Paddy Wilmot developed his skills in contour map reading and found his enjoyment of the mountains was greatly enhanced.

“I had done a fair bit of micro navigation and general navigation whilst undertaking Mountain Leader training. This involved calculating routes from a-b using compass bearings, timings and pacings, and a storyboard based on map features like walls, boundaries, cairns or sheepfolds etc. This method of navigating has such a complex story board that it requires constant referring to the map and compass and complex pacings and timings, not conducive to a comfortable walk in the hills and an interesting conversation with your companions. I wanted to be able to navigate with my map and compass, for the most part, zipped inside my pocket.

I mentioned to Joe that I wanted to be able to stow my map a bit more. He said I needed to learn contour navigating, using the contours to ‘see’ the shape of the land and even using the fall line as a compass. We went off to a bowl, under Moel Hebog, to find a ruined cottage using only the contours to find it and then using only the contours to ‘prove’ that it was there.

I suddenly got it. From then on we navigated to find little irregularities in the contours. For each leg we analysed the shape of the land as the storyboard and put the map away before setting off, only pulling out the map again when we had decided that the destination, the small flattening say, had been reached. In due course Joe said, “put your compass away, use the contours to orient your map”.

This has revolutionised my navigating and my enjoyment of map reading a walk in the mountains. Joe is the only instructor I have come across who teaches this.”

Well done Paddy, we’re pleased you found that map reading can be fun. The team at Mountaineering Joe wish you every success with your Mountain Leader qualification.

Brigid Baxter certainly enjoyed her rock climbing experience on Tryfan Bach (Little Tryfan) with Joe and she’s looking forward to doing a lot more:

Climbing on Tryfan Bach (Little Tryfan)

Climbing on Tryfan Bach (Little Tryfan)

“Hi Joe, I want to say a really big thank you very much for looking after us so well and for the much appreciated teaching you gave Kerry and myself to take our climbing to the next level”

The inspirational quote on the website is taken from a piece that appears in a book written by John Muir in 1901, here’s a longer extract to enjoy:

‘Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grasses and gentians of glacial meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of nature’s darlings. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings, Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but nature’s sources never fail.’

From ‘Our National Parks’, by John Muir, 1901, page 56

What Stephanie Curran had to say about the ‘Rock Climbing for Beginners’  day out with Joe instructing:

“My first attempt at rock climbing was last year in the Snowdonia mountains at Tryfan Bach, with Joe leading our small group. It took some encouragement by the other group members to persuade me, initially, to have a go at the climb. Joe was very reassuring about it, telling me it was an excellent rock face to attempt a first climb.

There were a few other small groups climbing however no-one else had an instructor with them. Joe explained the safety equipment and signals and then we were off. He talked to me throughout the climb offering me advice when I seemed unsure and making me feel confident to the point that I abseiled down with a big grin on my face.

Thanks Joe for making me laugh throughout and inspiring me to ‘carry on’ up the mountains.”

Well done Stephanie.

View of Ynys Arw (North Stack), Isle of Angelsey

The inspiring and epic 870 mile Wales Coast Path was officially opened to the public on 5th May 2012.

The coast path takes you on a glorious journey from Anglesey and North Wales to the South Wales Coast and Severn Estuary, crossing eight regions.  It is more than a walk, it’s a journey through the rich history, culture and heritage of Wales.

The Mountaineering Joe team are based in North Wales, at the heart of the Anglesey (Ynys Môn), Menai, Llyn, Meirionydd. The North Wales sections of the coast path are within easy reach for us.  We arrange walks that take our clients through this stunning scenery, so they can enjoy the spectacular beaches, breath-taking sea views and awe-inspiring cliffs.

Ynys Lawd (South Stack), Isle of Anglesey

Ynys Lawd (South Stack), Isle of Anglesey

View of Ynys Arw (North Stack), Isle of Angelsey

View of Ynys Arw (North Stack), Isle of Angelsey

The team at Mountaineering Joe are happy to support a group of University of Birmingham students (InterVolSA2012) in their fundraising activities by providing a two day mountaineering experience in North Wales as a prize.

The students will be heading off to South Africa at the end of June 2012 to complete a project organised through InterVol at the Horizon Farm Trust. ‘InterVol’ is an international volunteering charity that offers students the opportunity to volunteer with ethical organisations overseas on poverty reduction, education and conservation programmes.

We wish them the best of luck and we look forward to meeting the winner.

We have received this lovely message from one of the fundraisers, Lauren Wilcock, University of Birmingham, final year African Studies student: “We would like to thank Mountaineering Joe for the prize the company has donated to the project! Thanks to them we are very close to our fundraising target of £1000 to help the Horizon Farm Trust which cares for disabled adults and children in South Africa. We also know the winner can’t wait for their mountaineering experience! Thank you so much from all of us.”

For more information about InterVol, visit their website