Climb Morocco 2018: The Training

On the 28th July 2018, Chris from Blacks HQ, and Greater Manchester West Scouts, will be leading a group of ten Scouts from across the United Kingdom in the expedition of a lifetime to Morocco. Their trip will span eight days and will see them undertake abseils, controlled descents, treks, mountain biking and countless climbs. Before they start out on their international adventure, we joined them on their five preparatory training sessions.

Tryfan Mountain looming over a member of the Leadership Team on Training Session Four

Training Session One – The Icebreaker

Lilford District Scout HQ

53.516000, -2.466390

The first training session was an important one. The ten Scouts range in age from 14-21 and are spread throughout the UK. Although not the most adventurous of sessions, this was a good chance for the Scouts to meet their team, get to know one another (and to get the admin done).

Training Session Two – Climbing: An Introduction

Wilton Quarries, Bolton

53.61530, -2.45530

Much of the expedition will centre around climbing, including routes that have never been scaled before. Sounding daunting we headed to the Wilton Quarries where the Scouts were taught the basics. The group covered how to correctly put on harnesses and helmets. When everyone was safe in their gear we headed to the routes where the group began climbing. Not to shy away from anything, the group finished the day by abseiling down an intimidating 80ft rockface.

One of the Scouts tackling an initial training climb in Wilton Quarry

Training Session Three – Safety First

Bibbys Farm, Chorley

53.646289, -2.600735

Inevitably, whilst the group is in Morocco, accidents are always a possibility. The third training session gave the Scouts training in advanced First Aid, tailored towards the issues they may face in a hot climate and tackling adventurous feats. When the group get to Morocco, the nearest hospital will be an hour and a half’s drive away, so good First Aid knowledge is crucial. The second day allowed the group to top up their climbing skills whilst practicing abseiling and controlled descents too.

Abseiling practice overseen by Andy from the Leadership Team in Anglezarke Quarry

Training Session Four – Technique is Key

Ogwen Valley, North Wales

53.12000, -3.96940

As the last practical group session, the fourth session was spread over two days. The first day concentrated on improving technical outdoor climbing skills and ensuring the correct equipment is used. In true Scouting style, the evening saw the group get to grips with knot tying, specifically ones they would use whilst on the expedition and a discussion of the environmental impacts of climbing.

After a night of camping, Sunday brought yet more climbing. This time it was inside at Plas Y Brenin, The National Mountain Sports Centre, to focus on more technical skills in a controlled environment.

A well-earned rest: The group taking a break from the relentless climbs of Training Session Four

Training Session Five – The Little Things Matter

Lilford District Scout HQ

53.516000, -2.466390

As the saying goes: fail to prepare, prepare to fail, and on a trip of this magnitude, preparation is vital. This last training session will focus on a final itinerary run through, a guide on what to pack and also a question and answer session to cover all of the burning questions about the expedition and the country.

The expedition will take place from the 28th July - 4th August, follow the groups journey on Facebook.


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Blacks old-timer, Sophie, joined the online team back in 2017 after serving customers in her local Blacks store whilst completing her degree. Voluntary work with The Scouts, Girlguiding and The DofE, means she knows expeditions and outdoor kit like the back of her hand.

Catch Sophie checking out new trails on weekends, and she's always game for a hike, especially if it involves a pub at the end.

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