/ Route hogging by instructors
Me and my better half went to look at Maud's Garden and saw him, his group and his abb rope there so we went off to do Inverted Staircase. On our way back we stopped and looked at Maud's again for him to tell us that "If you're after Maud's you can forget it, We'll be on here for about four hours".
Now is it just me or was he a bit out of order hogging such a popular route and giving us such a "Couldn't give a toss" attitude? It wasn't quite what I expected to be honest.
Yes Nicholas, it pisses me off too.
I agree his attitude seems a little out of order (from what little we can gain from the quote)
do remember though that its far easier for you to just wander off to another S (and there are plenty to go at) than it is for him to de-rig, move and rerig.
plus it'll be much better for his clients if they get to go at the same route a couple of times, so that the fear of the onsight isnt there each time; theyll also get a much better idea of gear placement options.
I think hogging the route isnt a massive deal, especially when theres so many other classic Severes at the roaches.
however his attitudemay have been, but I dont think I could comment on that.
It's true that I could have gone to another classic and Black and Tans was great btw but really, it's just as bad as a uni group throwing their top ropes down a three star classic...actually I think it's worse!
I'm not terribly upset about it and had a good day but his attitude both surprised and disappointed me.
On our second encounter with him he hadn't even started!I don't think it would have too much too ask for him to let us have a quick go on it.
Fawksey, just spat my beer out :-)
Were you the instructor?
This explains an encounter I had with the same guy yesterday. We were jogging along the boulders to find Wombat and he said, very competitively "are you racing us to Mauds'?"
To his credit he did give us some safety beta about our route which was appreciated, although his whole manner was overbearing. I guess he was in boss-mode being an instructor.
I like that. nice one.
Great answer Fawksey as usual. However if it was me and an instructor said "If you're after Maud's you can forget it, We'll be on here for about four hours" - I'd be hard pushed not to stick one on him ;-)
How many folk was he teaching? I can easily see why Maud's Garden might be a useful route to teach leading on, but an MIA would normally "keep it real" and try and move between a number of routes. With a learning pair I'd be looking to spend between 90 minutes and 2 hours on a route like MG, assuming they split it with a belay near the top.
> How many folk was he teaching? I can easily see why Maud's Garden might be a useful route to teach leading on, but an MIA would normally "keep it real" and try and move between a number of routes.
Don't kid yourself. There's plenty of clueless MIA's that aren't really 'climbers' out there.
And the instructor might not have been an MIA in any case; a number of providers now seem to be offering quasi-lead instruction with bigger groups and nobody actually getting on the sharp end (without an additional top-rope). No quarrel with these courses, but it would be good to get some context about this particular episode.
Can't quite tell if you're agreeing with me or not. I'm going to go with agree Jim.
There are ways to directly intervene without endangering anyone, for example at the light touch end just chat with the clients and find out where they are from; if a school group then complain to the LEA/head about their sub-contractor, explain that this behaviour reflects badly upon them too. You know the sort of thing... ask if they would usually encourage their students to monopolise a shared school resource, and then ask why they should consider such behaviour acceptable/a good example in public on a trip. That and the issue of the aggressive tone and bad manners. Maybe provide a list of instructors from the yellow pages/BMC and suggest they try another business? That sort of feedback is very embarrassing for any instructor and it's entirely polite and fair to make your point in such a manner.
Of course in my younger days he would have returned to find every tyre on his mini-bus flat with a resulting bad day for him and his clients, not that I'd advocate that now, I'm gutless and old and would only silently applaud some firebrand doing that while I stood by.
Still there's nothing like a bit of inconvenience to force some manners ;o)
I'd be tempted to gear up then go for it at the first possible chance only to make a seriously feeble attempt and set up camp on the route for a while.
i like it.
and slash the guys tires on the way home.
Then thank him and share a pint.
if that doesn't work move on and keep it on your list for another day. We've all got to learn some day and if we're willing to pay for an education to climb maybe we would like to get it in within the 3-4 hours while we can and then move on. I'd hate to be there for 8 - 9 hours while I faff about with fitting as much experience into a broken session as possible while having to repeat things.
Depending on your schedule 4 hours, isn't really all day. maybe next time you head to a popular crag you might set off early and stay later, I like 8 am for coffee and at a crag for 9. get the most out of transport costs.
oh and to complete a previous qoute
"Those who can't teach, Climb!"
and I agree I'd rather climb.
Fawksey - the things you say make me very happy sometimes =-)
I think it's pushing it to hog a classic route for hours on end on a sunny Sunday!
Imagine being part of his group though - all day spent on one short climb!
When I've come across this sort of thing, and have been feeling particularly bloody minded, I've just climbed the route behind one of the students before the next one can start.
Just to be a bit positive for instructors, I was at Windgather in January, and an outdoor group had set up a few topropes covering most of High Buttress. As we were looking in the guidebooks, we were repeatedly asked if we wanted to do any of the routes, and they would move their ropes out of the way. I thought that was really good.
The guy you encountered does seem a bit of an arse, if you're going to be on a route all day at a weekend, I don't think it should be a popular one.
> Don't kid yourself. There's plenty of clueless MIA's that aren't really 'climbers' out there.
Really? Don't you have to have climbed to a pretty reasonable standard to have an MIA? I think that would be a fair comment about an SPA holder, but I've never met an MIA who doesn't climb.
I understand that he may have seemed overbearing but this is his personality and is how his sense of humour comes across.
The guy has a very good ethic when it comes to climbing.
Personally I feel there are a lot of routes of that grade and quality across the upper tier and it would be much easier to lead another climb than to delay a group tuition session.
I was the instructor that you are complaining about and here is how I remember what order things happened:
You and your better half walked past at about 11:15 whilst I was giving spoken instruction near to the bottom of the climb before my fixed line was set up. You said nothing having looked at the route and moved round the crag to another route. About an hour later you returned and were again looking at the route. My fixed line was up and my party were rackin up to lead the route. I actually said "if you're looking for Maud's garden, I'm very sorry but we're going to be on it for about (I cannot recall what duration I actually said here as I expected each of four novices to take about 25 minutes when they actually took about 45 minutes each including stance and a second taking the gear out - I think I probably said "a few hours")." you made no attempt to engage what was actually a friendly but certain tone and moved off without expressing any upset either.
I am instructing for free. It is actually costing me personally to do the course in petrol, two free prussiks to each climber, handouts and my time (a total of 13 hours each of two days at the crag including sorting the gear before and after and travel time and also 2 hours instruction for each group of four indoors to deal with attaching and equalising anchors).
I expected 6 - 8 people to take me up on the offer and it turned out to be 21, so hopefully you can see that actually I am quite a generous person and not given to the brazen attitude that your brief description has coloured me with.
The leading time of 45 minutes for someone who climbs at VDiff is not unreasonable on a 25m route and my party prepared during the previous lead and started climbing as soon as the previous pair topped out on second. I feel that you were just part of a queue and I was being considerate by advising you of how long the queue was as you approached.
The course is mostly based off route with stance setting in the rock at ground level and then abseiling over two rarely climbed routes (VD and S) and then a 1 hour top rope of Maud's garden to finish the first day. The second day is an hour of spoken instruction below but not on Maud's garden, then an instructed lead and a second for each participant on Maud's garden and then moving down to prow cracks area to consolidate skills learned under watchful supervision.
I hope that this has given some more context to yourself and to those showing anger or annoyance at this topic.
I would like to advise that I have more groups (3 or 4) to take out over the next couple of months and would ask that if anyone wishes to lead the route at the time that my party are leading that they politely express their wish and enter into a meaningful discussion. I would also ask that in such a case the discussion not be carried out in such a way as to damage the overall experience of my party and their faith in me as an instructor as this could affect how well they learn what is being taught and that could prove dangerous for them in the future as they find out that the distraction caused them to miss some important information.
I would like to note that the groups yet to go out will not necessarily be happening at weekends.
Best regards mate
Assuming you're the same guy we met, thanks for your advice about the route we tried.
I hope my fall didn't put your group off!
What? A calm and reasoned response? How very dare you? Down with this sort of thing!
Can you tell us your registration plate please, it would be embarrassing to let down the wrong person's tyres. Thanks.
Yes let have some more "instructor, group, uni-club and top rope bashing" from ukc-users who's stock advice is "go on a course". Oh I do love a bit of irony, though not ironing.
Good to have some more context.
If similar instruction had been offered to me free of charge when I was starting out, I'd have been first in the queue!
How did you end up with 21 clients ?
I accept you are doing some free instruction but nonetheless you seem to have made a bit of a blunder
And having seriously underestimated the numbers, shouldn't you have re-considered your choice of routes ?
I am the same guy and no your fall didn't freak anyone out. I had the same trouble with the slab start on Saturday evening and got out to the edge of the flakes, reversed and very meekly snuk out left to capital climb's corner.
Your fall was actually a very good thing for the group as it gave then a little perspective and was for all intents and purposes a good safe fall.
Given the numbers who turned up, wouldn't one of those routes have been a better choice than Maud's Garden - which is a low grade classic that usually has a queue at the best of times?
> How did you end up with 21 clients ?
Don't think he means 21 on the same day....
> Given the numbers who turned up, wouldn't one of those routes have been a better choice than Maud's Garden - which is a low grade classic that usually has a queue at the best of times?
I have to agree with that. While EZ's motives are honourable, I do not think that one of the most popular routes at one of the most popular crags is a good venue for a busy weekend with a large group. On a weekday, I have no problem with it.
> Don't think he means 21 on the same day....
Re-reading a bit more carefully this time it seems there were only 4 clients at one time.
Nonetheless that seems to me to be a fairly high ratio. Certainly far too high a ratio to be working on a popular route on a popular crag at a weekend
It didn't bother me.
We had a few friends hang around our route for a while and I don't think it was problem.
When I used to organise my uni group, I went out of the way to find less popular areas least we end up with the usual who-ha with people who find route hogging a bit anti-social. There is certainly plenty to go round. A trek a mere 200-300 yards further left to routes at the less popular Skyline may have avoided this inevitable situation?
> I do not think that one of the most popular routes at one of the most popular crags is a good venue for a busy weekend with a large group. On a weekday, I have no problem with it.
On the two outings on which we have led Maud's garden to date both warm dry busy days, only two people have looked at the route appearing to wish to lead it at the same time as us.
Regarding choice of route, this one is exceptionally good and therefore, I feel, appropriate as a route for instruction because of the style of climbing, the nature of the gear that is available on it and the situations that the leader is in during gear placement.
I feel my route choice is sound and my use of the route is unfairly described as excessive.
That's OK then, hogging routes is fine if you're doing it for free.
But you are presumably not aware of the people who, seeing a massive group of people under their desired route from a distance either choose to turn around or walk straight by. I also imagine that whilst you are concentrating on your students, you wouldn't be noticing people who may wish to climb the exceedingly popular climb you have decided to monopolise?
EZ has a good awareness of ethics, and so I feel this quote was more likely mis-quoted.
Also, with regards to route choice, why teach someone to lead on skyline where the belay stances are less obvious to set up, shorter routes therefore less of an experience/less gear placements/less variety and have to re-rig a fixed line any time someone wants them to move on?!
Also, on Saturday, which was a lovely day, I was on skyline (which was alot busier than normal, with a lot of groups about) and was nicely climbing on alpha buttress when we were literally invaded by 20-30 met police climbing club members, which made us very uneasy and invasive and chose to move on.
I'd hate this to happen if EZ had to relocate his course and force someone just out for a peaceful quiet climb on the skyline to move on.
Finally, to reiterate the time, effort and cost, all for free, that EZ has put into this course!
He wasn't "hogging" the route. Being paid or not is irrelevant. As EZ said, no meaningful conversaton was entered into, and I took that to mean that if, as has been suggested elsewhere on the thread, someone had asked if it was ok to do the route between his climbers- say during a break- then EZ would have been cool with that.
I have been in both positions, as instructor and as climber seeking to do a route that a group is using periodically. When I was asked by a couple of guys if they could do the chimney that my group were about to do ( on a mid week evening), I let them go first, to my regret. They took 45 mins to do it, and the leader dropped his belay plate. He had previously bitched in our hearing about my group being on the route (at Almscliffe, a chimney on the north side) but then had to ask me to lend him an atc so he could bring up his second. Tosser. My Junior soldiers wriggled up that route like rats up a drainpipe, thoroughly showing up the independent guys.
When I and my climb partner nicely asked a group if we could nip up a route ahead of them, they were cool with that- they were still at the gearing up, sorting themselves out stage. We nipped up, just pushing the ropes to one side so we could pop our own pro in. Peace and love all round.
If you want to avoid groups, get up earlier than them. We all have an equal "entitlement" to routes, regardless of the route being a starred classic or not, or having a group there, or bottom-roping it compared to leading.
You can't please all of the people all of the time. If he'd been on a "less classic" lines, someone would be complaining that THEY had gone out with some novices to teach them and had deliberately eschewed Maud's Garden in favour of something more obscure, only to find it being "hogged"! :-)
In fact I did this twice, dragging people to Stanage Crow Chin to get them away from the popular areas, to find it festooned with instructors and top ropes. I did not whinge either at the time or on here about it, as there was nothing to whinge about.
Why should he? He's better off observing the members of his group. If someone decides to turn away, that's up to them. If not, they've got a tongue in ther heads (hopefully a polite one).
Why oh why do people get so hung up on stars? I'm not even sure that Maud's Garden deserves 3 stars!
It's three things really. I do plan over the next few years getting up to MIA (incl SPA) but haven't set my plans in stone yet. I have fully documented the course and details for the participants for when I do hopefully have a use for the experience in that sense.
Secondly I thoroughly enjoy instructing whether that is in engineering, computing or climbing (my three best strengths) or even how to hit a nail properly.
Lastly and most importantly for me though is the absolute pleasure of being able to help people progress in their experience in something that they enjoy. This course was offered only and all of the participants took the opportunity of their own volition so I can be sure that they all want to be doing it.
It's just nice to bring some value back to a world that I take so much from.
I just don't understand why this sort of thing keeps cropping up. It is clear that it winds a lot of people up and is pretty anti social. If it wasn't so easy to avoid....
He's doing it for free so doesn't need any. Anyone taking part does so at their own risk. I'd be a bit nervous of it though as if the worst does happen it would be all too easy for fingers to be pointed at an unqualified instructor.
I am a BMC member so I have third party liability insurance. The participants are all very aware that I have no qualifications and all have signed a comprehensive disclaimer to that effect. I'm hiding nothing from them or anybody else.
My techniques will stand up to any scrutiny that a passer-by/climber may subject them to. I take a reasoned approach to everything that I do with regard to the techniques that I employ and I have been clear to explain that I cannot confer on anyone an ability to climb. They must make decisions for themselves.
also offering training for expereience is rather different to offering free tuition out of the goodness of your heart and given that people are suggesting he should be absolved of responsibility because hes doing it for free its a rather important point.
part of the spa training is crag awareness, route choice and respect to the public and understanding the impact of the group on other climbers.
in terms of your actions at the crag, i cant really comment on this situation because i wasnt there but if you want to pursue a career in this industry its worth listening to the opinions voiced in this thread - rightly or wrongly these are the climbing community who you shre the crags with and you have to take their opinions into account. just something to bear in mind in future.
Thank you for voicing your concerns.
I have as part of the course safety, ethics, etiquette, route choice and crag choice besides the technical aspects. These things are all under discussion during the instruction and with regard to my own route choice for the course I feel that it is well reasoned and that the time spent on it is not unreasonable.
He is quite correct; so long as he is not taking money of anybody, he will be covered. Just the same as if you took a beginner out climbing.
> He is quite correct; so long as he is not taking money of anybody, he will be covered. Just the same as if you took a beginner out climbing.
even if he organises groups specifically for instruction?
He is. I have checked this issue myself directly with the BMC in the context of club activity. Crucial distinction is whether you are charging money; your role or responsibilities are not relevant to the cover.
I agree that he is responsible for their safety being the experienced member of the party but legally there is no requirement for any form of qualification to instruct. Anyone taking part does so at their own risk. The fact that there is no hire or reward means that he would even be able to instruct under 18s which would otherwise need an AALA license and qualification.
However if I was EZ I would try to build the necessary experience through working with other instructors/centres to get the benefit of their knowledge and different methods. It's great to then put that into practise with some volunteers who will appreciate the freebie - but I would keep it very informal and low key. The fact that there are disclaimers being signed makes it sound very business like. Are your group members aware that you aren't qualified and are currently building experience EZ?
Yes they are very aware. As I said further up, I have been entirely honest throughout the whole process. I spent about 20 hours before inviting participation to plan the whole thing.
The disclaimers are predominantly to be able to demonstrate in the future that they were aware before becoming involved in the course of just the considerations that you are voicing concern over.
> I just don't understand why this sort of thing keeps cropping up. It is clear that it winds a lot of people up and is pretty anti social. If it wasn't so easy to avoid....
It's often just a communications breakdown, isn't it? The instructor (or toproper or whoever) thinks "well, obviously if anyone was really desperate to get on the route they'd come and ask nicely and I'd let them" while the rest of the world thinks "if they're unreasonably enough to set up camp on a popular route to teach people they obviously aren't going to let anyone else on".
I think that since it's kind of established etiquette on popular crags to get on a route, climb it on sight, bring up one (or maybe two) seconds and then let the next person having a go that people who are doing something other than that should be as careful as possible about not pissing people off - I've gone out of my way to check that we're not bothering anyone before bringing up more than a couple of seconds on a busy day, for instance, and I'd expect instructors or people working a route for a headpoint to do the same... but that's kind of out of a sense of "can't we all just be nice and try not to piss each other off" rather than some set in stone ethical principle.
Do you mean that maybe EZ should learn from experience and not take people on Maud's garden on a nice saturday?
As with most things on UKC, this threads reeks of a large amount of hypocrisy.
To the OP, as someone else has mentioned, you could have engaged more with the instructor.
Cool. Sounds like you are approaching it sensibly. You just don't want to drop yourself in it.
If you haven't done so already get in contact with the local centres to see if you can shadow some sessions. I picked up loads just by working with different guys and seeing how they rigged and ran their sessions and finding out what worked for me.
When it comes to instructing in popular areas you're always going to manage to wind someone up. I always try to preempt any grumblings by chatting to other climbers/instructors and letting them know what I've got going on and being flexible - even if I'm the first one there. The favour will be returned one day when you turn up with a group and the crag is already covered in top ropes!
> When it comes to instructing in popular areas you're always going to manage to wind someone up.
When you get round to doing your SPA this will all be explained to you!
I can't find it now, but there used to be a document on the BMC website about group use, which specifically recommended against choosing the Roaches for large groups...
> I can't find it now, but there used to be a document on the BMC website about group use, which specifically recommended against choosing the Roaches for large groups...
Not really relevant though is it as he only had 4 in his group.
Not as simple as that as he is not a club and his students are not members of the club:
See at the bottom: "However, it does NOT include supervision of, or advice or instruction given to non-members of the Club or BMC - Professional or Instructor's Indemnity would be required for this."
EZ If I were you I would check your insured state with the BMC pronto, and not rely on what others are saying here as if you have an incident it could get very nasty for you and you are after all trying to do something positive and giving up your time for free.
Thank you very much for this insight. From what you have written, however, I am still covered third party as all of the participants are members of the BMC through club affiliation. I have been mindful to disassociate the course from the club that I am a member of in consideration of the legal ramifications, however all of the participants are covered by right of their club affiliation membership of the BMC.
Really, what this comes down to though is that I am covered if I injure a true third party (a passer by or other person unconnected to the course). The participants are also covered in such a case as they may cause a third party to be injured as they are all BMC members and the participants are aware of the limitations of the instruction being offered and their own personal responsibility for participating.
The participants are actually not doing anything that they would not be doing if they went out on their own. I am satisfied that the only scenario that presents any legal risk is during the one supervised lead climb that they are doing and only in the event that I have to clip them onto me and my SRT or fixed line fails and obviously I am keenly avoiding that risk as I would experience the same fate.
Thank you again for your concern.
> It's often just a communications breakdown, isn't it? The instructor (or toproper or whoever) thinks "well, obviously if anyone was really desperate to get on the route they'd come and ask nicely and I'd let them" while the rest of the world thinks "if they're unreasonably enough to set up camp on a popular route to teach people they obviously aren't going to let anyone else on".
Spot on Dave. I've led climbs in the middle of a large group at Crow Chin at Stanage and I've led Maud's Garden as a 2 pitch with 2 seconds whilst a group of cadets were have a break from toproping it. Communication and a willingness to be flexible is key, and you can normally please everyone if both parties are happy to have a quick chat and try and fit in around each other.
Of course, not dithering about helps. When you've just said to an instructor that you'll be out of their way in 10 minutes, you don't want to be having an hour long epic on it :0)
I must be honest (I don't lie - period). I did actually advise my party this week that whilst I was setting up my fixed line to advise anyone asking after the route (as they were gearing up at the time) that the route was taken and that if there was a problem with this that the enquirers should wait 5 minutes for me to descend and then to have a chat with me. I really am just a nice guy though and a conversation would have won them the route every time.
It is a shame that that conversation didn't happen and that it came down to this thread.
That said it has been an interesting thread and I have appreciated the support and the criticism and advice. Thanks UKC.
If you have disassociated yourself from the club you are not covered by the club affiliation to teach lead climbing.
I really would doublecheck If I were in your shoes. If you are right it won't do any harm.
Flipside to that. Last year myself and another UKC climber friend were out at Stanage and an instructor sporting his AMI badge managed to completely humiliate a bloke with his son out for a days cragging with his over-bearing nature. Its okay though because my mate and I just stood and ripped this piss out of him reference how Fcuking awesome he was making people look small in front of his clients.
I say no more
I am not looking for insurance to teach lead climbing. Just for third party coverage. The participants have signed against my indemnity for the instruction.
I'm truly grateful, but I don't live in the world of where there's blame there's a claim and I am satisfied that the participants are of the same mind. It has been an open process all the way through. I am certain that the 8 who have completed will sing my praises and that the participants yet to get out to the crag will gladly agree with the sentiment that I am describing of the course's intention and of their responsibility for their own involvement in the sport.
If anyone want's to personally show an interest in the course as I have prepared it then they should contact me personally and I will gladly share my preparation, methods, thoughts and considerations pertaining to the course, but I qualify this by stating that anyone who does so (and I will reiterate this in our communication) does so under the assurance that the subsequent discussions are private and are not for public display or discussion as would be the case for any documents passed over. Breach of such an agreement would be considered as possible defamation of character and would cause consideration of legal action. I obviously will not offer any personal details of the participants owing to my responsibilities under the data protection act. I will not be hung out to dry by a lynch mob or a kangaroo court. My intentions are good, my preparation is sound and the arrangements made between myself and the participants are sound also.
Thank you again for your concerns. I will continue to watch this thread as it interests me and may afford me some useful insights and advice, but this will be my final post.
I fully appreciate your good intentions. There are worst case scenarios and the world of insurance is very complicated. Please check with the BMC.
Example: One of your students dies and their family sue you. The family have not signed any thing.
Rather than starting this thread I should really have spoken to you first regarding the possibility of Lucie and I having a quick go on the route however when we first came upon you your fixed line was already in place. When we came back (which was no more than half an hour later)your body language and attitude made me think that any meaningful or civilised conversation would be impossible at worst or futile at best, I'm sorry if I got the wrong impression.
My beef was not only your apparent attitude but your route choice. On both counts I saw them as uncompatible with what I expect from an instructor. However, as you are not an instructor I understand that you may have made an error of judgement, or maybe not as the debate goes! For what it's worth I twice had a peek to see if you were still on the route but gave up when we left at around 3pm.
It's fantastic that you are giving something back to our wonderful sport and I wish you well in getting qualified in the future.
All the best,
> As with most things on UKC, this threads reeks of a large amount of hypocrisy.
No hypocrisy here mate. My first lead was Central Staircase at the Upper Tier of Craig Pant Ifan a well known beginners crag used by outdoor centres for instruction purposes (incidentally it was raining and empty at the time). I did it with a friend and after the fear subsided I was completely buzzing!
My other half learnt to lead by placing gear at ground level and hanging on it etc before embarking on her first time on the sharp end.
In both instances we bothered no one and hogged nothing.
And yes, other beginners should be allowed to enjoy it just as we did :-)
Truly a final post as I feel you deserve a response.
I stand by my route choice and will use it for the duration of my course. What I have learned from your OP and from your last post is that I should bring a slightly more placid appearance and disposition to my interactions in such situations. Please accept my sincere apologies for any offence caused and rest assured that in future I will try to avoid causing similar to others. I noted to myself as this thread progressed that I made the first communication and in fact I would have been better just keeping quiet and allowing anyone in the position that you were to make contact if they felt it appropriate.
Best regards and happy climbing
I like the boss mode bit here :-)
Perhaps it was you running along the side of the crag that made be believe you were racing us to a route.
In fact when I said that, you replied you were looking for Wombat and I said it was a little further on.
I was with a group being assessed at the time and was going to tell you to lead it first if you were going to do it, i really have no inclination to race people to routes or be authoritarian in any way to others.
I would rather get out and climb anything and take my time and come back to something if it is busy.
I did not give you any advice with regard to safety beta though, that must of been EZ. I did witness you fall though!
There was also a university group that I also gave information on climbs in the Black and Tans area when I was climbing damascus crack. To their credit they were not hogging the crag with top ropes as they didn't want to annoy other climbers.
I was near to EZ and his group often walking around and by them and didn't get any signs given that he wanted to hog any routes (on saturday) and found him to be pleasant and helpful to his students and other climbers around him.
Mmm, seems like he was acting the instructor (sans qualifications) rather than just taking some mates out. If I take people climbing I don't have a prepared course, indemnity forms and give an hour of "spoken instruction".
You're not learning here.
Its a shame there isnt more like him. Id be more than happy to accept instruction and/or give up a route knowing that instead of just me and my partner enjoying the route several more people were getting a great deal from it.
Loads of people teach their mates to climb. It's how most of us learnt. But a syllabus smacks of someone playing at being an instructor. Self confidence is not always a good thing.
Cant see the difference myself mate!!
I'm willing to bet it wasn't him.
What can be very funny is to pull out a phone or a pen and paper without further ado and ask for his name, or the name of the group if he fails to provide. He will probably be more polite after.
It is recognised as poor practise for an instructor to monopolise any popular routes on a crag, not least for the extra wear he is causing to a popular route by concentrating those he is with on it.
Me too, I was just trying to wind him up.
I think its cool what you are doing, and i dont think you are in the wrong with your route usage.
However as i understand it......
1) BMC Third party insurance covers "you" personally. I.E. You are out climbing and you kick a boulder off and it lands on another climber. It does not cover clients you instruct, paid or unpaid.
2) If you are teaching coaching guiding whatever you want to call it, you are responsable for the clients safty.
3) A Disclaimer and or clients being aware of your lack of qualifications means nothing.
Genuine question! This is not a dig or a judgement but what makes you think you can teach people to lead climb? How much relevent experiance do you have?
Seems that I just can't help myself but reply... Damnit!
The participants are all third party covered as they are all members of a club. I am in the same position. They are all adults and have with full disclosure of the risks involved decided without coercion to participate. The disclaimer I am certain would hold up in court.
As for relevant experience and knowledge: all I can say mate is quiz me (privately) and judge for yourself. I have 7 or 8 years of climbing experience and I am exceptionally safety conscious. I have an aptitude for instruction and skill transfer too. The participants whilst obviously being ignorant of whether I have shown them everything they need to know having insufficient knowledge have given me very supportive feedback endorsing my instructional capability. If you want to know any more mate then please contact me directly.
> The disclaimer I am certain would hold up in court.
Good luck with that statement in the event it is ever tested!
Ahh, I must have confused the two encounters to be the same person. Thanks for clarifying.
Happy climbing :)
Hi, Not sure if you or someone else from this thread emailed me. I would add that a disclaimer may or may not hold up in court, regardless of whether you are providing a service for free or not. As soon as you take on a 'instructing' role you are taking on the responsibility of and 'Enhanced Duty of care' as you are offering your services as an expert.
A landmark case of 'Pope vs Cuthbertson' had a climber fall and break his leg, the court case was roughly based round the argument of whether the plaintif had adequate experience to make informed consent to participate in the activity. In this case the court ruled that Cuthbertson a qualified instructor had provided sufficient training in all the skills that are required to lead.
Teaching leading in my opinion is something that is extremely serious, and something that takes a massive amount of judgement and skill to do. Judgement that is often only acquired through years of experience.
From one of your earlier posts, it seems that you don't even hold an SPA, so basically imagine yourself in court if something bad does happen. You will be in court at your own expense, probably unable to afford a 'technical expert'. A plaintiff, will probably be with a no win no fee solicitor, who will get in a highly experience and quailified technical expert, who will bring reference time and time again to the lack of appropriate qualification, and how qualification is one way to show competence, there are four in total. They will try to prove that you had a duty of care, which by offering instruction you will have, and that you breached that duty of care in being someway negilgent.
If I recall, there was a case recently of a teacher who claimed to be qualified, he wasn't and I think the courts took him to the cleaners.
I would be really careful, as however well you think you have covered yourself legally from being sued, you are setting yourself up as an instructor, paid or not. It is possible through perkins slade to get insurance for activities you are not qualified in, it does come at a premium.
Many MIA trainees are offering similar courses for free here on UKC, they however at least can say they have been trained in the skills of teaching leading, and have probably been assessed to at least SPA level, and have developed a wealth of teaching climbing experience.
Hope that helps put it in perspective, I do try and encourage people I train on all manner of SPA and ML courses to think through what would happen if they ended up in court, because accidents do happen.
> Teaching leading in my opinion is something that is extremely serious, and something that takes a massive amount of judgement and skill to do. Judgement that is often only acquired through years of experience.
Pope Vs Cuthbertson was a very different scenario to the methods that I am using. In that case the claimant was leading without direct instruction from his instructor who was operating as the belayer.
Also the judge found in favour of the defendant not because of their skills or qualifications but because the claimant made the choice.
On both counts the example neither demonstrates against my methods nor warns me off from doing what I am doing. The risks have been well discussed with the participants.
I appreciate your concern but note that you are applying non relevant examples that do not demonstrate your point. Also a commonality of SPA training en route to MIA qualification is incidental. The SPA qualification is not a pre-requisite for MLA or MIA.
Thanks to yourself and to the previous poster who mentioned the case in question as it was an interesting read.
A few points in response to your response to Mark (who incidentally has given this subject more thought than most: http://lifeinthevertical.co.uk/blogs/climbingcoach/2011/03/21/teaching-leading-soft-skills-risk-mana... )
Mark's examples may not be exactly the same as your own, but I think you are running the (however small) risk of becoming your own test case.
What you are actually doing at the time of an accident (belaying, or ascending on a fixed line) may ultimately define whether a court finds you negligent or not, but it isn't necessarily going to stop a client from dragging you through the courts.
Insurance isn't just there to protect the client- it is there to protect you, and accidents happen- it may not be your fault- but your client or their family may not feel that way after the event. Can you afford a lawyer (maybe you can if you are able to give up your time for free!)?
Finally- if you are as experienced as you say you are, why not teach lead climbing under the auspices of the club? You say that you can't do this due to legal ramifications- and yet as I see it, these are far less than the ones you are currently exposing yourself to.
Is there still a client if there is no contract?
Ultimately this whole thread is suggesting that the only way to learn to lead if from a properly qualified instructor, which we all know is rubbish. There is a lot about the potential ramifications of ana accident if an accident happens and if it happens to one of the people he is taking out climbing and if the at person is hurt and whether it is seriously or not and whether or not they then turn round and try to take him to court.
The established precedent for learning to lead in the UK is from another climber, or just getting out there and doing it yourself. Not from an instructor. Trying to suggest that this is different will harm this game that we all know (or are trying to get to know,) and love.
The overwhelming message that must be passed out is as stated on the BMC participation statement:
"The BMC recognises that climbing and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions."
Implying that anything else is not the case harms the ethos of our sport.
Hi Billy (I'm sure you have loads of mates). I learned to lead climb from a mate, as most of us did. But EZ is not teaching his mates to climb. He has advertised a climbing instruction course and has put himself in the role of an instructor.
My primary concern here is not for EZ's clients/or students or whatever, but for EZ. I have no knowledge of his competancy to teach lead climbing, and I can't comment on it. I do know a little bit about insurance (I run my own business as an ML) and duty of care. I know the difference between a mate and an instructor. It doesn't matter that he is a volunteer. The HSE, and the courts make no distinction as to whether a person is paid or not when they examine a case for negligence. I also know that it is possible for an unqualified person to be very experienced and to be able to make a good legal case for being able to instruct without MLT tickets. EZ may be one of those people, but if he has to defend his lack of qualifications in a court of law it is going to get very tricky for him if he can't afford a good lawyer due to no insurance, let alone if he has to pay out.
I honestly don't understand why he doesn't offer instruction though the club, therefore bypassing this whole minefield, if he is as experienced as he says he is.
In all likelihood this whole thing will pass by without incident, and the argument is academic. But if it doesn't, he could be in doodoo up to his eyebrows.
There comes a point where one has to have faith in the world around them. I know all of the participants (you can see that I am avoiding the term client) personally. They are all members of the club that I am also in. I am satisfied that they as individuals are aware of the risks involved and understand that these risks are real both during and after the course has concluded for them. I have had each of them sign to that effect prior to the start of the course. As adults of sound mind at the time of signing their families are not really a concern for me. They are able to make their own decisions and I have been certain to explain that this is what they are doing prior to signing.
No I cannot afford a lawyer. I am a poor slave on the plantation like the other 95% of the population. My time is very precious to me and is offered out at a high cost to my own lifestyle.
I have done this outside of the auspices of the club in order to avoid the legal requirements for qualification that I expect would come into effect were I to do it through the club. I have been clear throughout the process to ensure that the participants are all aware that this instruction is privately organised by me and so not connected to the club.
As far as risks to the participants are concerned there are only two periods where there are any and that is during their single instructed lead and during their two abseils and I can demonstrate that I have taken sufficient care to ensure their safety as far as is reasonably practicable that I am firstly not concerned about the risks and secondly not concerned about being found to be negligent in the event of an injury, however serious.
I do seem to be repeating the same things here and whilst I truly do appreciate the apparent concern for my legal well being I have already reconciled the situation with my conscience and I am happy following that consideration to go ahead and shoulder what fate may come from it.
There are many similarly dangerous scenarios where we unwittingly become at risk of be considered responsible and negligent in all aspects of our daily lives. The difference here is that I have sat down for a long time and planned to remove the risks where possible and I have ensured that everyone taking part is aware of my efforts with regard to this and of their responsibilities in becoming participants. I cannot avoid this last comment sounding flippant, though it is not my intention, but if it is so risky to become responsible in life then we'd all better just stay in bed.
As a correlary, what about non BMC members who climb without private insurance? The risk to third parties and to their partners from negligent action is surely the same thing as I am being advised about. (sorry for the flippant tone again here) Should everyone be required to become insured to climb period? That's a short trip away from the HSE becoming involved in the sport and we all know where that leads.
Thank you again for your concern. If you wish to continue this conversation then please contact me directly.
But why would he have to defend a lack of qualifications if the nationally accepted way of doing it doesn't require qualifications? Any suggestion to the contrary is against the ethic of british mountaineering and could lead us down some dodgy road. Let the BMC speak for us by following their participation statement.
Noble sentiments, but I'm afraid that what I'm talking about is the real world here, and as instructors, (rather than private individuals) we have to face up to the realities of our legal responsibilities. I agree wholeheartedly in the BMC's participation statement- but unfortunately (or fortunately) the BMC does not run the world.
EZ's point about why shouldn't all climbers ensure that they have 3rd party insurance via the BMC is an interesting one. It reflects a slightly narrow view of the mechanisms and implications of risk incurred through climbing and perhaps EZ believes that these are all entirely controllable. I would argue that it is a good idea for all of us to have 3rd party insurance (via BMC or even better, MCofS membership) if you climb, and that it is still possible to hold to the BMCs participation statement. The member of the public walking under the crag who gets a hex dropped on their head has not signed up to any participation statement.
EZ- I get the impression that you have made up your mind on this one and I wish you luck. I hope your confidence is never tested, and I hope that you progress successfully in your development as a climbing instructor. My final advice is to perhaps be more self reflective in the process- this will only benefit your development as a climbing coach.
In the "real world," climbers learn to lead from their partners or get out and do it themselves. Any deviation from this is not in the best interest of British climbing.
As you quite rightly say, those that are getting paid to teach assume additional responsiblities and need insurance. But I disagree that it is "the real world."
civil liability insurance is pointless unless you have significant assets that you need to protect. Nobody is going to sue you unless it is worth their while.
That is why it is important for clubs, businesses and individuals with a house/ lots of savings. Not really worth it for some people though.
In actual fact, having civil liability insurance actually makes it more likely that you will end up in court.
No narrow point of view is held. It is a very reasoned position.
And I think you are presumptuous to assume that I am not self-reflective. You have not enquired about any of my methods or preparation for the course and so cannot know.
I'm absolutely not interested in getting in to an argument about whether people should or shouldn't learn from instructors. That is personal choice. You clearly have strong views on this and I'm afraid I don't!
EZ- not wanting to be presumptuous just trying to help.
There is no argument, the majority of British climbers learn to lead from a friend.
Groans.... I'm seriously losing the will to live here! Thanks for the intersting discussion guys I'm off out for some sunshine.
Spot on. He does seem to be a stubborn bugger. I don't think any of the qualified instructors I know are so ready to dismiss other people's opinions.
the best instructors i know are also the sports best ambassadors and that means behaving excessively responsibly and excessively considerately whilst aslo having fun
If commercial guides who make aliving out of everyone elses hobby are the best ambassadors of climbing then God help it.
Ive seen your opinion on here and on the Franco thread and therefore I am not suprised the bloke chose to ignore it.
opinions don't tend to be right or wrong.
It maybe his opinion that 4 leads of the route are a queue of 4 separate teams but to anyone else who wants a go on the route it looks like one group is on it for 4 hours.
And he clearly pissed the OP off.
Could it have been handled differently?
The HSE are already involved with the sport through AALA.
This doesn't affect you as your participants are over 18 at the moment but AALA are being wound up in 2012 to be replaced by a new system which will adopt a code of practice, currently being drawn up by HSE.
This could see the scope of who is covered extended to everyone, not just under 18s.
On the question of indemnity disclaimers I can tell you that in Scotland, for the outdoors, they're not worth the paper they're written on.
For what it's worth I think that you have been very patient in replying to this thread. Nice one.
Back in from the sun and see things are still trundling on....
> On the question of indemnity disclaimers I can tell you that in Scotland, for the outdoors, they're not worth the paper they're written on.
Well you need to get hold of the "EZ climbing club I can instruct" disclaimer... a watertight piece of legal work!
> Really? Don't you have to have climbed to a pretty reasonable standard to have an MIA? I think that would be a fair comment about an SPA holder, but I've never met an MIA who doesn't climb.
You have to hold SPA, ML (Summer) and ML training (winter) to hold MIA don't you?
In the SPA training they do discuss groups on popular crags, and in my opinion its foolish to take a group to a popular venue, especially on a sunny weekend!
Find a quieter venue and away you go, or at least let climbers on the route when you can.....
No, Jon. You must hold Summer ML to register for MIA. Most folks going for the MIA do hold SPA as well, though.
to hold the relevant qualification
to hold an equivalent qualification
to have received appropriate in-house training
to be competent through experience
As long as you tick one of these boxes and you were not being neglegent at the time of an accident then youll be fine. Insurance and qualifications just make things easier.
At the end of the day it sounds, as others have said like EZ is putting more effort and thought into what he is doing than many others offering this level of training. Qualified or not.
Leagally it is no different to an MIA trainee offering free instruction.
They have no legal cover and you dont see their post about free instruction reaching 140+ replies.
This thread wasn't started by EZ advertising free climbing.
5000+ views of the thread could mean it is of interest to the wider climbing community (on here anyway).
Nicholas - given the way this story has unfolded could you re-title it, 'Route hogging by climber teaching climbers from climbing club to climb'?
Billy; as this thread has unfolded we have learned that the errant 'instructor' was actually an unpaid, unqualified guy from a club taking some other people from the club out to show them how to lead. Now just how many fag papers can you slide between that situation and 'climbers learn to lead from their partners or get out and do it for themselves'?
And I hate to burst your bubble but in the real world a hell of a lot of people are perfectly happy to pay for instruction to start them on the way/teach them advanced techniques/learn how to self rescue/get a coaching masterclass. To reference one of your other posts I think that there actually is a real argument about just how many people actually learn 'independently' and how many 'buy experience'. Skills are increasingly seen as a commodity that you can buy.
someone who led the first route they ever did.
Basically I know out of the 2 I would go out with and it aint the SPA holder!!
Yes, absolutely, but would he do better at sharing the crag?
Would he be fixated on one route? To the point of getting 20 people to headpoint it over 3 or 4 days?!
> Can you please confirm whether you mean years of experience lead climbing, o years of experience teaching climbing?
both climbing and teaching climbing.
I've only done SPA training but I've taught many friends to climb and even one ukc random who has turned out to be a close friend. But for tuition purposes it was certainly usefull including both the SPA training and work experience.
Swig, you troll very well, but it is boring and unnecessary. If you had read the thread as you argued you would see that:
I'll spell it out for you personally so that you don't have to fail to read the rest of the thread again as you clearly have so far:
The course consists of mostly off route instruction with the participants on the first day having a single climb on top-rope of the route in question, taking about an hour to complete. This is to enable them to understand where the route goes and how to climb it so that when they lead it they are more able to concentrate on the placing of gear and associated considerations. On the second day they each have a single lead of the route and operating as pairs will also have a single second of the route in order to remove the gear that their partner placed.
Clearly this is not problematic in the sense of sharing the crag, nor is it a fixation upon a single route. The one error that I can see I made pertaining the OP's complaint is that I initiated the contact and 'warded him off', when I should have allowed him to converse if he wished. I have learned that and will do so in future. I have also apologised with respect to this and I feel that the apology was well taken and that those concerned have moved on. You could try doing the same.
> Swig, you troll very well
Er, thanks but really it was just a slight exaggeration. To make the point to someone else that what you were doing was a not typical of people taking their mates out cragging.
I was a bit bit worried that you weren't learning from this but your last post clears that up a bit.
And there you go again. HAHAHAHA... weak mate.
It does seem a little strange that you are "working" at an MIA level before you have commenced your SPA or (presumably) your ML. Most aspiring young instructors would seek to adress their logbook requirements for these awards through personal experience and working with/learning from established providers. Your approach sounds quite wacky by comparison, and I'm not sure if it will actually benefit you all that much. I have a feeling that when you ultimately do show up on an MIA training you'll realise the disparity between what you're doing and bona fide professional lead training.
Just out of interest, what would you do if a large group got ahead of you and announced that they'd be on Maud's Garden for the next 4 hours? Does your "course" have the flexibility to work around this?
I am not working towards MIA. I am intending to start formal training so that I can one day transition from being a wage slave to being able to sell my skills.
What I am actually doing is being a nice guy and affording my skills to others out of the goodness of my heart and that is it. This is not a means to an end, but I am not so daft as to go through so much thought, care consideration, planning and action in something that is so close to what I have plans to develop myself in professionally as to not keep strong records of the groundwork and resulting course for future reference and use for my 'portfolio'. With the amount of work that has gone into it, any other approach would just be foolish.
To satisfy your last query, yes. I know the Roaches very well and could move my plans easily. I stand by my position, however, that I feel the route is a solid choice for the course and will use it if I am able on the day.
I do wonder if someone, having read or been told about this thread and being bloody minded will spot me during my course and be 'difficult' either by questioning me in an attempt to embarrass me in front of the participants or by requesting time on the route and taking an age on it to upset the timing of the course, or even just asking for a go on the route, whilst not actually caring to lead it, to test my integrity as I have said that with a reasonable discussion then I would most likely defer and move over for another party to lead it in between times. We all know that there are such people around. All I can hope is that the UKC users who have become involved in this thread and expressed dissatisfaction toward my eligibility and/or ethical position with regard to the course are adult enough to not create factitious difficulties for me. I would go home disgruntled in such a case, but the participants on the course I am running would then have a poor experience compared to the one that they could have had. (I suppose that it is fingers crossed for me then).
What I was saying was, instead of trying to teach yourself how to do MIA-level "work" from first principles, why not focus on getting your logbooks up to date for SPA and ML? They are awards that you can actually achieve within a much shorter framework, and thus start earning money and developing your career a lot faster.
My other concern is that you will in fact have taught your "clients" nothing more than how to lead Mauds Garden. That doesnt make them trad leaders; make sure they know that.
Your concerns are duly noted and gratefully accepted, however you are mistaken. I am not trying to teach myself how to do MIA work and I do intend to do SPA then MLA then MIA over the next few years. My plans to train and this course are unrelated. I am capable now of teaching the course or I would not be doing it. I am not trying to learn, in the sense of formal training requirements, from the experience at all. The two things are incidental to each other and have only become confused in this sense by folk making assumptions earlier and perhaps now in the thread.
You second concern is unwarranted unless you contact me privately, under the assurance to maintain confidentiality of our communication, and ask me about the course properly to find that your concern is well grounded, instead of casting aspersions as to what you worry the course does or doesn't manage to convey.
I'm finding it very hard to believe that there is so much alleged concern regarding my ability to instruct. For all any of you who have made derisory comments about my suitability for the role that I have taken on have any idea, I may be absolutely fantastic at the job and have all of the necessary attributes to achieve everything that I intend to with the course, but instead of actually getting in touch and asking me about it so as to allay any fears, worries or concerns that you may have, you sling mud around blindly in an internet forum. I feel rather well grounded in the face of such childishness. I do not wish here to tar all posters to this thread with the brush. I have appreciated those of you who have brought well intentioned and helpful dialogue to the discussion. I do feel that the meaningful discussion has kind of run out though.
Ive purposely refrained from posting on this very interesting thread until now (Im sitting here in pain and waitinf for some pain killers to kick in so I can sleep :o( )
Loads of folk learn to lead from their peers/ mates/fellow club members, but how is the quality and appropriateness of what they learn measured.
As an (dirty word?)instructor I get all sorts of high grade climbers coming to me for SPA courses and advanced rope skills courses and some of the ropework and ideas I see are quite eccentric and sometimes down right unsafe.
Quite often there is more than one way to do something in climbing - all equally appropritate or some more so than others in certain situations.
Throughout this thread you lay great emphasis on the course you have prepared and written and give the impression that you have set yourself up as a de facto instructor.
But where did you aquire the good practice, knowledge and material for your course, who taught you the skills to run a leading course?
Im going to send you my email and would be happy to look over your course material.
Remember the continuum of Unconcious incompetence - concious incompetence - concious competence and unconcious competence - how can you tell where you come on that continuuum?
I have a hopefully realisitc idea about my own humble instructing abilities as I have been assessed by mountaineers at the top of their game, am involved in CPD and have to submit (very willingly) to a moderation process every 2-3 years.
Genuinely intrigued as to the reference material/ source material for your course and its syllabus and hope we can have a positive private dialog.
All my very best wishes and YHM
David B.Ed Hons Outdoor Education, MIA, IML, MIC trained (never usually write this stuff, but thought it may be appropriate on this occasion)
> The course consists of mostly off route instruction with the participants on the first day having a single climb on top-rope of the route in question, taking about an hour to complete. This is to enable them to understand where the route goes and how to climb it so that when they lead it they are more able to concentrate on the placing of gear and associated considerations. On the second day they each have a single lead of the route and operating as pairs will also have a single second of the route in order to remove the gear that their partner placed.
Not charging for this seems a fair price to me. If you want a full 'Learn to Lead course' from a qualified and PI insured instructor then you should expect to pay for it.
> Hi EZ
> Ive purposely refrained from posting on this very interesting thread until now
Yes, me too Dave.
Hi EZ, I'm not posting to criticise you for not following a more conventional teaching structure although I do think it would allow you to access a lot of good -and well tested - practise.
Rather from what I've read it appears you have done some - no doubt thorough - research to establish your legal position. Now you can be an autodidact in some areas, but in legal matters it is not a wise approach. A solicitor who is not a specialist in this area is not sufficiently qualified either.
Although ultimately only a court can decide, you really need specialist legal advice to judge your liability. This will cost money obviously, but it might be a few quid well spent. My suspicion is that you are in quite a vulnerable position legally, and the stated intent of participants prior to something going wrong might be different to how they - or their families- behave subsequently if there were a problem.
Obviously I hope nothing does go wrong, but you need to protect yourself very carefully against eventualities, as even those where you have done nothing wrong could have an adverse outcome for you. Since Glenridding you may be liable for prosecution under criminal, rather than HSE law. And the law is not necessarily fair.
Take care and good luck.
......you may be liable for prosecution under criminal, rather than HSE law.
I think you've got your law mixed up quite badly there?
Thanks for your concern. It is noted and appreciated.
I have now entered into a meaningful, frank and open discussion including disclosure of documents, with David and am looking forward to a beneficial discourse.
> Billy; as this thread has unfolded we have learned that the errant 'instructor' was actually an unpaid, unqualified guy from a club taking some other people from the club out to show them how to lead. Now just how many fag papers can you slide between that situation and 'climbers learn to lead from their partners or get out and do it for themselves'?
I have assumed that the majority here are like you and I and have taught themselves, or have been taken out by a mate (maybe a mate from a club?) Nobody has yet posted to say that they learnt to lead after paying an instructor for lessons. I would be interested to see the statistics, but believe that they would back this up.
I firmly believe that regulation should stay away from climbing, which is why I am showing a strong stance against criticsm of amateur instructors who may feel that what they are doing is more trouble than it's worth.
Well done, keep it up.
There's nothing wrong in speaking first - it usually makes you appear more friendly and approachable.
Look at all the comments about 'meaningful' (whatever that means) conversation not being 'entered into' and nobody appearing to want to lead the route. They seem to miss the fact that an instructor/group can and does appear rather intimidating to many people. They won't then approach you or express an interest in the route. Speaking first can help here.
Thank you very much for your words of support and encouragement. They are appreciated.
That's interesting for sure. Maybe putting a sign up saying "we're nice guys, come bag the route if ya want!" could solve it! (obviously this is meant in jest and good humour)
Don't be so wet.
> I firmly believe that regulation should stay away from climbing,
But not the "EZ climbing club I can instruct" disclaimer...
Have you read his disclaimer, do you know what it says?
Can I ask have you any first aid training? Its not a leading a question more a a question of context.
No I don't.
> Have you read his disclaimer, do you know what it says?
I firmly believe...that is a rhetorical question in answer to a rhetorical statement.
I'm glad to see that we are going to come to a conclusion about this soon.
I firmly believe...you could be correct.
You should in my view avoid Maud's in future as its a popular classic and and it also has run-out climbing on the first slab (unless some moron has rechipped that nut runner placement) and a not unserious pull onto the hanging slab at the top (if being climbed as a single pitch); so in my view (as someone who has taught a large number of climbers to lead with no formal qualification myself) its a long way from a good early lead in quite a few respects. If the climbers had approached you for instruction (rather than you advertising) and there was no talk of disclaimers (which are worse than useless) and you were more circumspect about your own instruction ability or the routes suitability it would leave fewer concerns about your instruction process and legal cover.
Note also Pope was a friend of Cuthbertson before the court case and he badgered the full UIAA guide to be allowed his 'moment' on an independant lead of a well protected route: a good distance from your scenario.
Thanks for the concern.
Maud's garden's starting slab has a solid piece not in either of the chipped placements that is above those placements also. I am placing this piece whilst the leader is stood next to their own (1st) piece and using it not only to ensure that they are protected on the top of the slab but also as an opportunity to advise on another knack that can be useful whilst placing gear.
I disagree about the move out onto the head wall. It is excellently protected if one places gear from the gully with good extension to prevent drag around the arête.
I am actually very circumspect about my ability to do the job and have spent a long time planning it and reconsidering before going ahead. It may not appear so here because the devil and the deep blue sea are very close dangers between the forum lurkers and the well meaning but brash do-gooders who generally respond to this sort of topic.
There has been good information and as noted earlier today, I am in a private discussion with David Hooper who has been kind enough to offer his constructive assistance in regard to this matter.
Sorry I dont understand what you mean by those slab placements. Do you mean a pre-placed high siderunner (then not a lead as such) with you climbing next to the leader?
As for the move on the headwall, if they fall off when pulling on to this with rope stretch they can swing and bang their back on the block opposite.
No route is safe but there are better climbs with good crack protection all the way and fewer likely hazzards in case of a fall, plus of course BMC group good practice is to avoid classics.
My only 'angle' on this is to encourage sensible teaching of new climbers with or without the formal qualifications to do so. David seems like a sensible bloke.
A prosecution was brought under section 7 HSE '74. It was, as I understand it, the first time a teacher had been found criminally negligent rather than just being in breach of HSE legislation and so he received a custodial sentence for involuntary manslaughter due to extreme recklessness. It established a precedent for prosecuting criminal liability in this context. Whilst EZ can argue he is not at work and so HSE legislation does not apply as a framework the principle of duty of care and the willingness of courts to uphold prosecution for negligence should give pause for thought.
all this seems to of come about because of posturing as an instructor for the sake of it. why not just take mates out climbing as mates.
also, no offence, but claiming brownie points for running instruction out of the goodness of your heart is all a bit bull because they are your club mates - ive taken loads of mates out climbing and shown them things because i enjoy sharing my hobby with people i dont need to pretend im an instructor and have indemnity forms to do it.
a genuine instructor offering randoms genuine free lessons would be amazing, suprisingly enough it doesnt happen.
sorry if this comes across as offensive and im sure im in for plenty of abuse from other UKC users but i think it needs to be said to put some of this thread into proper context.
No route is safe, not all risks can be eliminated.
EZ has, without doubt, in the eyes of the HSE, put himself in the role of the instructor, through his actions in advertising, drawing up a syllabus, and waving disclaimers. Paid or unpaid he has a duty of care, not just to his clients, but everyone that he comes in to contact with in this role, to varying degrees.
His lack of qualifications will be jumped on by any lawyer.
Even if he is not found negligent, he has exposed himself to the possibility of being dragged through the courts. All instructors run this risk, but by not having qualifications, he is (rightly or wrongly) very vulnerable to having the finger of blame pointed at him if something goes wrong.
Being qualified and negligent wont help in the slightest.
Sure and Glenridding is an extreme example hence the imprisonment. My point is it marked a shift in the willingness to hold the individual liable for an unhappy outcome in an outdoor context.
The other point is that whatever you think your liability is where you have a duty of care to others may not be what you think it is. The courts will judge what that duty is and whether there is negligence if a case is brought before them. It's an area of law I'd be very careful about.
I see your point, but I think you are missing mine. Whether he is actually negligent or not is not necessarily going to protect him from going to court. A number of instructors have been taken to court over the years for accidents that you or I would think were outside their reasonable control. Ultimately the courts have found them not to be negligent, but they have still had the stress and the initial outlay of a legal defense, which is paid for by insurance. A prosecuting lawyer may believe it is worth a try due to his lack of qualifications. His lack of funds mentioned higher up will not protect him as a lawyer may think it is worth going for a criminal prosecution.
That shift had already happened. The company concerned in the Lyme Bay incident of 1993 was successfully prosecuted for corporate manslaughter. A charge of manslaughter was brought against the leader of the party over the death of Jonathan Atwell on Snowdon in 1999; in tyhat case the leader was acquitted.
A bit harsh to call it posturing as over 20 turned round and said "yes please!" He's put a bit more thought and care into it than the average and you're knocking him!
If EZ acts responsibly even if there is an accident he doesnt have to be insured and/or qualified and he still wont be found negligent if he hasnt been and lastly he doesnt need advice off people who are too thick to understand differently.
He can and is. There is nothing you people who continue to misinterpret Health & Safety can do about it.
Not sure about that. The lawyers that I have spoken to about this have been fairly clear that being qualified is actually a disadvantage in a negligence case (civil or criminal). The reasoning was that to prove negligence you need to first prove that the defendant knew what they should be doing. Formal qualifications are an excellent way of establishing this.
Besides, aren't people being a little paranoid . Does anybody know of a single case (between adults) where an amateur instructor has successfully been sued or prosecuted. I don't know of any that have even tried.
I just don't think that fear of litigation should stop people doing something useful. I'm still not convinced that he wouldn't be covered under the BMC insurance anyway.
I don't feel that 4 + 1 is a group worthy of consideration under the group practice guidelines and certainly not for the duration of a single lead each for the 4.
The placement on the slab is a solid piece of gear in line with the route and protects the upper section of the slab vey well.
The head wall is not a risky fall. The gear is solid and the climber is not far enough past the runner to risk a heavy fall into the back of the gully and is high enough above the floor of the gully to be clear of allowing the climber to hit that or the blocks atop the chimney.
I feel that we should agree to have our different opinions here.
As for there being better climbs. There are thousands of climbs. I happen to have chosen this one and have reasons for my decision. Enough said.
David does seem a sensible bloke. The tone implied in your comment suggests by inference that I am not and if that is what you mean then please keep your opinions to yourself in future until you know me and if that is not what you mean then a little more thoughtfulness over your prose might save someone taking offence at your comments.
Read the thread with interest.
Could we ALL be missing the real issue regarding EZ and liabilty etc.
I could not pay for a barrister, so I need insurance just to hava access to the funds to defend myself. So, qaulified or not you need deep pockets or insurance to mount a defence.
Disclaimers, BMC memembership, qaulifications, duty of care aside, does EZ have the money to employ a legail team or does he have enough legail skill to defend himself.
From my view I know that even the slowest barrister would detroy me in court, so I need insurance, in order to EASLY get insurance I need qaulifications if I chose to assume the role of instructor. An insurance company MAY chose to insure me with no qaulifictions but it COULD be harder.
Flip side is that clubs should be encouraged to support memmbers skills development and we should ALL be considerate on the crag.
> Not sure about that. The lawyers that I have spoken to about this have been fairly clear that being qualified is actually a disadvantage in a negligence case (civil or criminal). The reasoning was that to prove negligence you need to first prove that the defendant knew what they should be doing. Formal qualifications are an excellent way of establishing this.
So does that mean that anyone with an SPA teaching someone to lead is on dodgy ground as SPA holders know they can't teach leading? Or does it only apply if the SPA holder is working profesionally?
Does anybody know of a single case (between adults) where an amateur instructor has successfully been sued or prosecuted. I don't know of any that have even tried..
We are definitely being paranoid!
The teacher in the Glenridding case is exactly the example you seek. I suspect that many of the folk on here who are most concerned about EZ's insurance status are outdoor instructors, because we give this more thought than most.
I agree that fear of litigation shouldn't stop people from doing something useful- there are lots of ways that an experienced climber could teach lead climbing to his mates/club and not have any of these worries.
In reply to Fawksey- you and I are gong to have to agree to disagree. I hope you weren't calling me stupid as this is an interesting discussion that I was enjoying until that comment.
It is outside the remit of the SPA, that doesn't mean that they can't teach leading (i.e. legally or by virtue of ability)...
What it does mean is that the lawyer for the claimant could not use the SPA qualification to prove that the defendant was aware of best practice, but did not use it (negligence). They might, of course, find some other way to establish this.
just seems that its making it all ridiculously complicated have indemnity forms and course sylabuses, handouts a free prusics. its making it something its not. i was part of a club, when i joined people took me out and taught me to lead - there was no indemnity forms and they werent instructors although they had undertaken training and definitely had a first aid qualification! after that i took out other people - when we had new people in the club we would go out, carefully consider which crag we went to and then more experienced in ther group would teach the less expereinced.
we still had duty of care but we didnt need to consider all the legal bull because we werent setting out to be something we werent. ive set up topropes and sent 10 people up them, taught people to lead. i dont stand there when i am telling others at the crag they cant climb a route because i 'have a group' and i dont call myself an instructor.
Aha! Simon has put what I was trying to say so much better. Thanks!
But if the established (as in something the BMC would state in court is true,) way that the majority of climbers learn to lead is from books and each other and all parties are aware of the participation statement, then does it imply that qualifications are not needed for instruction, unless you are being paid to instruct?
No. It involves a child and a professional (teacher). Completely different set of circumstances.
Its a more extreme example, but the teacher was not qualified to lead the activity. In this case the teacher was clearly negligent, hence he went to jail- so yes there is a difference. What I'm talking about is the risk of court, not the risk of being found guilty. A lawyer might think it worth a go. Fortunately accidents are rare, and resulting legal action rarer, but in a way this means that the law has not been fully tested in these cases. Which I guess is why we are all getting our pants in a tangle on here.
I dont think there is room for disagreement. We just havent reached a concensus that we are both happy with yet. Im willing to bet we both agree its just that we havent conceded any ground yet.
I'm amazed this has run for so long without someone giving you grief for not having a profile.
I didn't say it did.
> I'm amazed this has run for so long without someone giving you grief for not having a profile.
He wishes to remain unqualified for legal reasons.
but the teacher was not qualified to lead the activity. In this case the teacher was clearly negligent,
And it certainly didn't help in court that he had lied about having passed his Summer ML.
The age of the victim makes it qualitatively different. The qualification (or lack of it) would have been irrelevant to the outcome. Indeed, if the teacher had held formal qualifications, I imagine that the sentence would have been more severe. The judgement would have been made because it should have been obvious to any reasonable (i.e. unqualified) person that what they were doing was reckless. EZ is obviously competent and reasonable. That example has no relevance to this discussion.
I asked if there were any examples of legal action between adults where the 'instructor' is unpaid.
I know of quite a few cases where accidents or fatalities have happened due to incompetence on the part of the 'instructor', but I know of none which have resulted in litigation.
"he doesnt need advice off people who are too thick to understand differently."
It was a general comment about people taking the opposing view to you on a reply to Tradattak.
I'm now wondering if I have conceded any ground... ah no... you are right... I haven't! I have learned a bit though.
Like you said, I am being paranoid. My original plea to EZ was to check his insured status with the BMC- which comes from my own inherent paranoia. He seemed pretty confident that he was fully covered. I think we all agree that he only *might* be covered now.
A very experienced instructor said to me once, "whenever I have a safety decision to make, I ask myself if I could stand up in a court of law and defend my decision without regret". I have taken that one on board pretty heavily.
I asked why would I not want to record my training? The reply was that it might be used against me if I was ever sued by a casualty.
Is it fair to say that free, unqualified instruction is approved of by the climbing community, yet it is not understood how the experienced person would be dealt with in court if an incident happended that caused injury or worse to the people they were taking out? Also, there has not been a case yet.
If you are afraid of being sued by a casualty then is MR the ideal place for you? This is an interesting Q for me too as I'm currently a probationer who is training with my local team!
Sorry Billy, the point I am trying to make is that EZ needs some one to represent him in court to prove this. So he either pays for it or relys on insurance. Barristers are very costly and with out one in court you are in trouble, with one he might be able to argue the point you made. With out one he will be very vunerable.
No, but it might enable you to hold onto your house.
Sounds sensible. It would be nice to get a definitive answer. Also up to him to decide whether he needs to be insured or not. Another rather counter-intuitive observation from my lawyer friends is that having insurance means that you are more likely to get sued. If you're not worth suing, then you're probably better off without.
Can't argue with that!
Tee hee. The other bomber bit of advice I've been given is: "Cornices only ever get bigger and scarier the closer you get". !
Ah, but I and several others (my point about learning to lead from a friend is trying to establish how many out there teach how to lead with no quals and it looks like a lot,) also teach people to lead and wonder how it affects us, so by saying that EZ has to have insurance or pay for potential legal costs affects us quite a bit!
Aha! But if you really are teaching your mates to lead (no syllabus, no disclaimer, no free prussik etc...) and you have BMC/MCofS insurance- you are covered!! Worry over.
But that would mean the extra effort that EZ is putting in to try to make his teaching of his mates safer is actually making him more vulnerable to prosecution?
Are you taking your mate out as a favour? I'd imagine in that case that you'd be held to account according to the standards of competence expected of a hypothetical reasonable person who was a competent climber -ie your peers. In EZs case, having created and implemented a climbing course, I wouldn't be surprised if the standards expected of him by law were those of the hypothetical reasonable instructor - his would be peers in the circumstances he has created. what you know isn't the issue, so much as what you should be expected to know. I'd anticipate that would include appropriate first aid training.
Who gets their mates to sign a waiver??? My answer here has to be a resounding YES, if they are indeed his mates.
I took 16 people caving. Ive taken peoples children caving. Im not insured. Im not going to be negligent. Sue me I havent got anything. Ok if I lose my motorbike and the roof over my head because I was negligent then I deserve it.
I am not going to give gangsters (insurance companies) money for something I dont need because of other peoples paranoia
That is your choice. My own view on this is that in the modern world I am vulnerable to being sued, but I am not going to let that put me off doing things I enjoy, like being involved with the MR team, or taking groups out on the hill. What I do is make sure I can get the best training I can, constantly re-asses my practices, go on CPD courses and have insurance. Incidentally, you should be covered by the team's insurance if a casualty tries to sue you.
I know it isnt necessary but I think every person who uses this forum should be.
He said he wasn't....
thing is instructor quals are there to avoid cowboys and set some kind of standards in a role with inherrant risk. im not saying ez is a risk im saying that hes trying to make it into something more than it is for whatever reason. i think it annoys me because i have seen people like this in clubs before and it upsets me. like so many people have said most people get taught by mates and just go out and enjoy it. its not complicated.
i may be just totally misjudging him but seems like hes just wants to be the big man instructor. lots of people have a teaching insting and love to teach and show friends or club members how to climb, thats great and i encourage it, it doesnt need indemnity forms and sylabuses. people become instructors to formalise this so they can make a career of a sport they love. if your not doing this then it seems like just playing instructor. he talks about his love of instructing and has spent hours doing his sylabus - well a basic part of group management is risk assesment and proceedure for an accident which should include the relevant first aider - if thats not even been covered then you have to question the rest of the 'syalabus'. im sure his rope works great and he can probably tell you the exact nkm of every different brand of nut but instructing is as much about group management which includes group etiquette. he would have a better understnading of this with either training or experience.
Yes, short of a person being a "pernicious ligature" ( ie barred from taking a legal case without a judge’s permission due to excessive unfounded litigation) you could be taken to court for many things. As a society we tend to ensure for the obvious risks, employers liability, cars etc
So if I rode down a small child on my bike (no insurance as it is not a motor vehicle) and no criminal case was found the parents could take me to court and I would have to hope I'd get some kind of free advice.
To be more specific if you accept a 'duty of care' by teaching you COULD be taken to court on spurious grounds but you should be acquitted, to gain that acquittal you’ll need good legal advice.
Having said that most motivation suing would appear to be money, if you have none they MAY leave you alone, unless the person or the next of kin want to use the court a means of vengeance......
> Yes, short of a person being a "pernicious ligature"
When I do my SPA later this year I will need first aid for that so I will soon be.
Haha :-) I'm kind of feeling the favoured flavour to most of your comments anyway. Thanks
Actually it is rather interesting to see the difference of opinions between posters on this thread. It is far more constructive than most threads that I remember from when I used to haunt the forums.
Good show UKC
my point is more that you would be better simplyfying and just enjoting climbing with mates. you dont have to put a label on it, formalise or be an instructor. seems to be like you doing all the shittest bits of being an instructor without being paid for it.
enjoy showing newbies how to climb - use it as a time for yourself to learn what works and what doesnt - and what upsets others at the crag.
sounds like you have the aptitude to be a good instructor with a bit of training - just dont forget the main point is it should be fun for everyone - your group and others at the crag.
be apologetic about hogging a route and no one will mind. be forceful about it and you will always look a prick.
> To be more specific if you accept a 'duty of care' by teaching you COULD be taken to court on spurious grounds but you should be acquitted, to gain that acquittal you’ll need good legal advice.
And that is what seems to have been the crux of the matter that brought this whole conversation into being. I will of course be continuing as planned but will be a little wiser for this thread and the private discussions that it has generated.
Absolutely- and unfortunately the same is true if you ride your bike in to someone who steps out without looking, or give 1st aid to a passer by. The good thing is, that by being a member of one of the mountaineering councils, at least someone else will pay for a lawyer to defend you for dropping a hex on a dog walker.
Which means they are more likely to sue as you have insurance...
Have you come to conclusion that you need to plan your training around ticking the boxes to be covered by BMC insurance? That's what seems to be the best way. Some BMC advice is here: http://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmcNews/media/u_content/File/safety_skills/publications/climbing_outside_boo...
A pamphlet based on this: http://www.thebmc.co.uk/Download.aspx?id=747 would be excellent!
> ......you may be liable for prosecution under criminal, rather than HSE law.
> I think you've got your law mixed up quite badly there?
He clearly knew he was tying up a classic line for long time and clearly knew another party was interested, it is simply good manners for the "offending" party to take the lead in negotiating a sensible compromise.
"Sorry, we're set to be here for a little while, would you like to nip up first?" would have saved 160+ posts. A choice of a more modest line would have also saved some stress.
Let's say I was blocking a path cutting a hedge (or some other worthy task), the polite response would be, "I'm very sorry for the inconvenience, I'll move the blockage so you can get past", ditto here.
SPA syllabus S 2.3.c Etiquette, "operate a flexible programme of activities so as to accommodate other site users".
I'm very sorry bz but you're a little late in the thread to be coming out with this. I have stated numerous times (did you read the whole thread?) that I am happy with my reasoned and carefully considered choice of routes.
I have also explained the duration of the use and the nature of our use of the route, in that it is for a single lead for each of the participants, which is exactly what any other user would be doing on the route.
Further to that I do not consider that 4 + 1 is a large party and besides this, having a pro-actively sensitive game of buzzword bingo and quoting a syllabus for a qualification program that does not have a relevance to the situation in question doesn't demonstrate anything other than your ability to voice nothing more than an opinion... which I disagree with.
Thanks for the effort though.
My opinion is that you were ill mannered, didn't handle the situation properly and are sticking to you guns.
There is certainly some fairly dogged sticking to guns going on - EZ appears to have them Evo-Sticked to his hands..
I fear this lack of flexibility and reluctance to take on board different ideas does not bode well for his career in instruction.
You clearly haven't read the thread thoroughly. I have apologised to the OP and have also discussed my future actions with regard to a similar situation. Please read first and type later.
You may find this an interesting read.
Looking at the current culture within society and changing it for the better.
This included the change to the AALA as mentioned before (I think).
By which you appear to imply that if I don't do things someone else's way that clearly I am 'in the wrong'.
> By which you appear to imply that if I don't do things someone else's way that clearly I am 'in the wrong'.
I think that's a fair assumption, having followed all of this.
Someone elses way, in this case, is based upon hundreds of thousands of hours of experience from hundreds of scrutinised individuals that make up the formal training programmes that create the (soft) 'competent' persons scheme that aims to assure safety, quality and enjoyment.
Would you happily sign a waiver for an unqualified person who enjoys doing a bit of electrical installation put a socket in your bathroom for free...and expect no fallout (Pedantic comments about Part P, BCO's etc. will be ignored ;-)).
The generally encouraging and polite response has been that your approach seems to place you and your charges at risk by not adopting these well evolved modalities of instruction. You certainly have strong and confident views. However, you have made statements about your approach including views on insurance, responsibilities and liabilities (when not being paid), waivers that demonstrate (politely) a lack of experience and a naivety, but when challenged (less politely) an arrogant response. This places in question your judgement on your own perception of your technical skills and your judgements of others. (That is an evidence based interpretation based upon your comments above)
What I cant understand is why you would do this? ...getting a bit of training isn't expensive or difficult is hugely illuminating and will improve your own climbing I am sure and first aid is a life skill.
What is it you have that makes you good for taking people out for free? Charge the same as an SPA or an MIA (you can) then use the money to get your tickets.?
> By which you appear to imply that if I don't do things someone else's way that clearly I am 'in the wrong'.
Or "in the wrong job"
Not at all. You have to sort the wheat from the chaff; some of what others say will be complete rubbish but other points will be valid and possibly even inspirational. This is the way that I have always worked as an instructor, as has every other professional that I know, from lowly in-house trainee to alpine Guide. The ability to take on board from peers, to constantly re-invent, re-discover and evolve is central to our profession, and in my opinion so it should be in an area so defined by uncertainty and areas of grey.
You by contrast have insisted throughout that there is nothing within your ethics, manners, course structure, paper trail, experience level that needs changing. Despite having a fraction of the instructional experience of those seeking to help you (I am, honest). You are either the Best Instructor Ever, and your fast-track, high-ratio, route-specific lead course is a work of utter inspiration, or I fear you are deluding yourself.
That sounds condescending and arrogant. But leaving that aside can you expand on that and explain to me how much instructional experience EZ has and how much sat tradattack has, so as to give credibility to your point
EZ:I disagree with quite a bit of your stance on the issues raised in this thread but I have to say, managing to keep providing dignified - if stubborn - responses in the face of quite some stick I rather admire. Good on you for that. Have a chat with Dave about things, I know him, he's a decent guy. Regards Jon
F*ck me!!! Just home and this thread has certainly grown legs.
Dont want to really post too much just now as only had 5 hours kip and head in another place on strong painkillers :o( + got my own climbing course to prepare for tomorrow.
Firstly though, this long thread has in the whole been conducted in a marked civilised fashion and not degenerated into the usual UKC name calling.
EZ has done me the honour of trusting me with emails of all his course notes which I will have a good look through tomorrow when I can do them justice.
I have also been contacted by other instructors who were on the crag that day running SPA courses and so have a third party perspective on what went on which I will feed back to EZ.
Think I should just take this to email with EZ for now as I dont want to breach his trust in emailing me.
However, one great thing about this thread is the lively and polite debate about crag ethics and etiquette. Discussion like this can help us all learn and lead towards a consesual understanding of good use of our crags.
Right then...... Im off to mail EZ :o)
Not meant as such.
Dont know the answer to either of those. But I do know that there has been far too much accumulated experience and ideas represented in this thread to have been stonewalled to the extent that EZ has. I'd have taken something aboard, and I'm actually qualified to do what he is.
Dont you think you might be defending your qualification as an instructor a bit here? You know like only you and your way can be right?
> Dont you think you might be defending your qualification as an instructor a bit here? You know like only you and your way can be right?
These must be a bit redundant then...
NDT (Non Destructive Testing) Level 2
IRATA Level 1
Welsh Mines Rescue City & Guilds Level 3 Emergency Rescue and Recovery of Casualties from Confined Spaces.
Level 2 Working in High Risk Confined Space.
Safe Entry into NC1 Category Confined Spaces.
Safe Entry into NC2, NC3 and NC4 Category Confined Spaces using Oxygen Re-breather Escape Sets.
Water Industry Confined Space Management.
Trained in Oxygen Resucitation.
Did you actually read any of my post? The point I've been repeatedly trying to get across to EZ is that the mark of a good instructor is a willingness to take on fresh perspectives. I do and will continue to do, but he seems unable to contemplate any room for improvement or modification.
He gets a sense of satisfaction out of introducing people to climbing and you get pound notes. Have you no room for him? Is there no room for the same kind of altruism that Mountain Rescue was born from or do you wish that was a money maker for commercial outdoor people too?
Hmm.. is that relevant because the Roaches is a confined space now?
Level 1 IRATA - FFS! Give it a rest.
> Hmm.. is that relevant because the Roaches is a confined space now?
> Level 1 IRATA - FFS! Give it a rest.
The list is from Fawksey's Profile
Why on earth would one need a a bunch of qualifications to work in a mine? God help us, they wouldn't be method of conveying best practice developed over millions of man hours of practise and way of helping keep the people working there safe and competent.
...FFS Give it a rest.
> Did you actually read any of my post? The point I've been repeatedly trying to get across to EZ is that the mark of a good instructor is a willingness to take on fresh perspectives. I do and will continue to do,
Word Jamie :o) The older I get, the more I realise I have to learn and less time to learn it in :o)
When an instructor (or anyone else) thinks they know it all and dont have to take on board or consider new or challenging concepts - that is when they are going to get dangerous.
Oh and ladies - I know fawkesey is proabably on the juice now and wants a good fight - but do stop bitch slapping each other and try to keep this nice educational thread positive :o)
Oh and just a quick correction to EZ - AFAIK he doesnt need his 1st aid for SPA training but he does for the assessment - maybe all "citizens" should do their 1st aid anyhow
I've seen your email David and I'm looking forward to the conversation and the third party feedback that you have received.
Me too, Im f*cked, g'night fawkesey........love you xxx
Well that's very catty, posting bits of someone's profile when they haven't raised the relevance of the qualification themselves. It doesn't discredit Fawksey because he hasn't suggested they're relevant. They're straightforward access tickets - so what? He can still hold an opinion.
Doesn't seem like great way for you to be acting though.
When contractors employ rope access workers it is to satisfy a method of work, they assume supervisor responsibility and they determine competence. IRATA is one of several methods of satisfying those obligations and objectives, such as LOLER. IRATA has very specific applications, I do rope access but not under IRATA.
Students eager to learn to climb for free aren't supervisors and can't assess competence.
> A prosecution was brought under section 7 HSE '74. It was, as I understand it, the first time a teacher had been found criminally negligent rather than just being in breach of HSE legislation and so he received a custodial sentence for involuntary manslaughter due to extreme recklessness. It established a precedent for prosecuting criminal liability in this context. Whilst EZ can argue he is not at work and so HSE legislation does not apply as a framework the principle of duty of care and the willingness of courts to uphold prosecution for negligence should give pause for thought.
You're mixing your law up a bit again...
For HSE '74, you mean the Health and Safety at Work, Etc Act 1974 (HASAWA '74). The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) enforce it, along with others, notably Health and Safety Inspectors appointed by local authorities.
The HASAWA '74 is criminal legislation. A 'duty of care' can exist in civil and criminal law.
A person may owe you a duty of care under common law in situations where the HASAWA '74 may not apply. (If they wanted redress for harm caused (say) by your act, omission or negligence, they would have to sue you in a civil court, rather than you being prosecuted in a criminal court by an enforcement authority).
> Well that's very catty, posting bits of someone's profile when they haven't raised the relevance of the qualification themselves. It doesn't discredit Fawksey because he hasn't suggested they're relevant. They're straightforward access tickets - so what? He can still hold an opinion.
> Doesn't seem like great way for you to be acting though.
I'm not trying to discredit Fawksey.
I'm sure he is in-credible.
?? whats the point of putting a CV in your profile and then criticising others for acting professionally (employing the same approach Fawksey and his employers do to safety)?
You tell me why someone would put Mine safety CV on a climbing forum profile.
I'm not acting I'm observing.
Personally I consider it relevant. Why have we got a cycling forum on UKClimbing.com???
> Personally I consider it relevant.
Uh?? Mine Safety CV is relevant to what???... conveying assessed experience and knowledge and competence ...underground? enlighten me.
>Why have we got a cycling forum on UKClimbing.com???
Presumably to discuss cycling ...you know like mountain biking...?
Anyway its pouring down outside and Ive got to get my motorcycle out the back yard and go to work and then Im off for a couple of crowns fitted woohoo!
Non of which is relevant but helps you to know Im made of warm blood bones and soft tissue.
I hope everyone has a good rewarding day.
i think you will find that he is running groups to gain expereice to gain his MIA and SPA so that in later life he can make money from climbing. an action you sime to find so abhorrent. does this change your opinion of the situation or are your snide remarks about instructors just trying to pick a fight?
Sorry but you are just plain wrong about my intentions and I have made statements further up that reaffirm this. What I am actually doing is helping a bunch of people whom I know to learn to lead so that our club's gear gets some real usage and they get to progress in the sport.
I am putting so much effort in to making the course repeatable by documenting everything and being careful to ensure that all relevant aspects are covered that I would be a fool to not consider using it for logged experience when I do, as I intend to, attempt to attain those qualifications.
To suggest anything else about my intentions is just not correct.
Jamie said that EZ wasn't prepared to take on board advice given to him by people with more experience. I therefore invited Jamie to support his statement by telling how much experience EZ had compared to you and unfortunately he wasn't able as he just didn't know.
I don't believe EZ is a Walter Mitty who is pretending to be a climbing instructor and I don't think he is undermining the structure of guides and instructors and doesn't deserve to be pilloried on here as he has been.
You're right I don't like the commercialising of climbing. I know its been present since the birth of alpinism but I think its heading towards compulsory insurance and training. I would defend people who do it for a sense of satisfaction every time against people who do it for money.
David Hooper was right I was pissed last night I hope I didn't cause any offence.
i dont think hes undermining instructors i think hes over complicating something simple and easy hence this thread. fact is if he just adopted the attitude of someone out at the crag having a day out and teaching some people then none of this would be going on. IMHO climbing is best taught informally and personally, it takes time and expereicne to know what works and what really helps people.
i dont think climbing can ever be truly commercial because of the nature of the people who climb and the reasons why we climb. i see nothing wrong with people making a living from something they love - its really a life commitment and the money is crap so you can be sure that none of them are in it for the money!
You said it took a few hours for that one session and thats for one of your several groups who will then also take up time on the route when they prepractice it on a top rope. I'd say you're hogging the route in exactly the way the guidelines advise against: the numbers of people in your party is an irrelevance, its time on the route (hogging) that counts. If anything, a top-rope party affords the ability to stop more often and let other climbers have a go.
I still don't understand how your beginner lead climbers place good pro on that slab without preplaced high side-runners. That slab is too run out as far as I'm concerned for a beginner lead, as a simple slip could see a nasty ground fall, evidenced by the moron who chipped the runner slot (which was broken when I last looked last summer). You are right that we will also have to agree to disagree on the risk of pulling onto the top slab. I've seen someone fall off and swing round backwards when on belay at the block: the extra rope stretch of belaying at the base would certainly have risked them hitting the block. That's one reason why its often done as a two pitch route. You could well know the route better than me, but not that much: I helped write the guidebook and have done it around ten times over the years with less experienced leaders (not beginners) and I've lost count otherwise with solos etc.
I really don't know you well enough to judge if you are sensible or not but you are showing some worrying signs of certainty of purpose for someone of your instruction experience, especially when contrasted with some wise heads here that are urging caution. Some dangerous climbers I knew had a similar attitude, with a strong desire to teach and an unwillingless to accept challenge. One such guy left a few injured less experienced climbing partners behind him, including some of my friends. He was broadly competant at climbing himself, friendly, helpful, did a lot of stuff for free and occasionally hurt people (and was lucky none of them died: one will never be able to climb again). He failed to think through what his partners might do when things went wrong, underestimating the complications that can arise with inexperienced climbers (they can do some very silly things when the fear suddenly hits). You seem like a well intentioned guy so I'd hate you to follow that sort of path.
This will be my last post so my final advice is: listen to David (none of us should ever stop learning); until you are qualified, teach people who ask you to teach them, rather than advertising; forget the syllabus; forget disclaimers; try to choose less complex, less classic routes in future.
I don't think he's been pilloried. A few people have got a tiny bit frustrated with his stubbornness/refreshing self confidence but by the standards of the internet it's been mild. He got a bit wound up with me and then I left him alone as it wasn't constructive.
I'm sure Mr Hooper can suggest a few things if they need suggesting.
Just briefly, I assure you there is a solid piece on the first slab that is not manufactured and would take a fall without concern.
How high is that piece of gear?
It is between the cam friendly slot on the right and the break at about waist level when stood able to place gear in the break when stood on the large polished foot hold.
> How high is that piece of gear?
Which...His own or his clubs gear.
Is Maud's garden the only route you know to instruct on, if so then I think you had better get some more routes found away from popular crags. I posted the BMC link to avoiding palces like the Roaches for instructing at weekends but it seems you intend to ignore their advice. That, along with your intransigence with people offering advice, hogging a route, and stating you are right makes you a bad instructor in my eyes.
Being able to take comments on board would make things better, and if you cannot when you go for any qualifications you will FAIL.
Now, how about finding some less used place to teach leading. It does not even need to be a route in the guide, so long as it has places to place runners and belays, and is just hard enough to not be a scramble. You could even hire a guide yourself to show you routes they use, and how they do things correctly, and don't get complained about as you have been.
Keep an open mind, it may help in future. DH will try to put you right.
Total side subject, and possible subject for another thread, but I find the resentment to outdoor instructors curious. Generalising a bit here but bear with me, climbing instructors love their sport more than most climbers, otherwise why else would they have given up the possibility of a nice well paid job with security and a pension that doesn't knacker your body? They enjoy sharing the mountain experience with novices and are totally made up that they can do it for a living (just).
I haven't met a single instructor that thinks that formal training should be compulsory in anything other than a climbing wall scenario, or for becoming an instructor. If we had no climbing instructors, far fewer people would be exposed to the outdoors, either via school, youth club or whatever.
If you can see a future scenario where we have compulsory training and insurance, I can see a reverse scenario which is the logical conclusion of your argument, where love of the outdoor environment is restricted to a select group of hard core nutters, and the rest of society does not value wild places whatsoever.
Just like to say I'm not a climbing instructor, just a summer ML (SPA trained over a decade ago). I love climbing, I'm fairly experienced, but I don't enjoy the sausage factory of SPA work, I am absolutely not good enough to get in to MIA territory. My passion is teaching navigation, which gives me huge satisfaction.
Hold on, What if my self an 5 freinds went to the roaches and we all wanted to lead 1 route. are you suggesting that we shouldnt because it would be route hogging?
I think accusations of EZ being stubborn are untrue (and I have read the whole thread!) He has said that he has taken time to plan what he thinks is best. he has recieved critiscm and he is looking at what he is doing based on that. I don't understand the interpretation of stubborness and unwillingless to change.
He showed that he has done much more than most doing exactly the same thing and is being criticised for it?
In reply to Snoweider:
I think you should open up your post as another thread as there are quite a few comments that don't hold water.
As I'm sure you know generally that doesn't happen. Groups of friends spread the leading and seconding over a bunch of routes. Which would be fine on a "course" as well. It would probably be a better course as the participants would be exposed to a few more routes and the benefit of the more experienced persons varied approach to those varied challenges.
I probably should, but I'm meant to be writing a newsletter (for free- q comments about being an untrained volunteer journalist) and keep getting side tracked so probably better not!
I my experience when teaching people to lead the LAST thing they need is a pack of vulchers below them wanting them to hurry up.
> EZ has a good awareness of ethics, and so I feel this quote was more likely mis-quoted.
> Also, with regards to route choice, why teach someone to lead on skyline where the belay stances are less obvious to set up, shorter routes therefore less of an experience/less gear placements/less variety and have to re-rig a fixed line any time someone wants them to move on?!
> Also, on Saturday, which was a lovely day, I was on skyline (which was alot busier than normal, with a lot of groups about) and was nicely climbing on alpha buttress when we were literally invaded by 20-30 met police climbing club members, which made us very uneasy and invasive and chose to move on.
> I'd hate this to happen if EZ had to relocate his course and force someone just out for a peaceful quiet climb on the skyline to move on.
> Finally, to reiterate the time, effort and cost, all for free, that EZ has put into this course!
Maybe this post needs a bit more focus. Someone that knows him backs him up and it seems that there were worse culprits on the crag that day.
> Maybe this post needs a bit more focus. Someone that knows him backs him up.
It's one thing for 5 mates to independently decide to lead a route one after each other and another thing for an instructor to point their group of 5 at one route.
Me and GW were climbing on the Skyline and the Met Police turned up (about 30 of them) and started routing. they were quite friendly and we had a bit of banter but we just moved on to a different butress. There are enough climbs at the Roaches to move on if a climb is busy or you want a bit of peace just as we did.
I can't believe how upset some people are that a VDiff was occupied for a couple of hours for teaching people fresh to climbing when there are so many routes of the same grade and quality all over the crag. Beckermet Slab and Inverted staircase are just two quality examples within 10 yards of Maud's.
I agree. The presence of other routes was suggested to EZ but he wasn't having any of it.
One thing that is amusing to me is the fact that 50 years ago when I first did Maud's garden, it was actually a vertical garden, a scruffy unused bit of rock for the most part. How routes get picked bare,
> I agree. The presence of other routes was suggested to EZ but he wasn't having any of it.
Clearly this is a disagreement by you with what Double Knee Bar said.
Yep, turned his point around.
But I'm sick of all this now. I hope your courses go well.
Thank you. I appreciate the sentiment.
> "climbing instructors love their sport more than most climbers,"
Prove it. I dont believe you can and I dont believe its true.
"otherwise why else would they have given up the possibility of a nice well paid job with security and a pension that doesn't knacker your body?"
What nice paid job with security and a pension?
"If you can see a future scenario where we have compulsory training and insurance, I can see a reverse scenario which is the logical conclusion of your argument, where love of the outdoor environment is restricted to a select group of hard core nutters, and the rest of society does not value wild places whatsoever."
Thats a massive assumption. I guess then thats how it must have been before SPA came on the scene? So if there were no instructors there would be few climbers and nobody would value wild places? Are you so precious that you believe climbers are the only peole who love wild places? I probably had never lead climbed before I was writing about the opposition to the proposed Shieldaig Hydro development for my Environmental Science degree.
It appears that there is a little band of SPA and/or ML holders on here who believe the ticket gives them the right to tell other people what they should and shouldnt do. Maybe it attracts a certain mentality?
they are climbing instructors because they love climbing so want to find some way of climbing more, having the freedom to be outside and to generally climb as much as possible. you also have to be a people person and enjoy teaching or guiding or its gonna be no fun at all.
there really isnt any money in it so why else would you do it other than as a lifestyle choice?
you are perfectly good at telling people what they should or shouldnt do without an ml or an spa so thats a fairly moot point. you also asked specifically for peoples qualifications earlier in the thread.
He didnt know what experience you had. He didnt know what Experience EZ had but still made the statement that the people (one of them being you) who were telling EZ what he should do had more experience.
Fawksey <--- bangs head against wall in frustration.
others have posted saying they are MIA - you need a lot of experience to become an MIA aswell as any experience they have since then
they are clearly more experienced than him - its not hard to work out
you just compared me to EZ not anyone else on the thread and i had not stated my experience at any point. so yes, your point is meaningless.
try baning your head harder.
> others have posted saying they are MIA - you need a lot of experience to become an MIA aswell as any experience they have since then
> they are clearly more experienced than him - its not hard to work out
Assumptions based on no fact at all
He may well have the nessecary experience to do his MIA already, just hasn't. It isn't mandatory to do MIA is you have gained the experience to do so! You don't know this. He has stated that he will use this to log his experiences, but it doesn't mean he hasnt gained the nessecary experience already, it's just he hasn't logged it.
And just as an aside, incase people are still questioning his intergrity, EZ, (combined with my childhood and my dad's experience), taught me to lead about 18 months ago.
I trust his experience impeccably, and him as a person, as EZ has held me on many a fall, and vice versa.
Anyway EZ was keeping his head down and just doing what he does. Giving of his time. That is until those waving their SPA/ML/MIA tickets and you jumped down his throat for having the temerity to not hold a ticket that tells them they are competent (in case I presume they are too thick to realise it themselves) and do what he does for free!
ahhh i should have realised a while ago theres no point talking to you with reason. your just an angry little man who wants to be angry. carry on mate im bored of trying to talk to you now.
> That is until those waving their SPA/ML/MIA tickets and you jumped down his throat for having the temerity to not hold a ticket that tells them they are competent (in case I presume they are too thick to realise it themselves) and do what he does for free!
Oi! I've SPA and ML. Don't lump me in whith them!
> Prove it. I dont believe you can and I dont believe its true.
> I guess then thats how it must have been before SPA came on the scene?
> It appears that there is a little band of SPA and/or ML holders on here who believe the ticket gives them the right to tell other people what they should and shouldnt do. Maybe it attracts a certain mentality?
1. Quantifying love is always difficult isn't it; you must have found that? ;-)
2. Before the SPSA came on the scene there were many, many people who climbed and loved wild places. There were also some people taking others out who were guilty of rank bad practice and an ignorance of the mores assumed by most climbers. Hopefully the development of the SPA has adjusted the ratio of one to the other somewhat.
3. Who are they? Looking at the start of this thread, and others, it would seem that the boot is often on t'other kicking limb.
if you would like to take me up on this bet feel free.
im not having ago at him i was just answering fawkseys point that comparing my experience to EZ is not the same as comparing everyone in the thread to EZ.
Im not angry, Im bewildered. See my face? Its not an angry look its the same look that a bull has when its been hit square between the eyes with a 22 pound hammer.
your the one that needs to make his mind up. so is glenmore lodge ok? not to commercial? not making money from climbing?
I'm going to try to say this for the last time. YOU ARE WRONG! I am not doing this for qualification experience logging. Nor am I carrying the course out in the fashion that I am retrospectively to any initial intention in order to fit in with acquiring suitable experience that I can include in a training log.
Wrong wrong wrong (to steal someone else's fantastic line)... wrongety wrong with wrong knobs and wrong varnish!
I am doing this course because I enjoy it. I am doing this course because I want to share the sport I love with other like minded individuals whom I have an affiliation and friendly relationship with and whom I knew personally (all of them) prior to the course even having been thought of. It's just a nice thing to do for all directly involved, including myself as the sense of satisfaction is immense.
My experience is this: I have about 8 years of climbing experience. I have led E3 and operate at the moment at E1 5c (I cleaned Cenotaph Corner as my first route of the year). I have taught about 4 people to lead previously on a disorganised basis and have assisted numerous others with their climbing from rock skills to rope skills. I am exceptionally supportive of people who wish to achieve. About 5 years ago I received 2 days of 1:3 (with two friends) private instruction in leading from an MIA working as part of a small concern in Snowdonia. And that is it. I climb from the start of light evenings in spring through to october(ish) two or three times a week, locally, further into the Peak and in Snowdonia and I train indoor and do outdoor stuff in winter when it is feasible.
I realised from my last couple of years of developing two climbing partners (one of whom dropped out due to other commitments - he got himself into SCUBA) that it is a very lengthy process when one just invites folk to come out now and then without structure and whilst trying to achieve one's own aims at the same time.
I wanted, having seen the gear that the club has that was essentially unused and having felt the breath on the back of my neck of a number of people in the club who it appeared were going to desire of my time and experience, to avoid losing excessive amounts my own climbing time this season and to avoid it being broken up by bitty instruction. So I came up with the idea of offering to teach people in an organised way. It seemed (and still does) pretty sensible. In order to do this I sat down for a long time (probably as noted earlier in the thread about 20 hours in total) to plan the course so that I achieved everything. To suggest that this approach is wrong or poor is, I feel, just daft. I have used my experience, referenced books, scouted the crag to ensure that I knew what I was doing and where it was feasible. And after all of that I invited participation for what I thought would be 6 - 8 people and was overwhelmed (and very happy) with the response.
Any training that I am considering for myself to one day achieve the qualifications that I would need to be able to do this commercially (I am currently an engineer on a dirty [probably] toxic shop floor and would much prefer to be able to be outdoors in the places that I love) are incidental to the course. They are wholly unconnected, excepting that... and please let this be the last time I have to explain this... I would be a fool to do all of this work and not maintain sound records so that I can include the experience in my training logs when I do come to start my endeavours towards becoming qualified.
I hope that this gives some background and dissolves the misunderstanding that appears to have grown into presumption about my intention.
my point is that there have been more experienced people talking in this thread, some very experienced people, to deny that or ignore that is just foolish.
you have said yourself that youve entered into discussions with them and thats fine, its just fawksey whos to stubborn to admit that they might be more experienced.
apologies for annoying you. i realise i made harsh judgements earlier in the thread, you just came across like you were mr instructor man and you know best.
You were talking about my intentions it is just above where you are reading now in black and white!
Accepted. Thanks. And worth noting, why didn't anybody just ask! I am an open guy who does not lie... ever. Personal integrity is what will take me to my grave a happy man.
i fully accept part of this is me making assumptions but i think they are assumptions a lot of people make and its that 'instructor big man' stance that gets peoples backs up. i think instructing is 50% safety and 50% people skills, being friendly and approachable.
i am genuinely sorry for ranting at you earlier in the thread. i think softer people skills would help both of us.
Now thats where we differ!
> You were talking about my intentions it is just above where you are reading now in black and white!
i meant it as context for your experience not to discuss your whole intentions.
Blimey Fawksey, I really don't care about this shiz as much as you. Its been fun arguing with you but there is a serious case of pot-kettle -black going on here. You have made as many generalisations about the scene as me and I'm not jumping on your back asking you to qualify every little detail and I'm not getting nasty about it.
I'm really not trying to wave my own minor hillwalking qualification about- but it seemed relevant to the point in that I have thought about this stuff in relation to my own career. Like you mentioned MR, and even the fact that you have paid some guides, and the fact that you have decided to put your IRATA quals on your profile. Take your own chill pill!
So, does Brodick still get full of neds at the weekend? Is there a better camp site than the one at Lochranza?
*Grins* Brodick is best avoided between July and August! Camping wise, nothing beats wild in the hills, but you know that... I was musing today that the chances of me having to Q for a route here are minimal. Can't recall last time I went to the Roaches, not sure that I would like it.
Some of their staff who know shed loads about all sort of things post on here now and again to give advice but I've never seen one of them say 'thou shalt not...'. Most instructors - in my limited experience - tend not to be hard-and-fast prescriptive as they know that the world is not like that. On courses it tends to be 'have you thought about....' rather than 'you musn't...'
It IS slightly different to the Glen Rosa experience...Be happy where you are!
Im an instructor (although its certainly not how I define myself)
How have I behaved on this thread that has offended you?
Youve just inspired me to cook some Chilliconspicouscous ?
Seriously - I want to wade in - I really do, but I have a big wadge of mail from EZ and from other instructors who were working The Roaches on that day and I have to respect folks confidentiality + Im too bloody sick at the mo to string a constructive paragraph tpogether .
Ill certainly write to EZ when Ive read the stuff - feed basck othert instructors observations to him, and then its up to him whether or not I can comment on here.
Well Im off to cook my dinner4
How many 'instructors' have there been on this thread apart from the ML holder on Arran that you had a pop at? Excluding, obviously, the blessed Mr Hooper of this parish! And how have they offended you? The thread quite clearly started off as cliched UKC knee-jerk instructor bashing without knowing any context. EZ - good effort son! - has held his own; generally folks have slowly recognised that what he is doing conforms to their idea of 'a good thing', and some other folks have said that he might want to think through his approach and reflect on his legal status.
I really can't be bothered to trawl back through the whole saga but I can't remember anyone, ever saying 'You can't....'
You just said a day later that "folks have slowly recognised that what he is doing conforms to their idea of a good thing" You even said Good effort son!
Well youre a bit late thats what I was doing yesterday. You were probably having an afternoon nap yer sily old bugger.
Empty Barrels Make The Most Noise
Fawkesy - What I actually said was 'How many 'instructors' have there been on this thread apart from the ML holder on Arran that you had a pop at? Excluding, obviously, the blessed Mr Hooper of this parish! And how have they offended you? The thread quite clearly started off as cliched UKC knee-jerk instructor bashing without knowing any context. EZ - good effort son! - has held his own; generally folks have slowly recognised that what he is doing conforms to their idea of 'a good thing', and some other folks have said that he might want to think through his approach and reflect on his legal status.
I really can't be bothered to trawl back through the whole saga but I can't remember anyone, ever saying 'You can't....'
> Well youre a bit late thats what I was doing yesterday. You were probably having an afternoon nap yer sily old bugger.
I have followed this thread from its start; you asserted that instructors had been mouthing off - I invited you to substantiate that.
My caveats were not 'x' and 'y' - I excepted Dave Hooper alone. Bless him.
Where's the 'made up quotation'?
And how come at 20.30 you are pissed and incoherent?
> How many 'instructors' have there been on this thread apart from the ML holder on Arran
Erm, there are a few more than that, but the spartacus thing doesn't seem to be catching on....
Hey - I know! but I'm pretty convinced Fawkesy doesn't! And its a shame you caught flak for saying what you thought - NOT saying what people may or may not do.
But I'm just a 'sily old bugger' (sic) :-)
I've really enjoyed this debate. In a way I wish it was a hypothetical one, rather than putting a real persons actions under scrutiny- so what ever I may think of the risks he is taking, I have to admire EZ for his courage- on here anyway. I don't think I have taken a serious amount of flak either, I have tried not to give any. Others have taken more, but they have given more too.
I see you sidestepped the fact that people have slowly decided that EZ was doing right even though Ive said that all along. Is nice to know Im ahead of my time.
You keep putting words into my mouth. You see what Ive said beforee in reply to someone then change the goalposts.
Ive made my peace long ago with David Hooper. With Jamie Bankhead and with Spartacus from Arran. Im not being stirred up all over again by you. You dont even respect me enough to ask me a question thats not full of deciet.
> I see you sidestepped the fact that people have slowly decided that EZ was doing right even though Ive said that all along. Is nice to know Im ahead of my time.
> You keep putting words into my mouth. You see what Ive said beforee in reply to someone then change the goalposts.
> Ive made my peace long ago with David Hooper. With Jamie Bankhead and with Spartacus from Arran. Im not being stirred up all over again by you. You dont even respect me enough to ask me a question thats not full of deciet.
Deceit. Go to bed
For the sake of your on-line 'reputation' and whatever credibility you have in this forum going to bed might actually be a good idea? You're not making a load of sense right at this moment. See you in the morning.
Just for the record. Do you really find "bog off" offensive? I'm only asking because some Boulderers are finding the phrase "sub-sporter" offensive and getting all hot an bothered.
It's making me question how I was brought up and I'm 42 you know.
> Just for the record. Do you really find "bog off" offensive? I'm only asking because some Boulderers are finding the phrase "sub-sporter" offensive and getting all hot an bothered.
> It's making me question how I was brought up and I'm 42 you know.
Someone I don't know? on a forum thread where a lot of aggression is being shown? I think its designed to be offensive. Certainly dismissive and arrogant.
Asking me to name other instructors present on the thread when you knew full well there were others present. You hoped I wouldnt know but unfortunately the lady from Arran was more honest than you.
You come on a thread not to join in a debate and attempt to reach a general concensus that might placate everyone but only with the sole intent of tripping me up.
Its your reputation thats being diminished here.
For what? Pointing out you're pissed and incoherent?
Anyone could have done the same.
I suggested you might 'name other instructors present on the thread' as you were generally slagging the contribution of 'instructors' to the debate without any apparent knowledge of which 'instructors' were contributing.
And if we're talking about patronising; it's not 'a lady from Arran'. Its a 'climber from Arran'.
> Its your reputation thats being diminished here.
P.S. I don't have a reputation to worry about :-) Look at the 'L'
Are you still reading all this Nic??
Can't believe this thread is still rolling on.
EZ - good luck to you.
I think the relevant phrase is LOL ? :-)
Do you want to know his inside leg measurement?
> Can't believe this thread is still rolling on.
> EZ - good luck to you.
I'm advising you of this on the forum so that anyone who is interested in the outcome of our discussion can see that I am inviting public disclosure of your observations.
Please take this as carte blanch to speak freely on this forum as you see fit about the attitude that I have brought to our discussion, the overall construction and apparent preparation of my course, and the subsequent approach that I will have taken with regard to the course following your sharing of your observations with me about it.
I am also happy for you to offer for discussion any third party observations from the communications that you have received from other instructors who were present during the course at the time, as you see fit.
The only caveats that I include in this are that you wait until our private communications have drawn toward a close so that you can see and include for consideration my demeanor and approach to receiving critical assistance; and that the specifics and content of the documents that I have disclosed to you are not for public consideration. Anyone who wishes after this thread has concluded to discuss them should contact me directly so that I can enter into a meaningful discussion with them.
(for those reading who are wondering, please be aware that this is suggested prior to David offering me any feedback so far. I also invite discussion of any points that David may publicly raise)
Gosh you are a pompous ass - get over it - be a little more considerate and open minded in future and get over it.
People have shown what they described as genuine concern over a number of aspects covered on this thread. If you choose not to be interested then choose not to read it. The respect that David Hooper appears to be given by a large number of people here seems to suggest that he is a man worth listening to and he had alluded to returning to the thread with his observations depending on my concurrence. All I am doing is giving my consent for him to do so and whilst I would like to feel vindicated still have no idea if that is what will happen.
Again though, if you are not interested then stop clicking the link. You could save yourself from your frustration so easily.
i also hear the same arguments from surfers, kayakers you name it, respect others as you would like to be yourselves.
if you want peace and quiet walk further than 5 minutes from your car..
Apologies mate. I meant to reply to the post above your's and had not noticed that I hadn't.
Rather than make assumptions, why not speak to the BMC and find out? If they can't tell you, they will speak to their brokers, who have a very good understanding of how the outdoor world functions. You will then have the assurance of knowing whether or not you are covered, before you find out the hard way.
Disclaimers are meaningless. You should also remember that it may not be the individual who decides - if they are severely injured or even killed and have insurance, then their insurer will seek to recover from you what they have had to pay out.
You are right that I should [probably] speak to the BMC, but I am certain that I am covered against injury to passers by and non- participating climbers. This is the sense in which I am showing certainty of third party insurance and no other.
If disclaimers are generally (this is the feeling I get from comments on this thread) worthless, then why are they the accepted norm at every climbing wall that I know of?
Do you have the policy document to hand or is that just your understanding? It would be nice to get an authoritative opinion on this. The rest of us have basically concluded that we don't really know.
> If disclaimers are generally (this is the feeling I get from comments on this thread) worthless, then why are they the accepted norm at every climbing wall that I know of?
I think that there is a little bit of confusion regarding this. They don't remove the duty of care, but they can be used to establish a volenti defence.
So, they are not really a 'disclaimer' as such, but neither are they meaningless.
Thanks. I am bringing as much care as I can to what I am doing so from what you describe it feels as though it is a beneficial addition to what I am doing bearing in mind the way that I have brought so much planning and organisation to the course.
" I would be a fool to do all of this work and not maintain sound records so that I can include the experience in my training logs when I do come to start my endeavours towards becoming qualified."
In general experience acquired before training for SPA/MIA/etc does not count undoubtedly it will help though.
I ask clients to sign that they have read my terms and conditions and agree to them. This includes accepting that adventurous activities include a risk of serious injury or even death. I do this not to protect myself from being sued, but to encourage clients to take responsibility for their own actions. I think the act of having to sign something focuses the mind. It also reassures me that the clients know what to expect from the services I provide.
Just re-read that post and it sounds like I'm saying clients should expect injury or death. Brilliant! :)
I had not even looked into it to find out. It was a post facto consideration after it had been mentioned by others.
From the BMC website - 'Does my BMC Civil Liability Insurance cover me when instructing?
Individual BMC Members are covered by both Civil Liability and Personal Accident Disability insurance for hill walking, climbing and mountaineering. This insurance also covers candidates during training and whilst gaining relevant experience during the consolidation / log book period.'
My interpretation of that is that EZ is covered.
From the policy details, again on the BMC website:
'The policy protects you for legal liability following injury or damage to third parties, arising in connection with hill walking, climbing and mountaineering. The limit of indemnity in respect of any claim made during the period of insurance is £10 million for any one period. The cover operates worldwide and there is no excess applicable. The cover does not apply to people who are acting as professional instructors, guides or in a similar professional business capacity.
Liability protection covers you for claims against you for injury or damages caused. You and your assets are protected if you are taken to court, for example, for dislodging a rock that caused injury to someone else and that person sues you.'
The key word there is 'professional'.
That was my interpretation too, and fits with what I have been told by lawyers (who are also members of the BMC). However, there were a few people earlier who disagreed, and I don't think that the full policy wording is available online.
Thanks, I had seen that page. Suggests that the full policy is only available from the BMC on request.
I think that it comes down to the insurers interpretation of "professional". My concern is that insurers might see the way he has set the course up to be acting in a professional capacity. I don't think professional means the same thing as "paid", nor does it mean the same thing as "qualified". If it were me I would have definitely checked by now!
I still maintain that informalising it and taking on a different tone or just doing it through the club would solve all of these issues. If EZ is so confident in himself and his methods why distance himself from the protection of the club.
You are right. I've checked. The minute the words 'teaching' or 'instructing' come into play there is a problem as you may be deemed to be acting 'professionally' even though in an unpaid and informal capacity. And you'd probably only find out for sure if you were deemed to be acting thus once you'd set foot inside a court.
If EZ runs a BMC affiliated club activity where he is teaching other mebers to lead - he is covered.
If EZ has undertaken SPA training and what he is doing could be construed as 'gaining relevant experience' (and unfortunately in this case teaching leading is outwith the SPA remit so it couldn't really be construed as 'relevant') - he is covered. (Applies to ML etc as well)
But if BMC member Joe Bloggs is 'teaching/instructing' John Doe how to lead outside of the 'club umberella' then he is probably NOT covered.
So, reluctantly, I feel that EZ is probably not covered if he is operating outwith his club - far better to run it as a club meet.
So its a very grey area, which will probably only be tested if something goes wrong and someone feels aggrieved enough to initiate court action?
You can see why someone might more gung ho than me and would take a chance, but I would be looking for another way to cover myself. The club option seems like a good one, as leading is taught within a club context and seems to be covered by BMC insurance.
> You are right. I've checked. The minute the words 'teaching' or 'instructing' come into play there is a problem as you may be deemed to be acting 'professionally' even though in an unpaid and informal capacity. And you'd probably only find out for sure if you were deemed to be acting thus once you'd set foot inside a court.
> If EZ runs a BMC affiliated club activity where he is teaching other mebers to lead - he is covered.
> If EZ has undertaken SPA training and what he is doing could be construed as 'gaining relevant experience' (and unfortunately in this case teaching leading is outwith the SPA remit so it couldn't really be construed as 'relevant') - he is covered. (Applies to ML etc as well)
> But if BMC member Joe Bloggs is 'teaching/instructing' John Doe how to lead outside of the 'club umberella' then he is probably NOT covered.
> So, reluctantly, I feel that EZ is probably not covered if he is operating outwith his club - far better to run it as a club meet.
As I read it there's a grey area regarding individual members of the BMC as opposed to club members.
Wouldn't it be a bit odd if you were covered as a club member but not as an individual member paying your sub directly and instructing other individual memebrs?
Maybe...But don't forget to take your signed disclaimers along to show to that nice man at the Pru.
Er.. They aren't, are they? Is a piece of paper that says "I've read and understand this, I'm aware of that and that and that" a disclaimer?
I don't think so.
I may be misunderstanding definitions then. Please can you tell me what the statement that one signs at a climbing wall acknowledging the dangers of th activity is.
"The BMC recognises that climbing, hill walking and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement."
In the labarynthine world we inhabit they probably ARE. By their BMC insurance. But if they are involved in an accident on a 'course' the insurers may well seek to transfer liability to the instructor. There's a double incentive to regard someone in EZ's situation as acting outwith the cover then!
EZ - put simply no-one can sign away their legal right to redress through a civil action. If you are injured through the action or inaction of another you can seek redress. You might win - you might not.
What you sign at a wall is usually a declaration of your own levels of competence and an understanding of the BMC participation statement - or variation thereof. No matter what you have signed if the wall falls on you you can still sue. If a hold spins and you are injured you can still sue. And then the barristers fight it out.....
and afterall apart from insurance companies there is only one other firm that deals in insurance. The Mafia.
Yes thats why I prefer climbing with experienced acquaintances without insurance than getting involved with instructors and insurance. Soon as theres money involved it always gets grubby. Vested interests start to get involved and try to manipulate ;)
Yes bloody cheek, An instructor was hogging the Crib Coch Via Ferrata all day today - where will it all end?
It really isn't that simple. There are certain situations in which the law allows exclusion of liability. It happens that in the UK the law does not allow exclusion of liability for negligence which leads to injury or death, but there are other situations where (as part of a contract) you can sign away your right to redress through civil action.
The situation where the 'disclaimer' would be used is when a client claimed that, even though the instructor used good practice, it was not explained to them that there was an inherent and unavoidable risk to the activity. In that case, the 'disclaimer' could prove that this was not the case. That is why climbing walls and instructors?? have them.
> If you are injured through the action or inaction of another you can seek redress.
> Hi David,
> I'm advising you of this on the forum so that anyone who is interested in the outcome of our discussion can see that I am inviting public disclosure of your observations.
> Please take this as carte blanch to speak freely on this forum as you see fit about the attitude that I have brought to our discussion, the overall construction and apparent preparation of my course, and the subsequent approach that I will have taken with regard to the course following your sharing of your observations with me about it.
> I am also happy for you to offer for discussion any third party observations from the communications that you have received from other instructors who were present during the course at the time, as you see fit.
> The only caveats that I include in this are that you wait until our private communications have drawn toward a close so that you can see and include for consideration my demeanor and approach to receiving critical assistance; and that the specifics and content of the documents that I have disclosed to you are not for public consideration. Anyone who wishes after this thread has concluded to discuss them should contact me directly so that I can enter into a meaningful discussion with them.
> (for those reading who are wondering, please be aware that this is suggested prior to David offering me any feedback so far. I also invite discussion of any points that David may publicly raise)
Or how about;
Please feel free to comment in full on this open forum as you feel fit with regard to my actions on the day, replies here on the forum and your opinions. Without restrictions.'
Apologies for not attending to this yet guys - Ive been running courses this week whilst rather ill - will attend to it tomorrow all being well.
Im getting rather a lot of emails from different parties.
May be a good idea for an offical BMC rep to clarify the insurance issue though. EZ is deffo running a course (even if not for remuneration) rather than just "showing some mates the ropes"
"EZ is deffo running a course (even if not for remuneration) rather than just "showing some mates the ropes"
WOW! you've def got finger on pulse! LOL
p.s. Kids keep asking about Chewie btw?
> Hi David,
> I'm advising you of this on the forum so that anyone who is interested in the outcome of our discussion can see that I am inviting public disclosure of your observations.
> Please take this as carte blanch to speak freely on this forum as you see fit about the attitude that I have brought to our discussion, the overall construction and apparent preparation of my course, and the subsequent approach that I will have taken with regard to the course following your sharing of your observations with me about it.
> I am also happy for you to offer for discussion any third party observations from the communications that you have received from other instructors who were present during the course at the time, as you see fit.
> The only caveats that I include in this are that you wait until our private communications have drawn toward a close so that you can see and include for consideration my demeanor and approach to receiving critical assistance; and that the specifics and content of the documents that I have disclosed to you are not for public consideration. Anyone who wishes after this thread has concluded to discuss them should contact me directly so that I can enter into a meaningful discussion with them.
> (for those reading who are wondering, please be aware that this is suggested prior to David offering me any feedback so far. I also invite discussion of any points that David may publicly raise)
Or how about.
> Do you have the policy document to hand or is that just your understanding? It would be nice to get an authoritative opinion on this. The rest of us have basically concluded that we don't really know.
I didn't have it to hand when I posted, although someone else has since confirmed. It was however based on my recollection of a talk given by the BMC's broker at a clubs' workshop a couple of years ago.
I've taken novices in my club out climbing and I'm confident that the BMC insurance covers this. However EZ seems to be organising structured events (he even calls them "courses") and appears to be giving instruction on a more formalised basis, albeit within the context of his club. This is why I said it's a grey area. Rather than making assumptions or relying on uninformed opinion from UKCers (myself included), this could simply be resolved by picking up the phone to the BMC and getting a definitive view.
> this could simply be resolved by picking up the phone to the BMC and getting a definitive view.
I think that's what Andy Say - see post above - did?
But you are always going to have a problem getting a definitive, concrete, answer about any of these 'grey areas' as the individual/organisation may be putting their head into a legal noose should they get it wrong.
In terms of lead-coaching it's a lot slower and less efficient; it will usually result in a fair bit of standing around not learning so much.
I think EZ has made a sterling attempt to make this bigger ratio work, and I have no doubt that his motivations are positive; the point I've been trying to get through is that working on a single route is inflexible and almost bound to lead to friction. There is also a question about whether a "route-specific" approach gives students the variety of experience to become self-sufficient as new leaders.
I applaud your effforts EZ; just think you should try doing this work 1:2; you'll get loads more done. Also think you should be super-careful about bandying around words like "course" and getting "disclaimers" signed; it increases the perception that this is a formalised event and therefore also your perceived duty care in the event of a mishap.
Echo what others have said; there's no such thing as a disclaimer in UK law. You CANNOT sign away your rights of redress if someone messes up (or is perceived to have). What you see in climbing walls and climbing courses is an Acknowledgement of Risk; it is appropriate to advise your clients that there are hazards inherent in what they are about to do, but ultimately this will only be one of several pieces of evidence being batted around if you end up in the courts.
So does this mean an ML trainee who takes a group out, operates within their remit, and gets caught in a freak blizzard and all his group die, the BMC will pick up the tab?
I think the participants who have been instructed so far would disagree. The amount of idle time is more than acceptable. They are only idle whilst waiting for the other pair to lead and whilst waiting for the abseils to become free. Across both days at the crag, of about 7 - 8 hours each, I would guess the idle time to be about 2 hours for each person in total, during which time they have been conversing, watching the other team and catching some fodder.
The course is only route specific in terms of my attendance. The leaders all get a closely supervised lead of a route that non has led before (obviously) and then they lead other routes under watchful supervision. There is plenty of variety on offer for them.
As for bandying around words. I am not. I am using words appropriate to the situation. I am running a course. I have required them all to sign a disclaimer. I am also acutely aware of my duty of care and have taken what I consider to be all reasonable precautions to ensure the participants safety. Subsequent to this thread have sent them all an email explaining my situation with regard to insurance and their situation with regard to insurance in the interest of the participants being able make informed decisions. So far everybody who has replied has said that's fine and that they wish to continue as planned.
It seems that the only people who are concerned are people on this forum and whilst that is commendable I am unconvinced that it is genuine concern for my legal well-being and the participants have all made informed decisions, knowing me much better than anyone on here (excepting Double Knee Bar and Gingerwolf).
Why is it so difficult for folk to accept that what I am doing might be well planned, well presented, well documented and effective. So far we have 8 new lead climbers and they are all very happy with the opportunity and instruction that has been afforded to them. Four of them came out for a day operating under their own steam a couple of weeks back and did very well landing an afternoon of about 4 routes and one of those is coming out again on Tuesday with myself and another partner and I expect that she will enjoy more routes on lead. Seems to me to be a rip-roaring success and maybe the nay-sayers should just reel their necks in and let me get on with it.
Sorry disagree, if you are trying to pinpoint and improve exsisting skills then yes a 1:2 ratio is most appropriate. however if you are teaching basic leading skills then a larger group has its benifits.
Time out of the system watching others being instructed is an important part of learning.
In addition to that with a slightly larger group it is easier to ensure the groups safty during the early stages of lead climbing, if you are taking a progressive approach to their instruction.
As opposed to the old "chuck em on an easy route and crack on"
That rather assumes that there would be ANY tab to pick up after fatalities in a 'freak blizzard' doesn't it? You don't just pay out automatically because of injury/death on a liability insurance - there has to be an element of negligence in there as well.
You're a bit touchy; I've actually praised your industry and intent, just tried to add a bit of advice to build on what you're doing, based on several years experience. But you clearly know far more than I do.
Are you seriously trying to tell me that it's easier to teach lead skills to 4 than 2?? I've yet to meet an instructor who would agree with you, and there is presumably a reason why the national centres and every other provider I can think of work a 1:2 ratio on technical climbing courses.
Hi everyone on the thread
Big apologies - Im ill and in quite a bit of discomfort at the moment and necking strong opiate painkileers that is making it hard for me to focus on work.
However, Ive had a good old scan of EZs correspondence to me and emails of other concerned parties at the crag.
Ive written to EZ just now with my thoughts and stating I would like to publish on here. But I will await his permission before I commit anything to the forum
Sorry again for the delay
Get well soon Mister; probably a bigger priority than this thread tbh!
I dont believe thAT jamei and other instructors contributing to this thread are psoturing that they "know best"
What we do know is thAT WE ALL WORK BROADLY to a set of defined good practices that have evolved and continue to evolve and be critiqued and reviewed over the years. We put ourselves up for assessment to a common broadly agreed standard.
EZ may well have excellent practice - but how does he know - just because he thinks he is good does not neccessarily make him good. How has his knowledge and instructing capability been assessed. Would his novice clients know good practice from bad? His confidence could far outweigh his competence (Im being hypothetical here - this is by no means an attack on EZ) More a defence of jamies stance.
I agree. Any credibility of the people who raised concern went out the window long ago. Just forum willy-waving now. This conversation should have ended days ago. No idea why EZ is still replying.
Though that said, David Hooper was correct to flag it up. But that should have been it.
Thanks for that Dave. At no point have I been consciously "posturing" or "willy-waving"; I'm glad that at least one person can rise above lazy assumption and recognise that.
Im sure if Jamie was on a stance he could defend it. I just imagined arriving at his stance and wanting to clip in and him fending me off with an axe ;)
Anyway good luck at the hospital today and get well soon.
Ha ha! If I had one I'd wave it.
Get well soon David.
This is a transcript of the email I sent to Iain late last night and he has given his permission for me to post here on UKC. All I have altered is typos and spelling as I was "medicated" last night. The content and context is about the same.
And apologies once again for the delay in attending to this :o)
First of all, apologies for the delay in replying. As you may be aware, I am quite ill and in pain at the moment and struggling with the day to day things :o(
Ive re-read the whole thread, read your emails and attachments and have also read the emails sent to me by instructors present at the crag on the day, other interested instructors and the MLTE office.
I have no intention of setting my self up as a technical expert, or judge and jury. Im merely humbly offering my subjective views as an average, working instructor and SPA provider. They are certainly not representative at all of instructors as a community or indeed the MLTE.
I would like to publish a version of this correspondence on UKC after you have viewed it. Thanks for that.
Conntinued below :
Well – it seems to me there are 4 main issues here. Insurance, course, crag etiquette and your demeanor.
1) Insurance – come Monday I really feel someone should contact the BMC giving them a link to the thread and inviting their insurance expert to give a definitive comment. There are a good few instructors posting on the thread + Andy Say from MTLE and no-one seems to be definitive about the insurance.
As an freelance instructor, I know EXACTLY where I stand with my own insurance – other folks and club insurance doesn’t really need to concern me as long as I am watertight. For your own sake, don’t assume anything with insurance , GET IN IN WRITING AND MAKE SURE YOU ARE COVERED.
2) The Course. It is very much a well planned and prepared formal course, with yourself acting as a de facto instructor – no doubt in my mind. You have prepared very comprehensive paperwork. Ive scanned it (as in reading it - not on a digital scanner) and will go over it in detail to give you more feedback if you like? Ive already noticed a couple of things that I woiuld do differently, but that’s down to personal style, rather than you being wrong. I have been asked by 2 different instructors and Andy Say at MLTE if they could have a look – Would it be OK with you to forward this? Libbys book is an excellent choice – one I recommend to my clients.
3) Crag etiquette and choice of route.
I must admit to being a bit concerned to your apparent intransigence in your choice of Mauds Garden. Many folk on the thread have pointed out that it may not be the most appropriate route choice, both due to its starred status and popularity and the fact it makes for a fairly bold lead.
I do tend to concur.
Throughout the thread you do not appear to have heard and taken on board folks well meaning advice and even in the last letter you have sent round to your clients, you have reiterated your intention to continue using Mauds Garden. Tonight I opened my Roaches Guide at the Mauds Garden page (34 &35) On page 34 there is a highlighted yellow box trying to educate about group use. And on 35 the Mauds Garden description contains “A tricky start that has been bold for nearly 60 years”.
I know folks preconception of a “group” is a bunch of trainer clad scallies with a Liverpool Probation Service minibus, bottom roping, dropping litter and carving their intials into the rock. But make no mistake, your usage of the route is just as much group usage and takes the route out of the public domain for as long or longer than a bottom roping group.
A good experienced instructor will assess the needs of his clients and select a portfolio of routes accordingly and progressively (also factoring in the impact of that choice on the wider constituency of crag users). We do not shoehorn the clients onto the one selected route we have rigidly planned our course around.
You have stated that you “Stand by my route choice and will use it for the duration of my course”
Despite the concerns of fellow climbers?
Despite the concerns of 2 of the Roaches Guide contributers?
To me this shows a worryingly rigid mindset and I respectfully suggest you may wish to work on this aspect of your instructing. Personally I would choose a more obscure route in a quieter area or even a quieter crag. I don’t want nervous leaders to have a distracting audience. I would choose an easy route, but mainly a route defined by continuous easily protectable cracks and protection opportunities where the client could lob a bit of gear in every couple of feet. Not a bold slab with a manufactured placement.
Lastly, once I have rigged up my static rope for self lining – I don’t really want to be moving it all the time, so another reason not to choose a popular classic.
4) Your demeanor – Nicholas Livesey who started the original thread is not one of UKCs troublemakers or mudslingers – check his posting history. I believe it was a genuine heart felt, concerned post, from a moderate man, passionate about his mountains and his climbing.
It may be an idea to work on reconciling your self image with how others appear to perceive you Iain?
There is Nicks original impression of you to take on board and the mail I received from an MIA running an SPA course at the Roaches that day who didn’t feel comfortable slating you on the thread, but who sent this to me :
I don't want to add to the visible posts, so thought I would contact you
directly as you are now dealing with EZ. I was running an SPA Assessment
right next to EZ and his group on Saturday; we climbed Mauds Garden in two
groups of two, and then moved on to other areas of the crag. It was busy,
with a large uni group wandering around.
I know that you are looking at the scheme of work etc. but I think that
EZ's problem mught be one of attitude. He was very "obviously" instructing
a group by demonstrating anchors- by this I mean that it had an element of
performance put on for the benefit of passers by as much as for his group.
Personally I would have chosen a more discreet spot. The whole thing seemed
a bit bombastic.
I don't want to go flaunting my MIA quals and so forth on UKC- I
understand your reluctance- but EZ did seem to be running a session as a
bit of a showman, without regard for other crag users. It's pretty much a
fundamental when you do SPA training to be made aware of other crag
Sorry for rambling, but his schemes for running his training days will no
doubt be faultless- he needs to be somehow taught soft skills (by
attending SPA training, assessment etc etc like we have). Anyway good luck
and well done for offering to help him out.
Obviously Iain, I wasn’t there so can only feed these things back to you.
So to summarise Iain, I think it is absolutely great that you are giving of your time for introducing folk to leading.
Despite Fawkeseys assertation that instructors are elitist, protectionist and looking after our income, I know of no instructor who struggles to find clients –we are all busy – we all network and help each other out – there is plenty of love to go around and mates teaching mates should be a big part of our mutual enthusiasm and passion for climbing. Even a hard nosed, money grabbing,elitist, professional instructor like myself, still finds the time to teach folks to climb for free sometimes :o)
Please don’t get overly hung up on your paperwork and prep (superb as it is) don’t be afraid to be a bit “looser and more organic and flexible”.
When I did my MIA assessment at PyB back in the mists of time, both me and my mate had our knuckles rapped on the “teaching multipitch” day – we were both too safe and boring.
We passed, but on the condition that we hired Nigel Shepard for the day to give us “interesting “lessons. What a day!!! He wandered us all over Hollytree Wall, Idwal Slabs, Javelin Buttress and Idwal Staircase by a wonderful meandering enchainment, telling us stories, showing an interest in our stories and making us laugh – twas like a day out with a good mate and indeed I now consider Shep to be a mate:o)
I learned a lot from that day.
So please Iain – don’t stop what you are doing, keep instructing, but listen to people, relax, prepare to be flexible, f*ck Mauds Garden right off (joke) :o)
Oh and lastly? – hurry up and get yerself qualified – I think you will be a great asset to our instructing community when you become open to constructive feedback .
My very best wishes
Nice feedback Dave, its up to EZ to take it on board now.
Haha... that underlines the feeling that I have generally taken from the vocal instructors on this thread. It's up to who to what now??
I'll post my response to David a little later when I have more time.
This is really good feedback. EZ is lucky to have someone take such a careful look at what he is doing. Hopefully he can take this stuff on and build on it and it hasn't put him off his aspirations. As a freelancer there aren't many things I miss about working for a big company, but I want more opportunities to network with other outdoor professionals to share best practice or just see how they do stuff etc. Its easy to get bogged down in your own way of doing things.
Perhaps you could hire yourself out for job appraisals for independents?! Me first.
Goodness knows how long it took you to do that lot, but I've rarely come across anything quite so thorough and constructive!
I'd really like to think it's going to draw a line under this whole thing, and for that I think you deserve all our thanks!
Hope you're feeling better.
> Haha... that underlines the feeling that I have generally taken from the vocal instructors on this thread. It's up to who to what now??
You know that's Paul at work's first contribution to this whole thread (as this is mine)? And that he's an experienced and widely respected instructor who's well worth listening to?
Dave - re the insurance. My post above...'The minute the words 'teaching' or 'instructing' come into play there is a problem as you may be deemed to be acting 'professionally' even though in an unpaid and informal capacity', is almost a direct quote from one of the staff at the BMC. And the guidance means that 'If EZ runs a BMC affiliated club activity where he is teaching other members to lead - he is covered.
If EZ has undertaken SPA training and what he is doing could be construed as 'gaining relevant experience' (and unfortunately in this case teaching leading is outwith the SPA remit so it couldn't really be construed as 'relevant') - he is covered. (Applies to ML etc as well)
But if BMC member Joe Bloggs is 'teaching/instructing' John Doe how to lead outside of the 'club umberella' then he is probably NOT covered.'
And as mentioned elsewhere it can be very difficult to get an absolutely definitive, written opinion on the 'grey areas' as in the end what they 'mean' may only be finally determined in court! The answer has to be to rely on insurance that is specifically designed for the task.
Fantastic response Dave. I hope EZ takes this advice and feedback you have given him as it's real gold-dust that is often only discovered through hard earned experience; something I know you have in an abundance.
I also came across the instruction at the Roaches, I just thought it looked a bit weird but then thought nothing more of it until I saw this thread.
In response to the four points that you have categorised in your reply and post:
This could be a little difficult for you to understand in this shi@@y world of litigation and money mindedness. I just do not care to be insured if there is no legal requirement and in my libertarian mindset if there were a legal requirement then I would still disagree with it even though I would abide with it, because I disagree with the need for a state.
As I understand at the moment, I am not obliged to be insured. I am a club affiliated member of the BMC only and that should bring third party liability insurance with it. If it doesn't then so be it.
I understand that finding myself in court would bring a whole world of shi@ down on my life.
If other people wish to look over my course details then I would prefer that they communicate with me directly. Once they leave the first person to a third party I lose any control over what they can be used for and I am certain that I don't want to find myself hearing or reading quotes and comments about them in any public arenas, be that UKC, press or other people's conversations.
Please feel free to give them my name and email address for this purpose.
3) Crag etiquette and choice of route.
You have missed comment by myself on the thread; There is a strong piece of gear in a natural weakness that is not manufactured on the starting slab above the two chipped holds, in line with the route, that protects the upper section of the slab. It takes a little bit of skill to place but once in is strong. I have placed this piece whilst the leader is stood next to their own gear and they then clip it. There is no bold start on Maud's Garden for those who can find the protection. I found an RP on the top slab of Chalkstorm that with an attentive belayer would give a second opportunity to take in during a fall and should really drop the grade to about E2. I do enjoy finding protection as I don't like getting hurt.
I am reconsidering the route as we speak, but am part way through a group of three and will continue as is with them so that I don't break my rhythm, having no alternative planned and scouted. It almost angers me, though not to the point that I am stupid enough to not take on board advice for consideration, that each member of a group having a single lead that takes no longer than a novice leading the same route would take, is considered route hogging by a group. B@ll@cks! And there would be time for another group to look at the route in between our leads and my fixed line is not on route. I noted that on the thread during my apology to Nicholas. My error with Nicholas was that I initiated contact and should have just kept quiet and allowed him to make an approach if he felt his outing needed the route included in it.
Despite the concerns of fellow climbers? I disagree and think that there is an even spread, on the thread, of agreement and disagreement with the choice of route.
Despite the concerns of two of the Roaches Guide contributers? They are just climbers who have put some value back into the sport that they love (And thanks to them for that). I do not see how this role gives them any more or less insight into this issue.
Qualified instructors? I cannot comment as I don't know the training that you or they have been through to understand how it has or hasn't coloured your/their understanding and opinions of how crags "should" be used. That one probably drops back into being a little in conflict with my libertarian mind... as Marge Simpson once said "Let's not should this guy to death now". It does seem, however, that most or maybe all of the instructors who have been vocal on the thread have been of a mind that the route choice was poor. Maybe that says something about the mindset of the type of person who goes for their qualifications or maybe it says something about the qualification changing people's perspectives or even that there is a filtering out those who don't follow what feels here like a 'company line'.
I am going to Font for a week this week, so I'll be thinking about alternatives that supply the same experience as Maud's Garden can in terms of the excellent gear throughout, the ease of situation for the leader whilst placing the gear and the overall experience for the climber in terms of quality (very subjective I know). This is meant to sound a little facetious, though it is not directed at you.
4) My demeanor
"by this I mean that it had an element of performance put on for the benefit of passers by as much as for his group."
"EZ did seem to be running a session as a bit of a showman, without regard for other crag users."
is just plain wrong. My entire concentration is on my participants getting the information that they need to operate safely as climbers. During my time at the crag I am always courteous around other users. This trainer suggests of himself an element of self referring (or egotistical) involvement with their surroundings. Why should I be meek and timid whilst instructing? I am sure of myself and I feel that this is something that should be brought to the crag, particularly in this type of scenario. There is definitely no showmanship involved and other crag users were not impacted by what I was doing apart from being there at the same time.
One could even ask, why is an MIA taking his SPA training group onto Maud's Garden??? or even to the busy crag that was the Roaches that day, as he noted himself. At what point can one call hypocrisy? Two groups of two (Including gear retrieval abseil as an exercise for his student - ask and if he's honest he will admit) is not that far off being unreasonable group use and hogging of the route according to the standards that people are calling for a different choice of route from me. Especially as the climbers that they have with them are supposed to be working at Severe and not what is a traditional VDiff.
What I do take from the general demeanor of people who quote qualifications on the forum and the quoted email that you have shown me here is that as the email says "EZ needs to be... taught"! Fair enough, and I am sure that you can imagine where I stand with regard to that. Something of the freedom to go about one's business is lost at that very moment that someone "needs to be taught". A small piece of the human experience is removed when the will of another is imposed like that and what a tragedy that is. It saddens me that we cannot see how we have degenerated as a species from free people to controller and controlled by the means of just such comments and attitudes. CS Lewis explains this very well in the book "The Abolition of man” http://www.columbia.edu/cu/augustine/arch/lewis/abolition1.htm
As I have stated to you by email. Thanks for your assistance. An observation that I haven't shared until now is that your assistance has only dealt with the politics which is pretty much what has been under consideration/attack on the forum. Nobody has seemed to want to question the effectiveness of my approach or the soundness of my technical methods. It seems UKC is still a shark soup and I am best not swimming in it. 9 months off from posting and I'd forgotten why I stopped coming here.
In summary the:
I'm probably going to move the course;
I'm exceptionally disappointed that it seems that qualification brings the right to be correct with the obvious implication that others are therefore not (I am not including your correspondence in this. You have been measured and more worth listening to and your time is much appreciated);
I think that the SPA trainer whom you quoted should reconsider what he saw before casting judgement. What he saw was me being obvious. I stand out and that is a fair assessment. But casting aspersions as to my reasoning for behaving like that? Very presumptuous and actually this time he is just wrong;
When I have invited direct communication numerous times on the thread, it is laughable that people have contacted you to try and acquire my course details. It is underhand and I think that is enough said. These people are welcome, still, to contact me directly and I can enter then into a meaningful discussion with them, it's not like I'm offensive;
What I am interested in (from anyone reading this) is any serious suggestions for more appropriate venues and routes. This would assist me in being able to appease those in opposition to my current plan and approach to the course. I will have my guide books with me in Font so that I can come up with some more ideas, following which I will do some scouting again to ensure that I am fully prepared for the next outing.
I have been watching this thread and resisted the urge to post until now. I have read EVERY post (I am injured so have a lot of spare time).
To David Hooper: You have clearly put a lot of time and effort into this (which might have been better spent getting better) and anyone reading this thread can see you are trying to help and make some fair points
To EZ: I hope you enjoy your time in Font and use it wisely to reflect on how you might change what you are doing for your own, your clients and other climbers benefit. If you decided to go through the SPA Award then I wish you luck.
Oops EZ, you've just lost me. Up to now you've seemed quite reasonable, but this is just crap. I hope it's just an over-reaction...
It is a reasoned position. You appear not to have asked the reason.
Can you explain why insurance is a necessity and if so what should be done to rectify the situation as it stands because I don't think that the law is emplaced just yet?
Oh dear - I didnt really want to get drawn in again.
In an ideal world where mates teach mates to lead - one would like to think that there is an informal gentlemans agreement that a mate doesnt sue another mate if the sh*t hits the fan.
However you are acting as an instructor offering a planned course to novice clients.
We try our best to minimise risk in what we love to do, but we cannot negate risk altogether.
God forbid, but should one of your clients be turned into a dribbler needing lifelong care either by genuine accident or through your negligence, the money to support them through their remaining life needs to come from somewhere.
Maybe they would choose not to sue, but by your own admission, you are not a rich man - so how much would your assets be worth if seized by the courts?
Me- Im insured for £5,000,000
It's quite easy. If you were not insured, nor would your clients be. They are the ones that would lose out, not you, in the case of any claim against you. You seem to have adopted a rather 'couldn't care less' attitude (that's a nicer way of saying arrogant), which is a shame after your patience higher up. As I say, I hope it's just as a reaction to all the above.
I think David that we can assume that the world now knows my first name. Thank you.
The participants are all aware of the very conditions that you describe and have made informed decisions that account for that information. They are all adults. They are happy to go ahead understanding the potential seriousness of the activity that they are undertaking.
I went for parachute training on Saturday and had to sign a disclaimer that explained that the parachute training provider does not offer any individual accident insurance as part of the course. If the individual becomes injured to any extent including death then there is no insurance liability due to the centre to cover for this. Where's the difference? There is none.
I imagine that there are other examples of very similar situations in other similar types of sport.
As I stated a moment ago. It is a reasoned position not a knee jerk reaction. Please see my last reply to David Hooper for an example that displays the same position that the participants on the course I am running are in.
Oh sh*t!!! Sorry about that EZ - my slip - right - I had better butt out of the thread before I put my foot in it again.
I am actually interested, before you disappear to the sidelines to watch, in what you think of the comparison that I draw between the mine and the parachute centre's situation?
I couldnt possibly comment - Im no expert on insurance/disclaimers etc. Mine is watertight and above board and that gives me peace of mind.
If one of your clients had an accident that incapaciitates them for life - even if they have an informal understanding with you re the risks. It will be the family that has to look after the crippled/braindamaged client that is going to come gunning for you, not the crippled client.
This is an avoidance of the question. You possibly could comment but I think that your position is weakened dramatically by the analogy and you maybe do not wish to concede any ground on something that you appear to feel strongly about.
A quick thought - what if the chute failed to open due to incorerect packing or malfunction and you were injured - Surely you could sue the parachute company then?
> This is an avoidance of the question. You possibly could comment but I think that your position is weakened dramatically by the analogy and you maybe do not wish to concede any ground on something that you appear to feel strongly about.
All Ive tried to do is offer some advice when Ive had time on my hands due to illness. Its been an illuminating and generally civil thread so far.
I really have no wish to see the thread descend into tit for tat point scoring so Im off :o)
No That would be down to the insured parachute packer and not the centre that provides the training. There is a legal requirement for qualification and insurance against such a failure, but it is the packer or rigger who would be liable and they are insured. The training provider does not need any.
It wasn't intended as a tit for tat point scoring. Your time truly has been appreciated.
I'm looking forward to going to Font, from where I will be looking at no internet forums and will hopefully have forgotten how to find the link to this one by the time I return.
Please accept my best wishes for your illness to pass.
Thankyou - have a lovely time in Font - Im jealous.
Think my illness will probably not pass but I will learn to manage it.
Will just bring some new challenges and learning curves to life :o)
What that statement says is that in the event of an injury to you, you sue them rather than get an easy insurance payout. But you can still, should you think they are at fault, sue their bum off....!
Highly experienced instructors and Full mountain guides are giving you the kind of feed back FOC that most up and coming instructors would be extremely grateful for and you take none of it on.
I wonder how many 'real' clients you would currently get if you started to charge?
On a very positive note, I'm currently building log-book time prior to going for my MIA assessment - this thread has been a great educational read.
There is an important and significant difference between accident insurance and 3rd party liability insurance. That disclaimer would not protect the parachute training provider if they were negligent.
It is possible that your BMC 3rd party insurance will cover you for your training activity, but if it does not then you are leaving both yourself and your clients exposed. Several people besides me have warned you not to make assumptions but to get a definitive ruling from the BMC. As I pointed out in an early email, despite your clients' apparent acceptance it may not be up to your them whether you get sued - the decision may rest with their next of kin or their own insurance company.
You've come under criticism on this thread but you've also received helpful and well-intentioned advice. Your attitude to both has been the same, and I'm afraid you are coming across as arrogant and giving the impression that you think you know better than everyone else.
Ideally we learn from our mistakes and those that have gone before us. When leading we realise we may hurt ourselves as a direct consequence of our actions and accept the risk, but try to learn before an accident occurs. Some people are luckier than others.
With the amount of people you are teaching and the presentation of it as a 'course' do you not think the lack of training in instructional work you have is likely to some extent increasing the chance that one of them will get preventably injured. Personally IMO irrelevent of your opinion on how SPA/MIA training may constrain people and not agree with your views on freedom of the inidividual, you would undoubtedly learn something usefull from both an SPA & MIA course. Do you really not think you owe it to the people on your course as a duty of care to lower the risk for them as much as you can?
I have to say I agree with the sentiment of others that insurance not only protects you but also your students and that as they are your responsibility it's something your should have considered as a necessity.
I would personally see this completely differently if you were tutoring either a very small number of people per year (1-2) over a long time OR if you were teaching a small number of friends.
I don't want to draw conclusions on your motives and what you gain from this but you need to be honest with your self about the degree of altruism involved.
Dennis Morrod is going to be a very interesting read. Thank you very much for this name.
The feed back is all going in and is helping me to get a better overview of the situation that I am building around myself. It is appreciated. What is not appreciated and is the root of the tone that you are noting from me is that there is a very definite attitude of "I'm right" (or worse "we're right") and "you're wrong" in nearly every communication that is offering advice. There has been notably little open conversation and more so instruction or "it's already agreed to be right" advice. I have been accused of intransigence in my position and (even though I am using the word that David brought to the thread I am not pointing this at him) when those who are accusing me of it cannot see even a murmour of hypocrisy in their own discourse.
This thread has made me question whether I actually want to become a qualified instructor at all. If the end result of the process is the tone of assumed correctness that I am hearing from the highly experienced instructors and full mountain guides that are being so kind as to try to help, then I think I may not want to become that person. Sadly I have no benchmark to compare against as I didn't know any of them before this thread and certainly not before they were qualified. It certainly isn't just a mis-reading of the tone by me though. The tone is there and if those who are using it cannot hear themselves, then that is a shame. I would prefer to be conversing as peers (as it feels you have done in your communication publicly and privately) rather than dumb novice and haughty qualified instructor.
Obviously if I started to charge I would need insurance, so there would be one of the would be problems with my position sorted.
Really; so your reply to me further up the thread that "I know the Roaches very well and could move my plans easily" wasnt entirely accurate?
I could point you at at least three better routes for first leads and I havent been there since last century.
1. You have volunteered to share information by anyone making direct contact. I would like to see your disclaimer... could you post on here or send it to me.
> What I am interested in (from anyone reading this) is any serious suggestions for more appropriate venues and routes. This would assist me in being able to appease those in opposition to my current plan and approach to the course.
There are plenty of routes around the crag which are useable for teaching to lead, but the Roaches wouldn't be my first choice of crag for running these 'courses'. I'd see Windgather, Harborough, Yarncliffe more appropriate, but really you should be fine anywhere. With a bit of experience it becomes easier to pick out the lines, but this also comes from knowing your client group and what might suite them best. I might set off with a few routes in mind, but then adapt these as the day progresses.
I presume I saw you setting up belays at the bottom of Raven Rock Gully (apologies if this wasn't you) too. I personally find it more appropriate to teach building belays at the top of the crag as it introduces more realistic issues that may be encountered by the aspirant belay builder, but each to their own.
As for the insurance debate.... well, rather you than me. God forbid, but it'll be you trying to explain why you weren't negligent in a court of law, something which a few disclaimers, and a lack of adequate insurance and qualifications won't help you with.
It is entirely altruistic. There is no equivocation of my position.
And round and round and round. I appreciate that you are meaning well with your advice, but you haven't asked how I am going about my instruction to find out whether I am covering the necessary concerns at all. It is the same response over and over and over again. Judgement without understanding.
In fact, I know for a fact that I was better off not being on UKC any more. It is just a slanging match and a boxing ring. Thank you to everyone who brought well meaning advice, particularly Jim for the name Dennis Morrod, whose site I will devour over the next few days.
But honestly, the sanctimonious position that doesn't engage with me, but tells me what I should do or that I "need to be taught" is just bull$hit and I am tired of having my genuinely altruistic good intentions beaten down. Not one person has really engaged with me to offer advice without telling me what I should do. Try reading the thread again and tell me if I am wrong. I will be watching from the sidelines myself, but I'm out of here.
UKC forums offer a poor example of the climbing community or they bring out the worst in it.
> Obviously if I started to charge I would need insurance, so there would be one of the would be problems with my position sorted.
I'm interested in that statement as I don't see that charging is the issue here. You are potentially just as liable paid or unpaid.
I do some volunteer work, with a local natural history group leading walks and surveys, but I still work within my remit and the restrictions of my insurance policy. It has never occurred to me that because I'm not paid I am any less liable or responsible for the care of the people with me. I'm afraid you can't have it both ways. Either you are experienced and knowledgeable enough to teach leading as an instructor, or you are not. If you are an instructor, you have a duty of care.
> It wasn't intended as a tit for tat point scoring.
why on earth did you post this then...?
"This is an avoidance of the question. You possibly could comment but I think that your position is weakened dramatically by the analogy and you maybe do not wish to concede any ground on something that you appear to feel strongly about."
i've followed the thread without commenting for days now, but find myself having to agree with everyone else on here- you have had a succession of instructors post to offer advice, which has almost universally been couched in contructive language; yet your response is verging on the paranoid, with complaints about "haughty qualified instructors", and "a tone of assumed correctness".
as to conversing as peers- you can't. you arent their peer. they have undergone extensive training which encompases lots more than just teaching the mechanics of climbing. its verging on arrogance to demand to be accepted as the peer of people who have spent years training to carry out a highly skilled job you dont have the qualifications, or from this thread, skills, to do.
after 500 replies you still don't seem to get this. Probably best you dont apply for the training- many of your potential mentors will have posted on, or read this thread. the stubborn refusal to accept well intentioned advice, and failure to recognise areas that need development when they are repeatedly pointed out, risk making you look untrainable in the eye of many
> Try reading the thread again and tell me if I am wrong.
You are wrong...
> Not one person has really engaged with me to offer advice without telling me what I should do.
after all the time David Hooper spent engaging with you, he must be gutted reading this. how ignorant and ungrateful you appear.
"I will be watching from the sidelines myself, but I'm out of here."
toys out of pram. very mature.
Actually my point wasn't about judeging what you are doing or have done, it was about reducing the probability of an accident occuring in the future and if it does providing the most protection for your students you can. Reading books and cutting corners rarely provides all the knowledge that real world experience does IMO, I'm sure since starting the course you have learnt a lot, but my question is are you learning in the right environment, ideally you want to learn as much as possible prior to exposing your students to any preventable danger, or pissing off your fellow climbers.
During instructor training you will learn from other instructors during both the training and work experience phases. Much the same as when you learnt to lead you probably learnt the most from practical experience with good climbers, with instructing you will probably learn the most from practical expereince instructing with good instructors.
In reply to EZ:
15,000 viewings of this thread
...which leads to... a small price of advice...interpret as you wish.
There has been, as indicated, a constructive and generally very diplomatic set of responses and advice, from instructors (trained under schemes of international best practice) and non instructors that point out a number of concerns about your attitude, your approach and the facts you have been prepared top share in the public domain. You have consistently cited reasons not to adopt or follow that advice, or pursue any recognised means of accrediting your skills in instructing in a high risk environment.
Should you ever find yourself under scrutiny (in the legal sense) this thread will almost certainly re-appear.
In this respect, Public forums are not necessarily the best place to doggedly pursue your rights to do as you think is correct, no matter how right you think you are.
A little late now...but 'put down the shovel'.
oops... piece...though donations to a charity of your choice also accepted...
I could recommend reading "Apes or Ballerinas by Tom Patey", a good short essay on teaching climbing as an escape form Mr Morrod.
The hard skills you learn on MIA training are just rope tricks and most trainees know how to escape the system, set up hoists, guide people up scrambles and climbs etc before they go on the course because they have been doing it for years. Speaking to ALL the people on my training course and a few others I've met on the way, its the soft skills that are new. So I implore you not to turn your back on formal qualifications on my account.
> I must admit to being a bit concerned to your apparent intransigence in your choice of Mauds Garden. Many folk on the thread have pointed out that it may not be the most appropriate route choice, both due to its starred status and popularity and the fact it makes for a fairly bold lead.
> I do tend to concur.
> Throughout the thread you do not appear to have heard and taken on board folks well meaning advice and even in the last letter you have sent round to your clients, you have reiterated your intention to continue using Mauds Garden. Tonight I opened my Roaches Guide at the Mauds Garden page (34 &35) On page 34 there is a highlighted yellow box trying to educate about group use. And on 35 the Mauds Garden description contains “A tricky start that has been bold for nearly 60 years”.
> I know folks preconception of a “group” is a bunch of trainer clad scallies with a Liverpool Probation Service minibus, bottom roping, dropping litter and carving their intials into the rock. But make no mistake, your usage of the route is just as much group usage and takes the route out of the public domain for as long or longer than a bottom roping group.
> A good experienced instructor will assess the needs of his clients and select a portfolio of routes accordingly and progressively (also factoring in the impact of that choice on the wider constituency of crag users). We do not shoehorn the clients onto the one selected route we have rigidly planned our course around.
> You have stated that you “Stand by my route choice and will use it for the duration of my course”
> Despite the concerns of fellow climbers?
> Despite the concerns of 2 of the Roaches Guide contributers?
> To me this shows a worryingly rigid mindset and I respectfully suggest you may wish to work on this aspect of your instructing. Personally I would choose a more obscure route in a quieter area or even a quieter crag. I don’t want nervous leaders to have a distracting audience. I would choose an easy route, but mainly a route defined by continuous easily protectable cracks and protection opportunities where the client could lob a bit of gear in every couple of feet. Not a bold slab with a manufactured placement.
> Lastly, once I have rigged up my static rope for self lining – I don’t really want to be moving it all the time, so another reason not to choose a popular classic.
> 4) Your demeanor – Nicholas Livesey who started the original thread is not one of UKCs troublemakers or mudslingers – check his posting history. I believe it was a genuine heart felt, concerned post, from a moderate man, passionate about his mountains and his climbing.
> It may be an idea to work on reconciling your self image with how others appear to perceive you Iain?
> There is Nicks original impression of you to take on board and the mail I received from an MIA running an SPA course at the Roaches that day who didn’t feel comfortable slating you on the thread, but who sent this to me :
> “Hi David
> I don't want to add to the visible posts, so thought I would contact you
> So to summarise Iain, I think it is absolutely great that you are giving of your time for introducing folk to leading.
> Despite Fawkeseys assertation that instructors are elitist, protectionist and looking after our income, I know of no instructor who struggles to find clients –we are all busy – we all network and help each other out – there is plenty of love to go around and mates teaching mates should be a big part of our mutual enthusiasm and passion for climbing. Even a hard nosed, money grabbing,elitist, professional instructor like myself, still finds the time to teach folks to climb for free sometimes :o)
> Please don’t get overly hung up on your paperwork and prep (superb as it is) don’t be afraid to be a bit “looser and more organic and flexible”.
> When I did my MIA assessment at PyB back in the mists of time, both me and my mate had our knuckles rapped on the “teaching multipitch” day – we were both too safe and boring.
> We passed, but on the condition that we hired Nigel Shepard for the day to give us “interesting “lessons. What a day!!! He wandered us all over Hollytree Wall, Idwal Slabs, Javelin Buttress and Idwal Staircase by a wonderful meandering enchainment, telling us stories, showing an interest in our stories and making us laugh – twas like a day out with a good mate and indeed I now consider Shep to be a mate:o)
> I learned a lot from that day.
> So please Iain – don’t stop what you are doing, keep instructing, but listen to people, relax, prepare to be flexible, f*ck Mauds Garden right off (joke) :o)
> Oh and lastly? – hurry up and get yerself qualified – I think you will be a great asset to our instructing community when you become open to constructive feedback .
> My very best wishes
Well that is all fair with valid good points and helpful.
Please remind me not to bump into EZ having read this thread. I do not want to climb with him. Arrogance in climbing and being closed to sound advice is not a good thing, and more importantly it is not safe either. I like to feel safe with who I climb with.
Your life in anothers hands, well it is when they are belaying you etc!
Not my words of description David. If they were it would include Sanctimonious, self righteous, pompous set of individuals closing ranks and arseholing each other.
You have no authority, you are not a governing body and yet its been your way or no way. Its you and your fellow colleagues who are guilty of intransigence, but that probably comes from being unable to act in any other way than the last instruction given.
For several days now EZ has been subjected to a sustained barrage of criticism and interrogation and all you can cling to is he has a bad attitude towards advice?
If there is a mirror in your house you really do need to go and take a good look at yourself.
I doubt EZ will go for training or assessment, after all telling some of the people who may be doing the assessment on here they are wrong is hardly going to go in his favour, unless he learns he is the one who needs to learn soft skills.
...i'll have fish with mine!
...every sport I can think of has professional coaching and instruction...yes SPA is newish... 'only' about 20 years old but without it you wouldn't enjoy any of the 200+ climbing centres (that I am sure you don't begrudge using)...they exist because of the thousands of 'lifestyle' users who generally need structured introduction and include a proportion of individuals who will try to sue for a twisted ankle. Those users pay for indoor climbing for you and me, the majority of those users want professional instruction.
...Get over it
So perhaps the instructors posting here aren't in themselves a governing body, but surely you've heard of what are commonly termed NGB awards?
FWIW, I was a complete qualifications sceptic till I started training for my first award, have since changed my opinion of the whole system beyond recognition and think your notion of them/us 'being unable to act in any other way' light years wide of the mark!
What got up my nose was the treatment of EZ.
As I saw it EZ's treatment was considered and aiming to be constructive. It was his alarming disregard of plenty of sound advice from some very experienced people that has led to him being a little brow-beaten. If he had shown some understanding and possibly acceptance of why some points were being raised then this thread might be long gone. I had originally been impressed with his effort to get more people involved in climbing and any advice given was intended to help him with this. As his argumentative posts have continued he has probably lost the support he once had for his endeavours.
It just seems to be you left Fawksey. Are you still defending EZ just to be contrary and wind people up or do you actually think that anyone has been that unfair?
And yes.. I have read the whole thing
> I could point you at at least three better routes for first leads
"If they were it would include Sanctimonious, self righteous, pompous set of individuals closing ranks and arseholing each other."
I'll have salt and vinegar on there too.
>I dont owe anything to you instructors
You amke a rather big and erroneous assumption there.
>and Ive nothing to be grateful for.
>Im sure the wall at Ingleton doesnt owe its existence to you either however much a case you make that Inglesports should be grateful to you for.
"Not my words of description ..."
Do you really think that Awesome, Beacon, Harrogate etc (lots of etc). thrive on 'climbers'...they sell products.
Good job Inglesport is the your local wall then isn't it.
I admire people who have a belief in their own abilities to teach others knowing they will not do anything that will bring them into disrepute.
Ive stood up in court and defended my right to have contact with my children. I dont hide behind insurance Im capable of defending my actions and if Im wrong accepting the consequences.
I swear on my daughters life Im not trying to be contrary or argumentative. I genuimely feel hes been treated unfairly.
Hahaha...I wish there was a "Like" button for comments like this :D x
Do you know what you are trying to say?
No, he set up a training course without having it questioned by his peers as to if it was good or not.
A bit like you relying on someone in confined spaces to know the right procedures if things go wrong, and not having been trained, or like you taking people caving without having all the skills in emergencies.
So you'll be able recount all the kids clubs on Saturday morning...would you be happy with a EZ or anybody who works to their own standards ('its ok i know what i'm doing') looking after those children, your daughters or my son.
You'll be able to do the maths on the cost of building a wall and the number of 'real climbers' using them...the bunch that make Awesome walls awesome are the bunch that expect to be introduced and follow a recognisable and structured route in. Like it or not climbing is commercial and increasingly mainstream...its a dumbing down and it needs dumb instructors ...i put that last bit in for a bit of ;-)
Ive taking other peoples children caving. I havent done it because Im arrogant. Ive done it because Im certain in my abilities. Because they wouldnt be better off in anyone elses hands than mine. I didnt need insurance. Because insurance wouldnt help them and they wouldnt need it.
Lets put it this way they wont learn to climb with someone who hides behind insurance. I wont let them near a North Walian after what Ive seen on this thread. They certainly wont learn from anybody with SPA.
> I admire people who have a belief in their own abilities to teach others knowing they will not do anything that will bring them into disrepute.
Yes conviction in your abilities is a good thing and I wouldn't suggest that EZ (or you!) should just agree with the majority for an easy life but... sometimes a little more confidence to admit that you may actually be wrong rather than blindly sticking to your guns could go a long way. EZ's probably done a fair bit of damage to his current and future reputation due to his defensive attitude. He's lost out on potentially learning from people who simply won't be bothered with him as he won't listen. As a result anybody he teaches will also lose out. And so on.
You have been very vocal about skills being learned from peers as opposed to formal instruction. That's exactly what people on here have been trying to do with EZ - share their experience with him so that he can;
1. improve the quality of course on offer
2. avoid potential litigation and insurance issues
3. have better interaction with other climbers while running a course and consequently pass on good habits to his students
David Hooper started by drawing him into his confidence and then undermining him. Publicly identifying him.
David Hooper even confided in me in what he was about to do to EZ before he posted his reply to EZ. If he says any different he is liar. I swear on my daughters life.
Thats the kind of shiut thats been going on here.
Oh yes and a fork with them too...
Its not my world its an observation. I'm not the sponsor.
Exactly how does somebody who wants to have a go at climbing and doesn't know a hairy a*se and woolly beard get into it then?
Lets go with with seek out an instructor...quite a likely approach.
How do they work out if that instructor is going to look after them safely...anybody new to the sport wouldn't know a the difference between:
a self qualified instructor who is unsafe
a self qualified instructor who is safe
a qualified instructor who is safe
The point of qualification is inclusive of accredited safe practice
When you took other peoples kids caving were you running a course?
Did you think it was sufficiently risky to require a disclaimer?
Write up course notes?
This argument about insurance is wholly misleading.
..Accidents don't happen
..Mistakes aren't made
..Consequences don't arise.
That's the case isn't it?
I have an objection to those who teach climbing as a way of earning a living slagging off other people who pass on their experience out of love.
>I wont let them near a North Walian after what Ive seen on this thread. They certainly wont learn from anybody with SPA.
So if EZ did does his SPA that would then make him unsuitable for your son and daughter?
As I understood it he had EZ's permission to publish his private response.
"This is a transcript of the email I sent to Iain late last night and he has given his permission for me to post here on UKC" (containing his first name which he later repeated by accident)
David's response was extremely diplomatic and measured. He even says
"I have no intention of setting my self up as a technical expert, or judge and jury. Im merely humbly offering my subjective views as an average, working instructor and SPA provider. They are certainly not representative at all of instructors as a community or indeed the MLTE"
Making the context of his response abundantly clear!
His comments on insurance consist of sound advice and that the BMC need to clarify.
He regards the course as "very much a well planned and prepared formal course" with a couple of points of style that he would differ in and offers some advice if wanted.
He shows concern regarding crag etiquette and gives well argued reasons for his concern - including the fact that EZ hasn't listened as I mentioned above. "Throughout the thread you do not appear to have heard and taken on board folks well meaning advice"
The comments from another instructor were highlighted as such.
He even finishes by congratulating EZ on his efforts
"So to summarise Iain, I think it is absolutely great that you are giving of your time for introducing folk to leading"
"So please Iain – don’t stop what you are doing, keep instructing, but listen to people, relax, prepare to be flexible,"
"Oh and lastly? – hurry up and get yerself qualified – I think you will be a great asset to our instructing community when you become open to constructive feedback"
I'd say that's pretty constructive rather than undermining. EZ did that part all by himself.
Ahh. Back into name calling. How very mature.
If he really had balls then he would man up and not be so worried about people knowing who he is let alone his first name!
BTW. You don't rely on an insurance company. You rely on yourself and have insurance just in case something outside your control goes wrong to protect both you, your clients and 3rd parties.
"There is a strong piece of gear in a natural weakness that is not manufactured on the starting slab above the two chipped holds, in line with the route, that protects the upper section of the slab. It takes a little bit of skill to place but once in is strong. I have placed this piece whilst the leader is stood next to their own gear and they then clip it. There is no bold start on Maud's Garden for those who can find the protection."
"I'll be thinking about alternatives that supply the same experience as Maud's Garden can in terms of the excellent gear throughout, the ease of situation for the leader whilst placing the gear and the overall experience for the climber in terms of quality (very subjective I know)."
I'm really concerned that you continue to say Maud's has excellent gear throughout. There may well be a hard to place piece of gear on the lower slab, in a natural weakness that I overlooked, and I'll be back to check, but it sure isn't obvious and one hard to place piece on that lower slab like that could never be described as excellent protection. The lower slab IS bold in terms of what we mean by that for an onsight VD leader. Even with your runner placed, where is the redundancy (ie what happens if it fails or the leader accidently knocks it out)? I've already described my extra concerns about the potential consequencies of a slip when pulling onto the upper slab if belayed from the base of the route.
I still think a simpler, 'lower quality route' experience will help your teaching: too many learning outcomes can confuse your message, not a good idea on a first lead. This is probably the key problem with Mauds...its a good route for the low grade leaders skill development but not for a first lead. Andi T suggested some good venues for first leads; even at the Roaches the Prow Cracks area is more commonly used for good reason.
"I disagree and think that there instructors who have been vocal on the thread have been of a mind that the route choice was poor."
I've been the most vocal and have no qualification. I want people teaching without qualifications (like me) to be taken seriously, which, like it or not, always involves us accepting views from fellow climbers with lots of experience. One benefit those who get qualified have is that for a lot of the important support and advice they receive as feedback, they are required to demonstate they have taken it on board. We are all happy when those we teach say they have had a great time but this in itself doesn't give much of an indication of how well we are doing, as they are too inexperienced to judge.
"I found an RP on the top slab of Chalkstorm that with an attentive belayer would give a second opportunity to take in during a fall and should really drop the grade to about E2. I do enjoy finding protection as I don't like getting hurt."
I know that placement and it may or may not hold. Certainly to give it a chance you don't wan't your leader taking in while you fall as this can increase the shock loading. RP's are best regarded as marginal protection.
I wish you luck in your future helping other climbers.
i would never dream of doing what you are doing,i only have first aid and s.p.a training (over qualified eh?).taking a mate out for a taster of climbing is differant.if something went wrong for you,it wouldnt be worth thinking about.
me and andi did see someone showing how to set belays up at the bottom of raven gully on sunday,if it was you or not we dont know.we both said it was strange to be doing it there.right on the main path.
> David Hooper started by drawing him into his confidence and then undermining him. Publicly identifying him.
> David Hooper even confided in me in what he was about to do to EZ before he posted his reply to EZ. If he says any different he is liar. I swear on my daughters life.
> Thats the kind of shiut thats been going on here.
Oh dear Fawksey - you were obviously drunk or unmedicated and incoherently lashing out last night so I kept away.
I was going to stay off this thread as I dont feel it is going anywhere positive now - just descending into a bunfight.
However I cannot let your post go unchallenged.
You asked me on a separate post to identify to you someone I didnt like and I sent you this mail: (name blanked out)
Just to answer your post in private you wrote :
- Fawksey on - 22:27 Sat
In reply to David Hooper:
Dont be shy David
*** mate - *** urghhh!!!
Anyway off to bed now and hozzy tomorrow - wonder EZ will retract his
permission for me to publish once he has read the mail I sent him
G'night mate :o)
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So Fawkesy - I have not said anything underhand about EZ and he was man enough to give me permission to publish and good on him for that. As the thread is now starting to have an unpleasant tone I have taken my conversation with EZ to mail (where it will stay) and I already apologised for the simple slip of calling his first name.
Im off this thread which started off as a positive discussion and is now turning nasty, - otheres have defended me already to you and EZ and myself hopefully understand one another and I wish him well.
Fawksey - you do yourself no favours posting when the "Black Dog" has descended upon you :o( even if you were trying to defend EZ.
you are right
you have another hangover this morning
you are naturally offensive and inarticulate
you've got some stuff you need to get sorted out
I'll see the doctor today about 1.
I'll leave the other 3 for you to deal with.
Have a good day.
It would be a shame (for himself and his clients) if EZ were to stop teaching and waste all that superb course material he has prepared (Id nick it off him and use it myself if he gave permission) - dont think anyone would want that outcome.
Just like to see him being more flexible and open to the imput of others really :o) Isnt that how we all partly learn - from the imput of others.
At the end of the day, EZ has something of worth to pass on to his novice leaders and us instructors(dirty word) may have something of worth to pass on to EZ and to close the circle - I know I often pick up new tips , hints and techniques from clients who attend my courses - and thats just how it should be :o)
EZ, I think Jim's reference to D Morrod was as a warning not to end up bitter and twisted like him - NOT to emulate him. I'm not an instructor, but what have you got to lose by going through the different instructor schemes? On the contrary, it seems you've got a lot to offer.
"If you can keep your head whilst those around you are losing theirs, then perhaps you are mis-reading the situation".
Getting back on topic!
It strikes me that the issue with the instructor in question might be more to do with the way he felt about the whole day. Sounds to me like he was quite stressed and needed to defend his patch and his carefully laid plans, or everything might fall apart.
By no means a justification, but from both sides of the argument I'm up for everyone getting a go.
Just a thought about where he might have been at.
Just a few overnight observations:
No matter how many people post on here telling EZ to rethnnk his strategy, he is not going to do it publicly, or he would have done by now- I thought DH's response might help but it didn't.
He may be quite a good instructor, but will perhaps benefit from some pointers about route choice and communication (I don't know). However, the chances of EZ feeling like meeting some of his peers on a course are getting slimmer by the minute. I recognise my part in this as I've nagged him about his insurance. This has been a far more unpleasant experience for EZ than for anyone else here so I belatedly think a bit of respect/perspective is needed. He is a real person.
I had hoped that the BMC might comment, but this has not happened, nor does it look likely that they will. Sooooo, all this has become a bit pointless now in my opinion. Let the lad have a nice trip to Font.
Thread was removed, tidied and now reinstated. Please keep personal issues off the forums.
Appreciated Alan ;o)
> Thread was removed, tidied and now reinstated.
I bet that was a wade. Nice one.
Oh, well done, there- much better than just killing an altogether good thread, just for the sake of a few numpties having a bunfight. could you do this more often, please?
> Lets put it this way they wont learn to climb with someone who hides behind insurance. I wont let them near a North Walian after what Ive seen on this thread. They certainly wont learn from anybody with SPA.
You really do get better and better. When your children learn to drive you won't want their instructor to be insured or have a driving license or be named Jones?
In what way will they be unable to learn from anyone who has gained an SPA? What is the problem with a teacher from North Wales?
Hi Andy at home - is that the Andy I think it is posting under another alias?
A word to the wise - go easy on Fawkesey at the moment - dont think he is having the best of times :o(
OK. Apologies. Posted before I'd got to the end of the thread - it obviously got a bit out of hand whilst I wasn't looking. Wasn't a very good parallel anyway :-(
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