Monday 14 September 2015

Rock Climbing Courses in The Lake District. Thursday 10th September 2015.

Iain & Darren had a very successful day Scrambling on Great Gable last Wednesday. Despite needing to relearn a few scrambling techniques, Darren showed a strong & competent performance on the routes that we scrambled. Due to his work, he has a good understanding of dynamic risk assessment - very important when you are climbing or scrambling!

After a good evening in both The Strands Inn at Nether Wasdale and the Wasdale Head Inn, we awoke late on the Thursday morning. This wasn't part of the plan!.

Looking outside from our accommodation, it was obvious that the wind from the previous day hadn't abated any; and we weren't inclined to head back up to Great Napes to attempt Needle Ridge - our original plan for today.

Instead we went to Wallabarrow Crag in the Duddon Valley where Darren was put to work leading on Wall & Corner Climb - a great little four pitch V Diff rock climb.

At least Wallabarrow Crag isn't a 2 & a half hour walk in like Great Napes! Having parked up Darren's vehicle, we were starting on the route in warm sunshine in under 45 minutes.

Photo one sees Darren leading up the first pitch of Wall & Corner - the wall, in fact. This pitch is steep and smooth apart from the very small & fairly well polished ledges used as hand & footholds. It is also poorly protected which was Iain's concern.

Darren did his best to place running belays and as Iain had seen him place some good ones the previous day, he was happy to let Darren lead this route. In photo two, Darren is setting up another good running belay as he starts up pitch two of Wall & Corner Climb.

Photo three sees Darren a while later having just made some interesting & strenuous moves to get to where he is now. This pitch is the "corner" part of the rock climb and the slab below Darren's feet is hold-less mean that one has to use the wall on the left, pull up whilst smearing on that slab before "bridging across with one's feet to reach that foothold where Darren currently has his left foot.

The edge above allows one to "mantelshelf" (press down on one's hands) to gain the ledge above - all good rock climbing techniques; and Darren managed to place to obligatory running belay before attempting these moves! However, he is now at a point where another running belay was essential although a good one isn't available at that precise location. However just above is a nice friendly ledge followed by plenty of anchor placements available for running belays - right up to the top of the climb!
Darren continued on up the final part of Wall & Corner climb with ease and placed some good running belays along the way.

Whilst he took some time to set up at the top, this was only due to his taking time to find and assess what suitable anchor placements were available to him there and when Ian joined him there he could see that Darren had found two "bomber" placements and equalized them to a central attachment point using a sling - all good textbook stuff.

By this time, it was around 4pm and Darren had enjoyed a useful afternoon during which he had climbed well, placed some good running belays and had managed his ropework as stances well.

The final photo is a view down the Duddon Valley from the top of the route and a glorious day it had been. We had still had a breeze, but here it was warm - perfect for a Rock Climbing Skills Training Day in The Lake District!

We run Rock Climbing and Scrambling Skills Training Courses in The Lake District, Wales and Scotland as well as running Introductory Rock Climbing Sessions here in The Lake District. If you want to learn to rock climb then these are the courses for you! Our Introductory Climbing Sessions cost just £45 per person for a half day (four hour) session and our Learning to lead trad Rock Climbing days just £80 per person. Our minimum group size is two persons; or one person can attend at the two person rate. Contact us here to book your rock climbing course, we look forward to working with you.

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