Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bagg Point

Another wonderful day in the sunshine! Today I met up with Keith who was on holiday in North Devon for a bit of sea cliff climbing.  We climbed 3 routes on the main slab Ben (S), Freddie (HS) and In Her Eyes (HS). Great climbing and very hot day overlooking the sea.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Climbing wall

After a very wet day on Thursday we opted to go to the climbing wall in Exeter today.  Lots of routes climbing and no one got soaked - a good day!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Today was the start of 3 days of activities for the students at Court Fields Community School and after months of work we managed to get everyone in Yrs 7, 8 and 9 doing something outdoors even in this weather.  The activities were varied and ranged from rock guitar to coasteering.  On Wednesday and Thursday I teamed up with Russ Johns for our annual coasteering trips and the rain and the waves added a sense of excitement to the days.

Baggy point in sunny weather!

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Rain rain

7/7/12 Torrential rain everywhere in the UK including flood conditions on most rivers in Devon and Dorset, as a result the Jurassic Classic cycle event tomorrow has been cancelled.  When will we get some sunshine?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Exmoor coastal traverse

On Saturday Noel and I set off for a look at the Exmoor coastal traverse, the tide wasn't ideal because it wasn't going to be low until 4.30pm and we both had Saturday evening engagements get to so couldn't be late!.  We set out from Lynmouth and explored the section underneath the Valley of the Rocks on the falling tide, there was boulder hopping, traversing and even a bit of paddling as we explored the base of the cliffs.  The scenery was stunning, but be warned, when the tide turns the water races back up the Bristol channel so its not a place to be caught out.

I am looking forward to doing another section in a few weeks time.

Monday, April 02, 2012


A lovely sunny day on Dartmoor.  Today I met up with Zoe, Jeroen and Kareen  for an introduction to climbing outdoors at Sheepstor. The weather was perfect and all 3 climbed superbly and were belaying and setting up top rope systems by the end of the day - a great day!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

SPA training or assessment

We will be running an SPA training and/or assessment weekend on 19-20th May in Devon. 

The SPA or Single pitch award is an essential qualification for anyone wishing to use single pitch crags with groups in the UK.  Candidates must be registered with the MLTE before they attend a training course and bring their log book with them.  If you would like to know more please email me maldickson@yahoo.com

Monday, February 13, 2012


This weekend I was in North Wales for the annual AMI AGM. When we arrived at the climbers club hut in the Llanberis pass we bumped into several other AMI members who had travelled from other parts of the country. Unfortunately there was no snow around so my plans for a quick winter route on the Trinty face of Snowdon were dashed.  But it was a good meeting with lots of technical workshops and plenty to think about for the coming year.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Dart Loop

Thursday was a paddling day and Leo, Sinbad and I went for a blast down the Dart Loop.  Sinbad was keen to try out his new Christmas present, a Pyranha Burn from a very generous Santa!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


On Sunday I joined up with my friends at WKC to do the Pete Collins memorial race which this year went from Dulverton to Exe Bridge.  The water levels were low but it was good fun to be doing a white water race again - I do miss the Exe descent I hope someone revives this event soon.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Quay climbing wall

On Friday Noel and I took a group of our students to the Quay climbing wall in Exeter.  The new wall is in Haven Banks opposite AS Watersports and has a great variety of top ropes, leading walls and even some auto-belays it also has a great feeling of space and light, which is unusual for a climbing wall.  I am sure we will back many times over the next few months.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Baggy Point

Saturday was a windy and wild day at Baggy Point but we remained dry all day even though you could see rain over Hartland.  After a few routes on the slab we went over to have a go at Shangri-la but the winds and waves that resulted from the tail end of hurricane Katia had just started to build up and hit the bottom of the route so we beat a hasty retreat.  Back in Croyde we watched some surfers trying to get on some massive waves without much success - very brave!

Sunday, August 07, 2011


John at Sennen
The weather on Sunday was windy and with rain forecast so we opted to go to Sennen for some leading practice for John and Andy.  The rain showers came in during the afternoon and we had to beat a hasty retreat back to the shelter of the town.

Saturday, August 06, 2011


After my day at Baggy point I drove down to Cornwall to meet up with Andy and John for a weekend on Cornish granite.  We had a very busy day on Saturday climbing Alisons Rib, Door Post (HS) and Commando Ridge before retiring to the pub for a well earned curry and a pint!

John and Andy starting pitch 1 of commando ridge

Friday, August 05, 2011


Friday was a sunny day at Baggy point and I met up with my old friend and fellow instructor Baz for a few routes in the sun. 
Baz at Baggy Point

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hound Tor

Another sunny day on Dartmoor for the students from Court Fields.


Wednesday was a beautiful sunny day at Croyde in North Devon.  We met up with Russ Johns and did some extreme coasteering with our students as a part of the annual activities week.  The students enjoyed the big jumps into the warm sea and exploring the caves - an exciting day.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Baggy Point

Saturday was a beautiful sunny day in North Devon and low tide fell in the middle of the day making it an ideal opportunity to visit the coast.  After warming up on some of the single pitch climbs we finshed the day by climbing Kinky boots (VS).  The sunny conditions had attracted a large number of climbers and even more surfers to this beautiful part of Devon - a great day!
Alan on pitch 2 of Kinky Boots (VS) at Baggy Point

Monday, June 06, 2011

SPA Assessment

This weekend I was working with Simon Tong delivering an SPA assessment course.  We met the candidates on Friday evening for a session at the Rock and Rapid climbing wall otherwise known as 'The Mill' in South Molton.  On Saturday it was hot and sunny and we had a perfect day for assessing personal climbing skills at Sheeps Tor followed by a day at Chudleigh looking at managing groups, top roping, bottom roping, problem solving and running an abseiling session.

 We will be running an SPA training course on 15-17 July 2011.
Simon assessing gear placements
Candidates leading

Sunday, May 08, 2011

SPA Assessment 5/6 June

There is one place left on the SPA assessment course, get in touch if you need an assessment before the summer starts or the school break up.  Cost £130 - all candidates must be registered with a home nations training board e.g. MLTE, MLTS, MLTW or MLTNI to take part.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Introduction to outdoor climbing

Belaying at Sheepstor

Rebecca and David came down from London for their first taste of outdoor climbing on Dartmoor having climbed regularly indoors at the Castle climbing wall.  The weather over Easter was wonderful with hot temperatures on 20th and 21st April.  Wednesday was so hot that we were glad to be in the shade of the trees at the Dewerstone and practicing skills on a few multi-pitch routes.  The following day we had a session at Sheepstor where 5 routes were climbed and both Rebecca and David set up top ropes and bottom roping systems and even did an abseil before getting back in the car for a long drive back to London.
Rebecca climbing at Sheepstor

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

SPA assessment 5/6 June

We are running and SPA training on the weekend of 9/10 April and an assessment on the weekend of 5/6 June.  The courses will start on the Friday evening with a wall session and visit crags on Dartmoor, Chudleigh etc over the weekend. Get in touch if you would like to book a place.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

BCU White water

Just had a great weekend doing a BCU white water safety and recuse course on the Dart and Erme with Dave Jackson and Ollie Vass.  I can thoroughly recommend this course if you are a paddler but make sure you have a dry suit!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

SPA training 9/10 April

We will be running an SPA training course on the weekend of 9/10 April.  The course will commence on the evening of 8/4 with a visit to a local climbing wall and then visits to local Devon crags such on Dartmoor and Chudleigh over the weekend.  The cost will be £130, for more information get in touch with me maldickson@yahoo.com

Click here for the  SPA Handbook

Monday, December 20, 2010

snow, snow everywhere

Snow from Friday night was just clearing when we had another 5 inches during the early hours of Monday morning.  A day of pavement clearing and building snowmen planned for today.  Will be a white Christmas on Exmoor this year.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dry tooling

Had my first experience of using the new Alp Kit figure 4 indoor training axes today at the Rock and Rapid climbing wall in South Molton, an excellent aid to winter climbing.  Another similar training axe is available from schmoolz.com, both feature wooden shafts and reinforced rubber loops for hooking onto climbing holds -I think I will be investing in a pair! (video from schmoolz.com)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Baggy Point

A glorious sunny day on Monday at Baggy Point.  Tim was making a return to climbing after a 20 year break and had brought along his daughter Charis for the day.  The autumn sun shone and the sea was calm and the climbing was excellent.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Paul at Bosigran
Just returned from a weekend climbing with Paul at Bosigran, the weather was excellent and very hot for mid October. The crag was busy with lots of other climbers taking advantage of the good weather.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Exmoor challenge

This weekend I was working for Norman Vernon from Off Limits Adventures helping him run some corporate training days.  The boys and girls from the accountancy firm had a good time and went to sample the local hostlery in the evening,  If your firm needs a coprporate training day get in touch as Off limits can provide these anywhere in the country.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


A day at the Dewerstone with Sarah and her son Stu.  After a wet start the weather cleared up and we even had some welcome sun.  Stuart climbed really well and had a great head for heights.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Just returned from a few days in Cornwall at Chair Ladder and Bosigran.
Jon (below) on Flannel Avenue at Chair Ladder

Monday, August 09, 2010

Deep water soloing

It was a beautiful sunny day on the south coast yesterday so Noel and I decided to do the Magical Mystery Tour on Berry Head.  1100ft of climbing and a swim to finish - excellent fun.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Hound Tor

Today we were supposed to be coasteering but with big waves forecast for the north coast we had to change our plans, so we went to Dartmoor for some abseiling, walking and climbing.  We even managed to avoid the rain until it was time to drive home.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

High Ropes

Today we went to the High Ropes course at the Ultimate High near Bideford.  The students really enjoyed the high ropes, zip wire and auto belaying system on the climbing wall.  A great facility, we will be back next year.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hound Tor

On Wednesday I took 20 students from Court Fields School climbing at Hound Tor.  All the students enjoyed themselves and did plenty of climbing.

Sunday, July 04, 2010


On Saturday I met up with Vanessa and Nicola for a climbing refresher course at the Dewerstone. After brushing up on belay techniques we climbed a few multi-pitch routes in the sunshine and had a very enjoyable day.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Baggy Point

A very hot weekend and a great day on Baggy Point.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

SPA Training

We will be running an SPA training course in Devon on July 24 and 25th.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Lundy Sea kayaking

Just returned from a great sea kayaking trip to Lundy with Mike and Steve.  We had excellent weather going over and did Lee Bay to Lundy in four and a half hours and also saw some porpoises near the island.

After climbing the Devils slide and Albion on Thursday we paddled back on Friday arriving at a very sunny Lee Bay at mid-day.  A great trip and an ambition fulfilled.  Thanks to Mike for the organisation and the loan of the sea kayak.

(below The Devils Slide pitch 2)

Sunday, May 09, 2010


On Saturday I met up with Sergei and Chris from Taunton for an intro to climbing course.  We went through everything from fitting a harness and belaying to seconding some multi-pitch routes.  The weather was kind and it was dry all day long.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Sea kayaking

A hot sunny day on the Dorset coast.  Today Simon and I sea kayaked 25Km from Weymouth to Kimmeridge Bay stopping of at Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove on the way.  Conditions were very calm but the April sun was suprisingly hot - an excellent way to travel.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

BBC Thrillseeker

Today I met up with 3 local climbers who had booked me as part of the BBC Thrillseeker campaign that was advertised on the Countryfile programme.  We had a day at Hound Tor and did plenty of top roping and single pitch routes.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Intro rock course

Good Friday looked like it was going to be wet but we escaped the rain all day and even had some sun.  Gemma and Jordan were down from London for the weekend for an intro rock course and we had a good day at the Dewerstone.  On Saturday the rain caught up with us and we retreated to Dartrock of an afternoon at the the climbing wall.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter climbing

A busy weekend coming up with climbers booked in on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  All we need now is some spring weather!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


Like most parts of the country my corner of Devon had about 5 inches of snow last night, so no school today.

Monday, December 21, 2009

North Wales winter climbing

Another cold day in Wales on Sunday with snow down to the road level in Capel Curig. Rob and I went to the Idwal stream, which was in good condition with plenty of ice there was still some running water in places but enough ice to avoid getting wet. A few more days of cold weather should see more of the ice routes around the Devils kitchen coming into condition.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


After driving up from Devon and listening to snow reports in the East of the country I was pleased to find the weather in North Wales was bitterly cold and with snow forecast. On Saturday we went to look at an old favourite - Central Trinity on Snowdon. A good climb but it needs a few days of freeze/thaw to harden up the new snow. On the top it was very cold - shame the summit cafe wasn't open!

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Met up with Darren for a day at the Dewerstone. The weather was great in the morning withsun and clear skies but as forecast the rain arrived at 2.30 so we retreated to the Dartrock climbing wall for some indoor routes and a nice cup of tea. By the time we left many of the roads were getting flooded. Forecast to rain on sunday as well.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Berry Head

After a very wet end to August it has been great to have a sunny weekend so I took the opportunity to do Quality St at Berry head a 230ft VS traverse of the end of the headland which goes just above the high water mark. A great position and nice to be beside the sea!

Ben on pitch 2

Monday, August 31, 2009


After another wet week in August I finally met up with Anthony who was going climbing to celebrate his 30th birthday. Anthony was already a good wall climber who makes regular visits to The Castle in London. We got some much needed sunshine on Saturday and as it was a bank holiday weekend the crag was very busy. After a morning of belay escapesand rescues we avoided the crowds and did Fly on the Wall (HS) and Spiders Web (HVS 5a)