We arrived at the quay on a bright sunny day. We had the place to ourselves and we were soon being given instruction on tying knots, belaying and climbing safely. Our instructor dangled Toby from a harness and a rope and slowly severed each individual strand of rope. The internal structure is made of 15 strands and even after he had cut 14 Toby was still held aloft. The message was: climbing ropes won’t break!
We moved onto using belay devices and belaying and the students were quickly shooting up some low grade climbs to practice safety and to calm any nerves.
A break for lunch in the sun on the quay and we were back into the harder grades, beginning to link moves together and starting to think about different approaches to problems. Climbing’s quite a thoughtful pursuit and all the students began to incorporate weighting their bodies in different directions and using their feet in a better way.
We rounded off our climbing with a session in the bouldering room. Bouldering is my favourite type of climbing; no ropes, just your chalk-bag, your guns and a crash mat. Outdoors we climbers carry a foldable crash-pad with us but indoors it’s a padded room where you can fall off and not hurt yourself. Everyone repeatedly attempted difficult problems and what really impressed was their persistence and doggedness. I really believe they would have stayed there until they’d taken all the skin off their fingers.
Sadly time and tiredness set in and a wonderful day’s learning and climbing came to a close. A huge well done to all the students.