Mike Brownlow, one of the Aspirants on the training last week
It's a long road going through the guides scheme with an initial induction process & preliminary training in September, Off Piste ski training through the winter & an avalanche course, then our summer rock climbing training here in the Lakes in May, some training & coaching skills down in Wales a couple of weeks later & then a summer rock climbing assessment down in North Wales in September again, after working through the summer. They then head up to Scotland to start the winter phase of training & assessment before linking up with them again at the Alpine stage..........
Like I say, they still have 2 seasons of Aspirancy work but then they start the ski touring training & then days working alongside IFMGA guides gaining work experience.
Like I say it's a long road, but well worth it in the end!
The guys last week had a day working on a Via Ferrata, before heading up to the Moiry Hut. Up at the hut we concentrated on group work, roping up, glacier travel, short roping & moving together on snowy ridges, crevasse rescue techniques, ecole de glace..........all with the mind set of both being able to do it all perfectly themselves! but also being able to run a structured session & teach it to others confidently & well.
It's a great venue but just super snowy everywhere at the moment & we wanted to get the guys moving on more technical rocky terrain, so we bailed & worked the lower limestone ridges in the pre-alpine terrain which worked perfectly.
Gastlosen, near Juan & north of Leysin
We first headed to Gastlosen & climbed the classic traverse from the SW to the NE which is great terrain for us to work on their short roping techniques, moving together, short pitching & all the transitions between up & down whether that's short roping up & down or using other techniques such as lowering or abseiling............the terrain couldn't have been better & the routes a long classic!
One of the many towers on Gastlosen
We then headed to the Gais Alpin just above Montreau as the weather was mixed & worked on much the same, but then on the final day we headed over to Solalex above Villars & traversed the Miroir. This was a very long day working the 2km of rocky mixed terrain but really gave us the chance to pull it all together.
The start of the Miroir de Argentine traverse
A very long week, but great & very inspiring to be around the guys & involved in their training & seeing some great progression from everyone by the end of the week.
Ended up in Leysin at 10.30pm on the Friday night!
Back in the UK now for 5 days & enjoying some great weather the Lakes is having at the moment.