Tuesday 20 August 2013

Rock Climbing Courses in The Lake District. Saturday 10th August 2013.

When Adam Mitcheson booked a Rock Climbing Course in The Lake District with Kendal Mountaineering Services, he had previously done some rock & slab climbing as well as some mountaineering some years previously in The Alps as part of an Introductory Alpine Skills Training Course.

As he is intending to return to The Alps next year, Adam felt that a decent level of climbing experience was what he was looking for and in discussion with him on our initial meeting, Iain felt that some multi-pitch Rock Climbing Skills Training would help Adam along nicely.

Adam came along on his own to this Lake District based Rock Climbing Session. However, we were able to provide a willing second in the shape of Iain's partner Kirstin. The good thing was that this meant that Adam was able to get on to the "sharp end" of the rope and Iain was able to "coach" him. This was really the ideal scenario if Adam was to gain much from his rock climbing day.

So right from the start, Adam was able to climb, learning about anchor placements and being able to put things into practice under Iain's guidance. In photo one he is about to place his third running belay (runner) on the route we were climbing.

In photo two, Adam has set off up the second pitch of the rock climbing  route we were using. Prior to this, he had climbed, belayed by Kirstin, and had arranged several good runners on his way to the first stance.

At the first stance, Iain had demonstrated how to build a multi-anchor attachment and bring it to a central attachment point. Iain had then explained to Adam how to attach to this central attachment point (made with a sling) and then how to "belay" Kirstin with his belay plate correctly attached to the rope tie in loop and correctly orientated for a downward pull.

On Kirstin's arrival at the stance, Adam was then shown how to immediately attach her to the anchors thus safeguarding her before (as he was continuing to lead throughout) re-flaking the climbing rope so that his end came off the top of the pile. After collecting the "runners" stripped out by Kirstin as she climbed, Adam then set off climbing up pitch two.

Photo three sees Adam at the second stance on the climb. Once again, we had constructed a multi-anchor system and brought the anchors together to a central attachment point with a sling.

Best practice can be seen in action in this photo - Adam's attachment to the anchors can be seen behind his right arm where he is clove hitched in to the central attachment point. He is belaying Kirstin from the bottom of his rope tie in loop and his belay plate is orientated to take a downward pull. With his right hand locking off the dead rope any load from Kirstin below is transferred straight through the locked off belay plate and Adams rope tie in loop - directly to the anchors. Good stuff!

Our final photo of the day shows Kirstin retreating from our second rock climb using a "Stacked Abseil" system. Adam is actually holding the dead rope below Kirstin's right hand just in case she lets go. As well as teaching a person to climb
rock, we also consider it essential to show them what to do if they need to retreat off a climbing route as well!

Prior to abseiling from pitch two of the second climb, Iain had, at the top of the first route, shown Adam the correct procedure for tying into anchors using the rope - the system he ought to use when leading alternate pitches when climbing as part of a competent pair. Adam had asked for a one day Climbing Course in The Lake District, so today was a very steep learning curve for him.

However, Adam thoroughly enjoyed his rock climbing course with Iain & Kirstin and we hope he goes on to achieve success in his Alpine ambitions - and maybe before then, Iain will see him on a Winter Climbing Course in Scotland?

Photographs from this Rock Climbing Course in The Lake District complete with annotations can be viewed here. To book your bespoke Rock Climbing Course contact us here. We look forward to working with you.

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