It was great to start my summer season this year directing one of our Technical Alpine Climbing Courses with Chris and Frazer, who were both staying out in the Alps climbing with friends for several weeks afterwards – so no pressure then!
Both arrived with solid Uk trad and winter climbing backgrounds though, which is ideal preparation for alpinism. As course director, my job is to look at everyone’s existing skills and plan a week of tailored coaching and climbing to add in the alpine specific techniques needed for safe and successful ascents, plus as much experience on varied alpine terrain as possible.
Throughout the week we covered a huge range of skills, with the guys leading, prussicking, simu climbing, short pitching and rescuing each other etc etc – then on the final afternoon we finished off with a planning session to help them with their season ahead.
Three days later, I received a text: “we’re back down safe from the Purtscheller South Ridge – definitely beer o’clock!” – as a Guide and instructor, it’s moments like this that remind you you’re doing the best job in the world!