About Me

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Llanberis, North Wales, United Kingdom
Hi, I'm Dave Brown and I'm based in Snowdonia in North Wales. I am a Mountaineering and Kayaking Instructor and Sports Coach. I run personalised courses and sessions for folks looking to improve in their sport or activity. Additionally, I am also available as a Personal Fitness Trainer and Coach or Coaching Buddy. I spend most of my time climbing, mountaineering and paddling with clients and friends and then also training in my own time. In addition, i also conduct Consultancy work, Centre Inspections, Book and Equipment reviews and Technical Advice. I look forward to seeing on the hills, on the water and just generally out there.

Sunday, 4 July 2010


Yesterday, spent the day with a group of Dutch journalists visiting North Wales, on a Visit Wales initiative so that they can experience the diversity of what North Wales has to offer the tourist. Part of this was to experience adventure activities, one of which was Coasteering.
So, took them to Porth Rhufydd and immersed them in the waters and swell that was offered by the weather. A nice sunny day, quite breezy and quite a few groups in also enjoying the day on the coast.
It was quite an eye opener for the Journalists, as most of their coastline is nothing like ours and definately not as rugged or swell bound. However, all came away having enjoyed it - or at least that is what they said - lets hope they write the same!!

Monday, 28 June 2010

Springtime Adventures

Mid May saw me renewing my Beach Lifeguard for the 4th time, in my old haunt, Pembrokeshire and passing it too.

Then on return to North Wales it was time to do a quick unpack - repack. This time in readiness for 2 weeks of Scottish Sea Kayaking with Joint Services.
So after a few days warm up and skilling around Ballachulish we headed off to the Outer Hebrides, aiming for a trip from Bara to Lewis.

Upon my return back to North Wales, it was once again a quick turn around on kit as the next stop was Switzerland for some Mountain Biking and Italy for some cragging and Alpine Mountaineering.

After a quick ascent of the Gran Paradiso it was time to head back to Wales again to direct an SPA Assessment for some clients.

Holyhead mountain and Wiley's Crags were the venues for the two days and all clients performed brilliantly and passed.

Last week was spent running a series of Sea Kayak courses for a very keen group of staff from a company based in Lancashire. We got staff through 3 star Sea Kayak, 4 star Sea Kayak Trg, Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning, and a 4 star Sea Kayak Leader Assessment. The week was blessed with some amazing weather and some nice sections of the Anglesey Coast were paddled.

Saturday, 1 May 2010


Earlier this week i was out testing and reviewing two sea kayaks for a future edition of a magazine on sale later this year. Nice boats and average conditions for testing.
This last few days i have been in Switzerland doing some updating and skills coaching for some folks and instructors at a prestigious and well known Independent College in Switzerland. We paddled a local river at grade 3-4 in glorious alpine sunshine in beautiful meadowed valley. The following day we spent at their local flat water venue, doing skills etc.
However, heading back to the UK now for a few days and then busy again towards the middle and end of the week observing a 5 Star Sea course towards my A5 Development and then running a Coasteering Training Day for Staff of a company i tech advise for.
Then, off to my old haunt, Pembrokeshire for a week of renewing my NARS Beach Lifeguard Qualification. Lots of timed swims, sprints, towing and surf. Cold sea at the moment though!!
Then later in May i'm off to Scotland for Sea Kayak Symposium work for the Military. Expeditioning and exploring parts of the West Coast of Scotland for a ten day block of paddling. I hope the weather is good and the midges are on holiday somewhere else.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Film Safety on the Straits with the Coastguard

I spent the early part of Sunday with the Coastguard from Penmon, as they were being filmed for a documentary about the working folks of the Menai Straits. My role: to keep the camera man safe!!

There are some photos below

Casualty care - transported on the roof!!

Then Sunday afternoon was spent picking up some new Sea Kayaks to review for a national magazine. The reviews will be about in May, June or July. Nice boats though.

Its still not quite the same as going ski touring in Switzerland for a few weeks, which was the original plan for this 3 week period - Volcanos hey!

Still i get to go out to Switzerland on Wednesday, for a few days work though instead of play. Next year.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Combat Skiing!

Got back to North Wales last night having just spent the past 5 days out in Chamonix, off piste skiing, touring and Combat Skiing through the trees with Nick and Stu!!
Did a few interesting things like the Combe de al Noire, Italian side of the Valley Blanche from Col de Flambe near Point Helbronner in beautiful blue skies, had a day on the Crouches - Berard Traverse in some poor light and weather conditions that brightened up late afternoon. We also had a day heading off the back of the Brevent towards the Col d'Antere with some interesting skiing back down the Gorge towards Plan Jour.

Nick at Col de Flambe looking towards Point Helbronner.

Looking towards Col d'Antere from Brevent

Below are some photos from Scotland last month.

Carn Mor Dearg Arete and the Ben seen from Aonach Mor

The early morning walk into Creag Meagidh at Sunrise

Paul Leading the first pitch of Ritchie's Gully in Creag Meagidh

Me leading on the NW classic, Emerald Gully on Beinn Dearg

Topping out of Emerald Gully and sorting the ropes, the top of Penguin Gully off to the left

Lots of Snow in Coire an t Snaechda along with not so typical alpine weather!
My van buried after the 36hours of constant snowfall, 6 hours of digging later it was free along with all the other cars in the car park.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Changing Scenes!!

So, having just spent the past month in Scotland, with what has to be said, is probably the best year for snow and ice conditions that i will see in my lifetime to having spent 6 hours digging out the cars and car park at Glenmore Lodge on Friday to try and head south.
Last weekend and Monday and Tuesday were just incredible, glorious alpine lie days, cold, crisp and clear blue skies, then on Wednesday it turned back to being truly scottish again, Sub-arctic dampness, cold, low visibility with the added bonus of the onset of more snow. And, it hadn't stopped snowing when i managed to get onto the A9 at 1800 on Friday eve. 8 hours later and i had made it back to my home in North Wales, slept for a few hours, dumped all my gear out of the van, had a bit of a re-shuffle of kit, a re-pack and then headed to Liverpool Airport to catch a 1700 flight to Geneva, to head into Chamonix, to visit Nick and have a few days of Alpine ski and Climbing before starting work at the Joint Services Centre next week.

Guess what, it's raining in Chamonix!! But it is good to catch up with Nick and earn myself a little mini break.

Over the past month, i have had the chance to climb with some good friends on some routes that were in amazing conditons such as Emerald Gully IV4, Ritchie's Gully IV4, Patey's Route IV4, Finger's Ridge IV4, Wavelength III 4, Milky Way III and so on.

Lets see what fun the next month will bring with evenings getting lighter already, and various things in the pipeline like a Surf Kayak Symposium in Devon and an Inland Kayak 5 star Training to run, not to mention the work for the Joint Services Centre. Then into late April for 3 weeks of ski touring and climbing in the alps including the Bernese Oberland high level tour.

I'll mix this up with a few Mountain Leader Training courses and Climbing instructor (SPA and CWA) courses to run and some surf kayaking for myself and trying my best to get around to some of the providers of the National Navigation Award Scheme (NNAS) Gold awards for their moderation visits.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

The Cwm was calling!

I headed out with Ali today again and we were originally bound for the 
Snowdon area, however, the road on the pass had other ideas for Ali's van. 
Snow had been blown  onto the road from about the quartz stone corner 
and was succeeding in turning back folks. So with tails between our legs 
and now half an hour behind the crowds, we retreated and headed 
for Cwm Idwal. Sure enough, it was busy with plenty deep queues on 
most of the visible ice routes and a few others too. We opted for a little 
less climbed option, Sub Wall Route (IV) on Idwal Slabs. 
The first pitch was initially a bit of powder swimming, but soon got a 
little fruity. I took on the second pitch, which proved a bit sparse on gear 
and solid placements for crampon or axe. Lots of the snow consisted 
of sugary snow/ice loosely bonded to the slab, mostly with air! There is 
a nice little step and slab which maintains the interest of the leader. 
Ali stepped up for a more consolidated 3rd pitch and i took on the 
fourth. I am not sure it is a route i would rush out and repeat, but 
we did have it to ourselves on a very busy day. 

Maybe that is something to be said of the route we chose??!!  

This is Ali stepping out around the undercling at the beginning of the 3rd pitch.