New Effective Coaching Book

So I published an ebook on Effective Coaching: the coaching Process for Climbing Instructors a while back now and recently put my mind to making a print on demand version so people can have a proper book.

In doing so I added to it and made a few corrections. But given there is currently no real text on the coaching process for climbing instructors despite there being a coaching award it will hopefully fill a void.

You can order the book here on amazon


Some Coaching Video Playlists

So I have made another couple of coaching videos, and also put those I had made into two playlists. I may well make some more now I have a better camera than my iPhone and iPad. One of my new films is on hold until I find out about some possible funding, although it is edited and ready to go should out fall through.

I have also made a playlist for the mini series I have been making on North Wales Climbs.



The Craig List: North Wales Climbs for the MIA

So I was asked by a MIA trainee to give him a list of routes to go consolidate on when preparing for their assessment in North Wales. I gave him a quick list over the phone but decided to elaborate and put a list out there.

It is what it is though, a list by me name the routes I most commonly use. I have left out a few but most are there. I plug the Rockfax guidebook in it, because when I wrote it I had this list in mind, because I want one guidebook to take to work, rather than usually a selective guidebook and a definitive.

The Craig List, sorry for the bad pun but crag is Craig in welsh, can be found on Snowdonia Mountain Guides Resources.

Sport Climbing for Instructors CPD

Today I was out teaching a Continuing Professional Development course for AMI members on Sport Climbing. Whilst for many it may seem too narrow a focus and that all a qualified instructor needs to know about Sports Climbing is clip and go.

However over the years I have come to realise that as an instructor working of both skills courses for climbers and single pitch awards, is that it is not so simple. There are several things that sport climbing venues bring up that other venues don’t and there are traps that we can all fall into when it comes to using bolted venues.

First off what can we teach the recreational climber, first off bolts outside are not like those we clip at a climbing wall. The climbing wall checks every bolt about once every month and has paperwork to prove it. Outside those bolt can be placed by anyone and into potentially anything. So check the bolt and check the rock it is place in. Remember the only qualification you need to bolt a route is a cordless drill. With the issue of bolts on Slate this provided an interesting discussion point.

For instructors this is very important and we can be just as guilty as taking fixed gear for granted as climbers. Maybe we can emphasise this when we are teaching people how to sport climb, as well as highlight it more when teaching on SPA courses. As ten years ago there was so few venues that were sporting climbing venues with routes suitable for group use say F3/4. Yet today there are a growing number and I have found myself using sport climbing venues more in the last 10 years.

The using these venues for work, means we should also try and reduce the potential wear on the lower offs. So his we can do this for different type of groups can change. If I am teaching leading then is clipping two quick draws into the lower off fine, it is how I do it when leading with friends. Or should we used screwgates? We discussed this on the course as it is a valid point, and when is it appropriate to insist on screw gates.

Again if we are teach people to be sports climbers how can we introduce modern skills like using a clip stick, lowering off and pulling the rope to leave the first bolt clipped, and introducing the concept of trying harder routes and preparing for the red point. It was interesting to cover all this today and more, as well as getting to practice the skills and do a little climbing ourselves.

The other interesting thing about sport climbing venues for the instructor is there are issue with simple SPA problems that are not so simple with bolted venues. First off walking round the top to abseil in or do a rescue is often not possible sport climbing. Some sports routes are isolate so you can’t use an adjacent route for a rescue. So what if the rope jams in a crack. I had this happen abroad and required belaying yourself up the cliff. Easier with a gri-gri and jumar but not so easy with a  belay device.

Anyway was a great day CPD. If you are interested in a Sport Climbing course based in north wales or dorset then check out the Snowdonia Mountain Guides Sport Climbing Courses. Or if you are an AMI or MTA member check out the Climbing Instructor CPD courses I run.

Reflective Practice for Instructors workshop – 28th April

So this Monday 28th April, I am giving a joint AMI/MTA workshop on reflective practice at the beacon climbing centre between 7-9pm at the beacon. It cost £10 which can be paid on the night.

The workshop explores in-depth various methodologies for reflecting on our teach, coach and instructional practice. Whilst we explore some methods used in nursing and medicine. We also explore how we can tailor them specifically to mountain based instruction.

So whether you are an experience instructor who might want to learn reflective practice for yourself or to help trainees and instructors you mentor reflect then there will some practice you can take away and use. Alternatively if you are a trainee and still working towards you awards then actively using reflective practice will help you focus your attention on the subjects you need to explore during your consolidation.


Some Continuing Professional Development Workshops for AMI members

I have been busy trying to arrange some CPD for AMI and MTA, two professional organisations for instructors, leaders and supervisors in the UK. Whilst some of these are provisional, I should now fairly quickly whether they are accepted and they should soon make it to the MTA/AMI website.

In the mean time I really need to start advertising them so here is a list of the CPD workshops I have on offer. If the dates don’t suit or one course seems popular I will run it again. All course are delivered by Mark Reeves a highly experienced MIA and Author.


An introduction to reflective practice for climbing coaches, instructors and supervisors.

Evening Workshop 28th April


Exploring the pros and cons of using sport climbing venues

Full day workshop 6th July


A course that explores teaching lead climbing beyond an introductory level.

Full day workshop 8th June & 12th July

Getting to Know North Wales Crags Weekend

This course aims to notch up several classic routes on the most used MIA crags in North Wales.

25th-26th April

Managing Sea Cliffs for the MIA

This course explores the use of sea cliffs with clients.

17th May

Using Indoor Climbing Wall to Teach Outdoor Skills

This course looks at how we can use an indoor climbing in imaginative ways.

7th June

Teaching Rope Rescue Skills

Here we look at how we can use teaching progressions to aid the teaching of Rope Rescue Skills

18th May

Teaching Big Wall Skills

This is an introduction to Big Walling Skills that maybe be of interest for MIA looking to push themselves on teh worlds big walls.

5th July

Bolting Workshop

This is a workshop for those who want to get involved with re-equipping  and checking sports routes in North Wales.

10th April

11th April – full

The History, Science, Technology and Culture of Rock Climbing

This is an evening lecture based on the History and Sciecne of Rock Climbing

12th May – London

16th May – Beacon Climbing Centre – To raise money for North Wales Bolt Fund