Thirty-five staff from the well-known outdoor retailer, Cotswold Outdoor, have been with us for a couple of days this week; for the first of two courses we're running along with Lyon Outdoor.
This is the sixth year Cotswold and DMM have been organising these courses as part of Cotswold's staff development program. As an organisation with nearly 1500 people working in stores across the UK, they give a great deal of consideration to training and looking after their staff.
The two days kicked-off with a tour of the DMM factory in Llanberis, where the Cotswold staff had the opportunity to see first-hand the design, precision engineering and quality control involved in making our hardware. The afternoon was spent indoors at the Indy Climbing Wall with sessions that included: going over our harness range and the important points to look for in their fitting, movement coaching with a few of our sponsored climbers such as Emma Twyford, Ben Bransby and Charlie Woodburn, placing trad gear, and boot demos with Evolv, 5.10 and Sportiva.
The next day was the opportunity for them to put a lot of that theory into practice at Castell Inn Quarry. As well as the chance to climb with and get top tips from our sponsored climbers, the UIAGM Guide Libby Peter was on hand to help explain technical ropework conundrums.
Throw in a couple of evening lectures from Steve McClure and Emma Twyford plus a climbing quiz with prizes and it'd be fair to say that the two days proved learning and having fun aren't mutually exclusive. It all starts again tomorrow with the next course.