Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Moiry Via Ferrata

Wonderful views across to the Moiry Dam
We finally got to try our local via ferrata route on the crag next to the Moiry dam. It's a 230m piece of cliff which looks insignificant from afar but once up on the rock gives a sense of airiness along with great views.

It's a long way down and I've only just started...
The route starts with a D+ (difficult +) grade but then branches - you can continue along the same grade, or opt for a harder TD (very difficult) or easier options - AD (fairly difficult) or F (easy). The climbing is almost entirely done using metal staples for hand and foot holds - a system used a lot on the via ferrata routes in France. No one's pretending to climb the rock here.
Most of the route uses staples for hand and foot holds
In addition to the main climbing routes there are options to cross a 70m bridge suspended 100m above the ground, or (new this year) climb a 30m metal scrambling net; if you're with a guide who has the key for it, you can do the massive tyrolienne zip-line.
View from the bridge
For more information visit the following sites:

Yes, there really is a picnic table on a ledge at point 10....

The various routes and levels of difficulty 

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Redcurrant Jelly fest

We left redcurrant picking till later this year - what with all the rain this summer things took a little longer to ripen. But it was worth the wait. The berries were plentiful, large and deep ruby in colour. In total we picked 12kg of fruit - freezing 2/3rds and making 4 lge jars and 3 smaller jars of jelly from the rest.

12kg of redcurrants picked on just one day
The best jelly recipe.

It's an old recipe so I use imperial measurements as it makes life a lot simpler. Redcurrants are high in pectin so setting is never a problem - that being the case you can use granulated sugar.

  • Wash the berries - there's no need to remove them from the stalks - discard leaves and other debris.
  • Place berries in a large pan - for every 3 lb of fruit add 1 pint of water.
  • Simmer gently for 30 minutes until the fruit is really mushy.
  • Line another large saucepan with a cloth or jelly bag, and pour cooked berries into the cloth.
  • Tie the cloth up, and raise it so the juice can run freely into the pan below.
  • Leave this to strain overnight.
  • Discard the contents of the cloth.
  • Measure the juice extract. For every 1 pint of juice add 1 lb of sugar to the pan.
  • Heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 15 minutes.
  • Test for set. (Take a saucer that's been in the freezer, drip some jelly onto it and leave for a minute. If it crinkles when you run your finger through it then its reached setting point).
  • Remove from heat.
  • Skim off scum with a slotted spoon.
  • Pour jelly into clean sterilised jars. To sterilise your clean jars place in oven for 20 mins at 130 - remove from oven and pour jelly into warm jars. Put the lids on straight away.