UHI today and we were at The Ice Factor for the first of a number of days looking at climbing problem solving as a practical application of a module the students are doing on risk and incident management.
Day 1 of 4 and we looked reviewed basic climbing ropework skills such as belay construction and added some new building blocks such as tying off plates and italian hitches, several different types of prussik which we used for ascending a rope and self protecting an abseil.
We spent quite a bit of time examining popular misconceptions. Many of the students had been taught in the past with a 'rules based' approach: so they had often been told to do something but not why or been given a facile answer such as 'that's how I was taught' or 'it's safer'. We adopted a more 'process based' approach today examining the pros and cons of systems and tools. This was so that they would actually understand them and therefore be better able to adapt and select the correct tools for situations.
We ended the day by looking at a simple, common climbing problem- a second being unable to complete a move when close to their partner and a solution- an assisted hoist from within the system.
More tomorrow out on the crag!