Sunday 6 March 2011

A (very slightly) shorter day

Charlotte's (slightly) less big day out from Alan Halewood on Vimeo.

Charlotte was keen for me to point out that the weekend gave us 2 more softshell days. 7 days of good climbing... you can knock the Northern Corries all you want... you can say that it's all been easy grade stuff. I don't care- I've had a great last week with 3 motivated keen clients who gave 100% in respect to physical and mental effort when it came to pushing themelves to work hard, climb to the best of their ability and learn all they could.
Everyone I work with is different. Some climb already, some don't, some naturally move well, some don't, some pick complex skills up quickly, some take longer, some have no fear, some are outside of their comfort zone leaving the car park. It's great to work with that variety of abilities and I tend to display OCD when it comes to getting them to adopt good habits from early on in their walking, mountaineering and climbing careers. I'm a firm believer that if they learn good habits from the word go and do these things as second nature they will have a safer, more enjoyable future in the mountains. If I can make them smile whilst doing it i've won!
Anyway... today... Charlotte was tired after yesterday's exertions but keen for at least a couple of routes. In the current conditions the walk in to Coire Lochain is only a little longer than Sneachda so I decided it was time we escaped Sneachda. We were the third team onto the apron (good walking and a good efficient kitting up form Charlotte) which left us options for our first route. We went onto Milky Way as the other teams were off to The Vent and Ewen Buttress. The route had a good deal of ice but has been well used meaning that some of the loose blocks are sitting resting amongst the ice. Also the ice is thinning out and an a poorly considered swing of an axe left me with a 30cmx30cm block resting on a ledge I was going to need to stand on. Ron and Fi were below queueing for a thin and exciting Chute Route and after warning them i was able to toss it well clear of the crag. We toped out into blazing sun and headed round to descend the Couloir for more.
Billy (who i've met twice before on Steall Falls and in Angmassilikfjord in Greenland) and partner had cleared Ewen Buttress and Hannah and partner were making good progress so it was an obvious choice for route 2. Lovely and icey and Charlotte has developed a soft touch with the brittle ice. 2 pitches of the 60m rope and we were back at the top of the Couloir. We had only been planning on 2 routes today but it was still only lunchtime so it was off down the Couloir again.
I was keen to show Charlotte the deep cleft of The Vent so that's where we headed. There was a team in there having a few communication problems but the belayer was very obliging and happy for me to lead through. I think the long funnel out was the end of Charlotte's calf muscles as she slowly headed up into the sun gain after 3 more classic wee routes.
Top weekend. Still on the east for 1 last week this next week.

1 comment:

Paddy said...

Enjoyed your thoughts about clients and your approach to them. Thanks.