Some Questions about the Single Pitch Award

What is the definition of a single pitch climb as applied to the SPA scheme?
For the purposes of this scheme, a single pitch route is one which:
  • is climbed without intermediate stances.
  • is described as a single pitch in the guidebook.
  • allows climbers to be lowered to the ground at all times.
  • is non-tidal, non-serious and has little objective danger.
  • presents no difficulties on approach or retreat, such as route finding, scrambling or navigating.
What are the minimum experience requirements?
At training - 15 graded routes, led outdoors on leader-placed protection.

At assessment - 40 routes, led outdoors on leader-placed protection, some of which should be Severe in grade. To be undertaken on a variety of rock types. Also, approximately 20 sessions of assisting with the supervision of groups outdoors and indoors. A session is a half day or an evening.

I don't know whether I should choose the SPA or the CWA!
The SPA covers supervision of groups outdoors and indoors. So if you know you need to do both and if you have the personal skills in leading and setting up belays outdoors then the SPA is for you.

If you do not lead climb outdoors and don't have the opportunity to acquire the necessary personal skills then the CWA would be for you. Also, you can start the CWA earlier, you can do the training at age 17 whereas the earliest you can do the SPA training is age 18.

Does the SPA include the teaching of leading?
No, you need a Mountain Instructor Award for that.