This last couple of days we have attended two different courses, both focused on teaching mountain based skills.
Firstly a 'Teaching scrambling' day. For this we used White Ghyll Edge and Tarn crag in ascent and descent. As a group of 5 we talked through movement skills and coaching, when and where spotting can be appropriate, route choice and route finding skills. We later considered when would be appropriate to deploy a rope and how best to use it / show it's uses in an easy to remember format. This was an incredibly useful day, with lots of ideas shared. A real take-home improvement for me is the introduction of a clove hitch when taking coils. This brings a great improvement in stability when attached to anchors.
Day two was focused on 'Teaching self rescue skills'. Not something we are asked to do very often and an area many become rusty in, as thankfully these are skills we don't use much.
It was very useful to simply watch someone else explain all the basics, starting with tying off a belay device and attaching a prussic. Setting up an assisted and unassisted hoist, all whilst 'in the system'.
We then went climbing at Upper Scout crags in Langdale and worked through a number of 'scenarios' whilst climbing. Again, it was really useful to share ideas and look at how others approach problem avoidance and problem solving. An important theme that ran through the day was very much 'problem avoidance' as this is so much better than looking for solutions!
We managed a couple of multi-pitch routes before the icy wind chilled us all and we ran back to the valley floor.
Two brilliant days, very well delivered by Nick Canon Jones, thanks Nick.