Journal The Third

Please excuse me while I scream…

Ahhhhhh

Great. Although I can’t actually scream right now because I have a head cold and my voice would be interrupted with coughing -it is morning now so the coughing will stop soon and return again at night. Ah, and seeing as I’ve already mentioned it (the cold); I’m sorry for not having posted anything this week! Time has eluded me, or I simply didn’t find it this week, you’ll see…

Greetings!

Wait. No. Why was I screaming? Because there isn’t much internets here and photos won’t upload and this page takes a long time to appear before I can even start writing. Well seeing as I have some internet at the moment…. let’s blog!

 

Monday

CLIMBING! Woo yeah! Three days spent climbing in the Lake District with Stu Carter at three different crags with five of my fellow ITPs – Dave, Dani, Lizzie, Nate and Emily.

Day one (which is Monday) we spent at Shepherd’s Crag where Stu spent time teaching trad climbing (traditional climbing). What’s trad climbing? A pure form of climbing whereby you wear a hardness, carry a rack of hardware, attach a rope and climb a rock face – jamming nuts and cams in available cracks in the rocks.

The first part of the day was spent wandering over to the crag and practising placements of passive and active gear. We just stood on the floor and used cracks and openings in the rock face that were in easy reach so we could understand good and bad placement without any risk of injury.

Passive gear would be nut and hexes which come in various sizes in order to fit various sized cracks in the rocks, however you need to find the right sort of crack to place the gear or else it may just slide out. Depends on three things:

  • amount of rock contact with the edges of the nut/hex
  • shape of the crack
  • direction of pull

Makes sense.

Active gear would be cams or camming devices, which you hold a trigger to place the cam into a crack and when you release the trigger the cam springs open and grips onto the sides of the crack. They are called active because they have moving parts, whereas nuts and hexes don’t move.

The second part of the day was spent actually climbing, however as I have had some experience with trad climbing before I was paired up with Dani to try multipitch climbing first instead of just a standard trad climb. A multipitch climb is exactly as it sounds, there are multiple stages of climbing (pitches) whereby you climb one stage and then your buddy seconds the route taking out gear as he climbs up to the ledge where you’re belaying from. Then your buddy climbs on ahead of you to another ledge and then once they’re safely anchored above above you they’d belay you up and you would clean up their route. Simple.

Shepherd’s Crag – Brown Slabs

  • Brown Slabs Arête D- multipitch, lead first pitch, seconded the second pitch
  • Brown Slabs Direct VD- singlepitch, lead

This is a view from the crag but not looking at the crag…

sherpherds crag view

 

Tuesday

Back to the Lakes for another day out with Stu but this time to an incredible location down Wrynose Pass in Langdale at a crag called Long Scar. The drive was beautiful although I don’t have any pictures of the view from the valley but I’ll try and find you one such as this one by Matthew Leeke. Yep it’s a rather wonderful place.

Wrynose Pass

So what happened? We climbed, of course.

It was a 20 minute walk from the road to the crag, over some lumpy looking ground, up to the rock face where we geared up and cracked on with some more trad climbing.

Long Scar – roadside

Long Scar Crag

Two climbs, one on the far right which was a moderate (which I seconded for Emily) and then I lead a climb on the far left which was a HVS 4b but I can’t remember the names of these climbs. I need to get on this – log them and update this post.

Sorry for my forgetfulness. It was a glorious day, sunshine and a slight breeze. I spent a good while in the sun, belaying, enjoying some rays. Good times.

It was great to climb the HS 4b, it had a tricky first couple of moves as there was little protection but to be honest, i’m tall… so I climbed up fairly easily -once you have a good foot hold I simply stand up, reach up and you’re half way up the wall. Ah… being tall…

If I can get some more information about the routes I’ll write more and you’re read more. Cool. I’ll ask Lizzie about this -she’s more organised and remembers things.

EDIT:

Long Scar, Wrynose Pass

Sam’s Saunter HS (4a) LP

Fun, bold beginning (not many placements) but then a ladder-like climb to the top.

Old Holburn M

Very simple climb, more like a scramble.

Then I lead another climb, not listed as a route, just climbed the wall and I’m going to suggest it was D or VD

Wednesday

Third and final day climbing in the Lakes. Today we were in Langdale again, at Upper Scout crag -which was very close to the very first climb we did a couple of weeks ago. It was a another great day, it was quiet, fairly calm and moderate overcast -so not too cold either.

The hand in the photo belongs to Dani, although I paired up with Lizzie for the days climbing.

Upper Scout crag from the guidebook

There were two routes that we had planned to do -the creatively named “route one” and “route two”. I can’t remember which one we did first… err… LIZZIE? She’ll help.

Here’s Lizzie or at least a photo from the top of the crag, where she’s sorting out the rope before we walk around to the bottom of the crag for another climb.

Upper Scout Crag
Upper Scout Crag

And here’s a picture of Stu with his dog called Fly. Yeah, Fly is adorable.

Stu with his dog Fly
Stu with his dog Fly

I’ll write more about what happened when I remember/Lizzie prompts me -but you appreciate the photos don’t you. Yes you do. Thanks.

EDIT:

I’ve just had some more information so I can add that now:

Upper Scout Crag, Langdale

Route 1 (multipitch) VD, climbing as LP, se, LP

Quite simple climb, lots of decent placements along the pitch. The second pitch (although seconding) was exposed but with comfortable and well spaced holds, probably the best part of the route. Setting a belay at the top took a while to find suitable anchors but the two used were bomber.

Route 2 (multipitch) VD, climbing as Se, LP, Se

It was a simple climb, it’s a bold start with few gear placements but I was seconding this. The 2nd pitch was a simple climb, plenty of nut placements and decent holds/foot placements. Set up a belay from a tree.

Thursday

A classroom day on stewardship. Thinking about money, thinking about the parable of talents, thinking about how to approach money and attitudes towards money/talents from a Christian perspective.

It was a simple classroom day but it’s important to talk about these issues -issues that should be spoken about more openly, especially between Christians for encouragement and support. If we are to be proper stewards then we need to consider the perspective to be one that is purposeful, looking after the things we have, using money wisely, considering needs and wants and so on.

What does this mean? Well, in the outdoors world equipment that you use for work is very important – spend £30 on a jacket and it might be ok and last a while, but if you’re cold and miserable (and wet in heavy rain) then that’s not really a wise investment – being warm, dry and in good condition is very important for a group leader or instructor because they have responsibilities for people other than themselves, so if they are cold, wet and shivering then they need to sort themselves out which may lead to compromises in terms of safety or in terms of the duration of the activity too.

And so on.

Money matters, but money should never be a focus. Earning money and spending money to get stuff should not be a focus. Keep your heart aligned, centred at God – this is most important.

Should I talk more about this?

 

Friday

Another classroom day but this time it was with Claire Musson to talk about learning. Learning. What are the different ways people learn? Well, I know a few now and some I’m more comfortable with than others (from my own learning perspective). Here are some learning things:

Multiple Intelligences (Howard Gardner 1983)

  • linguistic-verbal
  • logical-mathematical
  • visual-spatial
  • intrapersonal
  • interpersonal
  • musical-aural
  • bodily-kinesthetic
  • (Naturalistic)

I did a test and guess what? I’m well rounded but I have some stronger areas:

  • Logical-mathematical (37)
  • Musical (37)
  • Bodily-kinesthetic (33)
  • Spatial-visual (33)
  • linguistic (31)
  • interpersonal (30)
  • intrapersonal (29)

So you can see that I am stronger in some areas, and no they’re not percentages – I can’t believe you even thought that? Ok, so you didn’t think that. Me either. But what the score means I don’t know, it’s out of a possible 40 if that helps? I need to work on my inter and intra personal skills it seems..?

We watched a video with Ken Robinson talking about education. Now he’s a pretty sharp pencil in the pencilcase of education, although I’m not entirely sure what he would propose except complete reformation of the education system so that it can fit other types of intelligence/creativity.

Oh and I don’t get the idea of labelling intelligence with different sort of labels (such as the ones listed above in multiple intelligence list) because you’ll still be labelling people with some sort of label, which puts people in boxes again…

V-A-K?

  • Visual (images, diagrams, colours, demonstrations, lists, films etc)
  • Auditory (rhymes, songs, chants, sounds, explanations etc)
  • Kinaesthetic (games, actions, plays, “try”, “do, “feel”, “touch” etc)

So using V-A-K i’m supposed to be able to get a better structured learning system implemented for my sessions (when I’m teaching/training/instructing) most of which I already do but it’s good to know what I’m not doing, or what I can add to make a more well rounded and generally more exciting lesson plan. Brilliant. More work. But at least knowing about learning helps me learn more about knowing. Yeah, sure, why not.

I’m sorry if I come across as a bit obtuse. I don’t mean it. It’s genuinely interesting and these skills are definitely going to be implemented into my… life?

 

Saturday

Going underground? Yeah. Down down to goblin town. No? Ok… Nenthead mines in Cumbria.

Do I have pictures? No. It’s a mine. It was dark and wet in places and my phone was safe a dry in a car. But Miguel took some photos on his GoPro and the instructor Mal Tabb took some photos which are his facebook group here.

Anyway…

Rocked up in a car park on a very rainy day in Cumbria. It’s a bit of an odd place, it’s pretty(ish) but quite devoid of features which I guess gives it it’s charm. Hey? I’m from the Fens where there is a flat lot of nothing, so a lumpy scenic view always nice.

Mal provided all the gear we needed – heavy duty overalls, a pair of wellies, helmet and head torch. Thank you Mal! I didn’t really know what to expect going mining; i figured I’d wear shorts, old shoes and carry a torch and that would be ok. Error.

We must’ve spent about 3.5 hours down the mine, just wandering around cramped mine passages (cramped! being tall is not best), squeezing through collapsed sections of the mine, wading through trenches of water, and crawling through tunnels. Why? Why indeed. But the incredible thing throughout was that I was in an actual mine that dated back over 300 years ago, and I was walking through history. That is most definitely a worthwhile experience.

There was plenty to see. So much to take in. There’s a ridiculous amount of potential tunnels to explore, well over 50+ miles of passageways to explore! The creation of the mines, carving in the rock and the debris left behind is something to look out for. So are the crystal formations, the mineral deposits, stalagmites and stalactites, old tools, abandoned equipment, cave-ins, potentially lethal sumps (huge holes in the ground), wooden supporting structures, mine rails, stone structures and vast chambers. It really was a superb experience – certainly will be going again to explore more areas and get roped up to get down further into the mine.

My friend Clare (also on the ITP course) is the youngest female certified mining/caving person – I’ll have to ask her what the qualification is. Clare is very enthusiastic about mining and caving and was utterly thrilled to catch up with Mal again to go mining. The reason why I say this is Clare spoke about a few caving things that I now understand (having been mining for a few hours) – being underground is somehow calming, you’re in a different world as the actual outside world disappears. There is no internet, there is no mobile phone signal, there is no daylight, there is no world any more. It’s you, the people you’re with, the equipment you have and the cave/mine that you’re in. That is your new world. It’s wonderful.

So that’s how I spent my Saturday, how did you spend yours?

Right I will add filler material this week and add photos to the older journal entries. I’m getting better at this and I should have a couple of hours this week to actually do some more of this rather than typing up everything through the duration of Sunday – internet is slow, and I tend to edit photos before uploaded (which takes time) and other excuses. Blah blah blah.

I hope you’ve enjoyed what I’ve done this week as much as I have. I really need to go to bed now and get as many Zs as I can.

As always, comment below and let me know what you think or if you want to talk about anything specifically then let’s talk.

Thanks

 

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