|Some traditional Seconding at Highliffe|
I was first introduced to the idea of a climbing 'apprenticeship' by Luke Hunt and his dad Mike. Luke had obviously had a good grounding on the crags, with a traditional approach being promoted from his dad. At the time a few of my friends of the same age had also taken the step from wreckless adventure soloing in trainers, to an attempt to find some form of organised climbing. Vague bits of info on ropework, the odd grandparent-bought book on technique and perhaps the discovery of an old issue of 'Climb' somewhere would act as hints that we were not the only people who climbed in the world.
|"Pushing the boat out" as a youth|
So when we met with Luke, and later Ian Jackson and Rob Askew, it was really rather bizarre. We didn't really want to let on that we knew very little about anything, but what we did find amazing was that these people, only a little older than us, had such a good grounding. The Guisborough lads had benefited hugely from the wisdom of the school teacher Chris Woodall and they too spoke of 'the apprenticeship'.
The problem for us was that we were 16- we didn't like to accept help from those 18 year-olds who were better than us. And our parents, whilst very generous with lifts and huge enthusiasts of walking in the Lakes, knew very little about climbing. So we suffered a fair bit!
I was reminded of the idea of the "moors apprenticeship" my Sam Marks, who seems to be one of a breed of youth that is expanding in number these days- the wise youth (perhaps a recession-based need to adapt?). Anyway... He loved the idea that older climbers showed younger climbers their knowledge and tried to give them tips on how not to come a-cropper. Needless to say that Sam's willingness to embrace this relationship will no-doubt help his climbing 'no-end'.
|The wise youth having a crack at Mane Vision|