It’s certainly been a busy Summer for me and Monsterclimbs clients. The new Rock Skills Learn to Lead Trad and Lead to Lead Sport have proved very popular with 9 courses running throughout July and August. There have been groups of women friends and individuals, father and son combinations, mother and daughter pairings, couples and even 2 young women from the youth squad at TCA The Church in Bristol.
Each course was different because the clients had varied experiences and particular needs. Megan and Issy had only experienced lead sport climbing indoors so leading on real rock instead of resin blobs was completely alien to them as was threading the belay at the top. They discovered the need to place their feet accurately and to ensure their centre of gravity was in the right place and that climbing outdoors was much more physical.
Tim completed his Trad Lead course on his own as the other client cancelled at the last minute. This meant Tim’s gear and anchor placement had to be perfect and fortunately Tim was really focused and was able to master placing gear and creating anchors incredibly quickly. I ensured he was safe at all times with preplaced anchors and checked his belay and positioning before he belayed me up.We even led a multi pitch climb together and abseiled off the top.
It was good to see more women taking the initiative and getting involved in climbing – leading both Trad and Sport. For the first time since I became a Freelance Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor the female clients outnumbered the male clients by 2 to 1. My favourite client has to be Natalie who had a Sport Lead day bought as a present from her boyfriend. She began the day with no experience and no knowledge of terminology or equipment and by the end of the day she was clipping bolts and threading the anchor and using the correct lingo. Zero to Hero in one day. Fantastic
It’s been a good summer for me too with personal climbing trips to Skye – I’d never been before and it rained torrentially most of the time but it was fabulous, Gogarth, the Lake District, Cornwall, the Peak District – volunteering for the Women’s Trad Festival, Portland and the Wye Valley.
It doesn’t get better than that.