Wednesday, December 23, 2009

All chilled

Winter is really here and there is snow around to prove it. I was supposed to ride with Jon today, but he got a last minute assisting job in town, so I struck out into the fresh snow with the new HD cam and did a mellow vid. I hope you like.

More Mountain Biking >>

Quite tricky to gauge the grip level, so its a bit lame, but what the heck, its Christmas...

Ha! just been on the dirt website and its in their Monday mashup. Sweet, thanks dirt!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Good dinner on Sat evening. Great to see everyone and congrats to Gav and Jen on the engagement!!! Daryl had brought his pub bike - a 24 inch jump bike - and I've just about (minus some tweaking) finished my On One 456 frame build. So we hit Woburn and embarrassed ourselves, hungover and not used to riding hardtails. By the end of our little sesh I didn't need to vom any more and we'd got into it. New HD vid camera trial:

Hardtails from Dave Branfield on Vimeo.

Need to work on the filming!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Notes from Newton...

I went wakeboarding with friend Tom. We went in late October- the weather was amazing to be honest. The lake is really near Green Park at Junction 11 on the M4 and is well worth the fee if anyone every fancies coming along for a sesh when the season starts again. You only get about half an hour but in all fairness- you really don't need much more than that. The feeling I had after going Wakeboarding was akin to being bulldozed by a large fishing trawler. My upper body was completely jellied and I took a lovely neck-snapper of a stack on my last run! This left me unable to turn my head for about a week. Bob informs me that you are supposed to be sporting a kidney impact vest! Common injury is bruised kidneys from slapping the water! Anyway hope you can Photoshop them to make me look like the pro that I am....)



Sunday, December 06, 2009

Lake district Long weekend

Hi internet. Last weekend had been in the diary for ages and I was really looking forward to it, so with all the bad weather that the Lake District had received the week prior, I had hoped that things had calmed down a bit and we'd get some nice weather. Luckily, Michael Fish had listened to my prayers and ordered in some brilliant weather for us. Result!

James Linford headed to mine and we jumped in the car and sped north to Grasmere, where Rebecca and her boyfriend Goldy were headed for about midnight. After a restless night and a bit of brecky, we were up and away, doing a loop from our Grasmere YHA, towards Swirl Howe, High Rise and then off piste round Easdale tarn and back. The weather was beautiful and all the autumnal colours of the bracken turned the landscape a lovely brown and views into the Landale valley. On our short cut near to codale tarn presented us with an a few unexpected wildlife sighitngs. First we spotted a white bird scooting around on the tarn like a beaver (it then flew away, so I'm assuming it was a bird...) but lookedm like a seabird, and a short while after, when climbing away from the tarn, we got really close to 6 deer. A whole family of red deer and they were quite curious. Amazing!




Goldy risking all!

After a great first day, it was back to the YHA. Food, Beer, Bed and more of the group arriving. Over night it'd rained quite heavily and the temperature had dropped a bit. Basically, that meant 10cm of snow on the hills! Amazing bluebird day and we were set for going up Bowfell and round to Esk Hasue, round Angle tarn and back.

It was perfect weather and no wind, beautiful views and good company. After we had gained nearly all our height, we stopped for lunch and admired the amazing views.


View back towards little Langdale





How is that for a lunch view!

On the way down we were close to an RAF helicopter rescue which was amazing to watch and I hope the person being lifted wasn't too badly hurt. They dropped the winchman, then flew off to limit the downdraft, then winched the hurt party up ten minutes later. Amazing job.





There was also time for some art...





It had been a long day and we came down in the gloom and by the time we had hit the valley, the headtorches were out and looking back up the hill, there were a few more twinkles coming down higher up.


Ben looking like a rad 70's climber...

Sorry there are soooo many snow pics, but they're pretty...

More pub, good food and fun and we retired very pooped. The next day was a complete contrast and as a result I didn't even bother to take the camera. It was basically up to 80mph gusts and driving wet snow and hale. Wind chill was up to -17C! Without Bex, who had a saw ankle, and Goldy, we went up and did a reasonably low level route from Grasmere. Up to Stone Arthur, towards Great Rigg and then contoured under the ridge line, out of the high wind back towards Heron Pike and then back via Alcock Tarn. Really cold and wet day out and most of our jackets gave in, including James' brand new Rab affair...

Shelter was deployed for lunch.

Saying goodbye to Chris and Ross, there were four of us left for a final day that was cold and crisp and still a bit windy. We aimed for Jack's Rake on Pavey Ark, but in the end, decided to give it a miss as it was a bit icy and we were all knackered by this point. Gloroius day with a bit of a scramble and just nice to be up in the hills.



We saw a shepherd up here with his dogs, literally running up cliffs to bring the hill sheep down. Pretty amazing life.




Thanks for a great trip, James, it was great to catch up with poeple and relax. Can't wait for the next one.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Up in Avoriaz

Post from the company blog, some action shots to follow when Jamie downloads them. None of us skiing or boarding coz it was just too much fun. Lifts opening for this weekend so noe more hiking, might go up the Grand Terche near us for some more fresh stuff, whoop.

Drove up to Avoriaz today to hike to the top before the lifts open next weekend! Harder to get to the top but then fresh tracks on the way down as there weren't many people around.

Some of the lower piste was bashed making it a bit easier but the top was all fresh snow, fortunately we had borrowed some snow shoes from All Mountain Rental to make the going a bit easier while the skiers skinned up.

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On the way down from Avoriaz

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Looking back to Les Haute Fortes

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From Avoriaz centre

Catered and Self Catered Mountain Holidays

Ski and Backcountry Hire in Morzine

Mountain Spaces
Catered and Self Catered Mountain Holidays

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Woohoo, mana from heaven

Just a quick one as it;s getting busy, the snow is here!! Think we're hiking tom so I'll try and get some powdery boarding pics!

After waiting for a series of high pressure systems to move from Northern Europe in early November the temperatures have well and truly dropped and it's snowing heavily down to about 700m with a really good base layer being built up on the slopes.

We've already hiked a couple of routes in Avoriaz and will go again later in the week once the weather has calmed down.

The Pleney 30th Nov II

Morzine 30th Nov II