Self-rescue course recommendations

Spending more time on sea cliffs lately and feeling like I should top up my problem solving abilities!

So two questions really:

  1. can anyone recommend a provider? Ideally looking for a couple of days of instruction doing stuff like escaping belays and hoists. I’ve seen a few 1 day courses but that doesn’t seem like enough time to try stuff out.

  2. is anyone else interested? Already had a chat @LydiaL but a group of four would be more cost effective…

1 Like

Plas y Brenin do a very good 2 day course with the obvious added benefit of being 5 minutes from the cottage. A few of us did it a while ago and the club paid…

Plus one for Plas-y-Brenin courses. Residential is good if there are spaces.

Also, the BMC have some sea cliff specific skills courses: £50 for
a day seems good value. Have a look at Training Essentials: climbing skills.

My 2 cents, the top skill is ascending a rope. You can practice that in the park or at a friendly climbing gym. Escaping a belay is great but then you have to ask, what next? Fine if you are at the top and you can just run away but what if you are on a hanging stance on a multi-pitch?

1 Like

I would be interested, even in a Plas Y Brenin course

Also, buy this book: Down | Andy Kirkpatrick

1 Like

@Sarah_Rae - Martina did one at Mile End which was fun and made me realise a fully unconscious unassisted hoist would be almost physically impossible if they are larger than you :cry:

Trying out using ascending the rope is fun, I think Khalid got everyone to climb a tree in the rain on a new members meet? :joy:

Agree on escaping the belay, but using power points rather than the rope makes it a lot simpler. Also the assisted hoist in guide mode to help bring up a less strong/injured but mobile climber is a great tool to have.

Would be good if they covered things like abseiling past knots and joining ropes. Let you practice climbing to retrieve a stuck abseil rope or what to do if it is too short. Munter hitches for dropped devices. Cutting ropes in an emergency. Improvised/natural anchors if you can’t find one at the top.

Luckily for me I’ve gained some weight in lockdown :wink:

I did a lot of single rope technique caving so the ascending/descending is fairly straightforward. But spending some time on assisted hoists would be really useful, and could definitely use “how to get a stuck abseil rope down without doing something really stupid”…

1 Like

@JJWilliams and myself are looking to do a self-rescue course as well, following last year’s EXCITEMENT.

I actually did learn a bunch of self rescue skills back in 2019 but I wouldn’t trust myself to use them in anger now. Skill fade is real.

@hughmerritt can you remember the deal with getting the Club to pay? Is it just something Committee can vote to release funds for? I know I should know this, as President etc, but hey…

Committee decided that they had some spare cash and would fund courses which would improve an individual’s skills for the benefit of the club as a whole (e.g. self-rescue fell within this, learn to lead wouldn’t). Individuals could ask the committee to fund a course on an ad hoc basis. I don’t think much ended up being funded in the end. Can’t remember if the full costs was covered or the individual was asked to contribute as well.

1 Like

Hey! I would potentially be interested as well! Depending on costs etc. And will take a look at the books, any other recommendations would be great!
I’ve been a big fan of just self-learning but I think it would be great to have something besides youtube info :sweat_smile:

Cheers Hugh - upon reflection I think the fact the BMC offers courses for £50 a day, and we are all members of the BMC via NLMC, means that should be the port of call for anyone who wants subsidised training. Not least as we probably want to be cautious with our cash at the moment, due to decreased Barn revenues, not many new members, etc etc, thanks to our friend Covid.

1 Like

I am also super keen, @Sarah_Rae ! Been meaning to do one for ages and can’t make the WTF weekend

Defo recommend checking out the BMC link Khalid posted above. Jess is going to do the intro to trad leading day in Wales, and later this year we’ll do the sea cliff one as that is basically a self rescue course.

Yesterday I did an Intro to Trad course with GO Vertical ( - the company that run the BMC essential training courses), and it was fantastic. Matt Jones (the instructor) was brilliant, and I’d highly recommend him! He does many other courses (including self-rescue courses), and can also run bespoke courses for groups/couples/individuals. He’s super nice so feel free to get in touch with him if you’re interested.