Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Single Pitch Award Assessment

In contrast to the SPA Training I worked on with Dave Hooper when the weather was sweltering at times, this weekends SPA assessment with Bryn Williams almost required us to dig out flippers and snorkel. Even heading to Holyhead Mountain on Anglesey didn't see us escape the rain.

Nonetheless, the candidates had fair opportunity to complete a couple of climbs each. The first day of assessment is very much about personal climbing. Looking at sound belays and good runner placements on the lead. Being able to lock off then eventually lower a second who might be struggling with the climb. Then retreating from the climb by way of personal abseil.

The second day was spent at Lion Rocks where group climbing and management systems were examined. On this day, a candidate needs to show a good understanding of sound rope set-ups that enable 'bottom roping' and group abseiling to be conducted safely. A number of scenarios were set to see if the candidate has the experience to solve problems - climber off route; climber stuck; climber unresponsive as examples. Finally, the group made a visit to the Beacon climbing wall so candidates could demonstrate their knowledge of running sessions at such a venue and the associated issues.

I'm pleased to say that on this occasion all the candidates were successful and met the criteria admirably

Get in touch should you wish to do your Single Pitch Award

Further information can be obtained by visiting the Mountain Leader Training UK website

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