Friday, November 27, 2009

Cumbria in Flood (3) 2009

As the water levels recede, the next step will be the clean up process - Getty Images

The Environment Agency have said the level of rain was a 'once in a thousand year' event - Getty Images
The streets of Cockermouth are lined with items from homes and businesses. Its is unknown when some people will be allowed back into their homes - Getty Images

Residents are being reunited with their pets which were rescued by the RSPCA after being starbded fo two days - Getty Images

People in Cockermouth are starting to assess the damage left by the floods - Getty Images

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cumbria in Flood (2) 2009

The flooded main street of Cockermouth - Chris Darwin

Braving the floods at Braithwaite near Keswick - Terry Dixon

The River Derwent in Cockermouth - George Johnston

A couple walking their dog through a flooded Fitz Parl in Keswick - Phil Noble

Students preparing to paddle in the park at Ambleside - Catherine Taylor

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cumbria in Flood (1) 2009

Flood waters fill the streets of Cockermouth. Northwest England and parts of Scotland saw the most severe rains, with more rain forecast - Andrew Yates

Emergency rescue workers float past a ’Merry Christmas’ sign. Tree trunks, the tops of telephone boxes and signs pointing to Wordsworth’s house could also be seen poking from the water - Andrew Yates

More than 50 Cockermouth residents have had to be airlifted to safety - Nigel Roddis

The River Greta bursts over a retaining wall in Keswick. The Rivers Cocker, Greta and Derwent also overflowed after water levels rose 300mm in less than an hour - Christopher Furlong
A police officer died after Northside bridge, one of the main routes into the town of Workington, Cumbria, collapsed at around 4.40am on 19 November - Chris Clark

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Adventure Sports Coaching - Canoe Week

By way of contrast from the last residential at UCLAN's outdoor centre, Tyn Dwr in Llangollen, the first year Adventure Sports Coaches participated in a week of canoeing under the watchful eye of Dave Luke and Chris Charlton.

Despite the poor weather and heavy rain that saw large areas of Cumbria in flood and which effected Wales also, the team were able to enjoy a full week of skills development.

A number of venues were used including the Llangollen Canal, Llyn Mymbyr and the Afon Llugwy which allowed for a number of areas of knowledge development to occur.

The students were given the opportunity to learn about boat control through activities that emphasised the adoption of good posture and the need for effective power transfer. The versatility of open canoes was highlighted by showing the students alternative modes of propulsion including poling and sailing.

By the end of the course, it was appropriate to put a number of the students through their BCU 2* paddlesports performance award. The judgement being that after 10 days of kayaking and canoeing combined, they had reached a suitable level of understanding to apply the skills learnt elsewhere. As such, and basing it on the principle of function over form, those students who sat the assessment were successful.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

MLTW Course Providers Workshop

One of the benefits of being a MLTW course provider for the Climbing Wall Award and Single Pitch Award is that I am able to attend networking events such as the recent workshop organised by Bryn Williams (MLTW) and Mal Creasey (MLTE) which was hosted at Plas Caerdeon near Barmouth.

As with all these events, it is a much about catching up with peers, colleagues and old friends as it is to learn about changes in policy and procedures. It is also a useful forum for asking questions and seeking clarification on matters of course delivery and paperwork.

In the afternoon, the day took a more educative turn with John Roberts from the Snowdonia National Park, where he works as their Archeologist, who walked us through an area around Egryn Abbey were he talked about bronze and Iron age settlements and burial grounds. It was not only stimulating in itself but relevant and useful for course providers as added information for their course participants.

........and finally, what would be a good collective noun for a group of mountain skills trainers and assessors?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Single Pitch Award Training

This was my first course as an official MLTW provider, having gained approval to be so earlier in September.

The work came about via Bryn Williams, who is one of the more active and prolific providers within Wales, when Liverpool John Moores University required extra SPA providers to service a larger than usual group of students wishing to do the award.

Day one saw us go to the ever reliable Lion Rocks to look at belay systems and rope set ups for both personal and group use including abseils. The weather held out for the most part allowing us to cover a number of systems and bring about plenty of discussion. Later that day, we went to the Beacon Climbing Centre which meant we could explore the coaching dimensions of climbing as well as group belay systems and problem solving.

Day two saw us up at Pont Y Cromlech for personal climbing and for further practice of skills from the first day. We almost managed to get things covered before the rain came in. Thankfully, we were able to retreat to Pete's Eat's for debriefs and log book signing.

Get in touch should you wish to do your Single Pitch Award

Further information can be obtained by visiting the Mountain Leader Training UK website