Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What if I book outdoor rock climbing or scrambling, and then the weather turns out to be unsuitable?
A: When you book with me, we will discuss your objectives, and often decide on a plan A and a poor weather plan B. I am experienced at delivering high quality days regardless of the weather, and usually can adapt teaching methods and venues to give you the best possible day regardless. Often we can have the option of spending some of the day indoors doing some rope skills or coaching, or occasionally clients have flexible days and prefer to rebook for an alternative date. All of these options will be discussed openly with you.
Q: What locations do you operate in?
A: I am based near Keswick, so often deliver my courses in the North Lakes, but enjoy working all over Cumbria. There are also two small but good quality climbing walls in Keswick which I use to coach, as well as Kendal Climbing Wall and Eden Rock in Carlisle. I work in Scotland several times a year, and love the opportunity to work in different parts of the UK, so am often happy to consider working multiple days in Scotland, Yorkshire or North Wales. I also coach in Spain and Kalymnos several times a year for Rock and Sun, and am available for private coaching abroad on request.
Q: I don't have my own climbing equipment, do you have any available to hire?
A: I have a small selection of spare harnesses, helmets and a few climbing shoes, but am not set up to provide everything for large groups. These are available to hire for an extra £5. I will provide all ropes and climbing hardware. You will need to bring your own waterproofs and walking boots for mountaineering courses. Please just let me know if you have any worries about clothing and equipment and I will do my best to help. I will email you prior to our dates with a kit list.
Q: Do you cater for under 18s?
A: I often coach and guide young people and hold full DBS disclosures. However they will always need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian, as I do not hold the AALA license needed to take children unsupervised. Parents can be involved in the climbing and skills if they like, or just accompany the child to the crag or wall.
Q: Do you do gift vouchers?
A: I do provide gift vouchers. These can be for a specific course, or just a pre paid day or two which can be planned on discussion with the participant. Gift vouchers will need to be paid in full, and are valid for one year.
Q: Do you ever use other instructors?
A: I will very occasionally use another qualified instructor to deliver a course or date if I am unavailable. I only ever use highly qualified and experienced instructors who I am familiar with, and this will always be discussed with you first, so that you know who will be guiding or instructing you when you book.
Useful links and resources
The British Mountaineering Council has some great PDF booklets covering a range of safety, equipment, and skills topics in climbing and mountaineering. The website is a little difficult to navigate, but stick with it! Click BMC
Click here to read an article I have written for the George Fisher shop in Keswick, with top tips and thoughts for starting out leading trad climbs.
Mountain Training give some great infographics showing their skills and qualifications pathway for climbing and mountaineering here
UKClimbing is the definitive site for online logbooks, articles, news and forums. Use it for destination advice, checking opinions on routes you are interested in, buying and selling second hand kit, useful articles and videos.
I also do some conservation work for the West Cumbria Rivers Trust. Click here to find lots of information about the projects in our area, events and volunteer days.
I send out a quarterly newsletter to people that have signed up to my mailing list. It contains interesting articles, top tips, photos, upcoming courses and reflections from the outdoor industry. Sign up for my mailing list below if you are interested in keeping in touch. You will be able to unsubscribe at any time using the link at the bottom of emails.