The unusually dry weather we've been having has meant we've been lucky enough to climb outside this week. The photo is of volunteer Liz belaying a participant from Hamoaze House up Holly Tree Wall at the Dewerstone
Whether you are a new climber or a seasoned professional, performing Buddy Checks prior to leaving the ground is an essential part of the safety chain for every climb.
Day 2 of the Participation Course and the rain drove us indoors. Luckily Plymouth has the excellent Life Centre with its indoor climbing wall. The best of climbing happens outdoors but indoor walls offer the perfect environment for learning essential skills and useful techniques.
For the first day of the new Participation Course for Hamoaze House we went Leigh Tor above Ashburton, with 7 people from the Taster day attending. We covered how to put on and tie into a harness correctly, how to belay, and everyone climbed a few routes.
Our Participation Course's run 1 day per week for 8 weeks, and aim to:
Engage clients in regular activity.
Create a supportive and social environment.
Engage clients in “outdoor” activities.
Introduce clients to the climbing world, both the physical activity and to the social groups involved.
Support personal development – trying new things, exploring personal comfort zones, physical exercise, outdoor environment.
Develop personal skills towards becoming an independent indoor climber and competent second.
Today I had the pleasure of running a Taster Day at The Dewerstone for clients of Hamoaze House in Plymouth. The group all climbed Agag's Slab and Mambo Slab, and took part in the belaying of each other using a technique known as 'Bell Ringing'.
Everyone had a good day and all attendees were offered a place on an 8 week Participation Course.
Jacob has been climbing with us since September and has now completed his Climbing Wall Instructor training with Garland Mountaineering. Jacob has put in lot of effort to learn in his own time since starting with Clean Ascent, and I have no doubt that he will make a great instructor.
Before assessment Jacob will go through a consolidation period in which he is required to "...have assisted in the supervision of at least 15 instructed sessions on at least two different walls including a large public facility in a variety of contexts.' As well a completing 30 lead climbs indoors. He will have the opportunity to complete many of the assisted sessions and to continue to develop his climbing with Clean Ascent the summer.
Above is Jacob being belayed by Clean Ascent trustee Dr David Irons. David is an avid climber who is continually working on his skills, and the major force behind the charity. giving a lot of his time to help drive it forward.
With some insurance offers on the table and a new season of Clean Ascent on the cards, instructor Robin Jacob, and Laurence Coleman of Radventures have been at Chudleigh looking at routes for upcoming courses.