If you ever need a reason to wear a helmet…


One of my climbing students climbing in Nam Pha Pha Yai was belaying at a relatively new route when this sharp chunk of rock fell onto his head. Can’t imagine what would have been the result if he had neglected to wear his helmet that day. Think you should only wear your helmet when climbing? Think again.

A good reminder to always bring your brain bucket along and use it.

Good picture to use to reinforce this point in class. Full post here:



The one about clearing my FB backlog…

Just a couple of sites i have been saving on FB for the longest time but never got around to sharing them. Great for teaching resources.

  1. https://www.climbing.com/skills/learn-this-how-to-use-directionals/ 
    A very useful article on using re-directions when we teach Level 2. I think this is one thing that is hard to recreate at the gyms because most of the routes simply go straight up and there’s very little chance for a redirection. So the climbers don’t really see the use of learning this. And rem, when you dun use it, you lose it. So sometimes i have to deliberately build in this practice by getting them to climb diagonally so that they will have a chance to practice considering the direction of their quickdraws.
  2. https://headrushtech.com/magnetic-braking/ 
    You know those autobelays you see emerging at climbing gyms. Ever wondered how they work? Here’s a good article about magnetic braking which some of the devices make use of. Good to know so that you will understand the limitations of the device.
  3. https://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=9402 
    ABD’s are all the rage now. Here’s a good review on the different devices so that you can further advise your L2 climbers when they ask you which device is more suitable for them. I always tell them to get something that they feel comfortable and familiar with rather than the cheapest one on sale…
  4. https://www.climbing.com/skills/learn-this-advanced-rock-climbing-rescue-techniques/
    This is more for those teaching Level 3. More different techniques you can consider to add to your arsenal of tricks. Can be a bit complicated but if you break it down and consider the intent of each step, it becomes easier to commit to your memory.
  5. http://upskillclimbing.blogspot.sg/2009/02/how-to-bolt-rock-climbs-and-how-not-to.html
    Bolting. For the one or two curious climbers who want to know more about how climbers actually bolt routes on natural rocks. Good to know because it’s a fascinating topic for new climbers especially for those who don’t get outdoors much.

So there you go, some resources i hope you will find useful in your classes.

The one about the Unbelayable ending…


One of my fav columns in Climbing Magazine is ending. I love what the author Kevin Corrigan says at the end.

“You can know every skill in the book, but if you’re mindlessly going through the motions or filling your days with “It’ll probably be fines,” then you’re leaving yourself open to the chance that it might not be fine. Climbing responsibly is a choice, one you must make every step along the way.”

I was just thinking of printing out past editions of this almanac of stoopid climbing mistakes and passing it around during Level 2 or 3 classes. The more experienced participants would probably guffaw at them but for those few who do not get what is wrong, i will start to be worried. Can be used as potential case studies for discussions. Hmmph just a thought at the moment, will need some time to operationalise it. What were your unbelayable moments?

The one about the belay loop…


Just a quick on from my hp.

A great article on why we use the belay loops to belay. As silly as it sounds, there are really climbers still out there who so not belay through their belay loops. Do you teach the use of a belay loops in yoir courses?