Sunday 30 June 2013

Learning to Lead Multi-pitch Climbing Courses in The Lake District. June 20th & 24th 2013.

After a few days, Iain was back out again running another Learning to lead Rock Climbing Skills Training course - this time for David Greer from Durham. As with many other aspiring climbers, David had already spent some time at indoor climbing walls nearer home with his two sons and was keen to make the transition to outdoor rock climbing in The Lake District.

The only thing with teaching skills for multi-pitch rock climbing is that from a coaching perspective, it is better for a pair to learn together as a climbing instructor can then "self line" ie be attached to a separate climbing rope upon which they can descend/ascend to be able to keep safe and coach the climbing pair otherwise a single person can only be guided by a Mountaineering Instructor - for reasons of safety! On that note, David had arrived on his own, so therefore considering his objectives, Iain felt it necessary to find him a climbing partner who, if nothing else, would at least act as a second.

Iain was fortunate indeed that Becki Vale, a local outdoor Instructor with an upcoming Single Pitch Award Assessment was keen to come along and help; and at the same time, pick up any handy hints/top tips for her forthcoming assessment from Iain.

Once again, we went to Upper Scout Crag where we spent the morning on Route 1 (photo one) Here we looked at all aspects of ropework, selecting & placing anchors, setting up running belays and belays at stances/stance management. Methods of using slings or the climbing rope to tie in at stances and where/why you would use each system. David led pitch one and was happy to let Becki lead pitch two so that Iain could assess her climbing and belaying skills. In the afternoon, we made it as far as the top of pitch 2 on route 2 before setting up for an abseil retreat from the Oak tree as discussed in the last rock climbing skills training course Blog report.

Having successfully managed a stacked abseil retreat, we were happy to call it a day and in any case, the midges were getting rather bad! Becki went on to successfully pass her SPA Assessment run over the following two days with ease. Iain would like to thank her for her assistance with David and also say well done!

Iain was unable to work the next day with David as originally planned but David was keen to come back & have a further day consolidating his rock climbing skills so, we arrange to continue on the following Monday.

This time, David brought along his son Alex so that he could practise his multi-pitch rock climbing skills and Alex could learn a few as well. This time we returned to Route 2 on Upper Scout Crag to continue on from where we had abseiled  the previous Thursday a further two pitches to this stance in photo three from where it is possible to scramble off on to the grassy rake that is the descent route from the crag top.

At this point Iain got Alex to belay his dad from the final stance up to the rake using the rope around a spike as a direct belay - another useful skill to know if your route is going from being a rock climb to a scramble - but the anchor has to be a solid piece of the hillside and must not move!

After completing Route 2, Alex decided that he would like to have a go at some of the top rop/bottom belay climbs to be found at nearby Lower Scout Crag. David now had the skills in order to be able to set up top rope systems for bottom roping sessions - so Iain invited him to set up the climbs for Alex.

Alex enjoyed having a go at three of the popular single pitch climbs at this venue - Cubs Wall, Cubs Crack and Cubs Groove (photo four) before we decided to call it a day.

Climbing at Lower Scout Crag is very like climbing on a indoor climbing wall and is a popular venue for our introductory rock climbing sessions in The Lake District. You won't find any multicoloured climbing holds here but at least you will get the opportunity to climb on real rock and the activity is ideal for one of our half day (four hour) sessions. At only £45 for a half day session (less if you bring more people) this is an excellent activity for some family fun or ideal for a stag event or teambuilding session.

Other photos from Davids two day Learning to Lead Multi-pitch Rock Climbing Course in The Lake District can be viwed here and if you would like to know about this or any of the other rock climbing options we offer then contact us here.

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