Further adventures …

I’ve been a member of the Rough Stuff Fellowship (the oldest off road cycle touring club) for quite a few years now. A friend (Mark) has quietly been doing a historically important job of archiving their digital history, and has just published (via Isola Press) the ‘Further Adventures’ photo journal of the clubs exploits and expeditions over the years …

and if you like that sort of thing here is a bloody briliant film about bikepacker / cycle tourer extraordinaire Bill Houston filmed in 1971. Note the mileage and note the size of the picnics !!!

Becoming a Guide

‘It’s NOT just a man’s world ….

Two films from (makers of very good rucksacks) Deuter on the physical and emotional challenges of progressing through the UIAGM scheme to earn the carnet of International Mountain Guide – the highest and senior qualification for leading clients on rock, snow, ice, and mountains anywhere on earth.

Film 1

Film 2

You can find out about the process of becoming a British Mountain Guide and having ‘the best job in the world’ here

“Their lives are linked by a love and profession to the mountains, and their company will enhance the experience of all those who wish to approach the mountains and learn.”

– Pete Boardman

* the films have English subtitles

Weather apps …

A little explainer video from the Guardian on the bewildering array of weather apps

I spend a LOT of time obsessing about weather.

Most people working in outdoor activities in the UK will likely use MWIS. It is geared towards forecasting for the hill and mountain areas, i find it to be honest and to be the most reliable. It’s also valuable to watch the MWIS ‘week ahead’ weather videos that come out (normally) on a Friday.

For ‘normal’ day to day weather i use the Yr.No app from https://www.met.no The reason i do this is because a long time ago it was explained to me that the more humans that are involved in the forecasting (along with world class tech) the more accurate the weather. Although the forecasting for Yr is done in Norway, my location (in Sheffield) is covered by their forecasting.

If ever you are in the Alpine regions then you will see some extraordinarily detailed forecasting apps. Perhaps the gold standard of which is Meteo Suisse

It’s also worth keeping an eye on the barometer if you have one on a watch – many allow you to set weather alarms in case of significant barometric pressure change.

Niche but worth mentioning the superb SAIS app for avalanche awareness and winter conditions in Scotland

And of course most of the apps have the facility to filter the visible information, and some allow notifications to be set.

There is a bite-size free course here from the OU on how weather is forecasted

If you want to go a bit deeper in your learning there is a 100 hr weather e-learning course from the OU (costs £170)

There are also two excellent e-learning modules from the hugely knowledgeable Mike Raine here (‘weather for mountain leaders’) which you can study at home for just £1.99 each !!

58 degrees centigrade in Afghanistan !!

The subject can be a bit of a rabbit hole, and this ‘signposting’ article isn’t meant to be definitive !! However we (in the UK) inhabit a small island surrounded by water, and those of us that play in the hills and mountains must be aware of the impact (and potential dangers) that the westher can have on our activities. Being ‘weather aware’ is a necessary skill.

Rapaki Crag Incident


  1. Human error.
  2. I do not think it appropriate that the Judge felt it appropriate to suggest that ‘climbers should no longer lead climb the route’.
  3. I do not think it appropriate that the Judge suggested (decided ?) ‘that the route on ClimbNZ should be updated ‘as should future guidebooks featuring the Rapaki Crag’

This has the potential to set a precedent that has a huge impact on rock climbing.

I wonder if, perhaps post consultation with its membership, the NZ Alpine Club decides to make comment(s) countering the ‘decisions’ of the judge in this case.

COP (out) 26

The results are in

“COP26 has made some progress, but nowhere near enough to avoid climate disaster. While millions around the world are already in crisis, not enough leaders were in crisis mode. People will see this as a historically shameful dereliction of duty.” – Mary Robinson – Chair of the COP Elders and former President of Ireland

Armistice Day

I think this is the first time in 29 years that i have not paraded and paused somewhere in the world to remember the sacrifices of the fallen, and the struggles of those live with unhealed physical and mental wounds from war.

Slippers. Medals unpolished. Coughing during the silence. Unshaven. Hand on chair for balance.

To absent friends.

And to those still carrying mental and physical wounds unhealed.

And to those who fought by our sides in Afghanistan that now hide in grave danger.

Lest we forget.

“Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.” -Martin Luther King Jr.