Saturday 6 August 2016

Rock Climbing Courses in The Lake District. Tuesday 2nd August 2016.

Last Tuesday morning, Iain was out with Jane Carter & her Godson - George providing George with a Rock Climbing lesson.

Jane had done some research on the internet some time ago looking for the ideal person to teach George about Rock Climbing and Kendal Mountaineering Services and Iain's name came up quite a lot - not too surprisingly as we do run a lot of Rock Climbing Courses! Anyway, Jane liked what she saw and booked George's Rock Climbing lesson with us without hesitation.

Iain took the pair to Upper Scout Crag in Langdale for George's lesson and photo one shows George & Jane - ready to climb at the foot of Route 1.
Route one is a great place to learn "trad climbing techniques". What are trad techniques? Well, simply put - the learning of how to use climbing hardware such as nuts, Hexcentrics or camming devices to anchor yourself to the rock on the route you are climbing. The skills include identifying  appropriate anchor placements (usually tapered cracks on a climbing route which will accept and  hold an anchor device), selecting the right anchor device for that placement  and how to link these anchor devices together or directly to the rope with the ultimate aim of protecting yourself (ie - preventing a fall) from the rock route you are climbing.

Iain is a Mountaineering Instructor - the highest UK award  for rock climbing instruction and the only one appropriate for teaching Rock Climbing on multi-pitch rock climbs such as those to be found at Upper Scout Crag. He also has over ten years of experience coaching  & guiding on rock routes in Summer and Winter Climbs in Winter and a lifetime of experience in the mountains around the UK and Europe.
In photo two, George can be seen firmly anchored to the rock at the first "stance" on Route One. A stance is a place where there is most likely, a small ledge which will comfortably accommodate two climbers at the top of a rock climbing pitch.

Upon reaching a stance, the lead climber secures themselves to the rock by means of two anchor placements (why two? Well if you only have one and that fails, then you've most likely had it!) which are then equalized to a central attachment point. Slings can be used if you are the one leading every pitch of a multi-pitch climb or if "alternately leading" then a leader will attach to both anchors directly with the climbing rope.

As George was leading the whole rock climb Iain showed him how to set up at stances using slings. Photo three sees George at the second stance on Route one keeping an eye on Jane who can be seen climbing "the crux". If possible, a lead climber should always be so placed that they can see; and if necessary, communicate with their climbing second!

Our final photo from this report about what was essentially a half day learning to lead Trad Rock Climbing Course in The Lake District sees George & Jane at the top of Route 1 looking very pleased - and not without good reason as we'd just completed the route before the forecast wet weather set in!

George had climbed well throughout the route and had absorbed Iain's coaching well with regards to anchor placements when to set up a running belay and how to equalize anchors at stances. He has climbed before - mainly at indoor climbing centres and as his family come to The Lake District regularly this has, on this occasion; allowed him this opportunity to learn to lead rock climbs out of doors on proper rock - something he doesn't find much of near to his home on the south coast of England.

One thing we always say to people after one of our skills training courses is "get out and use the skills you've learnt as soon as you possibly can - as if you don't you'll soon lose them!" Well, we wish George all the very best with his future aspirations with regards to climbing and hope that we have helped him along the way! Next, this young man is off to Wengen in the Bernese Oberland to be guided on The Monch and The Jungfrau in a week or two...alright for some isn't it!

Jane paid just £100 for George's half day Rock Climbing Skills Training Course in The Lake District. The fee included the use of helmets, harnesses, ropes and climbing rack as well as coaching by an experienced Mountaineering Instructor. Our full (eight hour) day courses cost just £160 per day between two persons; and we recommend you book a second day for consolidation, but of course - the choice is yours!

Contact us here to book your Rock Climbing Skills Training Course in The Lake District - we look forward to working with you!

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