Introduction to climbing course..

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Today I was working out in Dalkey Quarry on an introduction to climbing course. I met Henrik and Dan both from Sweden at Dalkey Hill car park at 9.30 and after a brief chat about harnesses and helmets we went into the quarry to get some climbing done. Another Dan from the St Kevin’s outdoor educataion course was out observing a session for his SPA assessment coming up next week.

On an intro to rock climbing course you want the participants to get as much out of the day as possible so there’s no point hanging around and chatting about climbing. Instead it’s best to get stuck in and build up some mileage on a variety of routes. Dan was with us for two hours so I got him to set up and run a top rope on three routes. This way the I could give him some tips here and there and the climbers can keep climbing. Henrik and Dan made light work of the first two routes Drinkers Direct VDiff and Drinkers Delight VDiff. We then moved onto Porcupine another VDiff but a little bit bit tougher than the previous two in my opinion. After that the lads climbed the classic Yorkshire Pudding HS**. After these four climbs I set up an abseil on the slab beside Paradise Lost which we all went down and had a bite to eat. I then decided to do some leading and give the lads an idea of what real climbing is all about. I lead up Paradise Lost VDiff an absolute classic with the lads coming up in parallel. Then it was onto D Route S another Dalkey classic. Then we did Levitation HS** and then we did one of my favourite climbs Mahjongg VS*** but this time the lads climbed in series.

Introduction to climbing: Henrik making his way up Levitation

With an hour to spare I decided to take the lads up Tower Ridge D***. This is a fantastic multi pitch route with fine positions and exhilarating exposure.

Dan on the middle pitch of Tower Ridge with Dublin Bay in the background

We were the first group in the quarry and the last to leave and one thing’s for sure, when you finish in the dark with smiles on your faces you know a good day was had by all..

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