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 soapy water and give them a wash over with your hands. move the nut back and forth along the wire to clean out anything that might be hiding. 

Whilst doing this check the alloy of the nut for and sharp edges that may have resulted from contact with the rock or a nut key. These edges can be removed with some fine emery paper, they don't mix well with skin or ropes.

Also check the wire for any broken sections, these are painful if they stab you and show that the wire has had some real force go through it. Some people will tape over the sharp bit as a "fix", but the best thing to do is retire it and buy a new one - its not worth you life.

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 -

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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, 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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Damp learn to lead course

August 26, 2015
Damp day on a learn to lead course, lots of skills covered and even a couple of routes led. British summer upped the challenge but these guys stepped up well. Now you just need to get our and practice...

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Blogging Matters

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