The Idwal Squeeze (V1), Idwal Cottage Crag, Ogwen Valley - squashed and squeezed

Isaac having fun completing the Idwal Squeeze (V1), bouldering at Idwal Cottage Crag, Ogwen Valley.

The Idwal Squeeze (V1), Idwal Cottage Crag, Ogwen Valley - it is tight in here

The Idwal Squeeze (V1), Idwal Cottage Crag, Ogwen Valley – it is tight in here

‘Awesome, wicked, a nightmare, squashed and squeezed – thanks for the encouragement Joe. I loved it after I got over the fear of getting stuck in there!’  Isaac.

Nearly there – it is a bit tight in here!

The Idwal Squeeze (V1), Idwal Cottage Crag, Ogwen Valley - exit push

The Idwal Squeeze (V1), Idwal Cottage Crag, Ogwen Valley – exit push




One more push should do it.


The Idwal Squeeze (V1), Idwal Cottage Crag, Ogwen Valley - conquered

The Idwal Squeeze (V1), Idwal Cottage Crag, Ogwen Valley – conquered








Sorted – that was brilliant.




Well done Isaac.


Enjoy a day of private instruction tailored to your requirements with Mountaineering Joe


‘Hi Joe, we just wanted to say thanks very much we had a great time learning to navigate.  We learnt such a lot under your friendly guidance, as well as giving us a fun experience.  Thanks for the helpful advice so that we can continue to improve.

Navigation - Ogwen Valley

Navigation – Ogwen Valley

We had not been in the Ogwen Valley before, so navigating in such stunning scenery was a real bonus. We look forward to coming back to North Wales for lots more walking and practising our navigation skills.’ Steve and Isaac.

Our Introduction to Hill Skills and Navigation is ideal for beginners or those with some experience wishing to build their confidence.


Sandra and I were climbing in the Llanberis Pass recently and observed a climber getting into difficulty. The ‘call’ the second climber was making to the lead climber was unclear. As a result the ‘call’ was misinterpreted by the leader.

The climber required a ‘tight rope’ as he negotiated a difficult section on the climb. However, his instruction to the lead climber was “take in slack.”

The leader interpreted this as ‘slack.’ That is what the lead climber heard with the direction of the wind and the distance between the two climbers. The lead climber duly let out more rope. This happened twice and by now the second climber had a loop of rope below him. He started to look uncomfortable on his stance.

Sandra (who could see the climber below her) called up to me, to shout instructions to the lead climber to ‘take in’ the rope, which he did and their climb continued without incident. Of course, it could have been a different story.

Remember, climbing calls should be clear and unambiguous.

Take In’ This is the call from the climber when they require rope taking in.

‘Slack’ This is the call a climber makes when they require more rope.

DO NOT put the two ‘calls’ together in the same sentence.

Other climbing calls are:

  • ‘Climb when ready’ The belayer is letting their partner know that they have them on belay, they are ready to protect them and they can start climbing.
  • ‘Climbing’ The climber is letting the belayer know that they are ready to start climbing.
  • ‘OK’ The belayer acknowledges the climbers call.
  • ‘Safe’The leader is informing the second that they are secured to a belay and that they can be taken off the belay device.
  • ‘Off Belay’ The second is telling the lead climber that they have been taken off the belay device.
  • ‘Taking In’ The leader is letting the second know that they are taking in (pulling in) all of the slack rope between them.
  • ‘That’s Me’ The second is informing the leader that the rope is now tight and the lead climber has now pulled all of the rope in between them.
  • ‘Below’ This is a warning call from a climber above telling you that something has been dislodged (ie a rock) or dropped (some gear) and it is heading down the route, potentially towards you
  • ‘Rope Below’ A climber will give this warning call when they are about to throw a rope down the rock face.

Enjoy your climbing