petehillmic.com

The Mountain Leader Specialists

Course dates and prices

ROCK CLIMBING COURSES

Our rock climbing courses are often available with dates to suit, and can be of any length. They can be introductory, intermediate or a combination of both. The basic plan for the relevant courses are set out below, but these are flexible and given for guidance only. You may wish to have just one or two days climbing, or to make a full week of it - the choice is up to you.

Set dates are below but if you want to go for a tailor-made set of dates, the cost for 1:1 or 1:2 ratio is £200.00 per day, plus expenses if relevant. For larger groups, please contact us for a quote. Please feel free to contact us to discuss your requirements, we'd be very happy to help and advise.


***PLEASE NOTE! THESE ARE PROFESSIONALLY RUN ROCK CLIMBING COURSES AND, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE ROCK CLIMBING TASTER COURSE, ARE RUN ON A MAXIMUM OF 1:2 RATIO (UNLESS BY ARRANGEMENT). THUS, ALTHOUGH THE COST MIGHT SEEM HIGH, YOU WILL GETTING THE MAXIMUM POSSIBLE CONTACT TIME FOR THE DURATION OF YOUR COURSE.

ROCK CLIMBING TASTER

This course, of one or more days duration, gives you a taste of rock climbing without the worry! After a brief time looking at equipment and belaying skills, we will then go climbing! This will most likely entail you 'seconding' routes, following the leader, but will also perhaps utilise the use of 'bottom roping', where the leader stays on the ground but you are still protected from above. If you wish, we can also include some abseiling into our time on the crags. An ideal course, especially for anyone who wants to 'give it a go' or are not sure if they would enjoy climbing or not and want to find out!

EXPERIENCE: None, just be keen!
DATES : To suit!

COST: £200 per day.

INTRODUCTORY ROCK CLIMBING

Climbing Instruction on some of Scotland's Finest Crags. This rock climbing course is an ideal introduction to this challenging sport, or for those in need of a `refresher' course. All relevant topics are covered including gear selection, rope management, belaying, leading, runner placement and route choice. All subjects are learnt in a practical situation, and every day is spent out on the crags giving you an excellent chance to learn and progress through the grades quickly and safely. We will be using different crags and outcrops during the course, such as the granite cliffs of Ballater in Deeside, the non-tidal sea cliffs of the beautiful Moray Firth at Cummingston and Logie Head, and the unique Huntley's Cave near Grantown-on-Spey. All of these will allow an awareness of different styles and situations to develop, and you will be encouraged to lead climbs during the course if you should so wish.

DATES: May 12-16, Jun 30-Jul 4, Jul 21-25, Aug 11-15, Sep 1-5. We can also offer dates to suit.

COST: £450. B+B or bunkhouse accommodation is also available upon request.
EXPERIENCE: Good general fitness, with keenness being of more importance than upper body and finger strength.
OUTCOME: You should finish the course with a good all-round knowledge of single and multi-pitch rock climbing, and know how to climb routes in safety. You will have learnt about belays, leading, ropework and equipment, and will have the ability to select and lead routes for yourself.



INTRO / INTERMEDIATE ROCK CLIMBING - TAILOR MADE


Rock instruction for climbing partners. This course is very popular, and has been designed to cope with the demands of two partners who climb together but may be working at different grades or with varying experience. We work at a ratio of 1:2, which allows you and your partner to gain the maximum benefit from your course. Each partner will be coached through the relevant technical procedures and scenarios relevant to their grade and experience, allowing them to both progress at the same rate. This course can be seen as allowing time to learn and consolidate skills, such as improved stance management, leading skills, multi-pitch climbing and training procedures. As such, it would also be extremely valuable to partners with the same climbing experience. The itinerary for the intro rock course gives an idea of venues, although the exact details of this course would depend upon the experience of the two participants and we would tailor-make it to fit your requirements, which can be discussed either before or when you arrive. An excellent learning curve!

DATES: May 12-16, Jun 30-Jul 4, Jul 21-25, Aug 11-15, Sep 1-5. We can also offer dates to suit.

COST: £450. B+B or bunkhouse accommodation is also available.
EXPERIENCE: Variable, good general fitness.
OUTCOME: You should both finish the course with a good all-round knowledge of single and multi-pitch rock climbing. You will have both progressed at a similar rate, although possibly at slightly different levels, and should have the ability to place superior runners and arrange technical anchor systems. You will be able to adapt to either single or multi-pitch climbing easily, and be able to climb routes confident with your own skills and safety.



INTERMEDIATE ROCK CLIMBING

A couple of days of advanced skills. A natural progression from the introductory course, these days are aimed at those leading at V Diff standard and above. It is also ideal for those who have been operating at the same grade for some time and wish to improve their skills. After a revision of basic belaying techniques, we will look at more advanced belaying, multiple anchors, improved runner placement, multi-pitch climbing, double rope techniques and basic improvised rescue. All specialised equipment is provided, but participants will be encouraged to bring and use their own equipment if they have it.


DATES: May 12-16, Jun 30-Jul 4, Jul 21-25, Aug 11-15, Sep 1-5. We can also offer dates to suit.

COST: £450. Accommodation is also available.
EXPERIENCE: Good general fitness, leading at Diff or above.


IMPROVISED RESCUE TECHNIQUES

Essential emergency skills for both rock climbers and winter mountaineers. This course, ideally run over two days but could be of any length, is aimed at climbers leading at least at `Diff' standard in summer, or Grade 1 in winter, and who wish to learn emergency skills in a practical situation. Topics covered include prussiking, assisted and un-assisted hoists, escaping the system, lowers and accompanied abseils. Both days will be spent out on the crag, usually at different locations for each, with scenarios being set to give a taste of realism! An essential course, whatever your climbing standard.

DATES One or two days, arranged to suit your schedule.

COST £180 per day for up to 2 people, higher ratios by arrangement.
EXPERIENCE: Leading at `Diff' standard, summer, or Grade 1, winter.

ROCK CLIMBING ITINERARY


The following is an itinerary for one of our five day introductory rock climbing courses. This should be taken as an example only, as we always have to remain flexible as regards weather conditons and client's abilities and aspirations. As we usually work on a one instructor to two client ratio, we have plenty of opportunity to develop skills in a variety of directions during the week.


Day 1. This starts with introductions, a discussion of the course outline, and collection of equipment. Most of the day is spent looking at basic belaying methods and stance management for single pitch climbs, both at the top and the bottom of the route. We will discuss the appropriateness of a variety of techniques, and various ways of belaying an ascending leader or second. There is a fair amount of technical input during this first day, so we will be careful that it does not get too confusing! Abseiling is a large part of rock climbing, both for convenience and in emergency situations, so that will also be covered. The venue will often be Huntly's Cave near Grantown on Spey, a great venue for learning. The walk to the venue is only of a few minutes duration, as indeed it is to the majority of sites that we commonly use during the week.


Day 2. Although there is no pressure to lead routes during the week, peope often wish to do so, and this is the day on which we introduce the use of leader-placed-protection. These are known as "running belays", and are the root from which the safety structure of climbing ascents, both summer and winter, are based. Time will be spent looking at the various types of equipment used for protection and the manner in which they are deployed, and your instructor will lead one or two easy routes so that you can see how the system works. If you wish to try leading at this stage you will be welcome to do so, with your instructor climbing along side on a separate rope, helping you to select the correct equipment and place it in a safe manner. The Pass of Ballater is an excellent venue for this day, having a good selection of lower grade routes that are easy to protect. The crag is also quite short, so a number of routes can be climbed during the day.


Day 3. Training is an important part of rock climbing, and we will spend part of this day looking at developing the skills to help you advance through the grades. Bouldering is not only a popular way of training, but is also often seen as a sport in its own right. Using the cliffs of Cummingston, we will look at a variety of bouldering techniques, and also be able to lead some routes in the area. Cummingston is a sandstone cliff overlooking the Moray Firth, situated on a pleasant shingle beach, and with the added attraction of a school of Bottle-Nose dolphins living nearby, which are often seen in the shallows by the cliffs.


Day 4. This day is often purely leading, and, hopefully, you will now be able to find your way round a crag using guide book descriptions. The plan will be for you to climb whichever routes you like, with your instructor climbing alongside, using the guide book and a little prompting from local knowledge!  There are few better places for this than Logie Head, also situated overlooking the Moray Firth, a fin of compacted sandstone jutting out into the sea. A sun-trap in a beautiful location, the dolphins are also frequent visitors here. Redhythe Point is also an option, where Pete has made the first ascent of many of the routes!


Day 5. This day includes a mixture of leading, looking at how to change over leads when multi-pitch climbing, and introduces emergency procedures. These emergency techniques will include assisted and un-assisted hoisting, escaping the system and prussiking. The venue could well be one already used during the week, with Cummingston being a popular choice. The day ends with the return of gear and perhaps even a de-brief over a cup of tea or a pint or two!