Well I have met thomas the other guide whose running the rock climbing course with me. We have formulated our plan, and started getting together as much info and stuff we need. Not to mention more paper work. The 18 page individual assessment forms look like they will be hard work!
Other than that the group have also arrived back from the field and are in the process of relaxing and trying not to get too bored in there 5 day rest, between courses. Baring in mind that they have been in the field for 42 days. I am not surprised that they are a little goosed.
Other than that all is good in South America, and really looking forward to starting work.
Well I noticed that UKC had finally got round to publishing the destination article I wrote for them back in june 2010 I think, maybe even before that. Anyway it looks really good, and I hope that you enjoy reading it.
Well after a few days of mainly paperwork, I finally got out route checking (aka Cragging) with one of the other instructors MB from Canada. We climbed on the Nols crag, then Cerro Mckay. The climbing on Cerro Mackay is awesome, without a topo or guide we rocked up look for bolts and started climbing, first a lovely 5.7 single pitch affair, then we found some more bolts.
Both MB and I were constantly getting to belays and shouting down, woo, more pitches. The route was a 5 pitch 5.9+ sport route, with most climbing being around 5.7. Totally amazing, as it is rigged for 60m ropes, with chains every 30m. We then saw another route that ended up being a 4 pitch route as well!
It was an eventful day, I was trying a route given 5.10d and was mid crux, pulling on a side pull that I had given a check by taping the bottom of the hold. My other hand was virtually on the next jug when the sidepull exploded, ejecting me from the rock in a spectacular fashion. SO I took my first lead fall in a while, which is always good.
The next day we went to El Aguila, and did some trad climbing. A easy 5.7, then a trick and sustain 5.9. Followed by a two pitch 5.10b/c. A great day made even better when we got to the car and the heavens opened as we drove back to base. Anyway all the check has been done now, and only a few days left before the course starts.
I have been catch up on the UK news of the BBC website. I saw a piece on the Coronoer verdict on death of a Ten Tors participant when training for the event. They suggest that all team leaders need a recognised UK qualification, and that independent school be brought into line with state schools.
I was introduce to the outdoors in part by the Ten Tors, and we used to spend weekend after weekend walking in the new forest and along the swanage coastline, as well as many weekends in either dartmoor, Snowdonia, the lake district and Scotland. Often under the watchful eye of an military instructor. I just hope that it doesn’t result in less people being able to take part, or increasing the barriers
I was looking on the interweb and saw that Matt BArlow from University of Wales, Bangor is continuing his research into the motivations of participation in sport. Matt’s studies have a bias to ‘high-risk’ sports. He needs participants for his study which is an online questionaire. There is a great deal of research into why people climb, much of coming from his supervisor Tim Woodman, I gave an overview a long time back.
If you’d like to participate in his research then the link is here, and he will donate £1 to charity for everyone who completes the survey, one of the the charities you can choose is the Mountain Rescsue Council for England and Wales, so not only do you help him but Mountain Rescue as well.
Well, I have been having a ball in Chile, firstly the people are just so nice and welcoming. I have been invited inside many peoples houses and truly made welcome. In one house i was truly humbled by the generosity of the owner who made us drinks and fed us some donut type snacks, despite the house being virtually devoid of what we might consider western neccessities. Similarly I went to a birthday party last night of someone I didn’t know, and made to feel so welcome at there BBQ. I say BBQ, but it was more like a suckling pig roast, done traditional style, by tying the little fella to a iron cross. Just like the hog roast back home.
I also managed to get out to a crag, and check out some more routes. A great venue that has a couple of bolted HS, with the opportunity for gear to be placed imaginative in cracks. I have also in teh past two week done a heap of paper work to help me deliver the course and the students carry out ongoing formative and summative assessment. More importantly though I have written a introductory guide book to northern patagonia. I will eventually put it on line for free, but I think only after I have been out in the field and checked it.
Similarly I have also been developing more lecture based lessons on the Legal and Moral aspects of coaching climbing, the coaching process, Adventure sports and the coaching process, Climbing physiology, climbing psychology, and climbing accidents 101. The general planning for the course should take place later today when I meet with the bosses to discuss my plans and theirs. Interestingly Ben has been ask to sit on a expeditionary panel of experts at the Royal Geographical Society next month. His years of experience in both Alaska and Patagonia make him a veritable expert on surviving Patagonian Ice Cap Travel.
Well the book finally arrive in Chile. It was a totally surreal exprience seeing in the flesh for the first time. I am total made up with it. Although already finding the odd mistake/typo. Hopefully it’ll sell enough to require a second print run.
Well, I have started to sit down and look at programming the course. I have a very good idea of the resources availably to me, the content that the course needs to cover and now I have to put them together and come up with a programme that allows for the teaching elements and of course the weather. The major plan at the moment is to make hay whilst the sun shines, and preferably the wind does not bloweth, and on the days we can’t actually get climbing concentrate on the ropework, problem solving, rescues and technical coaching sides of the course.
Based on the 6 weeks we have to deliver the course, and the crags we can visit the course looks like being awesome. I can’t wait to start delivering the goods, although we have a bit of recceing, and possibly route developing to do in the week or two before the course starts on the 3rd November.
It should be a really interesting course, as it covers much of the SPA and MIA syllabus, along with all the content I can add on the coaching of climbing (Physiology, Psychology, Skill Acquisition and so on). My rock climbing element is just one 6 week module in a much longer course.
I have been in town today googling more info on Frey in Argentina and Cochamo. As well as some stuff on learning, leadership and other educational elements. I forgot how dependent I am on google for finding these things, when it necessitates a 20 mile round trip I need to start making list of things to do before I leave the base, as well as remembering to take them with me.
Oh, and good luck Llion, only one day left to go mate. I will try and contact you as soon as possible. Heard you were doing well though. News travels far and fast mate!
Well, I have continued t look at teh crags around Ibanez and today got a few great routes done, up a pocketed tuff/congomerate. Most were 5.9/5.10. about French 6a in real money. Sorry no photos yet, as i am crrently in a library on one of their compútors, so can´t upload thwe images. Thecrag was great though. although throughout the morning the wind did pick up, making clipping th chains somethin of a battle.
I forgot about all the lecturers I have been to about Patagonia, probably because the th photos don’t cature the force and intensit of the wind down here. After we came down from te crag for lunch the wind jus got stronger and strong, to the point that we ca arelysee down te road, as te duat storm its kicked up is very impressive. So we have opted fr an afternoon sheltering in the town, as own sheep shed just creates more dust.
Thecrag we went t yesterday was very impressive, i am looking forward to climbing there tomorrow, although if th wind is like it is here then we might have to bin it, as that venue is less sheltered than the one we are currently at. I am also looking forwad to a shower to get the dst that has been sand blasted into my skin out. Other than that it al good.