Are you excited about rock climbing? There’s something unique about the challenge of being on the rock face and it requires some unique skills. Learn these with Jez on some stunning crags in Snowdonia, North Wales.
Want to learn to Navigate? Become a Mountaineer by tackling some exciting Scrambles or Winter Mountaineering? Or embark on the Mountain Leader Training Scheme? What ever it is explore this section for ideas…
There are a number of Instructor Training Courses out there these days, but this one is very different to most. Instead of focusing on many different activities, we focus on what we know best – Rock Climbing and Mountaineering.
I was recently sent a couple of bits of kit to test, a jacket and a tent by a relatively new British company called OEX. I didn’t know a huge amount about the brand to be honest other than it is sold through Go Outdoors and a D of E group I worked with last year was using OEX tents, which had performed admirably in some pretty brutal weather.
When the parcel arrived I sort of knew what to expect from the tent as I’d checked it out online, the Lynx EV 1 is a one man tent costing £169.99 (if you’ve got a Go Outdoors card) and perhaps more importantly weighs in at 1.65kgs. The jacket however was a mystery, I can’t say I was expecting great things but I was pleasantly surprised when I got it out, it looks smart!
I was at school when I got in to climbing and mountaineering, when I was 16 – 17 my parents very kindly paid for me to go on a couple of courses at Plas y Brenin where I not only learnt loads, but realised the job of being an outdoor instructor actually existed. In my quest for more information about this career I got the Mountaineering Instructor Award and Mountaineering Instructor Certificate handbooks from Mountain Training and they are still somewhere in a box in the attic. Looking through those handbooks, I was hooked on the idea that I could be working on a cliff somewhere teaching climbing, but as a novice climber it seemed like a life time away and I wondered if I would ever be able to get the prerequisite experience.
Fast forward a year and as all my mates were off to uni I went to France to earn the grand sum of £40 a week whilst
The Strand at Gogarth has been a route I’ve wanted to do for a long time, it’s a well known endurance test piece on the Upper Tier and weighs in at E2 5b. It’s a brilliant looking line, a classic steep crack that goes on for about 40m without any ledges to get a proper hands of rest on.
A couple of weeks ago I went to do it with Stu, I felt super confident after a winter where I’ve been at the wall a lot and ticked some cool routes like Left Wall (E2 5c). We did a quick warm up route called Dirtigo (VS), which was better than it’s name suggests! The weather was really cold with a bitter, strong wind meaning it was winter belay jackets when not climbing. After our first route, I was stood at the bottom of The Strand ready to go. A couple more quickdraws than usual, up to 14 and a few more larger nuts as well, but not enough to make a noticeable difference, and off I went upwards.