Lowering off a bad bolt

March 18, 2016
Just thinking about teaching people the skills they need to move their lead climbing from indoors to outside this summer and remembered this little gem from a Petzl catalog a few years ago. 

With simple use of a prussik you can protect against the risk of a dodgy bolt failing as you are lowing off it. This would have been good to know in Majorca 10 years ago when I had to lower off a belay where you could pull one of the bolts straight out the rock!


Keeping you nuts clean

February 10, 2016
"look after you gear and your gear will look after you"

An old saying that hits the nail on the head here, if you want your climbing kit to last you have to show it some love now and again. Here we look at how to maintain the cornerstone of any rack - nuts.

An alloy head threaded with a wire swage, not very complex but dirt and salt can build up between the two, and treating it rough can take its toll.

Best way to give this bit of kit a service is to put all your nuts in a bowl of warm slightly ...
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The Changing Mountains - Beacons Way

February 10, 2016
So recently I've been involved with the review of the long distance footpath that crosses the Brecon Beacons, looking at how to improve, simplify or problem solve where necessary. 
As part of this work I have to walk sections of the route, not a bad way to spend a day...

Yesterday I walked from Llangynidr to Story Arms Via Pen y Fan, 24km with over 100m height gain. Most of this was straight forward until the end when the weather turned a little "wintery" and my walking companion (Obi) and I fo...
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Climbing Kit Maintenance - Krabs

January 27, 2016
There are lots of ways to make the kit that you invest in for climbing last as long as possible, but you also need to know when it's time to retire that beloved bit of gear.

If you have climbed near the sea, and this even included Llanberis with the wind from the right angle, your climbing kit will have been exposed to salt from the sea. Not so much an issue for your soft gear like rope and slings, but can be devastating to metal like Krabs, nuts and cams.

If the salt can get into the metal thr...
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Mountain Leader Preparation course

January 21, 2016
Mountain Leader preparation day looking at the skills and knowledge required for the scheme. Some great weather, even if it was quite chilly on the top. 
Top tips for navigation can be found on a previous blog - http://www.outdoor-matters.co.uk/blog/navigation-10-top-tips

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A dry day!

January 13, 2016
After a very wet couple of months I finally managed to get out on some rock this week.
Making the most of some dry but very windy conditions we headed to some sheltered spots in Pembrokeshire.
Great to be out and not in wellies, thanks to Jeff for joining me on this little adventure.

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Learning to lead

November 24, 2015
Learn to lead course in November - sometimes it seems like the sun always shines on Gower!
Two days spent looking at movement on rock, rope work, placing protection and building belays.
13 pitches climbed, including their first  multipitch route East Ridge, what a great weekend...

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Self rescue for climbers

September 7, 2015
Self rescue for climbers - getting yourself out of trouble when things don't quite go to plan can be overwhelming or, if you have some basic skills, straight forward.
All these skills are covered on our Self Rescue for Climbers course, you can read up before using this article from Climbing.com, it is a little American in places, but it contains some well presented information.


Keep safe out there...
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Taffs Well - Sport venue near Cardiff

September 2, 2015
Quick morning recce to scout out the potential of this roadside sports crag just outside Cardiff. Sheltered, solid and lots of easy to mid grade routes - this will definitely come in useful for some of my courses. 

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Guided Climbs on Gower

August 28, 2015
A morning on Gower spent dodging the rain and climbing in the sunshine on Great Tor and Little Tor. Even managed to cover some scrambling and abseiling skills as well as 6 pitches of climbing, not bad for only half a day!

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Blogging Matters

Matthew Woodfield An infrequent collection of tips, tricks and ramblings about climbing, walking and the great outdoors...