/ What to teach a new second
depends what you want them to know/learn. if you know this you can plan the session around that. you are right not wanting to overwhelm them with info. it's generally best to let them find things out for themselves with you just facilitating this by questioning them about what they did and getting them to analyse this. generally people will figure out the things you want them to learn given enough time to evaluate.
I hope you will have them wearing helmets, for reasons that have nothing to do with fashion, costs, the media, or methods of construction.
Provided you start easy and keep pitches/routes short, so you can communicate really easily, you can't really go too far wrong.
I always put a high priority on buddy checks and on going through the series of standard climbing calls, but for pretty much everything else I'll generally provide a bit of a running commentary and explanations as and when we do things rather than go in for long explanations beforehand.
Giving appropriate amounts of slack.
I find that introducing any sort of rescue scenario, even a very simple one like tying off the plate, too early in the journey sends out the wrong message and complicates the picture. You want them to be absorbing the key principles and enjoying themselves, not stressing about the distant possibility of a leader fall. I can't imagine you'll be on ground where you're likely to pop?
>...is there anything else you think I should be showing/teaching them?
Keep your eye on the leader at all times.
Likewise to the above, I wouldn't cover locking off the belay plate. I'd cover:
Belaying a leader/second, taking gear out, climbing calls, bit of outdoor ethics/crag etiquette, some safety stuff.
That reminds me, abseiling. It's a core climbing skill and even if you don't require it on day one, there's something to be said for getting it taught at a benign environment before asking someone to step off a ledge halfway up a mountain/sea cliff. It's also a handy use of time if someone is knackered and doesn't want to climb anymore.
I'd use a back-up for abseil one as a matter of course, which needs to be more than just sending someone over the edge with their own prussik!
I'd teach them to place gear so then you'll have climbing partners instead of just seconds.
I would suggest that you choose short routes, and you tie on in the middle with a fig 8 on the bight, then each second is a 'normal' second. Easiest (therefore safest) for you and them.
When reading a guide book the importance understanding what words/phrases like: interesting, traditional, requires a workman like approach, green and off width mean.
Not to untie from the rope to the other second.
Alpine butterfly, with two lockers connecting it to belay loop, is what I do.
There's binerless ways, but they involve more hassle.
1) That its their job as a second to bring cake
2) How to coil the rope, definitely rope coiling!
If they've belayed you at the wall then they already know how to lower a climber, which is probably more useful then leaving you dangling. Provided, of course, that you've chosen an appropriate location & route where it's safe to be lowered if the sh!t does hit the fan.
If they do for some outlandish reason have to leave you up there then, if there's two of them, one can hold the rope while the other calls for help.
> I'd teach them to place gear so then you'll have climbing partners instead of just seconds.
>> That's right (I'm assuming that taking them on v.diff means trad) as they reach each of your protection points, if you can see where they are, tell them where and why you chose that point to place pro. and why you used this type or that, cam, threaded sling, old peg etc. May slow a climb, but it's on the job learning.
I now have a mental image of a burly climber throwing the coiled rope to the ground, saying "Aye, and fookin' stay coiled !"
If you ever progress to Alpine with new seconds, the golden rule is that the second carries the rope ! An important advantage with 3/4 hour walk-ins !
How to make a decent cup of tea outdoors. Apprentices always need to make tea.
On the subject of basic rope technique, they need to be able to take in and pay out quickly and safely, both left and right-handed. People who learn on walls generally only learn to do it with do it with their strong hand, unaware of the fact that on a real climb they may not have a choice. Apart from that, how to take belays and runners off. Keep pitches short. Agree with remarks about cake.
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