Newsletter – May 2020

By 26th May 2020 Newsletters

Tip of the Month

A number of my previous tips have been related to the weather. Why wouldn’t they be? After all, it’s the past weather that has partly made the mountains as we know them and it’s the weather that now partly dictates what we can do in the mountains – including where and when.

Therefore, one component of the knowledge that a fully rounded mountaineer should have is an understanding of the weather, and for us in the UK an understanding specifically of the UK’s varied weather patterns.

During lockdown, one way of getting a quick burst of meteorological training is by enrolling in a free online course. There are plenty out there, but here is one that I did a few years ago called “Come Rain or Shine: Understanding the Weather.”

Fact of the Month

There are six main air masses which affect the British Isles. The most common ones are the pairing of Polar Maritime and Returning Polar Maritime which bring cold, wet and unstable air masses. They bring frequent showers throughout the year, including hail and thunderstorms, and together dominate our weather for over a third of the year.

Route of the Month

I’m looking forward to scratching another of my ‘lockdown itches’ when the time is right. In the last two months I’ve already mentioned a classic UK mountain day; and also my favourite rock-climbing venue. This week I’m going to mention what might just be the UK’s best scrambling area (especially if you factor in ease of access).

The main cliff on Glyder Fach in the Ogwen Valley is home to numerous scrambles that are all continuously long and complex. A good selection of these are at the upper end of Grade 3 and are well worth checking out – the Dolmen Ridge, Hawk’s Nest Buttress, and East Gully Ridge to name just three of them.

Photo of the Month

We can’t go far, but I’m very lucky indeed to have this sort of landscape on my doorstep during lockdown. Sunrise over the Wharfe Valley.

 © thesummitisoptional

Forthcoming Events

These are some of the scheduled events coming up in the near future, lockdown permitting:

  • May-June – availability for rock climbing, scrambling and navigation courses in north England. This is now feasible in a very controlled manner.  
  • 12-15 June – Cuillin Ridge Traverse (fully booked).
  • 16-21 June – further availability on Skye.
  • June-September – UK rock climbing and scrambling courses available.

Download this newsletter as a PDF (below)

Newsletter 2020 05