Sunday, 19 January 2014

Spanish rock with Trainee Instructor Students

A brief summery interlude, and I am now in Spain, Costa Blanca, staying in a lovely Villa in the Xalo valley surrounded by lots of fantastic rock climbing. A large change from the wilds of Scottish winter. This is an area I have visited numerous times, it was my first taste of rock climbing, many years ago and for the next two weeks I am working here with an instructor training course based in the Scottish Highlands over the winter. For some this will be basically their first time on rock and for others we will be revisiting and improving skills they have already aquired. The aim of the trip is to come away with everyone sport and traditional lead climbing in preparation for their Single Pitch Award training. I am working alongside three other instructors, Stephen, Lena and Josh who are assisting in the process of teaching these nine students.

Heres a look at some of the things we have been up to:

Day one at Sierra de Toix, a nice introduction by the sea with sunshine and warm rock... a different scene from scottish winter.

Simulating leading as a progression to Sport leading

Day two at Echo Valley, a busy section as everyone gets stuck into sport leading.

Lena on day three assisting me teaching traditional leading.

Stephen supervising Duncan traditional lead climbing, debating a gear placement.

Lunch time entertainment at Sierra de Toix TV; last year we watched planes drop water on the hill side below from this crag, as they tried to put out a natural fire. This year slightly more chilled watching parapenting above the crag.


Me and James experimenting with some new set up systems.

Trad and sport climbing at Alcalali, the local crag, we smuggly watched the heavy thunder showers on the other side of the valley.It has been a week of unsettled weather of which we have done very well to avoid most of the rain.
The forecast is looking good for the next week so we should get some more great climbing in. Day off tomorrow, some sunny sport climbing for the instructional staff and chance for the students to get a bit of practise in and some rest.  

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