Today I was working in Dalkey Quarry. Willie has been working with some of the students from Colaiste Dhulaigh for many months now running general introduction to climbing courses covering many topics from building belays, climbing technique and abseiling. At this stage some of the students are ready to start learning to lead and become independent rock climbers so today I worked with two students Conor and Ryan ready to make the move. Fortunately, Niall an SPA trainee was along to help out and observe. It was quite cold and windy but more importantly it was dry.The first thing we did was look at gear placements. Correctly and incorrectly placed nuts and cams and problems associated with bad gear placements. We also looked at quick- draw orientation and using extendable quick-draws.
In order to stay within my remit (SPA) I decided to simulate lead climbing for the day. Giving both Conor and Ryan the opportunity to lead a route, build a belay and bring up the second with the safety of a loose top rope above which Niall would set up and run. Routes climbed throughout the day were Paradise Lost VDiff, Porcupine VDiff, Hiatus HS, Diphthong and Pilaster. Both students were climbing very well and every belay they set up was perfect.