Ice Factor International, the only operator in Scotland to offer climbers access to both indoor rock and ice-climbing walls is implementing its own From Source to Summit.
Designed for novice and intermediate climbers of at least 12 years of age, the award aims to give participants the core practical skills to be able to climb safely on rock and ice at indoor facilities, including at Snow Factor Braehead and Ice Factor Kinlochleven*.
After progressing in 2-hour sessions through the structured award levels (1-6)*, the participants will also gain the confidence and competencies to venture outdoors to experience climbing in summer or winter conditions.
The award will be introduced from the start of August as a ‘pilot’ programme at Snow Factor Braehead in Renfrew and (once reopened) at Ice Factor Kinlochleven in the west highland’s.
Andrew McNaughton, lead climbing instructor at Snow Factor Braehead, explained: “The aim of From Source to Summit is to provide participants as young as 12 years of age with the practical skills and knowledge to climb safely within our indoor rock and ice climbing walls while under supervision. Once the fundamental skills have been mastered, levels 4-6 enable participants to progress at their own pace to practice and refine techniques essential for the safe enjoyment of indoor ice climbing and outdoor mountaineering.”
Ice Factor International anticipates that with From Source to Summit open to participants from the age of 12, the award will appeal to the likes of secondary schools and organisations keen to nurture life skills in youth, through exposure to what is traditionally an outdoor adventure activity.
McNaughton added: “There are existing indoor climbing awards, notably NICAS (National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme). However, there is currently no such proficiency award for those who wish to have fun and learn ice-climbing indoors from the age of 12. As the operator of Ice Factor Kinlochleven and (since 2013) of ice-walls at Snow Factor Braehead, it definitely makes sense for us to initiate the pilot.”