Last week (9th to 11th Oct) I was at Tremadog with mate and climbing coach Andy Swann of Climb For Life.
I am toying with the idea of joining the Mountain Instructor Award scheme and Andy is a chosen MIA Mentor for the scheme.
Mountain Training – The Mountaineering Instructor Award trains and assesses candidates in the skills required for instructing mountaineering, including all aspects of summer rock climbing, including the coaching of lead climbing, and scrambling.
Now the question is do I want to do the award & do I need the award? To be honest if it was about solely being a climbing instructor then I wouldn’t be interested, but teaching and leading mountaineering routes as well as backing my existing mountain leadership qualifications up does interest me.
The ‘MIA’ requires a minimum level of climbing ability before being able to join the scheme, I have climbed comfortably above this and at the level but want to improve as I do enjoy personal climbing.
Andy Swann will be giving me advice and mentoring my development as I progress through training, consolidation and towards the assessment of gaining the award.
The trip to Tremadog gave us a chance to climb, for Andy to give me any advice and for us to catch up too.
Tremadog (crag) is climbing venue of good quality rock with many routes at mid to high grades and easily accessible which makes it very popular.
Located just a couple of miles from the village of the same name, in the South of the Snowdonia National Park, it is little above sea level and often escapes rain that may be forecast in other parts of the National Park.
Over the 2.5 days (caught in the rain Thursday lunch time 😭) we climbed Scratch VS4c, Scratch Arête HVS5a, Meshach HVS5a, Merlin VS5a & Great Western VS4c.
Whilst enjoying climbing alternate pitches we were also able to look at my making good decisions in respect of protecting the climb with me taking any advice when given, overall climbing technique and generally working towards me getting to and hopefully above the standard required for the award.
Summary – I’m well behind the personal climbing level I was two years ago which is a result of just not climbing enough (the physical requirements and the ‘head game’ need regular practice to try prevent a decline) which is disappointing, though not far from the level required so just have to climb more to get to the level I want to be……
Andy was honest (as always) with his assessment of my needing to get out more and we were in agreement that I probably benefit from climbing as much as I can summer 2019 before going for the MIA training as I would get more from the course by working within my capability than just being at the level.
The three days were quality for me to see where I am and what’s needed. I find it a massive benefit to climb with people who I know have great ability, knowledge and experience who can give me advice where and when it’s needed.
Big up and thanks to Swanny for the climbing as it’s always a laugh too (usually at my expense).
If you are thinking of getting into climbing & mountaineering or want to improve have a look at Andy’s web site and give him a shout, highly recommended, until I get my MIA then come to me 😉