About Me

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Way back in time before the onset of adulthood I enjoyed countless days heading into the hills of Yorkshire with nothing more than a squashed sandwich & youthful sense for adventure! Despite long past youthful and work commitments keeping me in the city, the sense of adventure and love for the outdoors never left me. After digging my boots out and returning to the hills I attended a number of courses to improve my hill knowledge and skill base, during one of these courses it was suggested I join the Mountain Leader Training scheme and was delighted go on to gain the MOUNTAIN LEADER Award in April 2012. As well as spending time on the hills and mountains of the UK I have also enjoyed trips to the Nepalese Himalaya, Swiss & French Alps, Mallorca’s Tramuntana, Andorran & French Pyrenees, Morocco’s High Atlas, Tanzania’s Mt Meru & Kilimanjaro, Argentinian & Chilean Patagonia and winter expeditions to Norway’s Hardangervidda. Since gaining the ML I have also gained the SINGLE PITCH AWARD, INTERNATIONAL MOUNTAIN LEADER AWARD and the WINTER MOUNTAIN LEADER AWARD. I am now enjoying working in a freelance role whilst trying to get out climbing as much as possible.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Big lad on Big Ben!

 At the beginning of 2012 a very good friend of mine (affectionately known as Grandad) decided he wanted to reach the summit of Ben Nevis as his target for the year. Easy for some difficult for others, well 'Grandad' has spent all of his adult life in the gym lifting enormous weights and becoming a 'bit of a unit' with legs definitely not made for ascending 1365m over a distance of 6.5km and return!

 'Grandad' had 'the Ben' in his sights and set off on a routine of treadmill walking at full incline with the aim of literally stretching the tendons & muscles in his legs and getting them used to walking uphill distances rather than squatting weights. Over the Spring and into the Summer we took a number of training routes over and around Whernside, Ingleborough & Pen Y Ghent - the Yorkshire 3 Peaks.
  Despite what could be described as 'minimal' kit, a slightly worrying 'ignorance is bliss' attitude saw all these routes polished off without problem through some inclement Yorkshire Spring weather!

 So on Monday 18th June 2012 we headed off to 'Ben Nevis' which turned out to be a very successful, though tiring day -
'Grandad on the summit of 'Ben Nevis'.
Glen Nevis
Lochan Meall an t-Suidhe
   The highest mountain in Britain can be a beautiful yet dangerous place at any time of year, there was still plenty of snow on the summit on this mid summer trip and special attention should be taken to the weather forecast, proposed route and equipment.
  We took the 'Mountain Track' (which has been/is  known also as 'Pony Track or Tourist Track') from the Glen Nevis visitor center.
  The ascent took us 3hrs and descent an additional 2hrs at a pace 'Grandad' dictated, but would not have liked to of increased.
  Weather conditions were good with a few small showers and a mist from approx 900m to above the summit.

Relevant Maps - Ben Nevis & Fort William O/S Explorer 1:25000 Sheet 392 & Ben Nevis, Fort William and Glen Coe O/S Landranger 1:50000 Sheet 41.


Sunday, 24 June 2012

Mallorca - Serra de Tramuntana

During a recent trip to the 'Brit' holiday favorite destination of Majorca I took the opportunity to visit the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range which dominates the the northern coast of the Island, reaching a height of 1436m at 'Puig Major' (which is the site of a Spanish military base and only accessible with pre arranged permit - Doh!).

Puig de sa Retata over Embassament de Cuber (reservoir serving Palma)

From the summit of Puig de Massanella (1365m) looking North to the Mediterranean
From the summit of Puig de Massanella looking SW over the Serra de Tramuntana

Embassament de Cuber (reservoir water for Palma)
Sanctuary de Lluc
   Day 1 - Full of enthusiasm and feeling fresh I thought I'd try avoid the beaten track, not the wisest decision I've ever made! The going was very tough and the local goats seemed surprised to see me as i made my way through lots of waist high, thorny bushes and razor edged grasses as well as over and down craggy, sharp edged limestone peaks & gorges, though the stunning views of the  'spaghetti western' like landscape took my mind off my scratched, bleeding legs!!
  Day 2 - Feeling slightly 'jaded' from the previous days adventure I set my sights high and headed up the highest publicly accessible peak of 'Puig de Massanella' (1365m). The walk in was on a good track through forested land before it took a turn to head steeply up the mountain, forest gave way to brush, gave way to grass, gave way to bare rock as the track rapidly gained height. Cloud cover and a slight breeze at the summit produced goose bumps and a shiver in stark contrast to the heat of the previous day, so after a brief stop to take in the views over the Island and of the 'black vultures' (think they had an eye on me as a possible meal!) it was a steady walk back.

 I stayed in the Sanctuary de Lluc, £43 for 2 nights bed only in en suite room & silence in the public areas after 11pm! Bargain and best nights sleep EVER!!

Recommended reading - 'Walking In Mallorca - June Parker updated by Paddy Dillon, Cicerone'.
Maps - 'Mallorca Tramuntana Central + Nord/Norte 1:25000 - Editorial Alpina'