January Header
January saw us starting to get into the swing of things again. A little snow saw many of the team in the Beacons, as well as further afield with trips to the Peak District, Cheddar Gorge and Pembrokeshire all squeezed in. New Years Day allowed few of us to get out (even if the weather wasn't great in South Wales) but a number were in still Snowdonia and elsewhere where it was a little nicer.

Emma JanuaryEmma: Emma had two weeks off this month to complete her training (Beta course) with the TA Reserves. She had to be medically discharged after she pulled her back badly, and is re-entered for the course later in the year. When she recovered, Emma managed a few walks in the local area this month, seeing Ruperra Castle and the surrounding forests. She has also started high tree climbing, and has plans for hammocking up in the canopies of the trees in the warmer weather. The main trip she has done this month was the Pen y Fan Horse-shoe, luckily she had a clear winters day; chilly but no rain, perfect conditions for enjoying the views the whole way round.

Rhos JanuaryRhos: Pretty poor month for Rhos, with no competition wins, but if we're being fair, she didn't enter any either...! No comps meant she had time for some fun climbing, heading up to the Peak District for a weekend of cold Peak Grit. Unfortunately, there was some rain as well, and so the Sunday was spent at Climbing Works in Sheffield. Rhos has still been training hard however, and broke the 20min mark for 5k, which is a pretty good effort!

James T: Not venturing fair from Cardiff, this month James has spent time at Cosmeston Lakes Country Park, teaching his son Jacob to ride his bike. He's also been at Cardiff Park Run every weekend, inching every closer to his PB, which he's aiming to beat soon. James has also been on his bike a fair amount in January biking back and fore to work in all weathers - Velothon Wales is 6 months away, and he's looking to smash last year's time!

Heather JanuaryHeather: Early in January Heather took a stroll from Southerndown to Nash Point along with friends. Some fun was had trying out the wobbly ladder, sliding in the clay mud and reminiscing with some (attempted) stone skimming into the sea. There was also some major excitement when they found a fossil on the way back up! They also explored through the fairy tale style woods, and the country house ruins at Glamorgan National Heritage Trust centre. She also joined Elan on one of the Garth trips and one of the Neaudd Loops. Her weekend off at the end of January saw Heather and Ceri heading up to Yorkshire to see some friends, stopping off for a day in the Peak District enroute. With great views and epic weather, they thoroughly enjoyed their adventures over the tors. A 14mile circuit, of course visiting the cake Stack tour and the Back tour! Was a good thing we took the chance as the rest of the weekend was pretty cold and very damp.

Lowri and Chris: A quiet month for these two this month, both having clods and coughs hanging round and recovering from Christmas.. However, making the most of a weekend off from work in the the snow, they managed to head into the Beacons for an afternoon and get some snowmen built.

Dave JanuaryDavid: Dave did a 16 mile walk from Talybont village. Rather than doing the frequently done circuit of the valley from the Talybont dam, he chose to start at the village and take on a longer route through fields and forest to get to Bryn, a small hill north of Waun Rhyd – this was a new way for him. The day had started in thick chilly fog, but at Bryn Dave was above a cloud inversion and the view westward to Cribyn and Pen y Fan was crystal clear. The sun continued to shine and the views were really sharp all day.
Dave's back has also recovered enough for him to start climbing lighltly again, so he's managed to get to Boulders a few times. Boulders.

Elan JanElan : Elan spent the first weekend of January on Anglesey, paddling on the tideraces of Penrhyn Mawr and South and North Stack, along with the 3 other members of the Anti-Clockwise Eire team who are going to be paddling around Ireland in April. When not in his boat, he's got a few walks in this month, a couple of repeats of the Neaudd Loop of the Pen y Fan horseshoe (one in snow, one in rain and both in the dark!) as well as a day on Mynydd Du (see the video below) with ex staff member Ross and and a few locals walks of to the Garth from North Cardiff.

#Team Up and Under

Andy & Lucy JanLucy and Andy: Another pair who have been 'relatively' quiet with a bit of illness hanging round. However they still manage more adventures than most! They managed to get out to play in the snow that fell in the Beacons, but they didn't need all the cold weather gear they were hoping to use. Lucy also managed a few trail runs, getting out on her regular 10 km Sirhowy route, as well as exploring the Senghenydd dyke and Eglwysilan which turned into a lovely 13km circuit. Lucy and Andy have already got thier summer plans sorted too, with flights booked to Yosemite in September. Training has already started for this (please don't ask Andy about his "Crackinator"...), mainly indoor as the weekend they spent in the Peak District was too cold to be outside, so they ended up at Awesome Walls in Stoke. Quiet is all relative...!

George H JanuaryGeorge H: For this month's antics, George has been up in North Wales with a few friends for some mountaineering. We climbed up Idwal Slabs and Cneifon Arete to get to Bristly Ridge . On his second day there, they did Clogwyn Arete, and on Monday, some bouldering and my first ever outdoor sport session.

George L JanGeorge L: Jetted off to Thailand, where he'll be radio-tracking Banded Kraits; a super venomous snake. George will be living in the Thai rain forests, and not content with the Kraits, there will also be Pit Vipers and King Cobra's to contend with - If you're interested, you can follow his exploits here.

Kate & Joe JanKate and Joe: Have been skiing in Bulgaria which was pretty great. Fresh powder with a little sun made it an awesome trip.

Stuart JanuaryStuart: Stuart's been out and about, both on the water and in the mountains. The first trip of the year was out to Flat Holm Island, a local favourite. He also joined a group from Sea Kayak Cymru for a trip from Abereiddy to Abercastle, a cold, cold winter paddle which makes you think about new warm kit! Stu's another of the team to head to Pen y Fan in the snow - he found a short stretch with just enough Ice to try out his Salewa Condors and new Crampons - Petzl Charlet Vasaks. He's also found time while at home looking after his kids to make some more wooden paddles, which are looking amazing.

Mark JanuaryMark: Mark has just been out training in January, and was on the Run Walk Crawl recce for the SW100 last weekend - They covered part one of the route 'only' 25miles from Cardiff to Treorchy - hopefully the conditions will be more favourable in June.

Ed January ScotlandEd : January has found Ed mainly in the climbing walls around Bristol - TCA, UCR, Redpoint and Bloc. Ed had a walk around Cheddar Gorge (too hungover to do anything vertical!) but was good to meet up with climbing friends from a Dolomites trip a few years back. He was using his new Garmont Vetta boots for this walk, which he's really enjoying - read his brief appraisal here . Ed also lent his axes to a friend to go to Scotland at the start of the month - they got more use on that trip than on Ed's own trip up with CUMC in December!
February is shaping up to be more eventful, with a number of weekends planned. We''ll let you know how it goes next time.

James H PyFJames H : James is busy preparing for his trip to Everest Basecamp in April. While he's been increasing his kit slowly over the last few months, training has started in earnest. He also has been out in the Beacons in the snow and dark. One of the latest pieces of kit for the trip is a Jottnar Alfar, which we haven't seen him out of yet.
His shoulder is also recovering nicely from the operations, and he's been back on the water for the first time in 14 months in a white water boat (his new Dagger Nomad), but on the flat water sections of the River Taff. He's also been spending on river kit as well - with a Sweet Supernova or Peak UK Adventure Double keeping out the wind and rain on the dark, cold evenings on the water. There'll be reviews of these coming over the next few weeks. James also put off his Uni work by putting together a video of his trip to Val Sesia a few years back, and, shoulder willing, plans to return to get more footage this year...!

Sara and Norman : This month has been fairly busy, celebrating Sara's birthday and prepping the boat for leaving Cape Town and South Africa for the last time hopefully for this trip. They managed to get a weather window a few days ago, and are on the way to St Helena and Ascension Island.

Stu FH Jan

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