Sunday 17 August 2014

Outdoor Climbing Workshop for MCofS Club members

Over the last 2 days I've been working with Andrew and Jodie 2 members of MCofS affiliated clubs each keen to sure their knowledge with less experienced climbers. The MCofS created this workshop to allow members to access a range of advice on introducing people to the sport. The weekend was not designed to replace or heavily overlap the CWA/SPA/CWLA/MIA syllabuses although we did drift into some common ground. The emphasis was more on discussing good practise and its importance when working with beginners. Legal and safety issues and potential problems. In particular we looked at pathways into outdoor trad climbing and helping novices further along, mostly by just going climbing with them!
Saturday was a drench day and we started at Glasgow Climbing Centre talking about routes people come to climbing by, individualising progressions and the basics of good climbing practise (e.g. tying on, belaying, choosing and utilising equipment the guys were so keen to chat and do that we soon found it too late to go out to the crag in the rain!
Today we got a 7am start to head east to dodge the rain. We went to Andrew's home crag of Traprain which has one of the most pleasant outlooks of any Central Belt crag (I know, shame its a bit polished). We did a lot of translating terminology and systems with Jody as she is from the States. Its always interesting to chat through international preferences and I dislike painting these as right or wrong- its more important to discuss the pros and cons of ways and doing things to gain an understanding of them. Such systems are usually the product of the environment they are developed in and the history of climbing in a particular place. As such they may well be reasonably transferable to other environments especially if you have a good grasp of their limitations.
Nice to be out on dry rock with 2 keen climbers and we had it almost completely dry if a little windy!
 The view from Traprain
 An American climber in East Lothian
 Going up
 Stemming (that's bridging to you and me)
 Jody in the breeze
 Andrew on home turf
Jody explaining her first runner, how to remove it and what to do with it to Andrew

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