Sunday 28 September 2014

Development Coach training and MTA workshop

A BUSY weekend.
I've been running a Mountain Training Development Coach Training at Glasgow Climbing Centre with 2 of their coaches. There was a limited amount of new information I was able to give these quite experienced coaches in terms of theory but that didn't stop us putting plenty of stuff into practise and thinking on some of the 'bigger picture' roles of Development Coaches such as the major differences in coaching beginners vs improvers, mentoring Foundation Coaches and considering LTPD pathways beyond their students'  immediate performance goals.
On saturday evening I was also running a short MTA workshop for SPA Trainees/Award holders. This was an informal opportunity to talk through some specific techniques of interest to the 4 members who came along, some information on bolts that was new to them and some general principles in terms of 'good practise' vs 'best practise'. We were still at the crag chatting well into darkness!
 Observation skills using Coaches Eye
 Hand stand fail!
 Blez hates knots… he's a boulderer
 The guys needed a duffer to coach- they got me!
 Alastair on sacrificial protection and bolts with MTA members
 The what and the how
 That one
ttPp component of coaching on steeper ground

Friday 26 September 2014

Sunny autumn rock

A fine autumn day as Max and I took our WHC Adventure Tourism Degree Students east to Kingussie  to avoid the rain. My 4 were all good to get on the sharp end to get some more real climbing mileage and each of them led two routes- top marks to Nathan for a new wee VS tick to add to his experience. We had one heavy shower at lunchtime but otherwise it was cool, windy but dry. Definitely autumnal now rather than summery though!
Glasgow bound now for a hectic weekend and week beyond...

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Indoor Leading for Abernethy Trainees

A fun day teaching the Trainees from Abernethy Trust to lead climb at their on site climbing wall.
Climbing warmups
Spot the beanbag
Silent deadly beanbag ninjas got a bit violent!
Head and hips
Clipping, figuring it out for themselves
 Trailing a tail
 Nice commute home

Tuesday 23 September 2014

SPA Assessment Day 2

Congratulations to 4 new SPA Holders for a chilly day's work!
 A little bit of history recognisable to any Glasgow climber
 Alan contemplates taking up knitting
If only this route was twice as long...

Monday 22 September 2014

SPA Assessment day 1

Dry at Auchinstarry Quarry.

Sunday 21 September 2014

In the shadows and the sun on Buachaille Etive Mor

Today I was out with Kris looking at some mountaineering rope work with his 2 willing pals acting as guinea pigs. The sun shone all day but never found us on Lagangarbh Buttress, a sign of how the year is advancing but the weather has been staying great!
 Chatting through how its going to work
 Immaculate rock
 Devil's Staircase
 Kris using the time to look ahead
 Coming up...
…and going down!

Saturday 20 September 2014

Carpe Diem Sunshine and dry rock on Tower Ridge

Today I was working for Max Hunter with Louise and Magnus on Tower Ridge. The day was part of the Carpe Diem Zone and the pair were keen to seize the day by the proverbials and twist hard!
After a quick photo opportunity at Auchintee we were dropped round at the North Face for a brisk walk in. Tower Ridge was a busy as i've ever seen it but folk were cheery and polite. We directed a few folk onto the right route and 14 folk let us overtake (I was working hard to stay ahead of my pair).
The temperature was perfect, cool and dry with hit lifting away at all the right points.
We arrived on the summit to mingle with the 100s of charity walkers, many of whom had seen us crossing the Gap and came over to congratulate us and question our sanity. The quid pro quo for the day's guiding was a litter pick focussed on the summit (i'd already picked up used tissues, banana skins and orange peel on the ridge- sort it out folk, tropical fruit skins take years to break down up here). In only 10 minutes the guys had topped up their rucksacks with litter and we were on the way down via chats with the event marshals and a few more bottles, cans, receipts etc. picked up :-(
Nice to chat with Ali who was with an SNH colleague picking litter at the remains of the wall and clearing drainage lines too.
The path needs maintaining, the litter needs picking. I'm all for charity walks and folks experiencing the hills. I give back by clearing drains and picking litter (like last year on the Real 3 Peaks Challenge), be  nice to see the walkers or even charities themselves donate even £1 per walker or labour in kind too.
Top day on the hill and the ride down from the top car park was great fun too!
On the Ridge and ready to climb
Kindly allowed to overtake by the Bristol team- cheers!

Good lord that's a cheesy grin!

Happy scramblers
Going up
Tower Ridge stretching below
On the Great Tower
Hanging out
Magnus clearing up after ignorant mountaineers

The Gap 'sketchy but fun' was the verdict
 Topping out
 We climbed that
Quid pro quo

The next few shots are just for the snow patch observers: