Big Wall Course

Big Wall Course

Most of the climbers interested in this course have ambitions to climb Big Walls and or learn the skills of bolting sports routes. The course will help develop the skills required to tackle longer climbs, Big Walls and bolt climbs. its not a Guided course but a skills trip for climbers who are happy to lead.

I do need some commitment, as the form of a small deposit, from people. Ive pitched the price as cheap as I can so numbers matter to me. Its quite an investment  expensive kit for me and getting it in position is no mean task.   Booking information, conditions, kit lists and travel advice

Overview of Big Wall Climbing Course / Equipping new climbs My philosophy is to demonstrate for climbers a range of skills and strategies. Then to get people hands on. Standing around will be kept to a minimum and we hopefully will max our time climbing and trying the new techniques. 
Skills covered

  • For Multi pitch Sports routes and Big Walls
  • Aid climbing
  • Expedition Walls

The group will create a new route as part of the course.

Rough Programe
• Day 1 Chance to climb! Get people free climbing on one of the many local crags. Overview of ropework. Rigging anchors. Anchor placements. Belaying direct, indirect. Abseiling and with haulbags. Placing bolts on rap. Both resin and expansion bolts. Issues with corrosion. Hope to clean a new route. Creating new sports climbs. Hopefully we create a new climb each as part of the day.

•Day 2 Looking at basic aidclimbing techniques using nuts, cams, pitons, hooks, beaks,mashies etc. Different systems for aiding on etriers. Placing hand drilled bolts for anchors. Using replacement bolts.Using zip lines and racking.A chance to free climb also hopefully!

•Day 3 Free climbing long routes. Being efficient on change overs. Yosemite style approach with hauling. French free tactics.  Hauling small bags. Climb a long multi pitch locally. 

•Day 4,5,6 Start a new route ground up putting the skills into practice. Inc How to pick a good line from below. Look at rigging static lines for ascending. Hauling big bags. Using Portaledges. Coaching red point climbing strategies. People to spend at least one night on a ledge. Cooking with hanging stoves and managing themselves.  Getting off walls and emergency rescue skills will be covered. 

Any add on days will be used climbing big routes, fuirther skills and equipping new pitches.

•Each evening over a beer I will run a short session on logistics and how to plan trips to many areas. Giving ideas on potential new walls to climb. 

Who For ?
Climbers must be capable of leading 6a and following 6b on sports routes and leading outside. Not suitable for beginner climbers. If climbers have solid sports climbing background that is fine. Trad climbing is essential skill to have and will be covered in depth including double rope technique.

Supplied on course: drills; portaledges; aid gear; haulbags; hammers; wallhaulers. Just bring your standard trad climbing  rack plus a single rope preferably 70/80m. Trad rack is a set of cams, two full sets of wires and 14 quickdraws. 7/8 screwgates plus 4 slings. 2 daisy chains per person.I will have extra kit to suppliment any gaps.I can provide ascenders / crolls if required. Plus chest harnesses, hammers. Obviously I will encourage people to bring as much of their own gear as much as possible but I will have a huge amount with me to help. Including 3 portaledges and hammocks.  But dont expect traveling by plane  with just  hand luggage! I will circulate more specific kit lists closer to the date and lease with everybody on exactly what is required. 

Each person pays for their own bolts used. Bolts will be available on the course to buy at trade prices. They will be fully stainless as locations are coastal. We will look at placing bolts for sports climbs, belays on Big Walls and aid climbing.

I will organise a group self catering apartment. It will be rented for the course duration.  Folk pay their share for boarding. Expect between £100-150 for the week for accommodation. We can group cook or eat out in local restaurants.  I enjoy cooking and do a mean Thai, Indian and roast! Accommodation in Sardinia and Leonidio will be near the sea and beach for a daily swim.

All courses start with a possible pick up from airport. I will suggest arrival times on the travel day.

  • Group share cost of any hire car 
  • If in Sardinia I will have my vehicle and transport everybody.
  • If Taghia is the venue no transport is required only transfer to and from Taghia normally approximately £50 pp for return fare. 
  • Group share cost of fuel in country from a kitty.

Anybody interested contact Twid by messenger, whats app or emailtwidturner@aol.com0041799588412
I have run Big Wall courses for 25 yrs. I am fully qualified IFMGA Guide and MIC with 30+ years of Big Wall experience. Ive climbed Big Wall routes in many places 50+ mostly first ascents: Brazil;Morocco; Alaska;Baffin; Greenland; Patagonia; Pakistan; Venezuala; Mexico; Mali; Madagascar;Norway; Sardinia; Borneo; Mexico; Alps and many US areas including Yosemite,Zion and Black Canyon.Happy to offer advice on planning and ideas.I started Big Wall courses at the UKs National Outdoor centre where I was Head of Rock Climbing for many years.  
If you have another friend who is keen to join us can you let me know their details and Ill send them the information as well.

Kit list
For the course will have to have everying with a * next to the gear at least.
Personal kit
*Belay plate
Gri Gri
*4 slings 1.2m
*3 prussik loops (6mm x1.5m lengths tied)
*6 Screwgate karabiners
*nut key
Free Climbing Rack
*2 sets of nuts 1-10
*1 full set of cams to Big
*1 set of micro cams
*2 sets of micrto nuts
*14 quick draws various lengths
Aid Climbing rack
Piton selection 10. Knife blades, angles, leapers and lost arrows
Hooks 2 talons, 2 Petzl, one big one and cam hooks
Few mashies
key hangers
*2 daisy chains
*2 Etriers
Haul bag
Loose biners 20.
Aiding seat handy
*70/80m Single rope. thicker the better. I use a 9.5mm diameter noithing less
A half rope for double rope technique and to be used as a zip line
Static rope 100m x 10mm
Rope bags are great. Ikea bags work well
Drilling gear
Cordless drill
Bolt bag
Drill bits Hilti best 10mm and 12mm
Petzl removable bolts

Ideas on gear to buy
Advice on drills
I have used a variety of cordless drills on sports walls. On Expedition walls I only use hand drilled gear and if possible full trad gear and no bolts. When using drills its important to consider a few things:
I think now 18v drill with new big amp lithium batteries are the way forward. For many years I used 36v sds cordless drills. They were heavy and the NiCad batteries didnt last long. Now I would go for an 18v SDS. I would recommend this drill from Dewalt. We used on the two Brazil trips I helped organised. It was great. It also charges better than the 36v when travelling to differnt countries something to consider with variable electricity and different voltages.
When drilling Sports Walls its common to need 4 batteries per day. batteries are not expensive the dewalt seemed half the priuce iof other brands. Get the 4 or 5amp batteries,
Drill bits
You are using SDS drill bits. They are designed for rotary drills, standard drill bits dont have the bite. I aklways try and get the cross tipped Hilti drill bits. They hold sharpness longer and are great to use. I take 3 per trip and both 10mm and 12mm.
Haul Bags
you need two bags
Stubby Haul bag
A small haul bag is great for haulling the rack and personal climbing kit. 50liter:
Big Bag
No point getting a medium size one. If you need one for Yosemite, The Nose go large , you will struggle , buy the biggest you can find.
There is no contest buy a D4 Portaledge if your lookiung for the best portaledge. D4 ledges are designed by the legendary Big Wall climber John Middendorf. John started the first Aid climbing gear company which he sold to BD.

I would buy 5 or 6 step etriers short alpine eteriers are not great., The offset are the modst common but for me the ladder shape are better esp when yiou are aiding in big boots.
Daisey chains
Get the long ones. Once they are larksfooted through your harness they should be long enough at full stretch to reach a placement. There are a few on the marked used for rigging and clipping anchors while sports climbing which are ghenerally too short esop for tall climbers.

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