Matt's been busy prepping for his MIA (Mountain Instructor Award) assessment, which he'll take this September. He's been in Wales getting some quality mountain days with clients to practice his skills. Here's the second part of his MIA Logbook diary.
Tuesday 12 March
I took Matt and Loz to Clogwyn yr Oen in the Moelwyns for their first multi-pitch. I guided the guys up 'Kirkus’s Climb Direct' (a severe 4a) where I taught the guys multi-pitch belay set ups. We then did 'Chic' which is a v.diff. I went up next to them, as they both lead a pitch on the route. Top day.
Client Objectives: Learn to multi-pitch climb and lead a multi-pitch climb
My Objectives: Practice safeguarding clients that are leading
MIA skills covered: Belay set ups and good lead climbing practices
Best part of the day: Helping the guys with their first multi pitch leads
Worst part of the day: Loz getting cold hands (it wasn’t that cold really!)
Wednesday 13 March
Today I met up with an old work friend, Sam who used to work for Land & Wave. We did Tryfan Bach Arete, which is a Grade 3 scramble. We then did some navigation practice at Cwm Tryfan, as Sam had his ML assessment next week.
The route was windy but super fun (a couple of times I thought I was going to be blown of the mountain!). The nav practice was great. Sam said he found it really useful and I enjoyed coaching also practising some flora identification.
Client Objectives: Experience a scramble and also to be given some navigation feedback and advice about what to do on assessment.
My Objectives: Lead the scramble efficiently and give some good nav coaching
MIA skills covered: Leading a scramble and giving some ML standard nav coaching
Best part of the day: Blasting up the scramble
Worst part of day: Almost being blown off (although I enjoyed that really!)
Thursday 14 March
Myself, Tatty and Owen went up a Grade 2 scramble on the Llechog Buttress on the Snowdonia mountain range. We had a slog of a walk in, but the scramble itself was an excellent route and a proper adventure. The guys really enjoyed it.
Clients Objectives: Owen: To have a quality mountain day and try out his brand new mountain boots. Tattie: To find out what scrambling is all about and also learn some Welsh (I helped as much as could with that one.)
My Objectives: Practice scrambling with two clients, practice route finding on a new route
MIA skills covered: Scrambling
Best part of the day: Awesome climbing section in the middle of the route, which tested the guys and gave them a sense of exposure
Worst part of the day: The long walk in, plus we all managed to put holes in our water proof trousers, which is annoying but you can't be too precious about your equipment.
Friday 15 March
Owen had a sore knee, so I only had Tattie with me today. We did the North Buttress scramble on Tryfan. This was an excellent route and I think the best day I've had whilst I was up here. The route was really enjoyable and the weather held out to give us really good views from the top with a customary photo on ‘Adam and Eve’. This was Tattie's first time up Tryfan and what a day to do it. Hopefully it was a day that Tattie will never forget. I feel like my experience and practice in scrambling over the last couple of weeks has been really useful. I feel like I am in a good place but I still have a long way to go!
Client Objectives: Be challenged on a scramble and summit out on Tryfan
My Objective: Learn a new route and give my client a really awesome experience
MIA skills covered: Scrambling ascent and descent
Best part of the day: The whole day was excellent!
Worst part of the day: Cannot think of bad part to this day
Saturday 16 March
Weather was awful so I had a rest day.
Sunday 17 March
I took Owen and Jonty to Castell Helen on Anglesey. We’d planned to do a couple of routes starting with Lighthouse Arete. However, the sea was a little wilder than expected and the bottom belay ledge was washed out.
I realised this when abseiling down to the start of the route. I adapted the plan and we did the VS 4c route ‘Pel’, starting on a small ledge just above the main starting point. The conditions were wild with some upwards rain hitting us for good portion of the route (the sea was being blown up by the wind!). Despite the wild conditions, the route was actually dry and really fun. The lads really enjoyed the route and loved being in a wild place with nobody else in sight. It was a proper adventure. After we finished the route, we headed up to Sunshine of Holyhead Mountain and the guys did the VS 4b route ‘Tension’.
Client Objectives: Learn how to multi-pitch climb and go sea cliff climbing
My Objectives: Practice taking clients on a sea cliff crag, working on efficient rope work and belay tuition
MIA skills covered: Managing clients on a multi-pitch sea cliff climb. Problem solving and plan adaptation
Best part of the day: The wildness of the day and the clients achieving what they wanted to
Worst part of the day: Cold Toes!
My two weeks of training in Wales has come to an end. I’m really happy I’ve taken the the time to come up here and put the hours in. I’ve managed to get out every day with at least 1 client apart from one awful weather day. It's been invaluable experience. Most of my ‘clients’ have been instructors who’ve just completed the Land & Wave Outdoor Instructor Training course, so they had time available to come to Wales before they start their new careers as instructors. They got to experience something new and I got to practice my skills in preparation for my MIA assessment.
I’m so much more confident than I was two weeks ago. I also have a lot more focus and have a clear plan on what I need to do to get myself ready for assessment. I have 4 weeks booked off in August to return to North Wales and continue working on my experience and skills then it’s assessment time in September!
Every free moment I get I am going to practice something towards my assessment. My confidence is really high but I know I cannot get complacent.