The Perse School

The Advanced Climbing Club venture north to the Peak District

14 Dec 2017

The first trip of the year for our Perse Advanced Climbing Club saw students venture north to the Peak District.

Over the two day trip, the group was split in two, the Foundation and Advanced group, to best accommodate the ability, goals and needs of the students. Read more to find out what the experience was like. 

Advanced Group: By Josh Clark (Year 11) & Hector Thornton-Swan (Upper Sixth)

For many in the advanced group this was the last climbing trip we would have with the school. This year’s trip returning to a new part of the Peak District was an exciting opportunity to both consolidate skills learnt over previous trips and to use these skills to prepare us for climbing outside of the school club. On Saturday we headed off to our first destination of the trip, Awesome Walls, in Sheffield. The day was spent in this towering indoor climbing wall, practising both bottom-rope and lead climbing. The day saw some high ascents on the lead climbing wall, tricky routes on the bouldering wall and a little bit of slack-lining in the training area. Well recapped on lead climbing, and tired but ready for the next day, we left the indoor wall and headed to YHA Ilam where we would stay the night.

It was an early start with an even earlier morning run for those brave enough to face the near freezing temperatures. After packing up and breakfast, we headed to a small crag called Laurencefield in the heart of the Peak District. The group’s enthusiasm was all the greater as for many of the advanced group would have the opportunity to lead for the first time outdoors. This involved making use of traditional protection and placing gear themselves to stay safe as they got higher on the climb. Under the watchful guidance of our instructor Joe and Mr Slader five members of the advanced group completed their first traditional outdoor lead climbs. Other highlights of the day included a number of hard top rope climbs, which everyone enjoyed having a go on and some even went searching for some nearby bouldering routes.

Foundation Group: By Lottie Smith (Year 7), May Busher (Year 7) and Olivia Heath (Year 7)

 On the first day we had a chance to do some bottom rope climbing on a 25 metre high wall, and got to use an automatic belaying device which was a bit scary at the top when you had to just let go! Then we went to Ilam YHA and had dinner (a delicious Thai curry) and went to sleep anticipating an exciting day on Sunday.

We woke up the next morning and enjoyed a full English breakfast and shortly after headed off to Burbage North. We walked to the cliff that we were going to climb our teachers set up the ropes. We had a great time climbing real cliffs and it was a great experience for all of us. Some of us had never climbed outdoors before! At the end of the day we did some abseiling down a ‘V’ shaped cliff. It was really fun but quite scary at first.


If you are interested in finding out more about the PES Climbing Club, then you can also watch a film that was made when the group went to the Wye Valley during the summer of 2017.



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