A blustery old day in Langdale dodging the showers We were running rope & location safety for a BBC Radio 3 feature - Between the Ears - scheduled for broadcast on the 30th September
Today was about moving fast and light in the mountains with a camera. 85 members of Warner Music UK had chosen to attempt the Buttermere 6 Peaks as a fundraiser for charity and they'd assembled a small media team to document their efforts. With the group quickly splitting into 6 different teams, with their guides from Activius, it took bit of local knowledge, a few short cuts and a lot of hard running to capture their experiences.
It's been over two years in the making but finally one of ITVs Countrywise's most ambitious shoots is hitting our screens. We worked with Shiver Productions / ITV to provide location consultancy and recces, risk assessments, camera location recce, mountain safety, equipment porterage, technical rigging, talent safety and on camera guiding to get presenter Ben Fogle and a film crew to the top of Pillar Rock in the remore Ennerdale. We climbed the historical Old West Route by which the inaccesable summit of High Man was first ascended.
Countrywise Wild - ITV 9pm 17th August 2016
Last weeks adventure was Rob & Judes annual pilgrimage north of the border to sample some of Scotlands most iconic routes. The long range forecast wasn't looking promising but we perservered and initially headed for the Isle Of Arran and the amazing granite climbing on Cir Mhor. The worst of the weather appeared to be confined to the Saturday so we went for an extremely soggy scramble round Glen Sannox and over the summit of Goatfell. by Sunday it had all changed again and the next pulse of rain had arrived. Our search for dry rock eventually led us back to the Lake District and a sunny evening's climbing on the reliable Shepherds Crag. Shepherds Chimney (VS) and Monolith Crack (HVS) both provided good entertainment.
An early start on Monday saw us enjoying Irony (HVS) and Mandrake (HVS) on Quayfoot Buttress before yet more rain drove us back to Shepherds Cafe and an afternoon of rescue training, coffee drinking and cake eating. A break in the weather saw us take a punt on the quick drying properties of Esk Buttress. There were still a number of seepage lines but we were able to climb the 3 star Bridge's Route (HS) in the sunshine.
Weary legs on Wednesday steered us towards the roadside crag of Brantrake in the Eskdale valley for a day of leading practice, a few rescue scenarios and top roiping of some harder lines. Suitably refreshed we commited to the climb up to Buttermere's Birkness Combe under threatning skys. The clouds parted in front of us and we enjoyed the classic link up of Harrow Buttress (D), Slabs West Route (HS) and Oxford & Cambridge Direct Route (HS) to the summit of High Stile.
A busy few weeks of training, a good forecast and plenty of friends racing tempted me to enter the Rab Mini Mountain Marathon on the day. There was a light frost in Grasmere as we registered but this soon burnt back under a glorious sun. First day racing in shorts this summer and also incidently my first race as a Vet 40 :(
With a good spread of checkpoints as far out as the Langstrath valley there were plenty of options. We opted to stay high and enjoyed perfect running temperatures on our anticlockwise circuit of the competition area. A liitle more speed and we may have been tempted by by the cluster of high scoring checkpoints in the north west but in the event we timed it perfectly after a fast run back to Grasmere along the C2C path. Our reward was 250 points for 27th place and 2nd in the Mixed Vets!
Todays entertainment was provided by a bunch of enthusiastic medics undertaking a weeks training in the Lake District with Expedition Medicine. The company provides worldwide medical training courses for medical professionals, wilderness medics and for individuals providing advanced medical coverage in remote areas.
The focus of the day was on the technical skills required to operate safely in the mountains in support of their extensive medical knowledge and closely followed the Summer Mountain Leader syllabus. We headed up onto the slopes and small crags above Derwent Water Hostel to look at the various options available to a leader on steep ground - coaching, spotting, supporting, confidence roping, pitching and abseiling. We also spent a bit of time looking at the few practical options availablefor medivacing a casualty with limited numbers and equipment. Finally navigation focused on relating the map to the ground and the importance of scale as not all the maps they'll be using in the future are as detailed and accurate as Ordanance Survey.