Saturday 25 October 2014

Rock Climbing Courses in The Lake District. September 21st 2014.

After Iains busy & varied day on Saturday providing an Introductory Rock Climbing Session and a Canyoning Session, he was out the next day with Kathryn West Rock Climbing as a follow up to the Rock Climbing Skills Training Day in The Lake District that Kathryn had attended in August with Sarah Payne.

Unfortunately, Sarah had to withdraw from this second pre-arranged Rock Climbing Skills Training Day at short notice. This left Sarah with the option of being guided by Iain on some multi-pitch rock climbs; or being allowed to attempt leading on multi-pitch rock routes of the easiest grade only.

During the previous Rock Climbing Skills Training Course, Kathryn had gotten on very well with all aspect of the syllabus covered and was regularly seconding climbs graded at VS/HVS with a climbing partner. After some consideration, Iain felt that it would be safe for Kathryn to lead whilst being mentored by him.

We therefore returned to Langdale where Kathryn led, first of all, on Middlefell Buttress.

Middlefell Buttress is a fine multi-pitch climb graded Difficult (which actually means that it is an easy low grade climb!). The route is a popular choice with people aspiring to lead multi-pitch rock routes and beginners will often be found climbing there. It is also a popular route with Mountaineering Instructors who use it as a place to teach the techniques of Multi-pitch leading. The route rises up good rock in a series of 4 pitches before one can abseil off into the gully forming the left hand boundary of the buttress or, as Kathryn chose (in photo 1) there is an additional and pleasant fifth pitch which can also be climbed.

Kathryn demonstrated good climbing ability and her anchor placement and belay construction techniques improved as we progressed up this rock climb. Photo two sees Kathryn at the final belay on Middlefell Buttress - looking justifiably pleased!

Time always flies past when you are taking your time and learning about climbing; and by the time we had completed Middlefell buttress it was already 2pm. This meant that we were going to struggle to complete another rock climb by 5pm unless it was somewhat shorter.

Iain decided that Centipede (a 3 pitch Severe) would be appropriate in terms of time and length. Kathryn led the first pitch from the Raven Crag descent path up to below the steep wall & traverse and then Iain took over on this rather harder pitch.

Photo three sees Kathryn appearing around the corner at the end of the traverse on Centipede's second pitch. On arriving at Iain's stance she then took over again and led on up the diagonal crack to the top of the buttress. There was still time for Kathryn to lead on from here up the final easy ground which she did, well.
The final photograph from this post about one of our Lake District Rock Climbing Courses just had to be taken and shows the head of Langdale from the base of Middlefell Buttress. It had been another warm & sunny day!

We have been blessed this year with one of the best Summers in recent times with weeks & weeks of hot, dry & sunny weather throughout June & most of July - just want you need for rock climbing out of doors! After a largely wet & cold August, we were lucky that the good weather should return; and then remain throughout all of September.

As we now move through a rather wet & miserable October - here's looking forward to a cold & snowy winter ideal for winter climbing, but in the meantime, you can still enjoy adventures with us in the great outdoors. How about trying caving, canoeing or kayaking; and we have plenty of availability on our Navigation & Map Reading Skills Courses running in November. Contact us here if you are interested in any of these activities or courses, we look forward to working with you.

No comments: