A funny few months

August, September and October were a bit of a blur to be honest.  The days were filled with preparations for, then the arrival of, our 1st child.  Born on the 22nd of August and redefining the meaning of 'delightfully challenging'.   Almost all consuming but I've interspersed efficient nappy changing maximisation with a bit of climbing, some work and a chunk of shadowing/assisting on climbing qualification courses.  The climbing was a mixed bag with a great day climbing in the Avon Gorge on Giants Cave Buttress and a chance meeting with a retired American mountaineer who had spotted us on the route and had taken some great pics from the bridge and observatory balcony. He kindly forwarded them on and they are brilliant!  The next time out was less productive with sleep deprivation catching up and nervous energy finally running out - the lead was handed over and I trundled on behind.. You only truly fail if you fail to learn and one of that days lessons was how important sleep and rest is on performance and basic functioning.


Work has been a nicely varied with site specific training and assessment courses being run for Undercover Rock and Walking Group Leader training and assessments taking place for Longtown OEC.  By the end of November I should hear whether all my assisting and shadowing has paid off as I look to become a course director of the Climbing Wall Award.  I'll be working for others but its a big step towards provider ship in our own right.

Trad Climbing

Day one of 3 days of trad/lead climbing progression.  Rob has all the skills but wanted to really consolidate them and improve his confidence - 1st we went climbing in Avon Gorge and got 8 Pitches in with Rob leading 3 of them!

Rob nearing the top

Good times!

Day 2 and it was off to the Dewerstone on the Edge of Dartmoor for some Granite experience.  7 Pitches in the bag 6 of which went to Rob and he progressed a grade too! 

Striding out at the end of Mucky Gully - Diff

Rounding the very exposed arête on Pinnacle Buttress.

Day 3 saw us at Meadfoot Quarry in Torbay - Just two routes before the last two days caught up but Rob was still moving well. 

Roped Soloing

Been experimenting with mutli-directional anchor set ups for roped soloing.

My aim has been to find something that's easy to set up and light (ish) whilst still being super bomber. 

In the end I went with the DMM sml rigging hub which, whilst not particularly light at 260g, it's rope and tape friendly surfaces, strength and 3d rig-ability make it great for building multi-directional anchors.

Below are some pics of some set ups as well as some other trials with DMM rigging rings. 

Anchor using slings - super light but time consuming to get the lengths/tension right.

Rigging rings - light but not easy to keep everything snug..

Rigging hub and two 8mm cordolettes tied to the gear with clove hitches to give 3 independent up ward anchor legs and two downward (for use on the ground belay for the 1st pitch - 3 downward strands  when off the ground).

Hub in use at the Avon Gorge.  Just two downward legs as it was the 1st anchor otherwise it would have 3.  The rope friendly surfaces make it easy to get the cordolette snug.

This was the 1st time out using the Eddy instead of the silent partner and  I really liked it - rope was flaked into a small rucsac on my back and fed over the shoulder.  Move too quick and the Eddy locked reassuringly but was easy to unlock - move smoothly and the rope feed smoothly...