Tuesday, 3 May 2016


Today I was in Glen Nevis with Jess and Alex who are both working towards their MIA assessment. We spent the day looking at different systems, progressions and processes for helping students to learn to rock climb. The weather was not helpful! Sheets of hail followed by heavy rain were interspersed with bursts of strong sunlight only for this to disappear behind the next black clouds. We climbed Cross 3 (always the driest route in the Glen passing under a huge roof), Hangover Buttress Left Edge (the oldest recorded route in the Glen), Styx Buttress Right Wall (it was dry by the time we had finished it) and the Gutter (wet again).
We also had some good chat today on some new DMM gear: The Pivot belay device, the new Dragon Cams and the Chimera grabswith them. The team were impressed and Jess has a shopping list now! More on the gear later.
 Jess putting the new Dragons to good use
 Still snowy on the hills
 Nearing the belay on Cross 3
 Great route for a Diff!
 I'm not coming out there- its raining!
 Alex's turn under the roof
 Soggy but smiling
 The oldest route in the Glen
 End of an old peg
Climb quick there's a dry bit!

Hail-Rain-Sun-Climb-Repeat from Alan Halewood on Vimeo.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

5 Climbing walls in 5 days

With winter refusing to die a death and despite a serious need to go climbing I've been happy to be working in a few varied Scottish climbing walls this week. My work has included a Foundation Coach Training, some training on wall rescues and floor walking, a review of paperwork and procedures, a Climbing Wall Award Assessment attending and assisting with another staff training, a Climbing Wall Abseil Module Training and a moderation for NICAS.
There are some great people working in our climbing walls in Scotland, the passion for our sport is tremendous and new walls are opening and they are becoming more professionally established all the time. NICAS is a great way for climbers to enter the sport, the competition scene is healthy, Climb Scotland are offering support to many walls  especially the smaller ones and clubs too. Its a pleasure to work in this part of climbing sometimes and this week was one of those times.
 A new wall about to open
 Some staff training
 What do you see? Observation skills on Foundation coach Training
 Teaching motor skills tasks on FC Training
 Got a problem? No worries the staff can help
 Competent people inspecting PPE
 Running a modern climbing centre
 Personal proficiency on a CWA Assessment
 Knowing about the tools
Preparing for the worst 
 All sorts of walls
 CWAA group abseil setup
 Options for getting yourself back down
 NICAS in action
 Happy, safe, developing climbers
This is what its all about!

Friday, 22 April 2016

HOT in Langdale

Today team Glenmore went to check out some scrambling venues in Langdale. Giles and Ian and I climbed a Grade 3 on Tarn Crag followed by a Grade 2 on Stickle Pike and then came down Jacks Rake- new ground for us all and a chance to compare what we do and teach when short roping. After some rehydration at the car park the whole team raced up to White Ghyll to get a couple of routes in before the end of there day.
End of an awesome trip to the Lakes!
 Movement exercises
 Making the most of it
 Shorts and T-shirt
 Traverse on great rock
 Airier than it looks
 Top of Jacks Rake
 Stickle Tarn
 Posers on Slip Knot
 Giles on Laugh Knot
 Latching the jug on the overhang
 Working the smooth corner
Close up on that jug!
Well earnt after a 10 hour hill day!

Trowbarrow and the Badger

More climbing with the Glenmore Lodge crew and exploring new venues. On thursday it was Trowbarrow Quarry for some limestone followed by a short hop to check out a wee sport crag (less said about the the better) and finally a trip to Badger Rock for some bouldering jut to finish everyone off.
 Coral Sea
 Steeper than it looks
 More sun rock
 Out turn
 Ross getting a hands free rest
 Hope he gets his leg back
 Jean Jeanie on the right
 Coral Sea again
 A hunt for a wee sport crag
 ...maybe not
 'Taps aff!'
 Working the traverse
Nathan hanging on on his 3rd lap!