Nicole Reeve - Climbing Wall Leading Award holder

Nicole Reeve

What do you do for work?

I split my time between climbing coaching and working for the Mountain Heritage Trust. I coach two youth teams, one in bouldering at Eden Rock in Carlisle and one mixed at Kong Adventure in Keswick.

Have you always worked in the climbing industry?

I have worked in climbing walls for 8 years, since I was 17 but have also worked at Go Ape and the Calvert Trust.

When did you first get into climbing?

I started climbing when I was 15, so 10 years ago.

Who introduced you to it?

My dad.

Nicole bouldering at Goldsborough

When did you start pursuing Mountain Training qualifications and why?

I think I got my Climbing Wall Award when I was 18 in the hope of getting a job at my local climbing wall as an instructor, then did my Single Pitch Award and Mountain Leader training at university (I still need to complete these someday). As I ended up working mostly at bouldering walls I didn't need my Climbing Wall Leading Award until later on.

What specifically appealed about the Climbing Wall Leading Award?

I really enjoy lead climbing and had been running a few sessions alongside my partner teaching kids on the Eden Rock youth team how to lead prior to attending the BMC Youth Climbing Series (YCS). As I wanted to run these sessions more often I thought it was about time to get my CWLA.

What were the best and most challenging things about working through the scheme?

The most challenging thing was finding a course near me. I had to travel to Sheffield for training and assessment. The best thing was meeting the others on my course, we all arranged to be on the same assessment and we all passed!

I think the hardest thing was learning how to deal with people when it comes to falling. I learned some really good techniques to make it fun and a little bit less scary.

Nicole and husband on Snake Dyke Half Dome

What advice would you give to other people thinking about starting the CWLA scheme?

If you can find plenty of people to work with and get plenty of practice in, the course will not be a problem. Go for it!

Do you find being a Development Coach has helped you as a CWLA?

Yes, I feel to two awards sit very well together. It is great to work on different techniques, some more suited to bouldering and some more suited to sport and see what fits where. The Development Coach has definitely helped me gain more work as a CWLA.

I coach the youth team at Eden Rock in Carlisle; it’s a bouldering wall so we can coach our team to a really high standard, however as leading is required for the BMC Youth Climbing Series it is very helpful to be able to take the kids leading so they have enough experience in both disciplines. I have also taught some of the parents of our team so they can start taking their own children to different walls. I also coach the Kong Adventure Academy in Keswick, the main focus is usually on roped climbing and leading.

If you only had 24 hours for an adventure, where would you go and why?

Climb Royal Arches onto North Dome (Yosemite, California). It was way too hot last time I was there so still to be completed!

My husband and I went to Yosemite for our honeymoon almost 2 years ago, and will be there again to celebrate our 3rd anniversary next year.

What do you find useful about being a member of the Mountain Training Association?

It made getting insurance simple and easy.

Nicole and Lily age 9 after winning the YCS 2017