We began the day by covering knots and how to tie ourselves into the rope. Everyone picked this up pretty quickly and once this was mastered we set about learning the vital skill of belaying.
Belaying refers to the technique used in climbing to exert friction on a climbing rope so that a falling climber does not fall very far. A climbing partner typically applies the friction at the other end of the rope whenever the climber is not moving, removing the friction from the rope whenever the climber needs more rope in order to be able to continue climbing.
Soon we were climbing some of the superb climbs on the wonderful mountain crag of “Bothán”.
I had already been up here earlier in the morn before the gang had arrived and had set up ropes on the mighty fine climbs of Agent Orange, The Ego has landed, Private Investigations, Baldy,Spider and even dropped one later on the super classic of the crag – “Raven“ …
Really fantastic to see a group who bar one or two had no real previous climbing experience now climbing such difficult and challenging routes such as these!!!
When muscles began to tire we took a break from the climbing and headed to the top of the crag where each got to do two exciting and exhilarating abseils !!!
A few nervous moments as each one clipped into the rope and walked backwards over the edge of a 60ft sheer drop and controlled their own descent down the vertical sandstone cliff face….Everyone felt an enormous sense of achievement (and a huge sense of relief!) when their feet finally touched the horizontal!!!
The day passed so quickly and soon it was time to wrap up.