We came home from Font at 2 o’clock in the morning, and eight hours later I walked into Redpoint Birmingham, ready for my Climbing Wall Award training. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect – I knew that by the end of it, I should have enough tools to teach people to climb and to belay, as well as deal with any problems that may occur during the sessions, and look out for potential risks as I run sessions at a climbing wall.
I finally got to meet Joby Davis who is, shall we say, famous in the climbing world, running many climbing-related training sessions, workshops, and assessing people to see if they are ready to bring their skills into the climbing industry. Assisting Joby was Phil Minal, the wall owner, who had plenty of wisdom to share about working in the industry. I also got to meet a group of like-minded climbers, all bringing their experience to the table.
We learned quite a lot about climbing equipment, and talked in depth about all of the things that could go wrong. We had lots of fun playing warm-up games, and recalling anecdotes from each others’ climbing careers. We did our fair share of role playing, pretending to need reascuing, or deliberately making errors to see if your teammates would notice. I managed to learn a whole lot of useful information, while also having fun. I have exciting three months ahead – the consolidation period, when I will have a chance to shadow some rope sessions, and hopefully learn from the best climbing instructors in the Midlands. Watch this space.