Rock Climbing CompanyAssociation of Mountaineering Instructors

Learn to Scramble - Courses & Holidays in Spain

 

sunny belay duty

 

Final ridge of Chamizo

 

El Diamenta and Villanueva del Rosario boulders

 

Learning to scramble

 

 

Scrambling Skills & Techniques - Andalucia

Summit of highest mountain in Malaga

 

This course will give you an introduction to mountain scrambling and teach you the skills necessary to scramble in the mountains safely.

It is a perfect course for hill walkers who would like to gain the skills and confidence to venture onto more adventurous terrain and get away from the beaten track.

The course will look at a lot of topics including the climbing equipment used for scrambling, rope techniques, movement skills and route finding - we always try to make the course as realistic as possible by doing as much of it as possible in the mountains whilst enjoying some great scrambles.

The beauty about learning the core skills needed for mountain scrambling with a climbing instructor is that it lets you learn how to protect both yourself and your partner on mountainous ground whilst staying safe during the learning process.

On the technical side you will learn about all aspects of the rope work used on scrambles; running belays, moving together, direct belay techniques, abseiling & short roping; equally importantly you will the gain the experience necessary to judge the difficulty of a route/section of a route and adopt the correct techniques for climbing it safely and quickly.

Andalucia has a vast series of limestone ridges and mountains that run parallel to the coast (Cordillera Penibética) range and these provide a great playground for scrambling. The section close to us includes the Axarquia region which contains the Sierras de Tejada, Almijara and Alhama. These lie just to the south east of us while immediately behind our village lies the Sierra de Camarolos y del Jobo.

We can be in these mountains within 5 minutes of leaving our house.

We can also provide self-catering accommodation in a self-contained attic apartment in Villanueva del Rosario.View of Alfernate from summit

On a scrambling course lasting 1-2 days you'll learn the core skills needed for mountain scrambling and at the end of the course should be able to second scrambles of most difficulties with safe and competent ropework.

If you are looking at leading harder routes and being more independent then it is likely you will need more time to re-inforce the techniques you have already learnt and gain additional skills and confidence. In a scrambling course lasting 3-5 day you should be able to go from never having scrambled before to leading your own scrambles in a controlled, safe and confident manner.

The ideal ratio for scrambling instruction is 2 or 3 clients to 1 instructor. We can offer individual instruction, but this does limit our ability to teach some topics effectively i.e. when an instructor is teaching the client how to belay, it is best if there is a third person scrambling on the end of the rope for it to be a realistic exercise.

There general information on our courses here and various background information on equipment and techniques on the Advice page.

Prices are below in the Booking + Prices tab together with booking details.

 

 

Scrambling Tips

Good route finding is imperative for safe day in the mountains. The route finding starts at home with guides, maps and the web, this will give you a good overview of how to approach and climb the route, the location of escape routes, timings and objective dangers.Summit od scramble on El Chamizo

Whilst approaching the scramble take time to locate obvious landmarks from a distance. Once you get engrossed on your route it is often hard to see far ahead. These landmarks can help you set your bearings in highly featured terrain or if the visibility deteriorates.

Once on the route if the way is blocked by an excessively hard section look for alternatives and try to skirt around the difficulties. Use the existing tracks/areas of worn rock and determine the way people go - most popular scrambles will generally have some signs of previous travel, so if you are looking for the normal / easiest way then avoid  probing onto virgin ground.

 It is best to only attempt tricky steps that you feel you can confidently back climb down otherwise your options for retreat become a lot more limited – in general people find it easier climbing up rather than down.
 
Rain, wind and cold can totally transform a route and make it feel significantly harder

Scramblers working as a team can reduce the seriousness of a tricky step by careful spotting, grabbing and fielding.

Spotting is when the climbers colleagues stand below the climber on a safe platform with the aim the stopping the climber from falling either at all by keeping them pushed onto the wall or if they do fall, stopping them from going too far or hitting their head.

Once over a tricky section the first climber(s) can offer others advice and if need be can give support by grabbing a shoulder strap or jacket thus stopping any slip becoming a fall. The grabber should always be well braced and well balanced, others members of the team can help by holding the grabber in position.  

The grabber should avoid linking hands with the scrambler as it will reduce their grip and balance and possibly pull both off.

When spotting becomes useless a rope can be invaluable; normally scramblers use a length of (30m of 9mm to 50m of 10.5mm) dynamic rope....but things start getting complex now and are best not dealt with in a short article.

 

 

Pricing and Booking

Type of Course
Length
Ratio
Cost of the Course per Group

Cost of the Course per person

Learn to Scramble Course
1 Day Scrambling Course
1:1
190 Euros
190 Euros
1:2
220 Euros
110 Euros
1:3
255 Euros
85 Euros
2 Day Scrambling Course
1:1
380 Euros
380 Euros
1:2
440 Euros
220 Euros
1:3
510 Euros
170 Euros
3 Day Scrambling Course
1:1
570 Euros
570 Euros
1:2
660 Euros
330 Euros
1:3
765 Euros
255 Euros
4 Day Scrambling Course
1:1
760 Euros
760 Euros
1:2
880 Euros
440 Euros
1:3
1020 Euros
340 Euros

 

Online Booking Form

Booking - Terms + Conditions

Equipment provided by the Rock Climbing Company: We will provide all technical equipment for this scrambling course including ropes and climbing equipment plus a helmet and harness for each client.

We have an extensive rack of climbing equipment that you are welcome to use so that you can decide what you prefer. Thus for example you can try a variety of harnesses to see what style you prefer - nappy or standard adjustable.

One of the big quandaries for a scrambler is what length/diameter of rope to carry - simply ask us to bring along a variety of ropes and you can then make up your own mind whether you prefer short / long or thin / thick.

What you need to provide: You should bring along a full range of clothing to cope with the vagaries of the weather - it could be lovely or it could be horrible and it is best to be prepared for the worst. Scrambling by its very nature is in the mountains and often on exposed ridges so even on good days bring a windproof and always have a full set of waterproofs (top and trousers) in your sack.

Footwear should be boots that are rated as being 3 - 4 season with stiff soles and edges, this type of footwear makes standing on small holds much easier and more secure. Soft, floppy boots will roll off these holds and will often use thinner leather that does not resist abrasion as well as the materials used on full mountain boots.

You will also need a rucksack to hold spare clothing, food and plenty of drink for the day. Hot drinks are a great morale booster on cold days and isotonic energy drinks will keep you going on warm days.

Scrambling involves a lot of walking and the steep ground encourages heel movement so bring foot protection - Compeed is hard to beat for blisters.

Don't forget hats and gloves - essential for staying comfortable in the mountains - using reinforced gloves will keep your hands warm + protected at all times.

There is more information on equipment on the Equipment for Courses page.

What is not included: Prices do not include, transport, accommodation, meals or insurance.

Ratios and course sizes: The Learn to Scramble course is best taught at a ratio of 1 to 3 clients to 1 instructor and ideally the ratio is 2:1.

Dates, venues and duration of all of the climbing courses are by arrangement and totally customisable. Please do not hesitate to get in touch to discuss your requirements.

 

 

 

 

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