Self rescue training

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    Paul Justin

    On multipitch routes or seacliffs, lowering a second back to the ground if something goes wrong (e.g. they fall off and can’t get back on to the rock or are injured and can’t help themselves) may well not be an option. Would you know what to do ? If you fell off leading or seconding and were hanging in space, would you know what to do ? Knowing how to manage such situations are very useful skills for climbers wanting to climb on more adventurous crags.

    The club has been in contact with a highly respected provider of self rescue courses based in the Peak District who could run a one day course for club members at a cost of around £35 per person based on six people per course. It would be at a weekend and we are looking at Spring next year (April/May). It would be run outside at a crag.

    If there is sufficient interest, it may be possible to run two levels of course, a basic course on self rescue, and a course for climbers who already have some knowledge (eg experienced abseilers who can tie off a belay plate and would be able to ascend a rope, or climbers who have already done the basic course) and would like to enhance their skill for more challenging situations.

    At this point we are just looking for expressions of interest to get an idea of potential numbers, no commitment. If you are interested, either respond to this post, pm me or email

    The course would not really be suitable for climbers with little experience of leading outdoors.

    A sample course syllabus might be:

    • Choosing suitable self-rescue equipment

    • Tying off a belay plate

    • Escaping the system

    • Lowering a climber

    • Lowering a climber past a knot

    • Accompanied abseils

    • Ascending a rope

    • Simple hoists (assisted and unassisted)

    • Other skills may be introduced depending on the requirements/experience levels of participants and the time available

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