Wednesday 3 September 2014

Guided Rock Climbing Courses in The Lake District, Monday 26th August 2014.

Nick Sutcliffe contacted us in July looking for a 3 day Adventure Activity Holiday in The Lake District for himself & daughter Freya. You'll be able to read about the other activity sessions they booked in the other two posts.

This post is about the day of Guided Climbing in The Lake District that they booked with Iain.

Photo one sees Freya safeguarding her Dad as he climbs the crux moves on Route 1, Upper Scout Crag, in Langdale.
Even though the pair wanted to be guided on some multi-pitch rock climbing routes there is always some teaching to be done - generally in the principles of runner extraction. Once this skill was covered, we could begin to get on with rock climbing.

Iain would be leading all pitches of the several routes we climbed at upper Scout Crag, but he saw it as an ideal opportunity to teach the others some belaying skills and Freya was especially keen. There was also the system of climbing calls to learn as well.

We picked our first day out together for Rock climbing - as the forecast had indicated that this would be the best of the three days available to Freya & Nick. As you'll see in photo two - taken on the descent route, the weather really was perfect!

With such good weather, it was unlikely that we would be the only people to be climbing at Upper Scout Crag and were soon joined by several other pairs. Back at the base of the crag we could see another pair had followed us up Route 1 and others were just leaving the second stance on Route 2. Looking at this, a plan was forming in Iain's mind - had the pair every done an abseil retreat from a crag before? If not, it would be a useful skill to know!

Whilst Nick might well have done an abseil in his past climbing career, Freya had never abseiled and was keen to try it. So, we climbed the first two pitches of Route 2 to the Oak Tree and then prepared to abseil back down.

An abseil retreat involves escaping the system and then arranging the rope so that an abseil can be performed following with the rope being retrieved. Photo three sees Nick as he abseils back to Iain - if you want to know more about this skill - then book on to one of our Lake District Rock Climbing Skills Training Courses or Rescue Skills Training Courses for Climbers!

At this point, we had done five pitches of rock climbing and an abseil retreat - not bad going, but there was still another two and a half hours of the day left!

So, Iain's cunning plan to keep the pair occupied involved climbing the first pitch of Route 1 (our very first pitch of the day) followed by a variant called Route 1.5 which joined Route 2 just below it's overhanging crux.

Photo four sees Freya as she climbed the crux of Route 2 on her way to join Iain at the next stance. Once up, Freya was attached to the anchors by Iain before she belayed up her Dad.

This left one final pitch of Route 2 to climb in the sun - a great end to a fantastic day of guided Multi-pitch Climbing in The Lake District.
Our final photo from the day sees Nick & Freya looking back at Upper Scout Crag. The weather had been glorious through and although there had been a fair breeze blowing in the morning - at least it had been warm. In the afternoon the breeze had died away and it became quite hot, but not unpleasantly so.

Nick had paid £80 each for himself & Freya for this guided rock climbing day. The fee includes the provision of helmets, harnesses, ropes and climbing rack and guiding by an enthusiastic Mountaineering Instructor.

We had done eight pitches of rock climbing as well as abseil and the pair had a great day out. You can too when you book a Guided Rock Climbing Course in The Lake District with us. Contact us here to book your course today, we look forward to working with you!

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