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Five Tips to Get Your Participants Abseiling

It has been very interesting for me during the first four months. My outdoor company is growing slowly whereby I ran some programs which help provide outdoor practitioners with abseiling and climbing skills. I’ve also been out there conducting students’ outdoor activities. One of the main jobs that I have been carrying out for the past four months is conducting abseiling. This is just another movement to fill the program’s gaps. In every session, however, there are a lot of participants who are very scared even after being shown how safe the activity was.

The common behaviors the portrayed included
• Some would walk up to the edge and mutter ‘I’m gonna die’ or ‘I can’t do it’
• Some would walk backwards from the participating team as I had arranged them in a sequence
• Some would volunteer to start first only to freeze while they are in the platform

Furthermore, despite the difficulties I faced in convincing the student to take up the activity, I told myself that the students had to experience this activity. In the past I changed tacks some few times, tried different strategies so as to encourage them to try abseiling and came up with my personal set of top five tips when conducting this activity.

1. Focus on giving a solid briefing
One of the safe abseiling tips is not to rush in the activity. This is just how the participants learn to abseil without being subjected to any pressure. The best way to abseil is to go slowly then go faster later. For example if my whole activity is about fifteen minutes, I spend around ten minutes sharing about the whole experience of the activity and what the participants will experience during the activity and how to abseil safely. I also try to emphasize on the idea that it is not just a common activity but it has a purpose for them.

2. Redefining challenge by choice
Some of the team members would at the start of the activity say that their teacher says that they have a challenge by choice and ask whether not to participate in the activity. I hate to hear that remark. Therefore, when such an event happens, or even before they participate, I explain to them that it is still good to challenge themselves and attempt the challenge as much as they can. The important this is to not give up at the start of the activity. So, I would encourage them to use the stairs and meet me on the rooftop. This is a challenge which they could do.

3. It’s all about them and not me
I also emphasized that the activity is not for me but for them. As an instructor, position them before yourself. Let them be aware that being able to learn to abseil will conquer their fears. This activity is specially designed for their own benefit. Talk to them about the best way to abseil so that they find it fun and not scary.

4. The main reason I’m here is to help you explore, let’s see how far you can go
After I have taken myself out of the math, I then share with them to enable them realize that my main role there is to help them explore. I encourage them that each step they take is itself a challenge. They have to celebrate each step like a big success. When you congratulate the students who walked to the edge and still could not complete the abseil, it makes them motivated and proud of themselves. It is important to understand that people have different abilities.

5. Activity debrief
At the end of the session, leave your equipment and go down to meet with the participants. If you are not able to grab the whole group, speak to a few individuals, congratulate them all even those who did not attempt the activity. In addition, explain to them that it was all about how they were able to manage their fear and link back their managing fear action to some ordinary life challenges.

How do you abseil
To abseil, first, you need to secure a rope at the top of where you desire to abseil down and always check if the area is free of obstacles. That particular rope is run through a friction device that is attached to attach around the waist. Lean backward and slowly begin to lower yourself down. As you move down, the friction device normally slows the rope a bit, and this makes it easier to control the descent.

When conducting abseiling, I spend little time talking to the participants about the technicalities. It is known that this activity is safe, but the minds of the participants tell them otherwise. If you are trained on tricks to abseiling and equipped, you can perceive verses real fear. Conducting abseiling is still a time-consuming activity if used properly, your participants can benefit a lot form it.

With your support, I’m hoping to launch courses online and write more blog posts on abseiling. I hope that they will be of help to you, regardless if you are an educator, beginner instructor, seasoned one, or a person who just love the outdoors.

Hiking in the Sierra Madre Mountains

The Sierra Madre Mountains located in Santa Barbara, CA offer some of the best sight-seeing and hiking trails. Approximately 25 miles long the mountain range and wilderness area is a serene and natural space that provides a wealth of sights, sounds, and connection with nature. Some of the highest peaks within the Sierra Madre range include MacPherson Peak at 5,747 ft. (1,752mi) in elevation and Peak Mountain standing at 5,843 ft. (1,784 mi) in elevation.

The Sierra Madre Range forms the southwestern side of the Cuyama valley and is mostly located within the Los Padres National Forest. The mountains are one of the most important undeveloped habitat areas of the endangered California Condor, which have slowly been reintroduced to the region after near extinction.
All trails are closed during the fire season. Information about hiking and closure conditions is available by calling the Sierra Madre Police Department (626) 355-1414 or contact the United States Forest Service.

Hiking at Old Mt. Wilson Trail
Leave your car parked at the junction of Mira Monte and Mt. Wilson Trail, and take a much needed hike on the Wilson trails. The trail leads to the Mount Wilson Observatory founded in 1904 and the summit of Mt. Wilson. Immediate destinations include First Water and Orchard Camp. The trail moves into the Sierra Madre Historical Wilderness Area with a gradual climb through its first 1.5 miles. Next two miles to Orchard Camp are shrouded with shade and heavy timber. For advanced hikers it is an additional 4 miles to Mt. Wilson through heavy timber and switchbacks that are challenging. It is a 14 mile round trip to the summit of Mount Wilson

Hiking at Bastard Ridge
This ridge is not for the faint of heart. Beginning hikers, who have not hiked the Old Mt. Wilson trail, are not encouraged to attempt this hike. This trail ascends 1700 ft. in one mile and can feel like an uphill slog to reach the summit of Jones Peak. The distance of the trail is 13.1 miles with an elevation gain of 5002 ft. Include 5-9 hours to be able to complete this entire trail. Bastard’s Ridge is considered difficult. The ridge is steep and contains rattlesnakes. Hikers are advised to bring more water than usual for this strenuous and challenging trail.

Best Sierra Madre Hiking trails
There are other exciting hiking trails located in the Sierra Madre Mountains. Many of them are very scenic and worthwhile the hike. Hikers of all skill levels can enjoy these trails. Here are just a few of the other exciting

Sierra Madre Trails

Canyon View Nature Trail
Located 1 mile to “MacCloud Saddle” where visitors will be able to view evidence of the Sierra Madre Fault and 2.2 miles to streamside rest at the “old cabin foundations” Canyon View Nature Trail is a journey waiting to be explored. To start the trail, follow Canyon View Nature Trail to mile marker #11, and then continue to the old cabin foundations. The trail will lead further to Jones Peak, which is within the boundary of the Sierra Madre Historical Wilderness Area. Total distance is 3.3 miles.

Live Oak Nature Trail
This canyon view self-guided nature trail, begins a short distance beyond the footbridge in Bailey Canyon. The trail meanders through a scenic mountainside on a gradual incline. Eventually this amazing trail will lead to a waterfall about one half mile down the trail.

Bailey Canyon
Located at 451 West Carter Avenue at Grove Street lies a nature study area with trails, plant identification and an information kiosk is Bailey Canyon. This is a beautiful canyon connected to the Sierra Madre mountain range. Permits are not required for fires in stoves but are required for use of the fire ring. The canyon is open year round from dusk to dawn, overnight camping is prohibited, however.
There are many places along the Sierra Madre range that are beautiful to visit and take a long hike. This mountain range is located in one of the most unique areas of Santa Barbara, CA. The peaks tell a story of a wonderful geologic history for


All You Need to Know About Rock Climbing

Are you afraid of heights? Would you like to know how it feels being suspended above the ground? Rock climbing is one of the technical sports which is demanding not only physically but also mentally. Rock climbing is the ultimate sport for humans because it not only challenges you physically but also mentally. To learn efficiently, you need a lot of practice, repetition and maintain muscle memory to strengthen yourself mentally and physically.

If rock climbing is not your sport but you are considering it, you need to learn a few things before you start. The first thing you need to know is that the sport of rock climbing has ups and downs just like any other sport where players win, lose or even draw. In climbing sport, you may fail to attain your set objective or even get overwhelmed such that you cannot be able to do it effectively. Therefore, you need to know where your strengths and weaknesses lie as a climber. There are different styles of climbing but in this article we will focus more on bouldering and sports climbing. In sports climbing, there are pre-drilled anchors on the wall that allows you (the climber) to ascend the wall by a route that is already set. Therefore, in sports climbing, a climber can clip their gear on the wall for safety purposes. In bouldering, climbers ascend a wall that is no more than 20 feet in height and there are crash pads down below the wall for protection in case a climber falls.

Bouldering and sports climbing are very common in climbing competitions although they can change depending on the competitors and location. If you are a starter in boulder climbing or wall climbing activities, you need to learn how to climb first before you start training. You will be amazed at the progress you will make after learning how to climb. When you learn how to climb instead of training, you strengthen your mind and body making it easy for you to make it at the top. You will have to feel comfortable when climbing for you to trust your body and to make climbing less of a fight. Climbing boulders may seem easy but it is quite demanding especially if you have fear of heights and recurring anxiety.

The second important thing you are supposed to learn about is breathing. Although it is a normal activity, breathing under stressful situations makes you tense and you end up losing focus. You are therefore supposed to manage your breathing in bouldering climbing. As we have discussed above, knowing your strengths and weaknesses will help you manage your breathing technique. It is advisable to breathe through your motions because it not only helps you prevent injuries but also helps you have a clear mindset in decision making, especially in stressful situations. Professional wall climbers have an intuitive mindset that helps them know their limitations and manage situations differently.

Finally, continuing being present to the wall when you climb boulders is vital because it boosts your confidence to reach the top. You don’t have to be worried if you don’t make it to the top by falling or being worn out. You cannot become the best or compete with the best if you don’t fail at times. However, persistence, hard work and commitment are some of the virtues that will make you better with time.

Treking Mount Kilimanjaro Using The Marangu Route

If you want to survey and walk around Mount Kilimanjaro, then most people prefer to use Marangu route. But I have to assure you that things are never going to be easier for you in any way because there is no route to the top of that mountain that is just going to be easy. The name and rating of this route came by because of the greater distances that you will cover each day. But at the same time, the ascent per day that you will undergo through is gradual

There is always an advantage and a disadvantage of this route. The disadvantage here is that you will get little chance to acclimatize yourself with the famous principle of ‘climb high and sleep low’. Most people that select to use this route are those that are less fit to ensure that they get to the summit. But the number of those people that always manage to finish the journey to the summit are less than those that use other routes.

There is also the Rongai route, famously known as the ‘Loitoktok’ route. Initially, it was known as the ‘outward bound route’. The ascent is also believed to be just like that of Marangu and is taken to be the second easiest route. It meets the route at Kibo huts where the two join and take you to summit. The major merit that you will enjoy from this route is that it is quite and also less populated. If you want to enjoy the full benefits of this route, add one day to the trek.

There is also the Machame route that starts right from the opposite side of the mountain. It heads up the mountain through a forest that is thick in a south westerly direction. That is why you will need at most 6 days for you to reach the summit. If you choose this path, then you will enjoy the amazing views that are in the Shira volcano. Other than being a steeper route, it is also taken to be scenic. You can spend your night at the Baranco camp that is at a lower altitude.

At the far western side of the mountain, we have also the Shira and Lemosho routes. They are also ranked as scenic routes that you can take. But you have to be prepared to tackle the ascent profile in day one as you climb 3500m from 2200m. when using this path, you will spend more time in the rainforest, hence advisable to take the route for 7-8 days. The path will then take you through the Shira plateau and join the machame route near Lava Tower, and takes you to the summit.

There is also the Umbwe route that is known to be the toughest and also the steepest. It is feared and no one that is not fit can risk undertaking it because of its steep trekking. It heads directly upward but in a northerly direction to the Baranco wall where it meets and joins Shira, Lemosho and Machame routes. With acclimatization, you will never get an opportunity to enjoy it fully.

The newest route that has been invented is the Northern Circuit route. It is famously referred to as the 360 route. It also starts in the western side of the mountain. You can do the trek in 7-8 days and it will offer you great time for acclimatization. The route is not frequently used making it to be quite. You will see or meet people when you join the Rongai route at the ‘Third caves camp and later at the ‘Kibo huts’.

Each person will choose a trek in a different way but majorly, it all depends on what you are planning to get from it. Is it fitness, do you want to enjoy the scenery, save on cost or you want to sleep happy in a tent or not. Therefore, the route that you will choose will solely depend on you.

Rock Climbing For Kids

One of the best things that your kids can enjoy having is rock climbing. Always ensure that your kids get to enjoy the best of their time. It has been known to have heath-health benefits, but other than that, you will also be able to let your kids enjoy their self-confidence and also esteem. Rock climbing for kids is not an impromptu activity like any other, you can let kids enjoy that even from climbing walls that are now made and available in camps and fitness centers.

Children rock climbing is good as it allows your children follow up on their natural tendency. Children are never to be ignored. But a question that people ask is how do kids rock climb? The answer is simple they are natural climbers. In most of the times, they can be seen going up trees and ladders. Kids rock climbing activities always ensure that your kids are able to satisfy their impulses to clamber.

Kids find these activities enjoyable and easy for them because of one thing, their strength to weight ratio is high. This allows them to easily pull up because they have a les body weight. These activities also help the kids develop their core strength and flexibility.

The benefits that kids and a family will enjoy

You might get to wonder why people have to risk their life to just do rock climbing. It is an exciting venture that always ensures that your adrenaline is always at pace. Everyone has that ability of doing this kind of activity but what will vary is the skill level that is used. One thing that you need to know is that you don’t have to be super-fit so that you are able to join a rock climbing class. Just ensure that you have a good technique and that will save you a lot.

Children’s rock climbing activity will help your small ones to improve their footwork and also get to have a grasp of good body positioning. What is required is the use of mental faculties because climbing is just a big puzzle. Go out and let your kids enjoy their full time well and do rock climbing.