Keith Ball's Profile
Area of responsibility
I have responsibility for running Plas y Brenin's Scottish winter programme, ensuring our courses are delivered to the best possible standard. Also, responsible for higher level Mountain Training Awards, including Mountaineering Instructor Award, Mountaineering Instructor Certificate and Winter Mountain Leader.
Significant outdoor qualifications
- Mountaineering Instructor Certificate
- International Mountain leader
Area of work at Plas y Brenin
I am involved in the delivery of the full range of mountain based courses, summer and winter. This can range from introduction to mountain walking to performance winter climbing courses. Also, heavily involved in the Mountaineering Instructor Scheme and the delivery of its training and assessment courses, both summer and winter. As an active member of the Association of Mountaineering Instructors, I deliver on their trainee workshops and act as their CPD co-ordinator. My personal interest is in the psychology of performance coaching and enabling people to operate at their best. This has particular relevance to ensuring that a candidates experience on an assessment course is as successful and positive as possible! This great variety of work keeps me busy throughout the year in Wales, Scotland and the Alps.
After many fruitless trips and poor weather over the years, finally getting on and up the North face of the Eiger was a particular highlight of this year. Having an active Scottish season immediately prior to this certainly helped the smooth ascent. Scotland involved the usual highs and lows of good and bad weather but still allowed many great routes. A rare ascent Centurian VIII 8, on Ben Nevis, made good use of a winter storm and is particularly memorable! After a spring of sunny rock climbing in Wales the very wintery 'summer' in the Alps was a bit of a shock. It did however mean that the swinging of axes could continue and allowed for a great journey up the Grand Pillier D'Angle and over the summit of Mont Blanc. By Autumn I was already looking forward to the winter season again and starting to prepare for it by competing in a couple of team triathlons as the runner. There was also a few weeks of fair weather sea kayaking in the summer, spent exploring the island of the West Coast of Scotland.
This has to be Scotland in the winter, it is the most convenient, inconvenient place to find challenge and raw adventure. For me, a great day out, climbing a challenging route with friends just cannot be beaten.
People getting out and having their own adventures.
The winter season has just begun and the adventures have started! Hopefully a successful season in Scotland and then some trips further afield later in the year.