this week - go and have some more adventures