Three Wise Monkeys Climbing has created a very enthusiastic, committed group of young climbers since the climbing wall opened in Fort William in May of last year. With my own children included, there is now a vibrant bunch of young climbers who are dedicated to progressing through the grades and the disciplines of climbing. So, working with Three Wise Monkeys, we have put on a few outdoor climbing days for the young guns of the climbing wall as well as for parents and for anyone else who wants to come along and make the move from inside climbing to outside climbing.
Yesterday we had the full range of outside conditions to deal with as well as the climbing! It was cold and showery with wet rock that dried out every hour in a little sunshine ready for the next shower to make it wet again. It was also quite breezy making it cold to be out all day let alone for keeping fingers and toes warm while climbing. Despite all this the team of Greg and Lara (on holiday from Glasgow) , Edwin, Donald and Ross (on a day trip from Skye), and Katie (a regular in the coaching sessions at 3WM) determinedly carried on with big smiles and determination to enjoy the day and learn what outdoor climbing is all about. Jenny, Hannah and I working with the team were very impressed with the resilience of the young people in particular. Well done!
We discovered the differences between climbing indoors and outdoors (the holds are not as obvious outdoors!) and we worked out that belaying at the top of the crag is basically the same as belaying at the bottom but it feels really quite different. We chose and used trees and blocks as anchors for belaying with to set up top ropes and we abseiled down the crag too.
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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.