Rob Johnsons Blog

/Rob Johnsons Blog

May 2020

Our Courses are on hold until July

Yesterday I emailed everyone who is booked on an open course with us for June to advise that the courses won't be running. The Government tell us that accommodation won't be opening up again until at least July and people all need somewhere to stay. I have offered everyone the choice of a full refund [...]

A busy week of admin and volunteering

Is this what it's like to be retired? I've got nothing in my diary but the days are flying by with plenty to do. The last couple of weeks I have been volunteering my time in trying to help establish some guidelines for Mountaineering Instructors getting back to work. I wrote a guidance paper for [...]

Update – when can we start working again?

We have received an update from the BMC & Sport England today on our ability to start walking and climbing again. For us in Wales nothing has really changed - everything in yesterdays post remains the same. It has also been made clear by the Welsh Government that we cannot cross the border to operate [...]

When can we start running courses?

We all want to be able to get back out into the mountains again on a personal level and for us it has the added dimension of being our livelihoods. We are pretty keen to get back to work when it is safe for us, our clients and our local communities. Yesterday Boris updated the [...]

April 2020

New Film – The Clach Glas, Blaven Traverse (Skye) in winter

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuxXFW4fsnk&t=189s Huw and I work the winter season in the mountains of Scotland. 2020 was my 16th year of chasing the ephemeral and definitely seemed to have a shortage of bluebird days! Just at the very end of our stint however the conditions and the forecast combined to give us a special day and it [...]

Mountain Memories #4

Mountain Memories #4 Todays photo is from June 2007 and shows a young Bryn Williams together with Tim & Rich. We were on a climbing trip to the Lofoten Isles. I volunteered to sort the travel logistics and when I decided on a strategy of how we were going to get to this remote chain [...]

March 2020

New Film – The Carneddau Ponies

The Carneddau Ponies live semi-feral on the mountains that back onto my home here in Snowdonia. They comprise a small population of about 300 and are thought to date back to the Bronze Age. Over 2018 and 2019 I ventured out with my camera to film them in all weathers. They live in a mountainous [...]

Mountain Memories #3

Todays photo is a (not very good) shot of my Dad by the Kings House Hotel in Glen Coe. These stories are not meant to be about the imagery, just the memories that a photo can spark and so I don't feel so bad about posting an image that is blurred and out of focus [...]

Mountain Memories #2

Todays photo to trigger a memory is of my friend Alec. In yesterdays memory I chatted a little about my first foray into the harder scrambles in the 1990's when my Dad and I went to the Isle of Skye. At about the same time I started going to my local climbing wall which in [...]

Mountain Memories #1

Whilst we are all staying at home I thought I would join the trend for sharing some photos and some stories from the last few years.  This photo is of Paddy on the Isle of Skye, I think the route is Integrity and the year would be the late 1990's.  I got into the mountains [...]

We need to stay at home

Whilst the cities are quiet this weekend, yesterday saw the busiest day in Snowdonia in living memory. We all need to work together to beat this. We need to stay at home. I live here and I have stopped my work to keep my community and my family safe. I am not going up the [...]

Nice and Quiet on the Hill

Contrary to the forecast it's been a nice day out for the end of the Weekend Winter Skills which was also the last of this year's Expedition Guide winter courses. Me and the boys have been up Meall a Bhuiridh where without the chair lift running we walked from the Glen Coe ski centre car park. Aside from a [...]

A Wee Hill for Winter Skills

We've the last of this year's Weekend Winter Skills courses running this weekend. Given the amount of snow on the mountains of the West Highlands right now you'd imagine that we could have run them well into April. Forming a plan that fitted with the forecast weather and avalanche hazard Mark, Anthony, Gareth, Peter, Charlie, Tomas and [...]

Blue Skyes

It's been a super sunny day and there's undoubtedly lots of fantastic ice to climb right now but with the heavy snow and high winds of yesterday getting to those climbs safely appeared to be the problem. Choosing something that seemed to better suit the conditions Rob and me have enjoyed a brilliant day on [...]

Yet another trip to the ‘Gorms

High winds and avalanche hazard are still something that we're working around so to mitigate that it was another drive east for Brian, Richard and me. Coire an t-Sneachda couldn't offer much to reduce the wind speed but its left hand crag of Mess of Pottage did offer a safe approach and retreat. Walking in [...]

The Old Haunt of Beinn a Chaorainn

With weather more typical of this winter season we've been back to familiar haunts today with a team ascent of The East Ridge of Beinn a Chaorainn. The rain and thaw might have stripped a little of the snow off the rocky step lower down but the rock rib of the upper section is still buried under [...]

A Couple of Climbs in Coire an t-Sneachda

After the weekend off we're back into things with a Three Day Winter Mountaineering Course. With the weather back to the more familiar high winds and rain we all headed east to the Cairngorms where the weather forecast was promising a window of opportunity in the morning. Whilst Rob and Martin were making their way up Aladdin's [...]

Cairngorm Mountaineering

This week Huw and I have been joined by Martin (from last week) Richard and Brian who have all done our winter skills course and are now with us to progress onto mountaineering ground. With the weather and avalanche forecasts looking better in the East we drove across to the Cairngorms and enjoyed a fine [...]

Thank Yous from last week

Hi Rob,Thank you for another superb week in the Scottish mountains. It was great to meet up again even if we didn't get to climb together - I think Huw was on a bit of a roll last week!I hope you enjoy the rest of your winter season and I look forward to our paths [...]

The Week Vanishes

That's the end of the Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Week and what a great week it has been with Oli and Shae. We stayed closer to Fort William today where the lower laying routes on Ben Nevis have slowly become more accessible as the week has drawn on. We walked in the the CIC hut with the [...]