Mountain Journeys

Learning to lead – Rock climbing course, Lake District

lead rock climbing course, Lake District

Lead climbing on Raven crag, Langdale

The date has just popped up as I started to write this blog, wow can't believe September is here already! Good news is, September usually turns out to be a great month for rock climbing here in the Lake District, let's hope this one is too.

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;
Anchor selection;
Equalising 2 & 3 anchors;
Belay stance management;
Setting up an abseil;
Guidebook interpretation;
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 🙂

​Mark

Lead climbing course, Lake District

Placing protection at Long Scar

Rock climbing anchors

3 equalised anchors

Equalising belay anchors at Raven crag, Langdale

Equalising 3 anchors

Lake District rock climbing course

Long scar, Pike O'Blisco

Setting up an abseil, Middlefell Buttress, Langdale

Setting up our abseil from Middlefell Buttress, Langdale

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