Climbing Instruction

 
I guess the most common reason that people approach me is for climbing instruction.  I don't think I'll be scaring anyone by saying that climbing is a potentially dangerous sport, but with some expert guidance on how to handle the risks it can be one of the most satisfying experiences you'll ever have.  Indeed, I often find that a client's feeling of empowerment after learning the basics of climbing safely can provide as much enjoyment and satisfaction as the physical experience of actually getting up the route they've long dreamed of!
 
So, whether you're interested in learning the basics of moving from indoors to outdoors, learning some more advanced self rescue techniques to give you the confidence to approach big scary sea cliffs, or whether you just want to have a great day out on the rock ticking 3 star classics, I can tailor something to suit.  Here's some ideas:
 
Southern Sandstone Introduction
The sandstone outcrops of the south east provide the most accessible rock to those trapped in the 'Big Smoke' and are an excellent training ground on which to develop strength and technique.  Join me for a day of instruction on how to get the best out of these crags and open the door to some rock on your doorstep.
Topics include: Equipment Choice, Route Finding, Belay Technique, Building Bomber Top Rope Anchors, Climbing Movement and Technique
 
Climbing Outdoors - Sport
Sport climbing outdoors is often the next step for the super fit indoor rock jock and the UK has some excellent venues to choose from.  I commonly instruct sport climbing at Portland on the south coast, where there is a wide range of routes, from the easiest grades for beginners to stuff I could only dream of - there's plenty of opportunity to test your climbing skills and learn some simple techniques to keep it safe.  The weather down south is often pretty good too, but don't hold me to that!
Topics typically include: Interpreting Guidebooks, Route Choice, Gear Selection, Belay Technique, Correct Clipping and Methods of Lowering Off.
 
Climbing Outdoors - Trad
The UK is possibly the centre of the universe when it comes to trad climbing - we invented it and have an enormous wealth of rock types and climbing styles to enjoy.  But, to do it safely requires a hefty toolbox of techniques.  Join me for some comprehensive instruction and get out on those routes you've been oggling over in the mags.
Topics typically include: Gear Selection, Interpreting Guidebooks, Route Choice and Route Finding, Belay Technique, Stance Management, Retrieving Gear, Retreating off Routes and Abseiling, Arranging Top Ropes etc.
 
Learning to Lead on Sport / Trad
Becoming a confident leader and topping out on your dream routes after a controlled and confident ascent is an experience like no other.  Mastering the techniques of leading can be a challenging and daunting task but with some helpful and expert instruction you'll soon feel empowered to enjoy leading climbs under your own steam.
Topics typically include: Route Choice and Route Finding, Strategies Before and After Leaving the Ground, Placing Gear to Both Protect Yourself and Your Second, Building Bomber Belays, Stance Management
 
Rock Improvers - Pushing your Grade
So, you've had some experience of leading your own routes and have grown in confidence sufficiently to want to start pushing your grade.  Good for you!  I've been there too, but not without mishaps!!  Take the opportunity to refine your skills and learn some additional techniques to keep it safe.
Topics typically include: Route Choice and Strategy, Climbing Technique, Making the Most of the Protection
 
Rock Improvers - Multi-Pitch
Getting high on a mountain rock climb is a wonderfully liberating experience and conquering the big multi-pitch classics is a must for every rock climber.  Learning the techniques not just to get up safely but also to get down again is essential.  Multi-pitch rock climbing instruction is probably my most popular activity and rightly so.
Topics typically include: Strategies for Route Finding and Descent, Building Bomber Belays, Building Bomber Hanging Belays, Stance Management, Multi-pitch Protection Principles, Retreating and Multi-pitch Abseils
 
Advanced Self Rescue Skills
Ever wondered what if......?  Well I can give you the tools to arrive at the answers.  Maybe this should be called advanced needlework (!), but with my help on some clear and structured learning you can hopefully avoid the cat's cradle of rope that you fear will result from trying to rescue your partner.  An essential course for every trad climbing leader.
Topics typically include: Prussiks - types and their uses, Escaping up a Rope, Assisted and Unassisted Hoists, Escaping the System, Anchors In Reach and Anchors Out of Reach
 
Introduction to Aid Climbing and Big Wall Skills
Off to Yosemite with BIG ambitions?  Don't go unprepared - it's an expensive mistake!  Aid climbing and big wall hauling are not simple things to master and it's the failure to do them efficiently that leads to most parties failing on their first Big Walls.  My first aid climb was a solo of a multi-pitch C3 in Squamish, Canada; an amazing experience but not a method I'd recommend using to learn the basics!  Shortly after that, by employing some basic techniques to climb efficiently with the 'pig' meant that I could enjoy some of the world's finest big walls.  Don't make the mistakes that many others do, get some expert instruction before you go and stack the odds in your favour to get up that beast!