Mountain Journeys

Over the years we've learnt a few things about travel in the mountains, climbing, and related activities. We're learning more all the time, each experience adding to the knowledge. Here we'd like to share a few snippets of information with you. The page will be updated periodically, so do check back from time to time.


  • When setting a compass, always estimate what the bearing will be, thus avoiding the 180' error.
  • Use a stable platform when setting the compass. A boulder, fence, or your knee can all work well.
  • Have the map folded so the section you need is on view and keep it accessible.
  • Keep the compass away from devices with batteries (mobile phone, camera, etc) and other metal objects, as this can cause malfunction of the compass.

Climbing / Abseiling:

  • Don't over-tighten screw-gate carabiners. Finger tight is enough and helps prevent jamming.
  • Choose a route that's good for both you and your climbing partner
  • Always back up an abseil with a prussik and check your partners set up / have them check your set up too. Remember, check check check!
  • Always carry 'tat' in case a retreat is required.
  • Never take short-cuts when abseiling from a route. Leaving extra gear behind might cost a little more money, but is 100% better than the alternative!
  • Read the guidebook before embarking on a climb. Consider taking it with you on multi-pitch routes.
  • Know the descent route before setting out on your climb, the top is only half way. Take trainers up with you if it's a long / tricky descent.
  • Don't be afraid to walk away from a route / objective. It will always be there, make sure you are too.
  • If things do go wrong, look for the simple solutions first.


  • Stretch your muscles before and after activities. This will increase performance and decrease the risk of injury.
  • Always carry a head torch whilst out in the hills.
  • On breezy days don't leave any kit lying around unsecured on the ground.
  • The wind does blow things away, even big items such as backpacks!
  • Let someone know your plans for the day and your estimated return time.
  • Use dry-bags to pack items in your backpack. I have yet to find a backpack that is waterproof. Dry-bags are relatively cheap, help you organise kit, and most importantly keep it all dry.
  • Carry a fully charged mobile phone. Keep it in a waterproof case. If in an area of weak signal turn it to 'airplane mode' to preserve battery life.


  • Let someone know your intended route and ETA back to base
  • Fit your crampons whilst standing up. Put them on a slope just above your feet and step into them, pushing into them to make for a secure fitting.
  • Sitting down to fit them may well be more comfortable, but the fitting may not be as secure
  • Once crampons are fitted on your boots, lift each foot up and give it a good shake to test for any movement in the crampon. If movement is detected, adjust them as necessary to obtain a secure fitting.
  • Pack 3 pairs of good quality winter gloves. A thinner liner pair is also very useful. Unless very lucky you will definitely use more than just one pair per day
  • Don't forget to pack your goggles,  sunglasses and suncream!

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