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Scrambling Skills

Last weekend I was running a Scrambling Skills for hillwalkers course with Jack, Daniela and Chris. We started with a chat about how to select a route using a guide book and how the grading system works. I also showed them what kit i would take with me and what extra bits to take for a day of scrambling - for the grade 1 North Ridge of Tryfan this meant taking 30m of climbing rope, a 120cm sling and a HMS karabiner.

Tryfan's North Ridge is a brilliant scramble, plenty of variations to make it harder or easier and a good place to practice and discuss route finding. The lower part of the route has numerous lines of ascent - some easy and some pretty hard! We discussed what to look for on the route, planning ahead and thinking about escape plans. We also practiced good footwork and some 'no hands' scrambling to get the idea of taking time on where and how to place feet.

Chris on the Cannon Stone

After the Cannon Stone we got the rope out to see how that can be used to protect someone following up a steep section. We used it to climb the direct steep wall behind the Cannon.

Chris on the steep bit behind the Cannon

Everyone was moving well so we made sure we got our monies worth and sought out all the best bits, getting the rope out where necessary. A brief pause at the summit - enough time for Daniela to make the leap - before we set off down the South Ridge. We stopped for a session on using the rope again - for descent as well as ascent, body belaying, direct belaying and using an Italian Hitch.

An excellent day out, helped by some glorious weather.

Daniela making the leap across Adam and Eve

The Sunday dawned wet, very wet with a poor forecast including strong winds. The low level Seniors Gully into Cwm Cneifion seemed like a good plan - a grade 1 scramble made a bit more interesting with a lot of water flowing down it!

We also made a quick diversion up the steeper and more difficult Seniors Direct - grade 2 - to add a bit of challenge and some abseiling.

Chris abseiling from Seniors Direct route.

We finished the day above Clogwyn y Tarw practicing the rope skills. A good fun day out and despite being soaked through all enjoyed the experience.

All in a brilliant weekend with a mad keen team. Better than nothing i suppose guys ;-)

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