Saturday 5 April 2014

Scrambling Skills Training Courses in The Lake District. Tuesday 1st April 2014

The end of March has certainly been a busy time for us here at Kendal Mountaineering Services with our running two Scrambling Skills Training days, a two day weekend Navigation Skills Training Course and a half day Ghyll Scrambling Session - all done here in the beautiful Lake District.

Also, the weather has been largely dry & sunny allowing everyone to make the most of their Activity Sessions and skills Training Courses with us. It has been a really great weekend for all!

We finish off this busy spell with a report about David & Victoria's day out with Iain on Tuesday. The pair love the mountains and all things outdoors and were visiting The Lake District for a week. They wanted to learn the basic skills & rope work for scrambling so did some research online. Our website popped up and they liked the look of what we offer, so the pair went ahead and booked a day with Iain.

Photo one shows the two starting off with the basics - learning "spotting" techniques at the foot of Tarn Crag in Langdale.

The pair were pretty quick on the uptake and were confident on scrambling ground, so we didn't spend too long covering "spotting" before moving on to short roping techniques.

As usual, Iain short roped the pair up and then down a section of rocky ground showing them, where possible, the techniques of attaching to the rope, moving together and safeguarding each other through the various types of basic belays available.

The next task was to get the pair on the sharp end - ie roped up and practicing all of these techniques for themselves. In photo two Victoria tests the effectiveness of Davids locked off chest coils before the pair proceeded scrambling whilst being coached by Iain.

Photo three shows David adopting appropriate techniques to safeguard Victoria as she scrambles up an easy angled section of rock.

Provided the terrain angle is easy, then a braced stance and taking the rope in by hand may well be appropriate. In this photo David is braced for a pull towards Victoria should she slip, he is standing crouched with his uphill leg bent and his downhill leg straight - leaning away from the direction of pull. David is also taking in the rope whilst reforming hand coils keeping the rope nicely tensioned throughout the action - very good.

Also important when doing this is to make sure that the downhill hand is holding the rope in such a fashion that the little finger is nearest the second when holding the rope. This allows the leader to put a kink in the rope which makes for a very positive grip on the rope - important when short roping in this manner.

After Iain was satisfied that the pair had absorbed the knowledge given; and were able to demonstrate safe best practice whilst scrambling, it was time to get on to a proper Lake District scrambling route.

The pair had already obtained a copy of the Cicerone Lake District Scrambles South Guidebook so it was a case of identifying where our intended scrambling route was, getting to it and getting started.

The pair made pretty short work of The Spur (Grade 2) demonstrating good scrambling skills whilst being coached by Iain throughout. Photo four sees Victoria approaching David at the top of the final rock band whilst he safeguards her through the use of a direct belay.

Today was one of those perfect Skills Training Days, two keen & competent people, warm spring sunshine and most important of all - dry rock although the day had started out very wet indeed. Victoria & David paid just £75 each for their Scrambling Skills Training Day in The Lake District with Iain which included the provision of helmets, harnesses, rope and rack as well as tuition from a qualified Mountaineering Instructor.

You can view more photos from this Skills Training Day here and if you would like to learn the skills to undertake this great sport yourself then contact us here to book your course. We look forward to working with you.

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