Rucksack Club member Amy Illingworth tells us about her experiences on a BMC subsidised self rescue course.
I recently attended one of the BMC club skills courses. I've been climbing for a few years now, and was looking around for a course to brush up on self rescue skills. I noticed that the BMC were offering affordable courses to club members. I wasn't sure what to expect from a club member training weekend, but decided it would be well worth giving a go.
The course that I attended was based at the MAM Low House in Coniston, and luckily we were blessed with beautiful weather. The hut was lovely, with the friendly atmosphere that you expect to find amongst a bunch of hillwalkers and climbers.
Arriving late on the Friday night, I bumped into the other people on my course before heading for bed in the women's bunk room. We were all up early the next morning and raring to go. Met by our instructors, introductions were made before we headed to a crag to fine tune our belay building before moving on to escaping the system and problem solving.
Nick and Zak, our instructors on the course were both very knowledgable, as well as being great guys to spend a couple of days on the crags with. There was quite a range of climbing experience within the group, with different people hoping to perfect different skills over the weekend, and our instructors catered for this brilliantly.
Saturday night was spent with my course mates in the pub in Coniston, chatting about our experiences and swopping stories.
On the second day we headed out to a nearby slate quarry, to fine tune our abseiling skills and to look at complex scenarios. I found this day particularly useful, and learnt some tips and techniques which have been useful in day to day climbing. We all left with our brains full of new techniques to take away and master. There was even time for people to bag a route or two before heading home.
The BMC subsidises a range of different skills courses open to members of BMC affiliated clubs. From winter walking to multi-pitch rock climbing, there's a course for you.
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