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We offer a range of courses, guiding and holidays for people at all levels, and we aim to help you develop your skills as a safe and proficient climber. We run bespoke courses and guiding to order for individuals and small groups. I can introduce you to climbing and abseiling, help you transfer from the climbing wall to the outdoors and teach you to lead routes safely.
We can work on everyday climbing rope work skills, learn self-rescue techniques and how to deal with “situations”, and we can tackle specific technical issues that concern you. I will help you gain confidence to go out and do your own thing and help you improve your climbing. Or I can simply guide you on the routes of your choice. Scroll down for a summary of our most popular courses.
If you’re looking for an instructional course you should ideally come along with your intended climbing partner(s) so that you will learn to work together as a team under close supervision to gain the skills and experience you need. You should come as a pair for Rock Climbing Leader courses and as a group of two to three people if you do not wish to learn to lead. However if you are coming alone and wish to lead, I can usually find an assistant instructor at no extra cost. This means there is someone else to belay you whilst I concentrate on supervising your gear placements and keeping you safe.
Topics will be chosen to suit the course and particular individuals. They may include: choice and use of equipment; guidebooks, grades and choice of route; procedures and rope work for single-pitch and multi-pitch climbing; technique and training; abseiling; placing protection; setting up belays and belaying techniques; dealing with problems, getting out of “situations” and self rescue. We will use graded rock climbs at an appropriate level, and might need to address mountaineering problems such as navigation to our selected objective.
I lead the courses myself, on dates to suit you, and courses will be tailored to your experience and requirements. Courses will normally be held in the Lake District during the spring, summer and autumn but may also be possible in the winter depending on the weather.
For accommodation, most people either camp or use local B&B or self-catering accommodation. The B&B’s generally also do packed lunches and evening meals if required. Sometimes it is possible to arrange accommodation in a climbing “club hut”. I can make all the arrangements for you and confirm the price. Please enquire regarding availability of dates.
Our most popular courses are:
Introductory rock climbing and abseiling.
This can be for a day, a weekend, or you can take a week or course of 3 weekends to progress to leading. You might be experienced at the climbing wall and want to transfer your skills to outdoor crags, or maybe you’ve done some walking or scrambling already and fancy a go at climbing. Whatever your background we seek to provide you with a safe foundation on which to build your future climbing career, and to provide you with the basic skillset to get started. This will be tailored to your needs and might be teaching you how to set up top ropes safely so you can go away and practice safely by yourselves, it might be guiding you on some introductory climbs and demonstrating the basics of safe belaying and gear placement, or if you know the fundamentals from the climbing gym it might mean we focus on gear placement and building belays so you can make a quick transition to the fantastic world of outdoor climbing.
Learning to lead.
If you already have the basic experience and want to start leading on sport or trad routes come for one or 2 days to learn the basics, or longer to experience a greater range of crags, styles and rock types!
Coaching for improvers.
I can help you fine tune your equipment, improve your protection, work on your technique and consider training. I would look at your rope work and belaying, starting from basics (e.g. linking anchors) through techniques for multi-pitch climbing to more advanced techniques. We can cover double rope technique if appropriate. We will look at placing of protection including all sorts of modern gear, and cover finding the placements and getting the best available placement in various situations. We can also look at avoidance of compromising “situations”, extrication from these if they do occur and self-rescue techniques.
Advanced rope work techniques and self-rescue.
Learn how to get out of the difficulties you might face if things don’t go according to plan when you are climbing.
Classic climbs in the Lake District
… and not only in the Lakes! We can offer guided ascents anywhere. I have climbed extensively throughout the country, and for example, have organised “classic climbing holidays” to the sea cliffs of the South West (where I used to live) and to the other end of the country – the Old Man of Hoy. We have extensive experience mountaineering and climbing in Skye and are always happy to discuss your plans.