About Will Legon
Formerly Mr Legon (maths teacher), Captain Legon (Territorial Army officer) and sometimes that loud-mouth Legon (my mates), and now just Will Legon, I am a mountain leader and a qualified single pitch award holder taking people walking and rock climbing within the UK and overseas. Never too serious, but always the professional, I own and run Will4Adventure. Rubbish at football, and marginally better playing rugby, I realised I had to get good at something if I was to cut the mustard with my peers. And so, as a young air cadet aged 14 and introduced to the joys of the Brecon Beacons the great outdoors and the mountains became the passion I’d been looking for. The only problem was, I was scared of heights. Years later I chanced upon a university life in Sheffield – the heart of British climbing. The fear of heights wasn’t helped by my mate Dom telling me – “go on, just get up there” and once up there, “ooh gravity sucks” (while making sucking noises). But a need for excitement and challenge was too drive me onwards (and upwards).
Through a drip feed process, my climbing improved, and methodically my head for heights and my confidence grew stronger. Eventually I was ready to train for and ultimately pass as a climbing instructor. It was only when Will4Adventure started the Overcome Your Fear of Heights weekends did my confidence at height become more intuitive than a logical, and methodical state.
I take people walking, scrambling and rock climbing – and of course I help people beat their fear of heights. But, when I’m not the proverbial “bus driver” I like bus driving. Hence I try to climb every week. In the summer I’ll be found a couple of times a week in the Peak District. In the winter, I’ve now been convinced of the merits of climbing indoors. And once a year, a gang of mates and myself head to Scotland to dangle on ropes amongst all the snow and a bit of ice. Occasionally I convince my family that a trip to Spain might be nice too and then happen to find a rope and harnesses at the bottom of my bag ... Be a shame to waste them!
Rock Climbing – so what’s that then?
Many people come to rock climbing by way of their local indoor wall or climbing gymn. Perhaps what they don’t realise is that they commencing upon a journey that encompasses differing styles, grading systems and ethics too. So here are a few words on what you could be getting into …
Wall climbing – this is what you do when you climb indoors. At your indoor wall you’ll find routes with pre-rigged climbing ropes and routes with just a series of bolts in the wall. The former is what is largely known as top-rope climbing. This is extremely safe since you are always attached to a rope. The bolted walls are for lead climbing. Climbing on bolts outdoors is known as sport climbing – and there is an alpha-numeric grading system for this style of climbing.
Climbing outdoors is split largely into three groups: bouldering, traditional (trad) and sport. Bouldering is climbing low outcrops of rocks without need for a rope. Many boulderers also forgo a helmet (due to it not looking cool) – and instead of using a helmet and rope – they wear a beanie on their head and for protection they have a mattress laid out on the floor beneath them.
Trad’ climbing is where people lead routes and safeguard themselves by placing protection (gear) as they go. The second climber then ascends the route and retrieves all this gear. (It’s very expensive). The grading system for trad climbing is a complicated mixture of adjectival grades and numbers … It’s a bit like the offside rule in football: it takes time to learn it but once you do you wonder what all the fuss is about.
We’ve mentioned sport climbing – no gear is needed since the route is pre-bolted. It’s comparatively rare to find any sport climbing venues in the UK – though they do exist. Better is to travel overseas – where there’s an abundance of sport routes to be found on the continent and Europe.
Wills Rock Climbing details For Peak District Rock Climbing