/ SPA specificity
I've just had my SPA logbook arrive and on flicking through it I've noticed that the powers that be want to see mainly single pitch routes logged, rather than multi-pitch. When I've been bothered too log my climbs I've done it on UKC and if you care to have a nosey you'll see that I'm a bit of a multi-pitch devotee.
So do I need to start playing on some smaller stuff or do you think my assessor will make an exception? Hoping to get my training and assessment done by summer you see...
Multi pitch is fine, don't worry!
Youve still got over 20 Single pitch climbs with protection placed on lead. That's the minimum for training I believe ? Shouldn't be to hard to do a few more?
Plus multi pitch shows variation, so a wider base of knowledge. Good luck!
go straight to ML and MIA if you've got the environment near to you.
The SPA is as it says a single pitch award. specifically for operating in a single pitch environment. It really depends on why your doing the SPA if you want to teach single pitching outside then I'd recommend getting to as many single pitch crags as you can as this will be your new office space... if you can get the work.
In the book it says ideally candidates will have a minof 12 month climbing experience pre training, done 60 graded climbs on a variety of rock types, 40 of these routes would be led and many at severe grade or above.
I started climbing in 2004 by seconding friends up multipitch routes. I did my SPA training in 2007 and had 5 multipitch leads and 8 single pitch leads but lots of seconding experience.
When I went for assessment in Nov 2010 I'd climbed in Pembroke, Gower, Cullin, Langdale, Borrowdale, Conniston, Froggat, Burbage, Stannage, Wintours Leap,
S Wales limestone, Carneddau, Ogwen.
I had Single pitch:
52 Seconds (24 of which at severe +)
32 leads (12 of which at Severe +)
10 purely Seconding (I learnt to climb by seconding mates on multipitch. (9 at severe or more)
26 Leads (16 at severe grade or more)
I got pulled up on my log book as I didn't have 40 single pitch leads, despite my argument that multipitch teaches you more, especially when you climb single pitch too. I did pass as there was no faults in anything else but I would say get 40 single pitch leads as defering on your log book could happen and that would be poo. Most of my single pitches were in the Lakes or Peak, with a few in S wales.
Same as others have said really, its all good experience(ive had friends who have been told it would have been good to see some more multipitch logs)
My opinion is that single pitch is the environment you will be working in so that's where you need to have a significant amount of experience
I'd say book the training now - you've easily enough experience for that. Once you're on it ask the instructor and speak to them about it. realistically I'd have thought 40 severe single pitch climbs wouldn't be something you'd struggle with.
On assessment with a logbook without much single pitch they might be concerned that you weren't familiar with rigging enough (group abseils, bottom and top ropes, 'rescue' scenarios from these). Training will make this much clearer.
You need 20 leads for training at VD+. I'd say you have enough experience but to make your log days spend a day at stanage and you can easily nail 10+ routes. Go to long scar off wrinose pass and you can do another 10 routes there.
Leading single pitch isn't going to give you any more experience of these things than leading multi pitch will.
Your logbook is stronger than a lot of people on their SPA training, don't worry about it and book yourself on a training.
For training It's 15 and there's no grade requirement.
Ok, I couldn't remember. It was a long while ago - I know I didn't have enough to do training but I was climbing so frequently with friends who didn't have training either, that I wanted to know if I was doing it safely/the best way before I got lots of bad habits.
That sounds completely insane! Is there any element of a single pitch route that isn't part of a multi-pitch route? Surely the last pitch of any multi-pitch route is identical to a single pitch route in every way except for being tied in to start?
This could probably end up being an issue for me too if someone else is also being stupid about it...
Examination of my logbook shows that of my 24 lead/alt-lead routes, 13 are multipitch (and it would be 14 if I hadn't done one two-pitch route in one)...
Its not that insane to expect people doing a single pitch award to have a suitable amount of single pitch experience.
There are pages in you log book for single pitch and multy pitch climbs.
You are now encouraged to you’re the candidate management system on the Mountain Training web site and log climbs, walking, etc on the dlog.
I don't think it's hugely difficult to get the experience either. If you go out with the intention of getting routes logged for your book you should be able to get ten done in a day, so twenty in a weekend. A couple of weekends effort shouldn't be too much to ask!
You inspired me to check out DLOG and all I can say is I wish I hadn't.
What a mess? It's even worse than their over complex paper logbooks!
. A couple of weekends effort shouldn't be too much to ask!
...and that can be misleading as it would not actually give much breadth of experience even if you went to different areas/ rock types. In some ways the number of routes required is very low. I'm sure the assessors can determine the real level of experience/competence/ suitability despite what the 'climbs logged' total is.
I'm not sure whether you're looking at training or assessment but either way I'd suggest asking your chosen course/assessment provider to do this.
I can see how an assessor might be pedantic and not count climbs at Gogarth, Tremadog or Avon towards "X number of single pitch leads", but it'd be particularly harsh to also ignore them as evidence of "breadth of experience", surely? I haven't done SPA, though, so maybe I'm wrong and missing something...
They will definitely count your multi-pitch climbs etc in breadth of experience and on my assessment we spent a fair bit of time in the morning chatting about what we'd climbed, favourite routes etc. Over the course of the two days they will get a good picture of whether you are experienced enough.
My previous point was really that if you could, with a little application, do 20 routes in a weekend, I don't think asking for 60 routes logged to become an instructor is really asking for much. If I were paying for an instructor to take me out top-roping I would personally hope they had more than three weekend's worth of routes logged.
One of the key things I found during assessment was that the instructors want you to be slick, find bomber gear every time and get everything set up quickly and efficiently. The more practise you have placing gear (whether single or multi pitch) the better you will be at that.
If you have registered very recently, like me, you are not just encouraged but required (as I am not getting a paper logbook). And the DLOG is an absolute PITA. I am also not sure whether I should be putting the routes I have done leading other people up as 'supervision activity', or whether I should (or even can) just create a separate 'supervision activity' for each day I have been helping/leading for less experienced people etc and put all routes done as not supervision activity?
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