So its been several weeks since MIA training and my first opportunity to take some willing guinea pigs out onto the rock for some tuition in practice for my assessment. After putting the classic ‘MIA Trainee’ post up on UKC I made a plan to take out Ian, a chap from South Wales for a weekend. He had been climbing lots before, but after a 5 year break wasn’t confident and wanted to be shown the best practice for leading on rock. We met up on Friday morning at Ogwen Cottage and headed up to Idwal Slabs, spending the walk in talking about previous experience and what he hoped to get out of the weekend. We rocked up at the bottom and decided to try Faith, a V-Diff with 5 glorious pitches. We looked at setting up belays, placing gear and belaying. After topping out we decided to try something harder so jumped on the 2 Pitch Severe, Lazarus…a slight sandbag if truth be told.
The second day was thwarted by bad weather and midges! We tried escaping the midges and ran to hide in the Moelwyns. We walked into Colgwyn Yr Oen and decided to scamper up Chic (V-Diff), again looking at belay building, gear, belaying and tidiness on belays. After reaching the bottom, we climbed the first pitch of Kirkus Climb Direct, a Severe. After reaching the belay we looked at abseiling from the tree and covered safe practice while abseiling. After a days rest and time for the weather to turn sunny again me and a new CA, Holly, headed to Colgwyn Yr Wastad. After waiting for seemed like an age we finally got on Wrinkle, a classic 3 pitch Severe of the crag. The rock is interesting and fancy, if not a little loose in places (especially near the top!). Holly lead pitch one and two, and I lead the loose third pitch. Although not really a proper guinea pig day it was good to get out into the sunshine and climb. After Wrinkle we got on another classic of the crag, Shadow Wall, a glorious VS whose second pitch is effectively hauling ass onto a series of ledges! After tackling the crux, we abseiled off and headed home!
A great few days climbing over the last week, and a few useful learning curves for myself to think about on the road to MIA assessment.