Sunday, 15 September 2013

BMC Rescue For Climbers Course

 Assisted Z Hoist

This weekend I've been running a Rescue For Climbers course with Nick Jones (More Than Mountains) as part of the BMCs Club Training Program. We were based at the MAM Glan Dena Hut in the Ogwen Valley which gave us plenty of options within walking distance. Saturday was spent on Milestone Buttress enjoying the sunshine after a few early showers dried out.

We began the day with a mass ascent of Pulpit Route (VD) to fine tune the groups belay building, stance management and generally be proactive in avoiding problems in the first place. A self protected abseil descent allowed everyone to experience extending the abseil device away from the harness and the many advantages this brings. Back at the base of the route we began to look at the building blocks of improvised rescue including escaping the system, assisted and unassisted Z hoists and solving common problems in a single and multi pitch scenario.

MWIS were forecasting torrential rain and strong winds for Sunday and they were spot on. Well wrapped up in our waterproofs we braved the waterfalls on Tryfan Bach to play with prussicking, accompanied abseils and lowering past a knot. A couple of scenarios to work through stretched the grey matter before we retreated to the hut for tea and medals. A final debrief in front of a roaring log fire pulled it all together but fingers crossed none of the group will ever have to use any of these techniques.

A huge thanks to Mike from MAM for looking after us very well. The vat of tea and log fire when we returned from the crag as drowned rats was very much appreciated!

 Mass ascent of Pulpit Route (VD)

 The Ogwen Valley.

Accompanied abseil with an injured (& wet) climber.

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