Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Nice day

Such a nice day, did you have a nice day? Or lyrics to that effect pattering around my somewhat blasted brain.

Second day of mountaineering instruction completed. Today has taken out the contents of my brain, unwound the tangles and put them back together in the wrong order in an attempt to cram in more information than my tiny skull can accommodate. My, it's been work for the head today. Although, I believe, technically, it was rope work.

Today I have learned that we do things differently in the UK. My way of anchoring is not the only way. Shock horror, who would have thought it. So I've learned about a floating anchor, and frankly I like it. Simple, with safety built in, in fact, more so as there is some leeway to manage a climb which doesn't go straight up the side of a cliff. Surprisingly, not all climbs are in straight lines. Who would have thought it?

So, I have learned how to get hands free within a system, set up a back up and then release myself from a system (this is with me as a theoretical lead or the poor sod dealing with a crevasse faller). I have learned how to get myself to the victim and how to lift them.

Some of it has come surprisingly naturally. In fact, prussicing up a rope and coming back down it using the prussic (which wasn't part of the plan, instructor had a blonde moment, and was somewhat embarrassed that it was me that noticed not him) was actually one of the rare crossovers I've encountered from the tree climbing days. Exactly the same in fact and I'm proficient and smooth and unchallenged by it. Unlike the whole Italian hitch, half hitch, overhand knot thing going on as far as I can tell all over the place in establishing the escape route.

And after 6 hours of that kind of mind blowing learning we went and did two hours of sport climbing. Oh yes, I swore. Sport Climbing. Multi pitch in fact, and abseiling down, even if the instructor calls that by another name.

Tomorrow we have a really big mountain day. The biggest I'll have ever done. There's a ridge walk, there's scrambling with ropes, there's climbing, descending, there's snow. It's long and it's high and it's going to be interesting ...

No comments:

Post a Comment