November is always a tricky month to try and predict the weather and sea conditions with typical conditions varying from occasional deep snow, hurricane Ophelia to tropic blue skies and bright sunshine.
At the start of November, we ran a Single Pitch Award training course on Cruit island with troops coming from Inishowen, Dublin and Wicklow to attend the training course. True to seasonal form we had almost every conceivable weather condition over the two days with day 1 being cold, windy with the occasional hail shower and the second day being blue sky and sunshine. The two days went very well with all four of the students being from different climbing backgrounds and a great deal of peer to peer discussions highlighted huge differences in thoughts, techniques and gear use.
The Single Pitch Award is about to have a major overhaul and a name change by Mountaineering Ireland (and MLTB in the UK) with the course syllabus being increased and extended to include a full day at an indoor climbing wall. The Single Pitch Award has been around a long time and in the main has stood the test of time covering the use of accessible outdoor single pitch venues with more recently the addition of the Climbing Wall Award covered indoor wall instructors without their need to climb outdoors to only work indoors.
The structure of the new Single Pitch Award pretty much remains unchanged with only minor tweaks to the course syllabus to the outdoor components. The indoor components have been extended and increased which now means the training course for this new award is three days long which can only be a good thing as it increases instructor contact time and allows more teaching/discussion during the training.
The name change for the new Single Pitch Award is The Rock Climbing Instructor and the indoor Climbing Wall Award becomes the Climbing Wall Instructor which makes perfect sense as anyone looking to hire a rock climber will always hire an instructor rather than an award holder.
Change is always a good thing and the overhaul of the Single Pitch Award with the name change to Rock Climbing Instructor will herald a new lease of life to the rock climbing awards available.
The transition of the old awards to the new is equally painless with everything being done digitally on-line, simply put, all current SPA holders become Rock Climbing Instructors and all current CWA holders become Climbing Wall Instructors in a flash of the mouse, which will be done for you.
Below are a few pictures taken during the SPA training on the 4th and 5th November 2017 on Cruit Island. :-)
Stormy seas off the Outdoor Climbing Wall
Rock Climbing under rainbows at Jock's Wall on Cruit island
The Albatross Zawn
Morning Sun on Cruit Island