Summer mountain leaders should not plan on using a rope in their routes. However, it's possible that something might go wrong and they end up in an emergency situation. So on an ML training course we cover techniques to safeguard people with a rope on scrambling type terrain so that leaders will be able to do so in the event of an emergency. We selected anchors and rated them for stability, we tied the end of a rope to them and checked it would not roll off, and we linked this with a belay set up to hold the rope on someone climbing down. All of this is done with just the rope; no slings, karabiners or harnesses allowed!
We also looked at how the leaders can safeguard themselves going down the same bit of ground. Angel Wings, a Classic Abseil and a South African Abseil were all practiced on different gradients and the advantages of each technique were learned. It's worth remembering that there was a time before abseiling was invented. Mummery traversed The Grepon above Chamonix and had to escend a rope hand over hand because nobody had worked out how to slide down the rope in an abseil!
It was mostly dry today. The warm front that passed over Scotland from south to north was very weak and didn't give us much rain. It's certainly pretty warm and will be even warmer again tomorrow. The snow is melting and the streams are quite full of snow melt water. I'm not looking forward to practicing stream crossings next week in the cold water!
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Self reliance is a fundamental principle of mountaineering. By participating we accept this and take responsibility for the decisions we make. These blog posts and conditions reports are intended to help you make good decisions. They do not remove the need for you to make your own judgements when out in the hills.