Saturday, 21 October 2017

Introduction to climbing

Earlier in the week I had the pleasure of introducing Paul to rock-climbing. Although he had done some indoor climbing before, this was to be his first experience on real rock--a totally different kettle of fish! Due to showers being forecast for the Inverness area we headed for the cliffs at Cummingston on the Moray coast, well known as often being the driest place in the whole area! We top-roped some climbs to ease Paul in, and recapped principles of safe belaying. Next I had him commit to his first abseil (with a safety rope), which he accomplished really well. Then we looked at lead-belaying and I led some climbs with Paul seconding. This gave more of the "real" climbing experience, and allowed Paul to have a go at using nuts, cams and other trad gear. We finished off with an ascent of the free-standing pinnacle/stack, with an airy abseil to descend. Lovely to think back to my own first experiences climbing twenty years ago, and remember how much I loved it. I still do!