Sunday, 5 July 2015

George Watson's Climbing Week

This week I have been in the Lakes with George Watson's College for their summer climbing trip.  I met them on Monday in Eskdale where we were staying and got stuck straight in.  We went climbing and bouldering in the Diamond Area of the Fisherground.  This worked really well after their long drive.

Tuesday meant we didn't have to drive,as we walked to Hare Crag.  This Granite Crag offered a great range of routes from VD to E3 for the kids to get stuck into.  The style of climbing was a bit different from what they have been used to, but they adapted well.

We headed to the coast on Wednesday to escape the heat.  St Bee's proved to be a good choice.  Again the group climbed many routes to 6a, as well as ticking some nice boulder problems.
Enjoying a nice day by the coast 

St. Bee's action 

On Thursday we went over to the Duddon Valley and climbed at Wallow Barrow.   Here we did a mixture of single and multi pitch routes up to VS 4c.  A great venue with the whole crag to ourselves.

As they had to head off early, we went back to the Diamond Area and ticked off the last of the amenable problems they had left.  It was a great way to finish the trip and see how much their footwork had improved during the week.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Work, Work

It's been a busy period lately, with a CWA Training last weekend, Route Setting and this week a multi pitch climbing trip with Bolton School in Wales.

Anosh on sighting his first 6a

The Bolton Trip went really well, with the weather playing ball allowing us to get lots of climbing done.  As we travelled down on Monday, we decided to stop at Castle Inn Quarry and do some sports climbing.  All the lads did really well leading a load of routes up to 6a.  I took advantage when the chilled out and had lunch to back a few routes.  All the 6c's on the main face are top quality here, so I did these again.
Andy cruising

Tuesday was spent in the Pass in the baking sun.  We all climbed a few routes on Wastad, some of which challenged the lads.  I did Ribstone Crack VS 4c/5s, Skylon HS and Shadow Wall VS 4c with my guys.  Ribstone Crack proving to be the real challenge.  After tea at Pete's Eats, we went up to BUS Stop Quarry and did a few of the sports routes there.  It was a full day of climbing.
Luke leading in Bus Stop

Yesterday we went up to Little Tryfan.  It was a great day and the lads learnt to lead.  They managed to do 2 routes before it started to spit mid afternoon.  Steve and Luke banged out loads of routes to give Luke as much mileage as possible.  I think the lads managed around 25 pitches of climbing over the 3 days, a fine effort.

Andy on his first trad lead

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Catch Up

It's been a bit busy of late, but I have managed to do a little in between work etc.  I had a quick hit at the Party Block/Jobseekers Buttress last Thursday, climbing a range of cool problems.  This newly revamped boulder has an easy approach and a mix of quality blocs in the V5toV11 range.  I ticked a few of them from V3 to V8, but was getting sore and tired by the time I left.

Last weekend was the 8a Agency and Beyond Hope Team meet up at the Lad Stones.  Despite the long slog in high winds and chilly weather, folks were in good spirits and getting stuck in.  Some good tick were had for everyone, and I was particularly happy to climb a few Problems from 7a to 7b.  I am still far from back to my best, but feel like most things have healed and are on the way up.

Today I have been in the Lakes doing a site visit to Eskdale gorge.   Thankfully the better weather made it a slightly warmer experience than it could have been.

Monday, 1 June 2015

SPA Assessment

I was running an SPA Assessment over the weekend for Mckinlay Mountaineering in the Peaks.  Nice weather for grit on Saturday took us to Burbage North.  This has been a great spot for these courses lately.  A number of folks have been caught out not checking blocks and boulders, as a fair bit moves around here.  This assessment group however, were on it.  All led a couple of routes at or above the standard.  One straight up and the other a traverse to demonstrate the different judgement needed to look after a second.  The wall session threw up a couple of weak areas in the afternoon/evening.
Hal fiddling in gear at Burbage North

Yesterday was spent looking at the rigging and group management aspects of the syllabus.  Lawrencefield and Millstone proved 2 good venues to challenge the candidates to make good decisions to meet the groups needs.

The Lads rigging at the top of Hell's Bells area Millstone

Overall, good performances by everyone.  Unfortunately, an unforgiveable error at the wall cost one a deferral.  But it should be a quick and easy re assessment.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

SPA Training

I was back in the Peak District for an SPA Training course this weekend. A large course of 7 candidates, made for a great weekend. Lots of discussions and sharing of ideas.

An interesting first day at Burbage North for personal climbing, before heading to the Foundry to course the climbing wall side of the award.

The group day was done a Lawrencefield roadside bay.  Again a good day, with lots covered and shared.

I look forward to seeing folks back for assessment.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Back to Work

It's been a frustrating month after a bad bike crash, which has meant no climbing or work for me.  So it was a good feeling to go bouldering to Burbage South for a couple of hours on Friday. I'd never Bouldered here before, so picked of lots of easy stuff and tried some trickier things to see how the body had recovered.   I managed a nice range of problems up to 7a+, so the the signs are good that things are recovering well.
Sending the Sheep

On Saturday I volunteered my services to guide Gerard, Andy and Matt around the course for the 10 in 10 in 10 for Napal challenge.  They did really well and completed the course in a respectable 7 hour 25 mins.  So far the event etc. Has raise over £10,000 and you can still donate.

Yesterday I was at Heptonstall with Suzy and David looking at how to rig bottom ropes.  The weather help off and gave us a great day out.   Both seemed to take a lot on board, so just need to get out and practice.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Work, Wilton, Work, Bolts and More Work

A very full week started with some route setting at ROKT on Tuesday.  A half day re setting the Summit room was a welcome rest from the 21m Lead wall.

On Wednesday I had some coaching work in the afternoon in Bolton.  I decided to head over early and head to Wilton 4 to finish off a route I tried last time, but was dirty.  I was glad to get there so early, as the weather soon started to turn.  My commitment was rewarded with solo ascents of White Horse E4 6b and Teacher's Crack E4 6c*.  Teacher's being a seemingly rare repeat.  As the weather crapped out, the coaching session with Bolton Boys School was redirected to Climb Rochdale.  this worked really well, as we did a focused session of steep group.  The lads did really well working through a set of moves they don't normally use.
The EB Baroud crag sac getting a run out

On Thursday I went back to Troller's Gill to finish off Tinderbox 7c+.  After warming up I climbed through the new crux, only to pull another big hold off.  I then spent time seeing if I could still do it that way, before binning it,  Looking around, I found a way to the right using what was left of the original flake.  This gave some awesome climbing and I managed to do the route this way.  What would have been a day tick in it's original condition, turned out to be a proper challenge of perseverance for me.

Over the weekend I have been running an SPA Training course in the Peaks.  Dry and sunny weather made this a pleasant weekend that the candidates have taken a lot from.  I hope to see them back at the end of the summer for an Assessment.