/ High Ropes Course - SPA suitable?
I would think that CWA would be an equally suitable award in terms of technical rope skills and general at-height safety. I also realise that many places do perfectly adequate in-house training.
When I asked why they only use SPA holders, the reason was that SPA is the only award that will hold up in a court, should there be an incident.
Aside from the fact that the award is fairly irrelevant if you drop someone, what on earth do they mean?
The guy at the top is fairly well connected so perhaps he knows more than I do about incidents that have happened or something, but this doesn't make much sense to me.
Anyone got experience of technical advice in this area? What do you say?
I've not done either though I've looked into them, and from what I gather the CWA is very basic when it comes to ropework. I don't think it's the same level as an SPA. There's generally just more to an SPA too. Also he might be right that if there was a claim that an SPA is taken better than the CWA though that may be outdated.
I personally think neither really offer the appropriate level of technical ropework expertise, and all high ropes courses should really be staffed by fully qualified IFMGA members with at least 10 years of experience in the greater ranges...
Definitely. A qualification is only one way to show competency. Other routes to competence are recognised, and will "stand up in court". If the boss wants bits of paper, then given that there is nothing in the SPA syllabus that covers high ropes courses, I would have thought a ERCA ticket would be far more relevant.
The guy at the top who hasnt even an spa is to my knowledge ignoring a member of staff (not technical advisor) who holds Mia and Erca trainer. Either the chap at the top is a fool or he knows something at his lofty level that others don't.
So spa would seem ridiculous with that in mind. Not suited at all
The main thing a high ropes supervisor does is instruct people how to put on a harness properly. For that, a SPA should be perfect.
"When I asked why they only use SPA holders, the reason was that SPA is the only award that will hold up in a court, should there be an incident."
Plenty of places use a local qualification...
more info; apparently their reasoning is that if they are seen to "lower their standards"* and then something goes wrong, then that decision will be questioned and those responsible for that decision in the dock.
*using CWA or site-specific as lowering standards is obviously a debatable point anyway, but this is how they see it.
Talk about fear making the decisions. I wouldn't see it as a lowering of standards but a more rounded approach taking account of new(ish) awards and industry best practice.
CWA isn't really lowering standards. In some ways CWA goes into more detail regarding indoor stuff than SPA does.
But I see what they mean. If you've set something, it's very hard to climb down (ahem) from it without being questioned, as you *would*, like it or not, be questioned if something did happen, usually by people who know less about the issue than you.
As I mentioned before the use of some common gear is the only similarity, ropes courses are more akin to industrial fall arrest than climbing. The aspect I am curious about is the provision of rescue to clients.
What rope work do you learn on a CWA? How to belay, tie in, clip draws and.....errrr.....now I'm struggling
I work on a high ropes course and SPA doesn't count for toffee in my employers eyes and quite rightly as it has absolutely no relevance to the job I do. IRATA hassome relevance to the rescue side of things - but is not the same.
ERCA level 1 = basic course instructor
ERCA level 2 = rescue/assistance
> fully qualified IFMGA members with at least 10 years of experience in the greater ranges...
and entry would be £100 instead of £10.
Personally I know a little bit about rescue and what is available on the market in the uk and overseas and wondered which products/kits or techniques they use.
I understand some courses still cut lanyards instead of using a lever hoist.
Hope that answers your question Muppetfilter!
The Baron Weasel
I hold an SPA and work at a climbing wall. The ability to place a nut and rig a decent bottom rope is of no relevance to high ropes centres surely?
I've known climbing walls that will only hire SPA holders and not CWA's, but their justification has always been that an SPA holder is assumed to be a more rounded and experienced climber. Can't say I agree...
Elsewhere on the site
Perhaps the perfect Xmas gift for the climber in your life... Wild Country's Crack School has two of the worlds best crack... Read more
With four photos in this week's top ten, and a UKC gallery of stunning images we thought it was time we had a chat with... Read more
F ounded in 1993, Mountain Hardwear are a pretty young mountaineering clothing and equipment manufacturer but are also one of... Read more
Tonight's Friday Night Video features the Norwegian town of Rjukan, once believed to be the home of the world's tallest... Read more
Rock shoes stink – let’s face it. Boot Bananas are the perfect way to fight the funk and keep them fresh. They help... Read more