Sunday, 23 December 2012

Busy times

It's been quite a busy couple of weeks with work.  It's a pleasure to live and spend time in a place where you can offer a wide variety of adventures to your clients.  With that in mind, I've spent the last few days moving between guiding a couple of students on the Camino, swapping leads on a couple of the longer multi-pitch with Peter and spent five days with Gareth on a general sports climbing course.

Peter on Amptrax
Peter had attempted Amptrax a few years ago with his son but had to bail off due to the heat.  The route leads you up  one of the highest point of the Frontales area and has recently been bolted to the top allowing for, those inclined to do so, to top it out.  Alternatively, you can abseil back down the wall (4 x 35m abseil), after the eighth pitch.
With many years of climbing experience, Peter was happy to swap leads to the top and we celebrated with a cold drink in the station bar after our successful tick.
Peter had intended to attempt Zeppelin on our second day together but we decided on an extension to Nitti, in sector Austria as a more appropriate grade.
The extension has been recently bolted to the top and offers six pitches of varied climbing up to 6b.  The crux pitch has a slabby, technical section and the climbing remains interesting to the top.  Another great day and two excellent routes ticked.
Gareth knee-baring

I spent five days with Gareth working on a general sports climbing intro.  Gareth organises climbing trips for the students at his school and therefore came with a good foundation of knowledge and experience.  As the focus has always been on his students on these trips, he wanted the opportunity to focus on his own development.  An excellent opportunity to cover a lot of ground over the five days.
We spent the time at a variety of crags to allow the opportunity to look at movement and climbing on different route types, from slabby to steep and some overhanging cruxes.
Multi-pitches offered us the opportunity to cover slick change overs, tying off the belay device, multi-pitch ropework and multiple abseil descent.
We looked at red-point tactics to tick some harder leads with a strong focus on breaking down the route to take advantage of the rests (knee-bars - good ledges), and pushing through the harder sections.
An excellent five days for both of us as I got the chance to cover so much with one client it was great to see the development and progression throughout the course.

I now have a few days off to celebrate the holidays and then on to a learn to lead course before focusing the remainder of my time on sending Ace Ventura and hang out with various friends that are coming out to play.  Good times ahead!

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