During the challenging summer of 2020, Kate contacted me to help a small group of friends to gain some extra knowledge of outdoor rock climbing with a view to start lead climbing in Dorset. The group were very mixed in ability and what they wanted to achieve individually varied. We decided to head to Swanage for the indoor to outdoor climbing course with the idea to warm up at Dancing Ledge then walk along the Dorset coast path to Hedbury Quarry. A few of the topics the team wanted to cover were: Footwork and climbing technique, lead climbing taster and simple top rope anchors.
Indoor to outdoor climbing
We walked from the car park down to Dancing Ledge which took about 10 or 15 minutes. This allowed the time for us to chat and enabled me to understand each person’s aims and what they wanted to gain from the day. On arrival at the Ledge I set a few ropes up and then we explored the theory behind the safe set ups and choice of anchors.
Once this was done we descended to the bottom of the cliff and started climbing covering belaying, tying in, movement and footwork techniques. Everyone achieved completion of the routes and gained extra confidence on real rock; we then decided to walk to Hedbury for some extra routes and to look at a few easy lead climbs. Once at the next quarry I gave the guide book to the group to see what information they could gain in relation the routes they were going to climb. When they understood that the guidebook is just a guide we roped up and started smashing the routes.
At this stage it was great to be able to stand back and let the group achieve what they wanted while adding a little coaching direction and guiding, tailored to their own goals. At the end of the day Will had the experience of a lead climb on real rock. On the walk back up the hill we chatted about what they took from the day and what was important to remember and practice before their next adventure.
Below are Kate’s and Tim’s Feedback from the day rock climbing:
‘’Eddy is a fantastic instructor, very patient and supportive. We thoroughly enjoyed our day with him learning the basics to take us from climbing indoors to outdoors! I look forward to putting my new skills into practice and will certainly be booking another course in the future. Thank you Eddy!’’ Kate
‘’I recently took the Inside to Outside Climbing Course with Eddy and it was a really fantastic day, totally tuned to exactly what we wanted to get out of our time with him. Eddy is a really excellent tutor, telling us enough to make us think about what we were doing, but not overwhelming is with information until we were ready for it. This was a great day out and I’m excited to be able to use my new skills out on the rock face with a new found confidence and then look forward to booking another session with Eddy when I’m ready to take it to the next level. I can thoroughly recommend Eddy’s courses, having done a few climbing sessions before with different companies this was by far and away the best session I’ve ever had.’’ TIM NOYCE