Earlier this week I was running a climbing course on behalf of Highpoint Mountain Guides. Guy, who is a keen sport and indoor climbing, has been seconding trad climbing routes for a while now and was ready to begin the transition to lead climbing, a big step.
We began at Long Scar on Pike O'Blisco. This wonderful crag has loads of routes throughout the grade range and an emphasis on easier routes under 20m long, so an ideal place to start. Guy led 4 routes today, with Anna seconding, thanks Anna. We finished the day with a slightly more difficult route, then headed for home, making plans for tomorrow.
Tuesday morning brought with it light drizzle, we had been spoilt by yesterdays glorious sunshine! Undeterred, we headed into Langdale and to Raven crags. A light breeze was helping keep the rock dry-ish as we set off up Middlefell Buttress which Guy & Anna took alternate leads on throughout the 5 pitches. Once on the huge ledge at the top, we discussed our options for descent before setting up an abseil. As Guy hadn't done this before, we took time to go through the process so Guy could set this up himself. About 26m lower down we arrived in the bed of the gully, retrieved our ropes and continued down to the base of the climb. Lunch time had most definitely arrived!
To finish the day, Guy took the lead once more for an ascent of Original Route on the main crag. This is more difficult and certainly made Guy more cautious with his moves. Anna led us off the crag via an easy escape route and back to base once more. The day ended much brighter and drier, thankfully.
Over the 2 days we covered a lot, including:
Placing traditional climbing protection;
Equalising 2 & 3 anchors;
Belay stance management;
Setting up an abseil;
The leaders rack;
And lots of rock climbing
Big thanks to Anna for helping us out with this. And to Joe at Highpoint for the work :-)