Our partnership with Urban Uprising produced two very last of the season RealRock days that were loads of fun, even if a little damp.

“still buzzing from it”



RealRocks are one of the best things ClimbScotland offers. With the adventurous nature of outdoor climbing, the experience is so far removed from the normal lives of both new young climbers and experienced indoor climbers. Our Partnership with Urban Uprising is something we are extremely proud of, as Urban Uprisings work offering climbing to young people from deprived backgrounds offers climbing as an option for a group of young people that may not have ever considered trying the sport of the “old men with big beards”. This year though we managed to put both of these things together to offer a few, very late in the game, RealRock sessions for our Urban Uprising friends.

We have worked with Urban Uprising for a few years now, but still we haven’t managed to get a RealRock organised. I knew we had plans to last year but couldn’t remember why. I was then reminded by Ben, from Urban Uprising, that was until one of the instructors (me) busted his ankle. Oops. Well I think we (I) redeemed ourselves this year and manage to get a couple of RealRock sessions up and running late in the season, squeezing the last drops of decent weather from the autumn months.



“really enjoyed it and gained a huge amount of confidence from what they achieved”

Mid October was a mixed month for weather windows but with the young people from Glasgow desperate to get out of the city we managed to get two awesome days out at Bennybeg sport crags.

The first session with Children's Wood (G20 youth group) was a lovely sunny day at the classic suntrap that is Bennybeg. We had a good mix of ages in the group which meant for a great day of older lads coming in with all the self-confidence, then having to fight hard to keep up with the younger girls. Some of the kids had climbed with Urban Uprising before, but for others it was a new experience, aside from “climbing on buildings around the scheme” as was explained to me. We had intended climbing from 10am - 5pm but with much enthusiasm comes trying way too hard in the morning and by 2pm everyone was knackered, so we had a slightly extended lunch as I rigged an abseil of the tallest part of Bennybeg. Nothing like an abseil to watch an ego shrink. All the confidence and bravado from the morning quickly thinned as they all stood on top and it did take a bit of coaxing to get each of them to the edge. But eventually, after the youngest and most nervous lowered over the edge and looked back with a growing smile, the bar was set and they all followed suit. Everyone thoroughly chuffed with plucking up the courage to step over the edge it was a brilliant ending to a brilliant day.

The second RealRock was unmistakably wetter and colder, but the kids from the Inclusion and Wellbeing service took it in their stride. We started the day with a short abseil as the crag was soaked. The rain the previous day and the cold night hadn’t done much for the conditions. Starting the day off with an abseil is a scary first step though. Without the warm-up of climbing up before coming down, looking over that edge for the first time is a daunting one for even the bravest of young people. Lots of nervous laughter and a few squeeks we got them over the edge one by one and down to the ground. A huge first step and a massive confidence boost for them. After that the climbing wouldn’t feel as scary, even in the wet. We took it easy and started together on the easiest and most climbable lines, even though these were still tricky when damp. As the day went on the crag dried out and the confidence and banter levels increased we moved on through trickier lines until everyone was pretty knackered (even though they wouldn’t admit it). So rounded the day of with another go at the abseil before packing wet ropes away and calling it an awesome day.

“I really enjoyed the look on the young people's faces after they pushed though a mental barrier with either climbing or abseiling. After those moments for some them were still trying to not show much motion and be 'cool' but the self-pride couldn't be hidden!”

Massive thank you to all the kids that joined us this year and made these days so much fun and a huge thank you to all the people who work with these young people for bring them along and all the work they do. Special mention to Urban Uprising for everything they do and to Ben for helping organise this. Although we only managed to squeeze in two sessions this year, we are looking forward to next year and being able to offer Urban Uprising more outdoor fun, on hopefully dry rock this time.

*Thank you to @kyle_trombas for the photos

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