Tip of the Month
Yesterday there was a mountain rescue call-out to rescue a badly injured climber at a sports climbing venue in the Peak District. The climber appears to have been caught out by something which seems highly unlikely when one talks about it, but in reality it is one of the most common causes of sports climbing accidents. This month’s tip is simple and will make sure it doesn’t happen to you.
After completing a sports climb, the climber is lowered back to the ground by the belayer. If the route was 25 metres high, then 2 x 25 metres of rope is needed for this (ignoring for a moment the additional amount or rope required for the tying-in knot). If 50 metres is required but the rope is only 40 metres long, then the belayer will run out of rope when the climber is still 10 metres from the ground. The end of the rope will pass through the belay device and the climber will plummet to the floor.
How on earth can this sort of silly mistake happen, you may ask? Surely it’s obvious. Sadly, it’s all too common and the circumstances that lead to it happening are many and varied but a common one is bringing the wrong rope or climbing with someone else’s rope. People do forget to allow for the tie-in knot, too.
The simple tip to save your life is this. Always, always, always tie a knot in the bottom end of the rope when sports climbing. Make it a drill that you do every time (not just when you think you might need it) and include it in your buddy checks.
Fact of the Month
Practising map reading and navigation is believed to reduce the chances of getting dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease later in life. You can read why in this article with tips for map reading and navigation.
Route of the Month
Since lockdown lifted, I have been doing a lot more local climbing than I would typically do in a normal year. This has led me back to one of my favourite Yorkshire Gritstone routes, Overhanging Groove (HVS 5a,***) at Almscliff. It’s steep, but hardly overhanging except for the capping at the top.
Photo of the Month
An unusual view of the Yorkshire Three Peaks, with all three of them in view. This is not taken from anywhere on the Challenge route, however. Left to right are Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-y-Ghent.
These are some of the scheduled events coming up in the near future, lockdown permitting:
- July-September – availability for rock climbing, scrambling and navigation courses in north England. This is now working well in a very controlled manner.
- July – recommencing Support and Development Programmes
Download this newsletter as a PDF (below)
…or see last month’s:-