Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Coaching Climbing with Eve and Amy

Eve and Amy came with a brief to look at some technical and psychological issues to give them more confidence in their multi-pitch climbing and we were lucky enough with a dry, breezy (almost too breezy!) day at Polldubh meaning we could get lots of climbing for limited walking.
We started with a little warm up and some bouldering giving them some technique pointers. Amy is a super precise twinkle toes climber shifting her weight very well but seemed to lack some more dynamic tools which can be useful at times. Eve moved generally well and more confidently but not as precisely as her climbing partner.
With these things to think about we got stuck in on our first route and I thought I'd overcooked it. Eve's good movement suffered on the first lead but at least this gave us plenty to talk about in terms of coping strategies and she committed in the end and was soon rigging the first belay. Here as Amy arrived we were able to tidy up their transition at the stance quite a bit and then Amy made short work of a second pitch. Now Eve decided to strap he guns on and take the harder finishing option which was led with less input from me (well done!).
After a wee review and a bite to eat we were on to another route. Amy again showed her excellent footwork on the bottom of 3 Pines but we were able to make some improvements on planning and racking gear. Eve styled the second pitch getting good gear and cruising through the roof confirming that when its steep, positive and 3-d she's happy and that its the more tenuous, open slabs that feel like her weaker area.
A quick abseil off with the clouds coming in and a last chat through lessons learnt for the day and we were down. Thanks for an interesting day Eve and Amy and thank you for letting MIA Trainee Mehmet observe throughout. More pics and captions on:

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

T-Shirts on Tower Ridge

Great to see Jenny back today. We've done some winter climbing and other things in the past and she wanted a good day out with a bit of mountaineering teaching input. She's doing a PhD in Geology and spends time in Antarctica collecting samples based at a Norwegian base (lucky thing) and I learnt things about dating the exposure of rocks as ice retreats that I didn't even know i didn't know. She'd had a nightmare journey up the A82 (which is about as fit for purpose as a chocolate t-spoon) and we didn't get away from the car until well after 11 but Jenny's fit and moves well so were on the plateau before 3 and had found time to do a little teaching and answer some of her questions. Soon nice to be in a T-shirt the whole way up. My Rab Boreas came out of the bag on the plateau as it was quite windy up there but it was soon off again as we romped down Ledge Route (via a quick peak at the saxifrages in No.4 Gully). We even had time to bathe our hot feet in the Allt a Mhuillin! Has been a pretty ropey summer weather wise but today showed the Highlands at their best and when the The Outdoor Capital of the UK is like this its are tough to beat! More pics and captions at:

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Tower Ridge and Ledge Route

A bit wetter than expected but sheltered from the wind on Tower Ridge today with MIA Trainee Adam who was taking up Juri and Marcin. We even got a few views from Ledge Route in descent. Captions at:

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Today I was directing a Mountain Training Scotland Climbing Wall Leading Award Training at Perth College Climbing Centre. Always a great fun and interesting course to work on, lots of exercises and games but more importantly lots of thought about how this could fit together to develop new leaders. More pics and captions on:

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Wet day on Curved Ridge

The weather forecast was teasing me as at one stage it looked like we'd get a dry afternoon but last night the Met Office settled on wet all day and they were right. Nonetheless there were plenty of smiles as "At least we've got the route to ourself!" from the 2 Daves and Lorne as we mountaineered our way over the summit. Short on views, long on banter! Working again for Steven Fallon Mountain Guiding. Captions on:

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Dry day on the Aonach Eagach

Such a pleasure to be out on a more pleasant day today. Apparently there has been some warm weather down south but we haven't seen so much of that up here! That just makes a good dry day out on the UK's finest mainland ridge scramble all the better. Well done to James, Chris, David and MIA Trainee John who fairly flew across the ridge today. We didn't use the rope for the first down climb but then when it went on after the first Munro it gave the team the confidence to move well. I like a helmet of the ridge myself as I've had plenty of experience of folk dropping rocks on me on it! Thanks to Steven Fallon Mountain Guiding for the great work and nice to see Scott Kirkhope out working too. More pics and captions on: