Recently I have been spending a lot of time swinging about on the surface, either through testing knots or coaching SRT skills. For all of this I’ve been using the excellent tower facility up at Pindale Farm near Castleton.
The SRT platform offers scaffolding bar belays and back-ups and the surrounding walls of the old mining buildings are equipped with many 8mm anchor sleeves (Spits) and a few alloy Troll hangers. You can rig just about any permutation of SRT pitch your brain could possibly come up with.
Using the tower over the past few years I’d noticed the deterioration in some of the anchors and as I was such a frequent user I thought some of the replacement anchors should be paid for out of my pocket.
Yesterday (19th March 2013) I managed to procure both equipment and assistance.
Jez Parr CIC was kind enough to loan me his SDS drill and all the bits for the job.
Nigel Ball CIC donated half of the anchors and 90% of the expertise in the operation.
We placed 4 new Petzl P38 Longlife anchors on the main wall of the facility; a line of 3 forming a traverse and pitch head which then drops to a rebelay or deviation on the 4th anchor.
We also lubricated and cleaned out all of the 8mm sleeves with a threaded tap to give them a new lease of life.
The tower is now a mix of anchors and can be used with or without hanger plates. Please bare in mind that the tower is equipped by volunteers/individuals and is on private land so booking is essential. Users are reminded to check the anchors they use are safe before commiting their life to them as they would underground and that anchors should never be used alone but as part of a safety chain.
Pindale Farm is an excellent place to stay in the Peak for caving or any other reason. They have camping and bunkhouses on their site as well as the excellent SRT tower.
New bolts circled:
2012 has had one of the slowest starts to the outdoor season for many years. Every instructor I’ve spoken too recently has reported a far poorer April than recent years.
It has been no different here, the first few months have been quiet but it has allowed me plenty of time to prepare for the year ahead, road testing some new ideas and forging new parnerships.
One of the first new items you may have seen is the addition of more films via our YouTube channel. All these have been shot so far on my Olympus Tough camera which will be a standard part of the kit for any day out with Peak Instruction. Photo & video memories, especially in the digital age, are really important and we will provide as many memories of your day as we can.
To take this a step further our new GoPro HD Hero camera is on its way to our office. A truely go anywhere system that can be mounted on a helmet, kayak or anything you can think of and can accompany groups through their whole caving trip or give a climbers-eye view of a rock climbing experience. We will also be using the GoPro to produce a number of cave ‘trailers’ to give people a taste of what they may experience on a day with Peak Instruction. I may even find the time to record a few of our local kayak runs to inspire you to have a go.
The next new area to our service is not really new at all. In the background Beth has been producing caving undersuits on demand to cave instructors for a few years but soon we’ll be offering the same fully tailored items to clients and the public.
Her suits are made to measure out of whatever weight fleece you desire and most importantly from an unlimited pallet of designs. Chances are that if you’ve seen a crazy looking suit in the Derbyshire area, it could be one of Beth’s.
It’s not just cave suits, we’ll be introducing outdoor gear repairs, group survival shelters and canoe sails, and this is just the start.
Keep a look out for the outdoor kit specific page on our site – appearing this spring/summer.
We are also planning on introducing a new selection of activites to our range, including things like archery, bushcraft and raft building. I’ve also been working on some corporate/team building adventure packages.
I believe we are all the masters of our own destiny and although the economic climate is not as bouyant as we’d like, a positive approach to the future is our goal. We’ll continue to seek improvement in every aspect of our service throughout 2012 and into the future.