Tuesday, 30 June 2009


We took a trip round to Langdale to climb at Raven Crag near Chapel Stile. This gave the guys a chance to climb a number of routes from S to VS that were up to 35m long. Everyone seemed to enjoy the variety within the climbs set up, but some found the hieght the scaiest part.

In the afternoon we went for a short session on the Chapel Stile boulders. This was my first time on these boulders and I was impressed by the good mix of grades for everyone to have a crack at. The kids went wide, trying to climb anything they thought they had a chance on. Mhairi and I had a bash at the V6 Traverse which proved quite hard for the weak in the heat, both failing a hold from the end. Nevermind, the icecream in Ambleside made up for it.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Watson's Rock Trip '09

Today was the first day of the George Watson's Summer Rock Trip. Mhairi is working with me this week which will give us the chance to meet the needs of this very mixed group. The ages ramge from 12 to 18 so the chance to provide some high quality experiences for everyone is high. We met set off around 9:30 and headed to the Lakes for some climbing anmd heatwave action. We arrived early afternoon, so headed to Dalt Quarry. This is a great half day venue, with a mix of easy grades on good slate. Every got stuck in to the routes, and for some this was their first time outside. Once the heat and and sun had taken it's toll, the call of food from the hostal in Buttermere was to great to ignore.

A great start.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Quickdraw's Unleashed

This weekend I have been out with the Quickdrwaw Club with Simon. On Saturday we went down to Traprain Law. It was the parent job to get the ropes rigged, with limited help from Simon and I. It took them a little moment to gather themselves with the thought of being the ones to provide the kids safe ropes to climb on. The day went well, with everyone climbing around 8 routes each.

Today we where at Loudon Hill and lucked out with the weather again, avoiding rain for two days. The perants worked hard again rigging for the kids. I also placed some runners in a couple of climbs so that some leading could be had for the die hards in the group. The sessions that have gone before this weekend have definatly been of use if the results of the weekend are anything to go by.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Crag Rescue and Problem Solving

I was at the Hawkcraig today with Andy, Mhairi, Patryk and Martin to do some crag rescue staff training. All had done varying amounts before, so this was a follow on session. We started at the wall to go over the basics we had covered in previous sessions, this proved helpful to everyone. Once the fog had lifted we took ourselves and suncream to the Hawkcraig to put it to practise. The incoming tide was a good natural time pressure for folks to work to, everyone was working well. We rapped the day up with a cheeky ascent of the lower girdle at high tide, with the extra choppy water it made it more interesting.

Andrew rescuing a wire on Pain Piller

Tuesday, 23 June 2009


I was at the Limekilns today with Mhairi, this is the first time since the bat box saga. I'm glad to say that if I hadn't known what had happened I never would have.

We enjoyed a bit of soloing around before tying on for a couple of routes. Despite the heat we coped and took it turns to climb a couple E2's and E3's each. I even managed to do something I hadn't done before, a nice afternoon.

Monday, 22 June 2009

CWA Assessment

Today I was working on a CWA Assessment at the Glasgow Climbing Centre with Alan Halewood (climb when your ready). There were 7 candidates on the assessment so it was a full day for everyone. After some personal climbing, movement coaching, group management and problem solving, there was a mixed bag of results. Despite the results, everyone went away witth things to work on. Well done to eceryone.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Intro to Navigation

Today I was running an intro to Navigation course for the EICA. Lou, Jennifer, Pam and Jane were all taking part to become a little more independent on the hill. The course started with a short intro and classroom based session as the EICA before heading outside. We worked up and around the Harlow Hill area at the back of the Pentlands. This has many good features, most of which are contours to help the students get a grasp of interpriting them. Everyone did very well hitting soom tricky points though the session.

Overall a successfully day and now it's just a case of lots of practise.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

ML Steep Ground

Today I was working with Edinburgh University students on the steep ground day of their ML training. Due to the weather we had a low altitude day on the steep broken ground east of Creag Dudh. This was excellent terrain to look at managing folks up and down steep ground using a variety of techniques. Despite the weather we covered all aspects of the course and the students went away with a lot of new skills at even more to practise.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Wilton 1

Today Andy and I went to Wilton 1, a bit of a change to the dolerite of the central belt. This was our first trip there so we did not know what to expect. The climbing was excellent. at this grit stone quarry. We did a selection of 2 and 3 star routes, the best of which were Dawn and Master Spy. The rain stopped play once for about 10 minutes, then missed us for the most part whilst the thunder cracked in the distance. A great day.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

SPA Trainingt

This weekend I have been working on a SPA Training for the EICA with Nic. The 4 candidates were all climbing above the standard, so the personal climbing day was relaxed with some good ascents of classic VS's at the Hawkcraig were had. The sun soon turned to heavy rain and we moved venue and found sunshine again at Rosyth.

Today we went back to Rosyth to do our group day and the sun was out in force. Bottom ropes, top ropes and group abseils were tthe order of the day. Due to the strength of the group the syllabus was covered and a little further teaching was possible.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Intro to Outdoor Climbing

This evening Martin and I ran an intro course for 3 clients from the EICA. The aim of the course is to give folks the experience of climbing outside whilst seconding route and recieving some coaching on movement etc. We went to Rosyth Quarry which has a good selection of routes in the Diff to Severe range. Joe, Fraser and David all managed around 6 routes each and took a lot on board through the coaching they recieved. A fine effort by all.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Crag Rescue and Problem Solving

Today I was at the Hawkcraigs with 4 staff members from the EICA to look at problem solving and crag rescue. We started at the wall and did an intro session to hoists, looking at the building blocks to these which would lead us into the next steps. At the crag we put into practise assisted and non assisted hoists on some routes. Once this was dialed we moved on to escaping the system. First we covered anchors in reach which everyone picked up quiet quickly. Anchors out of reach proved to be a little more demanding on the brain. We managed to work these into counter balance and assisted abseils before bagging a route to finish. A good but hard day for folks today, alot to take in.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

I Dream of Jeanie

Today I went to Trowbarrow with Emma. The back is on the mend but I still have to take it easy so this is a great place for that. For those who have not been to Trowbarrow, it offers a number of classics at the VS to E2 grade with a few harder routes and some excellent boulbering. We opted for a couple of 3 star routes. Firstly we climbed Cracked Actor. This was low in the technical grade, but sustained, excellent climbing throughout. We followed that with Jean Jeanie. A brilliant route at VS with no hard climbing, just continued interest and good jamming. The crag was very busy so we left it at that, but will be back again soon for some of the spicy routes.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Not a bad day for a wet walk

Yesterday I was doing some technical Advisor work for the Muirhouse Youth Development Group. As well as going through the paperwork Matt and I went and did some site assessments for some stream walks in the local areas. I was pleasantly surprised to see that there were some good mini adventures to be had for young people in some very picturesque surroundings. over all, a productive day and a little sunburn to boot.