Rock climbing can give you a new challenge in life such as helping to overcome a fear of heights. Learning the techniques required to get you to the top can open up many new adventures along the way. Employing the services of a fully qualified mountaineering instructor will ensure that you safely learn the correct techniques to enjoy rock climbing for yourself. You may alternatively want to relax and be guided up some of the classic rock climbs to be found in the Lake District, Snowdonia or further afield.
Scrambling is often seen as the next step on from hill walking. Exploring rocky ridges and steeper buttresses can offer a new way to get to the top of your favourite mountains. If you are new to scrambling it may be worth considering a mountaineering instructor to help show you the way and introduce simple rope work and techniques to keep you safe on more exposed sections. The Mountain Instructor Award is the minimum qualification allowed to take people on graded scrambles where the use of a rope may be required in the UK.
If you want to improve your navigation skills, a mountaineering instructor will be able to coach you in taking a compass bearing and following it accurately using pacing and timing to find where you want to get to!
So next time you are planning a new adventure in the hills it might be time to hire the skills of a qualified mountaineering instructor to help you discover new places or learn the skills to get more from the mountains in your own time.
The British Mountaineering Council have produced this video to help explain what someone who holds the Mountain Instructor Award has to offer.
Mountaineering Instructor Award from team_BMC on Vimeo.
If you have just started out rock climbing or are looking to update your existing rock climbing equipment then UK based gear manufacturer DMM have produced a useful factsheet on their website and a video to view in conjunction with this explaining what to consider when buying new carabiners.
The Annual Outdoor Show took place recently at Friedrichshafen in Germany. All the major outdoor brands were there exhibiting their new products for next season. Kit is definitely getting lighter and shinier!
UKClimbing were there to report on the latest products and have published a comprehensive report on the show on their website. Click here to read about the award winners.
It is positive to see that helmet designers are really thinking about making helmets that people will want to wear when they go rock climbing or mountaineering.
A rock climbing article on the Guardian’s website today about indoor bouldering-only climbing walls where you climb above a crash mat without the use of ropes and a harness has highlighted it as one of the fastest growing sports in the county.
If you have got into the sport of rock climbing through one of these centres and want to try outdoor climbing for the first time our ‘beginner’ and ‘introduction to rock climbing’ courses based in the Lake District are an excellent taster to many more adventures that lie ahead.
The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) has just published a video to promote their current helmet campaign. You can watch it here. With modern helmets weighing as little as 250 grams we strongly recommend you consider wearing one for all rock climbing and mountaineering activities.
We are currently offering 10% off all 2012 courses if you book before the end of February. So if you would like to:
try this on one of our multi-activity days.
enjoy this view on one of our guided walks.
have a go at rock climbing in settings like this.
Then contact us before the end of February and get 10% off.
Make the most of your trip to the Lake District.
The British Mountaineering Council has recently updated its guidelines for belaying and abesiling. You can view the leaflet as a pdf by clicking here.
I am constantly reassessing what I carry on my rack, striving to find a balance between carrying as little as possible (saving weight)and having enough kit with me to protect the climb and cope with solving any problems that may occur. Recently a number of lightweight screwgate karabiners (krab for short)have come onto the market that weigh up to half of what their predecessors do. That doesn’t mean I can now carry twice as many but it does certainly mean I am not weighed down when leading the next pitch.
clockwise from bottom left; Petzl Attache 3D, DMM Sentinel, DMM Phantom, DMM Shadow.
I have just got the Petzl Attache 3D (55g) to use with my belay plate following several recommendations from others. Although only weighing 55g it still features a wide radius to allow smooth rope handling. The DMM sentinel (55g)is great as a second/spare HMS krab for tying into the belay. It also works well with a belay plate or an italian hitch if required. One of the lightest screwgate krabs available is the DMM phantom (40g). It’s great for attaching my ATC-Guide to the belay if I’m using it as a magic plate, or for clipping an autoblock prussik to my harness when abseiling as a back up. The DMM Shadow (50g) is another versatile krab that is a nice shape for handling and I regularly use for attaching myself to the belay.
If I was going ultra-lightweight I would carry just two HMS-style krabs for the belay. One for my attachment and one for the belay plate. For most days cragging I find that four screwgate will cover most eventualities. You can always use two snapgate krabs clipped in opposition for more security (see below). When I’m working I tend to carry six screwgate krabs, although I usually get the clients to carry the extra ones!