Friday, February 26, 2016

Surfing in the Dark

Last Night's Paddle with Adventure Club members

Setting out from Peel, a bouncy start round the Castle, then heading north into stillness and calm : 0
Spectacular evening, and Rowan spiced it up with a spot of surfing at White Strang!
You can't hold folk back : 0

 Snapped this on the way home

Youth Scholarship - TR. 37

 The Youth Scholarship wednesday evenings adventure was also from Peel, and conditions were a little exciting... Only a month to go before we Circumnavigate the Island.
Quite an adventurous experience for all : 0

 A small flock of geese turned up on Fenella Beach to see the group off.

 Junior Paddlesport at Peel Pool

 Plenty of fun action in the pool last Saturday as the last Indoor Kayaking course (before October) got underway. Its great to see how variable practice and lots of games really engages the young athletes, and how their skills are improving week by week!

Just launched our NEW 'Learn2Kayak' adults course which filled within 24 hours.
It seems the formula works well : )

Catch you on the water soon

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Valentine's Seals

Sea Kayaking around the Calf of Man today with regular paddlers in the Adventure Club. The wildlife and scenery didn't let us down...

 ...had a closer look at Aquijo, an 85m yacht built in Holland last year (sitting outside Port Erin Bay) before stretching our legs at Cow Harbour, a small harbour overlooking Thousla Rock and the Calf Sound. Admired the snoozing seals and native Loaghtan Sheep....

...then continued round the awesome Calf of Man! 

Hopped off the water at South Harbour, for a hot drinks and fine trail mix, overlooking some seals playing in the sea beneath us...

 Even they knew it was Valentines Day!! : )

 Then back to the beach at Port Erin, blazing sunshine and blue skies continued, as well as a feeling of immense satisfaction!!

Yesterday's Kayak Safety Training for Lifeguards at Western Swimming Pool

A really fun session with the Lifeguard team : )

 Looking forward to catching you on the water soon.

ps. Kim has just returned from leading the Youth Scholarship (Half Term) training hike including white hare spotting on North Barrule!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Patri Gauche

I've been out in Cogne, Italian Alps, for a bit of ice climbing with Jim, Steve and Simon. A great team! Flew out on Sunday, ready to get onto the superior ice falls we’d experienced 2 years ago…

Feb 2014 - Day 1   Day 2    Day 3 

Conditions had warmed up this visit, and made decision making more serious... Trekked up Valnontey valley on Monday morning, looking for some comfortable climbs to get acclimatised. Speaking to other teams, the theme seemed to be, ‘Climb the first pitch and abseil off’. (The sun was hitting the western slopes above).

Not finding the solidarity we were looking for on the closer routes, we crossed over the riverbed and headed higher up the east side, settling on Patri Classica. It was teeming with people!

A really comfortable lead on the first pitch, congestion being the main point of concern… Whilst waiting for the team ahead, a feint noise like a helicopter broke the otherwise peaceful mountains.

We caught up with another team later that evening. They relayed the news of a fatality and a serious injury on Thoule, one of the falls we had decided against that morning.

Lillaz Valeille was the choice for the second day. As our layering had been spot on, a few adjustments to gear racking and we were ready. Again the walk-in involved a series of arriving at the bottom of the climbs, looking at dripping ice, speaking to other teams and moving on swiftly. 

Leaving Steve and Simon on a challenging series of falls, me and Jim took some sound advice and made the short trek to Tutto Relativo on the eastern side of the valley. Another blissful first pitch.

Heavy snowfall overnight meant an alternative activity next day : ) 

Patri Classica - Valnontey valley, Cogne (Italy)

Awesome day on the ice! Our last full day in Cogne, I led 4 of the pitches on Patri Gauche ice fall : )

Thanks to the team for the opportunity. Perfect conditions, well-formed ice, blue skies and -11°C giving plenty of confidence (and motivation to climb). A stunning route.

Simon, owner of Granite Trails got handy with the camera, as both he and Jim reminded me to place some gear and other words of encouragement : 0

We walked out as the snow began to float down and darkness fell. Back to the Chateau Royale for 8pm, and after a shower and much debating, we topped the trip off with a scrumptious meal at La Brasserie du BonBec, an authentic Italian restaurant, in the centre of the alpine village. Tip top!!

Just flown back home to the Isle of Man. Another goal reached, training is progressing well. Already planning the next adventure…