Sally contacted me via Monsterclimbs website wanting to start at the beginning and learn everything there was to know about climbing not only for herself but to share with her 2 sons.
Climbing at The Warehouse in Gloucester has the advantage of having auto belays, so once Sally’s harness was fitted correctly and a quick warm-up she was able to climb straight away. It gave me the opportunity to immediately demonstrate and coach good climbing technique. So, by her third climb she was able to position her feet well, watching her foot placements, climb with silent feet and try and keep her arms as straight as much as possible. She was hooked already.
After a quick break to give her arms chance to recover we looked at the fig of 8 knot which she could tie straight away and with a couple of tweaks it was perfect. We moved on to belaying and talked about distance from the wall, the live and dead rope, the hand sequence of belaying, being able to keep pace with the climber by communication and lowering technique.
Sally practiced on a weighted, knotted rope to start with and then I sacrificed myself for the real thing, climbing just above the floor a few times and climbing cooperatively to give Sally the opportunity to practice belaying and lowering safely. She picked it up surprisingly quickly except for the climbing calls with which she seemed to have a mental block. You can’t expect to take everything in the first time.
Her final test was to belay a bottom rope fall, which she did with supervision to start and once I and the Warehouse Instructor were happy she was deemed an independent belayer and we were able to put everything she had learnt into the subsequent climbs.
Sally did amazingly well, she loved every minute and was determined, enthusiastic and a pleasure to teach. We had a great time.
‘Hey Ali, thank you so much for today! I thoroughly enjoyed myself and learnt so much, you really are great and I can’t wait until our next session on the 10th February.’ Sally James