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Topic - Mentoring noobs.

Ann S on 07 Jun 2014

A huge percentage of people on here will have introduced newbies to climbing and will have progressed them through to leading, first single pitch and then multipitch. For those who have done this, as I have, I wondered if you felt you had always got it right.
I can certainly think of one occasion when I failed to fully account for an unexpected psychological element. The noob in question had been leading well on single pitch and his rope skills were fine, so I decided to introduce him to what I thought was suitable multipitch climbing.

I chose Gimmer's far right side where there is a short 3pitch, 2star VD called Main Wall climb. My thinking was it would give him the big mountain crag experience, (bit of a slog carrying full sacks, imposing crag etc) see how things went on a simple first climb and then have plenty of other routes to chose from depending how things turned out.

It didn't go well.

He set off up the first pitch and within minutes was looking for a belay. I joined him thinking it was just a route finding/assessing distance issue; gently encouraged him up the next section and the same thing happened. I then realised he was completely spooked by the sense of extra height and exposure from the height of the crag above a steep drop to the valley below. I finished the lead - no more climbing that day and I filed it away to experience.
Post edited at 23:04
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