This is the second week of Ellesmere College’s Adventure + holiday club, and with a different group of children signed up, this week’s programme looks rather similar to last week’s.
The morning was spent playing various games with the aim of helping the kids to get to know each other. After a slightly early lunch, we headed straight out to Trevor, for half a day’s rock climbing and abseiling. Last week the weather had not been kind to us, but today the sun was out without a sign of rain anywhere!
Many of this week’s kids are new to Adventure +, so there was no way of knowing how they would get on. We started off with a bouldering session, which is a great way to warm up, and also proved to be useful in giving me an idea how comfortable they were on the rock. A couple of the girls stood out as being particularly at ease, looking balanced and controlled in their movements. Further enquiries revealed that they were both gymnasts, which explained a lot, and gave them an advantage over everyone else.
After a demonstration of knots and belaying techniques, it was time to get climbing properly. We worked in two groups, taking it in turns to climb and be involved in the belaying process at the base of the crag. One of the advantages of climbing at Trevor is that the crag is relatively short, meaning that there is usually quite a quick turn around, saving people from standing about too long. As usual, some found it easier than others, but the climbs I’d set up meant that there was something for everyone. The gymnasts again showed everyone else up as they were able to get themselves into positions the rest of us can only dream about!
I normally like to finish a climbing session off by giving people the opportunity to do an abseil if they want to. In theory, you can set up an abseil on any crag where you can secure the rope at the top, but some sites are more suitable than others. The best site at Trevor is actually at the top of a fairly high section of the crag, which is exhilarating for some and a bit too scary for others. Most of this group were up for it. The hardest bit of an abseil is getting over the edge, where the rope is often not fully supporting your weight because of the angles involved, and this puts additional strain on your waist through the harness. A couple of the group found this a bit uncomfortable but, once on their way, they did really well. The other nice thing about this particular venue is that it has a beautiful backdrop in terms of scenery. Unfortunately, when you’re abseiling, you’ve got your back to it, but it makes for a good photo.