Monday 1 May 2017

Weekend teaching rock climbers

Sara and Giles were back for a second weekend and after a chat about their goals and a look at the weather we decided that Glen Nevis could do us for 2 more days. Saturday saw a few spits of rain and a cool breeze but this didn't stop us. We went to Tricouni Buttress where I led Tricouni Slab (first route I ever led at Polldubh and needed a little post winter gardening) and The Corner (this is great, rough rock a grand move between 2 roofs and good gear) creating an opportunity for the guys to create their own belays and place some gear. These routes are good and plenty clean enough but could do with traffic to keep them that way- go climb them! Time to let Sara and Giles loose on the sharp end. Letting folk lead is one of the most rewarding and essential parts of a Mountaineering Instructor's job and there are lots of factors to weigh up. We kept things very easy to allow them to focus on gear and rope work climbing Hangover Buttress Left Edge (a Jimmy Ness route and the first recorded at Polldubh) in two pitches and the excellently protected but exposed Cross 3.
Sunday and suddenly it all came together. Despite a bitter wind Sara and Giles styled up The Gutter in 3 pitches before leading the Styx Buttress Right Wall. They were working like a well oiled machine belaying, leading, belay building, re-racking gear and sorting the abseils in descent. With time to spare we looked at rigging a rope to climb something from the top of a crag on Tear and squeezed in the first pitch of Slanting Slab as a final lead of the day. Now they are waiting to get the rest of their own rack before unleashing themselves on the unsuspecting rock of Scotland!
Great to see Glen Nevis so busy with climbers yesterday taking advantage of the great Spring weather (i.e. it was dry!).

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