SnowFest 2010

… was tops.

Sue and I got a bit older. The rest of us collected hangover, bruises, fresh tracks, bunnies and smiles on the slopes.

Some random photos (stolen from facebook) from the trip. Big thankyous to Sue for all the organising. You can organise my Birthday celebrations every year.


Washburn report

On Sunday, a whole bunch of folk headed to the Washburn – Alison, Kaylia, me, Penny, Bob, Frank, Will, Cath, Chris, Anna, Splinky and Kev. Will found it “too boring”, or maybe he was too hungover from party the night before, and decided to jog the shuttles instead, which was very handy for the rest of us.

Was a lovely day with brilliant sunshine. Despite the weather, the water was chilly – luckily only one swim between us all day.

The Washburn is certainly pricier than we’d remembered – £8 even for bcu members – I guess I’ve only usually gone in an evening before, is it cheaper on the eve runs?

On our last run, we found a lone random, “paddling without his boat”, haha. I’m sure he was delighted to be rescued by us 5 girls (not). Unfortunately he was too young to legally purchase swimbeers.

Hooray for a nice sunny Sunday with good company.

Also spent Saturday in Angelsey, which had nice surf, not huge, but very pleasant – lets have some surf trips this spring,

Happy paddling xxxxh

Feels like

And the forecast today is blizzard snow, Easterly winds blowing cold air from Siberia, highs of zero degrees in North Wales, but with the wind chill factor this will feel like -4.

What exactly does -4 feel like? Oh great, lets find out.

On Sunday, we set off for the Dee, AlisonH, HelenH, Kaylia, KatieL and Penny. Lately, we’ve been doing a kind of “paddling for softies” progression (Penny is strengthening her shoulder, while Alison and me are just plain soft), so this January we’ve been to Chester (yes, the flat bit) and Trevor (there’s one rapid) with Kim, as well as a few runs of the Burrs last week. So, this time, in the spirit of easy rivers, we tagged on several miles of the flat section of the Dee above Horseshoe as a warm up.

Warm up.

The section was very pretty, we saw heron, dippers, and some men with a nice bonfire who shouted at us a lot. The sun shone down, occasionally making to us at the bottom of the valley, but could not counteract the biting, miserable, face-exfoliating wind. We soon lost all feeling in our fingers and toes, expecially Penny who bravely struggled on with no gloves.

By the time we got to horseshoe falls, two of us had hypothermia but still enough sense left to stop paddling and jog back towards the car – thanks Manchester for the lift! – while the other three were obviously further gone, beyond thinking rationally, and carried on paddling.

Before serpents tail, my left hand was a disembodied object, no connection for the messages I was sending it, and no response in movement. Luckily it was curved into a hook shape to grip the paddle, hey ho. I went down serpents fine, keeping left and skimming happily over the shoulder of the stopper, aiming for, and making, the nice little eddy river left.

Which I then found I couldn’t leave… Oops.

Kaylia was next, and as she headed on line, perfectly aiming at me and shouting “Get out the way! Get out the way!” Sad to say, swerving to miss me was her undoing, and the resulting swim cooled her down thouroughly, in case she was feeling too warm. Katie, the one we were supposedly “looking after”, bobbed down the rapid easily like a little duck, and didn’t even get her hair wet.

Kaylia had experineced the pain of a whole body instant chill, while by now, I was actually beginning to feel much better – probably the adrenaline – and my hand had become mine again, rather than an alien lump of chilled meat. The rest of the river was fine, and at Town Falls, we all made the line we’d planned, left of the slot, despite all the “helpful” advice from the pub balcony encouraging us to “Go right! Go right!”

At the bottom, hooray, dry socks have never felt so good. A quick phone call to find out about the uni, who were over at Teeside slalom, getting the brunt of the east wind and gales. They had come 7th! Wow, what a fab result!

Now for the shuttle. There is a picture I want to put here, but someone won’t let me. Suffice to say, the lady at the house by chainbridge wants us to write to the council and ask for bollards to be put in – apparently this is not the first time cars have ended up at a jaunty angle in the evil ditch there with their back wheels shoulder-height off the ground and their exhaust pipes pointing at the sky.

Hooray for farmers with towbars, we love you.

Next we retired to the Sarah Ponsonby pub, and made our resolutions to take a bit more notice of the weather forcast next time.

White Christmas

A trip planned based on the theory that I can’t possibly be with my family at Christmas, so I am going to encourage everyone else to skip out on theirs as well. Skipping out on family turned out to be less popular than I expected, the only locals to make the trip were JimBob & Andy Ince.  Joined by the orphans for the year, myself, Ed, Dan, Sharon (Aus), Thai (Alaska) all going to visit Chris (exiled in France for a Season).

The tone for the trip was very much set on the first night, we laid out or luggage to discover we had more bottles of spirits than we had people. Obviously to get through all this we would need to be drinking all day… Christmas presents were given early and by day two everyone was packing a hipflask filled with their spirit of choice. Which helped to build up courage above the black runs, and also reduced the price of our nights out. One round can last all night when you can load up with every trip to the bathroom.

Christmas eve I am told was good… somewhere along the line we invented “Irish Russians”. A bit like a White Russian, only replace the milk with Baileys… then for some reason everything gets a little hazy.

Christmas gifts continued, and on Christmas morn we were all packing Santa Suits provided by Dan. So by mid afternoon Seven “Sober” Santas dragged themselves to the top of the mountain. In order to slide back down.

Thats about it, Video was created by Thai. Much thanks to everyone who came along and made it my best Christmas since landing in the Northern Hemisphere (Same time next year?).

Stay Classy…


Winter walk

Winter walk


We went a very pretty walk, to Llyn Crafnant and Llyn Geirionydd reservoirs, more pics here.

Mist in the valleys, and bright sunshine on the tops lovely. Chris and I tested the emergency shelter, and discovered that it creates emergencies just fine – happy birthday Chris, here’s a cracked skull just for you (sorry!) Other activities of the weekend included scrambling, shopping, curry, and testing the response time of the local fire brigade (1 hr 5 mins) using a complicated system of toasters, connected in both series and parallel.

Lovely weekend, Happy Birthday Chris xxxxx

Hell Runner

Where is the best place to be on a rainy November weekend.

If your answer was running through a Muddy forest encountering “the bogs of Doom” and following paths that seemed to pick the steepest hills possible. Then Delerware (sp) forest & Hellrunner are for you.

Will said “Hellrunner?”, 9 of lucky’s finest said “Hell yeah!”. So with that spirit, Myself, Ade, Mike, Will, Cath, Alison, Kev, Claire and Penny lined up at the start line, for a race no one knew the length of, or the terrain.

It turns out it was about 10-12 miles of primarily steep muddy paths. The surprise result being Mike narrowly beating Ade. And Alison only a few minutes behind Claire.

Today’s reviews..

Well done to everyone (esp Mike – fine performance!)

My legs can tell they’ve been out.

Well I can hardly walk and stairs are completely impossible!
Am taking up running for my new hobby though.

Penny (who crossed the line without being noticed)
Ah – all part of my MI6 untrackableness! Today i have decided that lifts (usually looked on with distain) are a good invention after all.

After feeling like i had been hit by a bus last night, this morning i feel ok apart fom the intensely uncomfortable ring of fire of nappy rash i have between my buttocks!! I have spent the day walking like john wayne.

Position, Name, Time
68 MIKE LANCASTER 01:33:10
77 ADE GREENWOOD 01:33:33
287 DAVID COOTE 01:48:10
1062 ALISON HOWELL 02:22:33
1227 CATHERINE TURNER 02:34:49
1230 WILLIAM POTTS 02:34:49
1375 KEVIN SMITH 02:55:29

Turkey: video trailer

Currently in production, Lazy and Inept Productions video of trip to Turkey – see Ali’s report of the trip: Turkish Delights in June

Here’s a trailer: