Useful Sites

Weather

Met Office – Mountain Forecasts
met office mountain forecastThe Met Office provides a detailed forecast for seven mountain areas within the UK as well as the usual regional weather forecasting. These forecasts focus on the current day, next day and provide a brief outlook for the next three days. The initial map tab that loads allows you to choose your area then click on the text tab to get the detailed forecast.
Met Office – Pressure Charts
met office pressure chartsThe second area of the Met Office site to look at is the surface pressure charts. With some understanding of weather patterns this can provide a good overview of the weather for the next four days. Charts are available both in colour and black and white.
European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF)
ecmwfThe ECMWF is an international body that specialises in providing forecast data to various national forecasting bodies. It provides pressure and temperature forecast charts for the next ten days, though these don’t contain as much information as the Met Office’s four day charts. A useful site to get the feel of the weather for an up-coming trip in the more distant future or when spending longer times away from access to a forecast.
Mountain Weather Information Service (MWIS)
mwisSetup by Geoff Monk this is the forecast everyone who regularly goes to the mountains will be familiar with. It covers eight mountain regions in the UK and provides a detailed text overview of the weather for the current day and the next two days. For more information about the inception of the service have a read of this now old BBC page.
Windyty
windytyWindyty is a brilliant tool for understanding how the wind flows and drives weather systems over the uk. It renders animated arrows showing wind speed and direction at different altitudes. It is a strictly non-commercial project setup by an outdoor enthusiast and programmer. Just be careful you don’t spend too long watching.
Scottish Avalanche Information Service
saisCrucial reading for all those that venture out in the Scottish hills during the winter. The Scottish Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) provides daily forecasts of avalanche hazard throughout the winter. It also has bucket loads of information on snow types and what they look for. A great educational tool.

Other Blogs

Andy Kirkpatrick
andy kirkpatrickHaving seen Andy at a couple talks I would thoroughly recommend reading what this guy has to say both for it’s humorous and technical content. Based on Andy’s advice a friend ones told me how he spent a whole night awake after following the advice to drink chilli oil before sleeping as ‘it’ll make you feel warmer’, I’ll leave you to work out which bits of his advice to follow and which are for the more ‘hard core’.
Dave MacLeod
Dave MacLeodDave is currently one of Britain’s best all round climbers and I would argue one of the best current writers on climbing. He has interesting posts on both the mental and technical sides of climbing. He has written two books on climbing and is sponsored by Mountain Equipment. Well worth a read.
Jennifer Roberts
jenThe beautiful Jennifer is my other half who I’ve shared many adventures with. She is a paddlesport instructor, mountaineer and general adventure. On top of this she is also a fantastic writer so I can thoroughly recommend reading through her posts.
Kate Edhouse
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADancer, climber, paddler and all round lovely lady; Kate is a friend and fellow instructor with a great penchant for telling things how they are. Based in the south west of England she’s a great person to go and have adventures with.
Mountains to the Sea Photography
mountainstotheseaphotographyAlastair Rose is a very skilled and experienced instructor based in Fort William. He also takes some fantastic photos that can be found on his site.

Mountain Centres and Instructors

Plas y Brenin
pybOften referred to as “Plas-y” or “the Brenin” this is the national mountain centre based in the heart of Snowdonia national park. They run top quality courses and have an A* list of instuctors. I’ll be working here as a centre assistant from May 2013 and hope that to give you the low down on what life is like at one of the top centres in the UK.
Shearwater Adventure
shearwater adventureRun by Ben Keen and Chris Higgins, Shearwater Adventure provide outdoor courses and activities as well as trekking in Morocco and Duke of Edinburgh expeditions. I spent a few days in 2011 working with these guys and can testify to the quality of what they provide. Chris is MIC / BCU Level 4 Coach / BCU UKCC Tutor, Assessor and Ben has Winter Mountain Leader / Single Pitch Award / BCU Level 4 Coach / BCU UKCC Tutor, Assessor
The Calvert Trust
calvert_trust_logoThe Calvert Trust is a charity with activity centres in Exmoor, Kielder and the Lake District. They provide access to the outdoors  and activities for disabled people who otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to experience the many benifits available. I spent a few days volunteering with them in 2012 and saw first hand the great work these guys do. I’d whole heartedly recommending you give something to support them if you can.
Raasay House
raasay houseRaasay house is a hotel come outdoor centre situated on the beautiful island of Raasay between Skye and Applecross. They run adventure activities for guests and school groups. While working there as a freelancer we ran coasteering, climbing, kayaking, island exploration, teamwork games and more.
The Torridon
the torridonOn the shores of Loch Torridon and looking towards Liathach The Torridon is a luxury hotel, bar and activities complex designed to offer everyone anyone could want from the Scottish highlands. Fine dinning, adventure, beautiful views, green credentials. It has the lot.

Web Development

SEO Moz
SEO Moz provide excellent Seach Engine Optimisation (SEO) software (for a cost) as well as a great blog that will keep you up to date with the latest thinking in SEO and site optimisation to make sure you get seen on the web. Well worth adding to your regular reading list.
A list Apart
Don’t get lost with the latest methods for web development. This site provides a comprehensive set of articles on all the best techniques and latest thinking for making your site accessible, perform well and look good. I regularly reference there work when looking for web development techniques.

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