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Advanced Scrambling Weekend

Scrambling is a great way to climb a mountain, if you have a head for heights there is nothing better than having a bit of steep ground or 'exposure' beneath your feet! Grade 1 routes require not much more than a bit of route finding skill and the ability to do some simple climbing moves. If you want to take on the harder grade 2, 3 and even 3+ scrambles it is probably a good idea to have some knowledge of how to use a rope and a bit of climbing kit to protect yourself and your partner/s. This is what Jamie and John were after. Jamie has been scrambling a while and has done some climbing and John had done a few grade 1 scrambles. As I knew Jamie's previous experience (and had climbed with him) I was more than happy to have him at the sharp end leading John, with me giving advice along the way.

We discussed when to use the rope, how to shorten it with chest coils, when to carry it and when to take it off. The key to a good scrambling day is to try and keep moving so we looked at some simple ways to belay a climber from above but also when it would be prudent to switch to 'pitching' - with the leader being belayed and placing protection, like on a rock climb. Along the way we also discussed what we need in a 'rack', how to stow it on yourself and how to place it - and whatever other tips I could offer to keep things moving efficiently.

A well racked scrambler!

Jamie belaying on Cneifion Arete

Jamie belaying with an Italian Hitch on Cneifion Arete

We did a link up of Seniors Gully (grade1), Cneifion Arete and Dolmen Ridge (grade 3) on the Saturday and the grade 3+ Pinnacle Scramble on Tryfan on the Sunday, finishing the weekend off with a descent of the North Ridge.

Direct belaying on Pinnacle Scramble

Carrying the rope through an easy section

Jamie demonstrating how to use the Italian Hitch

Cneifion Arete

Pinnacle Scramble - Tryfan

Pinnacle Scramble - Tryfan

A brilliant weekend with a couple of very capable mountaineers, cheers guys.

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