Saturday, 6 May 2017

Sunny days working

After some time off at the beginning of the week I spent a hot sunny day at Abernethy Trust's Ardour Centre fulfilling part of my role as their Technical Advisor. After a morning observing Staff running a session on their treetop trail I went with the group to a local crag to watch a session there. Good staff running interesting and fun sessions!
The same evening I was at Three Wise Monkeys climbing wall to start and SPA Training course working with Dave for West Highland College. On thursday we were baked at Kingussie Crag focussing on personal climbing and on friday we looked at running creative and effective sessions at Polldubh. Fried again!

Monday, 1 May 2017

Weekend teaching rock climbers

Sara and Giles were back for a second weekend and after a chat about their goals and a look at the weather we decided that Glen Nevis could do us for 2 more days. Saturday saw a few spits of rain and a cool breeze but this didn't stop us. We went to Tricouni Buttress where I led Tricouni Slab (first route I ever led at Polldubh and needed a little post winter gardening) and The Corner (this is great, rough rock a grand move between 2 roofs and good gear) creating an opportunity for the guys to create their own belays and place some gear. These routes are good and plenty clean enough but could do with traffic to keep them that way- go climb them! Time to let Sara and Giles loose on the sharp end. Letting folk lead is one of the most rewarding and essential parts of a Mountaineering Instructor's job and there are lots of factors to weigh up. We kept things very easy to allow them to focus on gear and rope work climbing Hangover Buttress Left Edge (a Jimmy Ness route and the first recorded at Polldubh) in two pitches and the excellently protected but exposed Cross 3.
Sunday and suddenly it all came together. Despite a bitter wind Sara and Giles styled up The Gutter in 3 pitches before leading the Styx Buttress Right Wall. They were working like a well oiled machine belaying, leading, belay building, re-racking gear and sorting the abseils in descent. With time to spare we looked at rigging a rope to climb something from the top of a crag on Tear and squeezed in the first pitch of Slanting Slab as a final lead of the day. Now they are waiting to get the rest of their own rack before unleashing themselves on the unsuspecting rock of Scotland!
Great to see Glen Nevis so busy with climbers yesterday taking advantage of the great Spring weather (i.e. it was dry!).

Wales for a week

I was in the south last week joining colleagues from Glenmore Lodge and Plas y Brenin for some joint discussions and training. We had an update from Mountain Training and some chat on how we all work on Mountain Instructor Award Trainings and Assessments on Tuesday followed by a quick hit on the slate- surprised by some snow at the base of routes and hailstones the size of my little fingernail! The next day we split up with 1 or 2 Lodge staff with a PYB staff member and went climbing at Tremadoc chatting through issues on training and assessment courses. I got a good spanking on The Plum but revisited One Step in the Clouds which I last climbed on MIA training 13 years ago and the Fang which I'd never done. Sore fingers after this day. On our final day Team Lodge headed for the coast. Nathan and I bouldered in Parisella's cave whilst the others braved the showers outside for a trad route or two before adjourning to a nearby sport venue to finish our climbing time. A good opportunity for learning and building a community of practise between all three National Centres (Tollymore was represented too). You know people much better when you've shared a rope with them.
 A lot of talent and experience in one room!
 Snow apron on the slate
 Bolts and trad gear in co-existance- shock horror!
 Looking the Tube
 Snowdonia light
 Tim on Cream
 Nathan heading down
Tim on One Step in the Clouds
 The Fang
 Spotting a random Spaniard at Parisella's Cave
 Welsh sport