We’ve gradually been putting together the equipment needed to help the young people develop their skills as climbers, helped by some generous funding from our local Community Planning Partnership, the Commonweal Fund and ARISE.
The ever helpful Dave Lawson at Tiso’s in Townhead hunted high and low to find us a good deal on some climbing shoes, and we finally took delivery of the first batch on Monday night – too late for the intermediates group to try them out at Bennybeg, but in plenty of time for the beginners’ group on Wednesday, who were heading down to Neilston Quarry for their first experience of climbing outdoors.
After an extended period of faff while everyone tried on umpteen pairs of shoes and finally found their preferred size, we got going with the climbing. Along with a small group of our younger climbers, I also had two of the intermediates group along as assistants, and they did a great job of fitting harnesses and helmets while I sorted things out ‘up top’. Everyone got warmed up on a couple of routes over by Pinkerton’s Corner, then moved over to play on Crack Corner and Intrusion Line.
There was a fair bit of interest being shown in all the shiny bits of metal we’ve recently acquired, so we took some time out to demonstrate how they worked, with the young people being particularly impressed by the ability of a No.6 Wallnut to hold my not insubstantial bulk off the ground. With the tech session, and instructor bodyshaming, complete, we headed back onto the ropes to finish the session with some footwork coaching, to try and make the best of our shiny new shoes.