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More bedtime reading for trainee SPAs...

April 13, 2017

 

Even further reading for those preparing for their SPA assessment in the near future. Martin Wall completed his SPA and is working towards registering for his MIA.

 

 

Following attending my SPA training course:

 

I spent as much time as possible lead climbing outside, making the most of the summer evenings and weekends trad climbing in the slate quarries, sea cliffs, Clwyd limestone crags, granite of North Wales and sport climbing on the A55 coastal limestone crags. I found a split of approx. 70% trad versus 30% sport routes helped with improving technique and getting accustomed to the exposure.

 

 

 

As the benchmark grade to demonstrate on assessment is Severe, I wanted to make sure I could do this comfortably; I focused on climbing HS & VS routes. I was still nervous on the day of assessment, with the other trainees watching me climb first, but I was glad I had climbed in excess of 80 trad routes at severe and above as this gave me the confidence to just concentrate on the climbing and placing of gear.

 

I was glad I had climbed in excess of 80 trad routes at severe and above as this gave me the confidence to just concentrate on the climbing and placing of gear.

I climbed with as many experienced climbers as possible and quickly gained an understanding of good & bad habits. There are plenty of opportunities to get out with MTA members, SPA and MIA holders who are more than willing to assist, being part of an active climbing club also helped with getting outside regularly on rock.

 

As the SPA holder not only needs to be a competent climber he/she also needs to be confident with top rope, bottom rope belay set ups and abseiling. I arranged to meet up with other members & award holders to practice the set ups until I became confident in my own set ups. I also reinforced this by attending a two day lead climber improver course. 

 

 

Finally before committing to a date for assessment I booked onto a refresher course to confirm what I had been practicing was correct and to pick up any useful, current advice on the award. I found this to be very useful and it also covered ground that I had not actually been over during the actual training and this helped with the few queries I was unsure about. I also met up with other trainees who were in a similar position to myself and once again presented the opportunity to meet up and climb with different partners.

 

There are plenty of opportunities to get out with MTA members, SPA and MIA holders who are more than willing to assist, being part of an active climbing club also helped with getting outside regularly on rock.

 

 

 

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