Friday, August 28, 2009

Objects of Desire


Besides having great iTunes songs on your iPhone, Macbook or iPod. You have to have matching speakers to go with them. This Apple concept speakerset called iSticks is awesome to look at. It will definitely be a real headturner in your home. So hopefully this will go into production real soon and then we can pump up the volume in style!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Single Pitch Award Training

Course provider: Dan McKinlay

Staff: Mark Tozer

Locations: Stanage, The Foundry Climbing Wall and Burbage North

Weather: Heavy rain & low cloud, sunshine & clear skies

Get in touch should you wish to do your Single Pitch Award

Further information can be obtained by visiting the Mountain Leader Training UK website

Friday, August 21, 2009

Objects of Desire


The Apple rumors keep pilling up. Now they are even talking about an Apple-branded phone which you can flick. It will be iTunes compatible which will be a blessing for everyone. What would you do with a phone that hasn’t got iTunes? Apple registered the mobile-handset-friendly trademark phrase “Mobile Me” in January, covering a range of mobile devices and services. And then there's this concept-image of what’s supposed to be an Apple phone circulating.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Single Pitch Award Assessment

Course provider: Andy Newton

Staff: Mark Tozer

Locations: Holyhead Mountain, The Beacon Climbing Centre and Lion Rock

Weather: Slight rain & overcast, sunshine & strong winds

Get in touch should you wish to do your Single Pitch Award

Further information can be obtained by visiting the Mountain Leader Training UK website

Friday, August 14, 2009

Objects of Desire

Let friends and family know exactly where you are in the world and that everything's going swimmingly. Designed as a serious piece of rescue kit this Spot GPS has (as well as serious emergency location broadcasting) some deeply fun features. Before you set off on your adventures you set up email addresses and telephone numbers* that you want to be contacted in an emergency, or if you just want to let your loved ones know where you are and that you're ok. At the click of the OK button the device will send an email (and a text if you have selected that option) to your chosen addresses. Not only will it contain your message, but also a link to Google Maps showing exactly where in the world you are! How cool is that? And you can even set the gizmo up to automatically send a location message every 10 minutes (useful for nervous parents who want to make sure little Billy and Mary are ok).

On the serious side it also uses GPS satellites to track your coordinates and at the click of the emergency button will transmit them to your designated Spot team or the nearest emergency services - so you can be rescued whether you get stuck up a mountain, down a river, adrift at sea, or out in the desert.

It's small enough to fit on your belt, takes standard AA batteries and is very simple to use. Whilst this was principally designed to help the intrepid get themselves rescued for being, well, too intrepid probably, we think its most fun feature is the ability to be tracked by your family and mates as you globe-trot!

Find out more from the SPOT Europe website

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

3 Peaks by Kayak - 2009

This is one endeavour I think folk will be interested in...............

In August 2009 Nick Ray will embark on one of the greatest challenges he has ever undertaken - to kayak a distance of 450 miles (solo) from Aberdovey on the coast of Mid-Wales to Loch Eil in Highland Scotland, and on the way to run/climb up and down Snowdon, Scafell Pike, and Ben Nevis, the three highest peaks in Wales, England, and Scotland. This is in fact a variation of the popular three peaks fundraising challenge and one that he successfully completed in 1983! (The aim of the original challenge is to climb all three peaks in under 24 hours). Nick Ray's sea kayak challenge will take considerably longer - possibly 16 days if the weather is fair, though he have given himself longer to complete the journey if it is not. To the best of his knowledge, Nick does not think that this challenge has been undertaken before.

The journey aims to raise funds for the Wilderness Foundation UK

Here is the itinerary from Nick before he set off last week

5th August: Aberdovey to Bardsey Island, open crossing - 31NM
6th August: Bardsey to Caernarfon, coastal - 29.7NM
7th August: Climb Snowdon, 23 miles, then Caernarfon to Conwy 19.4NM
8th August: Conwy to Point of Ayr, coastal - 22.8NM
9th August: Point of Ayr to Fleetwood, coastal - 35.3NM (big day!)
10th August: Fleetwood to Ravenglass, coastal - 30.2NM
11th August: Climb Scafell Pike - 27.2 miles
12th August: Ravenglass to Point of Ayre (Isle of Man) 33.7NM
13th August: Point of Ayre to Port Logan, Mull of Galloway 29.7NM
14th August: Port Logan to Corsewall Point, coastal, - 20.6NM
15th August: Corsewall Point to Sanda Island, open crossing - 22.6NM
16th August: Sanda Island to Gigha Island - 30.8NM
17th August: Gigha to Crinan, coastal - 27.1
18th August: Crinan to Oban, coastal - 22.7NM
19th August: Oban to Fort William, coastal - 27.9NM
20th August: Climb Ben Nevis - 13.1 miles

Nick acknowledges this is an ambitious route and he will not take chances, so if the weather conditions are not suitable, for instance, Nick will adjust his route and ambitions accordingly. Therefore it is highly likely that the plan outlined above will change. However, Nick says he has the luxury of time in hand and can afford to sit onshore for a number of days if needs be. Nick expresses a desire to do his very best to complete the challenge.

Updates will be posted via Nick's Facebook group - 3 Peaks by Sea Kayak 2009

Remember, Nick is doing this to raise money for the Wilderness Foundation UK, if you would like to donate please follow this link - Just Giving: 3 Peaks by Sea Kayak

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday Morning Wave

Photographer: Russell Ord

Beneath an immense veil, Dino Adrian tracks the low seam of a cascading curtain. Western Oz

Friday, August 07, 2009

Objects of Desire

The GRIGRI's self-braking function helps the belayer catch and hold a climber, making it great for working routes. Works equally well for lead climbing and toproping. Ergonomic design makes for smooth, controllable lowers. Also great for rappelling on single ropes & perfect for setting and cleaning routes.

Self-braking system: if the rope suddenly comes under tension (e.g. in a fall), the cam pivots to pinch the rope, thus helping the belayer stop the climber's fall.

Usage is similar to that of conventional belay devices o giving/taking slack is done by using both hands to slide the rope through the device o falls are held by holding the free end of the rope with the brake hand o for lowering and rappelling, the rate of descent is controlled by the hand holding the free end of the rope (the rope is released with the handle).

Learn more about the myth and magic of the GRIGRI on the British Mountaineering Council website

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Leadership Power - 2

As mentioned in the previous blog article Leadership Power - 1, there there are five documented sources of power (French & Raven, 1959; Raven & Rubin, 1976; Raven, 1992) referred to as the bases of power (Barnes, 2002). These power bases are as follows:

Resource Power: the essence of resource power is that the leader has it within them to give some sort of reward (Priest & Gass, 2005). As a rewarding leader, influence over followers comes about by offering incentives, such as fewer tasks or recognition for a job well done. This only works, however, if the followers value the rewards. It has been found that non-specific rewards to a group in general only have a short-term effect. To be effective in the long term, rewards need to be both personal and specific (Barnes, 2002).

• Expert Power: this is achieved through perceived competence. For expert power to work followers must acknowledge and respect that a leader has the necessary expertise. The more knowledge, skill and experience a leader appears to have the more likely others will follow. However, a drawback with expert power is that the person involved may only be an expert in one field and unable to incorporate or delegate others, they therefore become isolated and function solely as an expert rather than as a leader (Priest & Gass, 2005).

Legitimate Power: there are two sources of legitimate power: nominated and democratic. Nominated power implies some form of moral authority conferred in the leader. Democratic power is where a group of people has elected a leader for various possible reasons. Most people will follow a leader if they have been given a moral right or legal responsibility to make certain decisions on the followers’ behalf. (Barnes, 2002).

• Referent Power: this is the least obvious source but the most voluntarily accepted of the five. When a leader is admired, identified with or valued by group members it is likely that the group will agree with, support and follow the leader. It could be said a leader has referent power if the group members gauge or mirror their personal actions by those of the leader (Priest & Gass, 2005).

• Coercive Power: this form of power involves the threat of punishment and usually follows the failure of resource power to influence people. A coercive leader would influence group members by threatening them with negative incentives such as decreased responsibility or carrying more weight on a trip. Ethically, this power has no part in outdoor education, since forcing people to act ignores the philosophy of challenge through choice and can potentially destroy the adventure experience or create barrier to learning (Barnes, 2002; Priest & Gass, 2005).

It might be seen that an outdoor leadership practitioner, particularly on expeditions, should have expert power as an absolute minimum. In addition to this, a leader would normally be expected to have legitimate power simply because they are in the nominated role. However, a person may need to call upon their referent power if there are personalities in the group that need winning over or reassuring. Most outdoor practitioners consider the use of coercive power morally apprehensible in terms of the negative impact on a learner’s progress. Finally, resource power is the ultimate trump card where, if things are not working out or going according to intended learning outcomes, the leader always has the power to abandon or change the trip or experience.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Monday Morning Wave

Photographer: Mickey Smith

Tom Lowe, Rileys. Middle of December, first light, freezing cold intimidating bombs, and a ridiculous, late mega-charge from deep into fresh ground for the Celts