This course is designed as a preparation for climbers who wish to lead their own climbs safely and competently. The technical aspects of the safety system are covered in practical sessions; climbing movement and the psychological aspects of lead climbing are also explored. At the end of the course climbers should be confident enough and equipped with the practical skills to independently lead their own climbs at a suitable grade.
Most one day courses and the first day of two day courses start at Symonds Yat Rock in the Wye Valley ( 75 mins. Birmingham, 140 mins.London ) – where there is a large car park, toilet block, cafe and tourist information site. There are nearby good quality campsites / restaurants / hotels / bunkhouses etc.
This venue has a number of “named” routes to suit the aspirant leader, with easy access to the top and bottom of the cliffs to allow the controlled progression from “second” to “lead” climber- all within 2 to 10 mins. walk of the car park. It is a friendly venue set in picturesque surroundings, sheltered by mixed woodland and warmed by the afternoon sun.
A typical course starts at 09.00 hrs, meeting at the Cafe where after an introduction, issue of equipment and safety briefing, the cliffs can be accessed quickly – climbing movement, the safety system, belaying, knots, placing protection, creating belays, etc. can be studied whilst participants take it in turns to climb. After lunch the cliffs can be further explored, using the different climbs to extend and develop the skills. For two day courses there maybe a return to Symonds Yat or a visit to a similar venue nearby or a “Sport Climbing” venue to further develop the techniques acquired on the first day.
These courses are usually run at a ratio of 1:2 and are tailored to meet the needs of the participants with respect to the difficulty of climbs and aspirations of the participants.
What you need:
- Suitable clothing for the day:
Warm / cool depending on conditions
- Cotton clothing doesn’t work too well if you get wet / sweaty !
- Lightweight walking boots are ideal for the ‘walk – in’ and for some of the climbing.
- Waterproof jacket in unsettled weather ( although there is a lot of cover at Symonds Yat )
- Long sleeved tops and long trousers are recommended even in warm weather.
- Car park fee – currently £ 3.50 for the day if you arrive by car.
- Small rucsac / day sac
Packed lunch ( this gives us flexibility during the day )
- Any personal items – medication / sunglasses / camera etc.
What is supplied:
- All technical climbing and safety equipment.
- There are a selection of rock climbing boots available. If you need anything else let me know e.g. day sack etc.
- ( You are welcome to bring any of your own personal climbing equipment – this aids familiarity and creates discussion points about the pro’s and con’s of different equipment ).
Please note: Although I have £ 5m Public Liability insurance you may wish to insure yourself for personal accident, cancellation and travel insurance etc. as you think necessary ! Packages which include insurance for rock climbing and other mountain activities are available from: www.thebmc.co.uk
For one day courses and the first day of all other rock climbing courses , Symonds Yat Rock is the venue ( at the car park above the cliffs overlooking Symond’s Yat East !! – not West . For a map click here .
Cafe post code: GL16 7NZ
Campsites and other accommodation can be found on links, under accommodation.
The Forestry Commission Car Park at Symonds Yat Rock is a large woodland car park and picnic area just South of the main view point, at the top of the cliffs, with a toilet block and cafe, this is a good meeting place with easy access to the rock faces ( 2 minutes walking ).
Most courses start at 09.15 hrs at the car park, packed lunches are available from the cafe if you need anything.
During this initial meeting we briefly discuss what you are hoping to get from the day, your past experience and your aspirations for after the course – this will allow us to choose the best itinerary to suit you – there are 400 climbing routes within 15 minutes walk to suit the beginner and advanced climber !
After issuing any technical equipment and a brief safety talk we will walk to the cliffs ( 2 – 15 mins ) Courses usually finish around 16.30 hrs.
Tradclimbing+ by Adrian Berry and John Arran – Rockfax.com – ISBN 978-1-873341-91-9
Rock Climbing by Alun Richardson – Acblack.com ISBN 978-0-7136-8690-6
or drop me a line if you have any queries: email@example.com