Saturday 25 August 2012

Rock Climbing Skills Training Courses in The Lake District. August 19th & 23rd 2012.

As well as getting wet providing clients ghyll scrambling & canyoning sessions during the last week, Iain has also greatly enjoyed getting out climbing with people who have wanted to learn the skills required for Rock Climbing.

Last week, we ran one of our two day Learning to lead milti-pitch rock climbing skills training courses and since last Sunday we have run another two of these courses - albeit, of only one day duration each.

Photo One shows Andrew with son David & daughter Helen. The three had done a number of sessions of indoor climbing and a few outdoor sessions previously. In fact only the day before they had been at one of our favourite single pitch climbing venues at Hutton Roof. Along the way, they were picking up many climbing skills and now wanted to progress to leading so that they would be able to go out any time to enjoy the outcrops of rock not too distant from where they live.

Having built up a clear picture of what skills the three already had, Iain felt that an easy multi-pitch climb would be a good progression.

So, it was decided that Andrew would lead and that the children would follow in series - that is two climbing ropes joined between the three of them. Andrew would lead - being the adult; and in doing so he would get a chance to place running belays, equalise anchors at stances; and generally be preparing for looking after the other two for future climbing sessions.

Helen & David would get a chance to belay with an "in series" system and also remove and deal with running belays as well as observing and stripping down anchor systems at stances. All in all, the ideal plan for the session; and one which will serve them all well with their future climbing careers.

Route One at Upper Scout Crag in Langdale was chosen as the venue and we did this one climb before the rain really set in as we knew it was going to. Photo two shows Andrew on the "crux" of Route One. The three learned a lot form their multi-pitch climbing skills training day with Iain and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The photos from this session, with useful annotations for aspiring climbers can be viewed here.

After a couple of days of canyoning sessions, Iain was back at Upper Scout this time with Stephen King & his son Chris, both from Essex.

The family were holidaying at Hawes in the Yorkshire Dales National Park and had visited our friends in Inglesport to get some advice on climbing equipment and ask about a suitable climbing guide. Inglesport had recomended Kendal Mountaineering Services and the pair had rung Iain and arranged to book a climbing day in The Lake District.

Before meeting the pair, Iain had gained the impression that they wanted a guided climbing session. However, upon meetin the pair and walking in to the crag, he built up a picture that this was not what was needed at all. Both Stephen & Chris had been out previously with Mountaineering Instructors, climbing & learning skills, so what was needed was a package where they could gain further progression.

As it turned out, neither had actually done a multi-pitch climb before and as the weather was such that we could "just about" climb we returned to Upper Scout Crag where it was decided that Iain would lead the climb and bring up the pair (again in series) so that they could try out belaying and running belay removals and anchor stripping - all facets of a multi-pitch climbing scenario.

Photos three & four are both taken at the stance on Route one. Iain had climbed up and set up a belay and then brought up Chris who in turn, belayed Stephen up the first pitch. Photo three shows Chris belaying Stephen who is climbing. Chis has his belay plate attached to his rope tie in loop and correctly orientated for the downward pull he would receive if Stephen slipped. Photo four shows the pair stacked neatly on the stance with Chris ready to belay Iain who is about to lead on up the next pitch.

Leading & teaching on a multi-pitch route takes a surprising a mount of time and having done the one route, we were left with a little time to look a the various ways of equalising anchors to a central attachment point either with the climbing rope or slings. Both Stephen & Chris were very pleased with the new skills they had learned from Iain and he was very pleased to have been able to provide them with an appropriate progression for the day despite the wet conditions. Further photos with annotations from this session can be viewed here.

If you are interested in learning to rock climb then contact us at Kendal Mountaineering services to arrange your session. You can learn the skills to climb outdoors in both Summer and Winter or you can choose to be guided up the classic climb of your choice. Booking a session with a Mountaineering Instructor will secure you the services of someone who has considerable experience of climbing or scrambling all year around in the UK. If you are interested in multi-pitch rock climbing or summer scrambling courses - make sure that your instructor holds the Mountaineering Instructor Award (MIA) at the very least.

If you would like to book a course or would like advice then feel free to contact Iain here. We look foward to working with you.

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