Adventure Sports lecturer volunteers with Rescue Team

Adventure Sports lecturer and instructor Matthew Daily-Hunt uses his outdoor expertise as a member of Staffordshire Search and Rescue Team.  SSART is a team of dedicated volunteers with specialist training to locate and rescue missing people anywhere in Staffordshire.  They train and work with the police and ambulance service to enhance their search and rescue efforts.

During the recent heavy snowfall Matthew and other SSART volunteers used the team’s 4×4 vehicles to support West Midlands Ambulance Service in the Staffordshire Moorlands where they helped recover stuck ambulances, transported essential medical personnel to hospital and responded to 999 emergencies in remote locations.

Tim Reeves, Head of Adventure Sports, Uniformed and Public Services said, “Matthew’s skill as a mountaineer, mountain bike leader and rock climbing instructor make him valuable to the Rescue Team. With his Rescue training he brings a whole new level into our college team.”

For more information on the team go to or ask Matthew, who wears his badge with pride!

ssart adventure sports matthew daily-hunt

Survival School Skills and then the World!

Mick Keeling used his international expedition skills and two decades of army experience to teach Reaseheath Public and Uniformed Services students survival skills.

Survival skills“The students paddled canoes along a flooded river”, explained Mick, who taught Survival Skills in Bavaria for the army. “Then they made emergency shelters using only the equipment they had and learnt how to light fires. They even made some simple food using a stove.”

“Despite the floods and wet weather the students managed to deal with every incident and learnt how it’s not just about surviving but doing it comfortably”.

Mick’s skills are much in demand. While not working at Reaseheath he trains leaders for World Challenge Expeditions who have just asked him to fly out to Peru to train Expeditions Guides. Reaseheath students benefit from Micks skills and qualifications, he leads student trips on rivers and mountains in Scotland, Wales and Cumbria, this year he is leading a student expedition to North Africa.

“We’ll be climbing the highest peak in North Africa and traveling through desert regions, even though we’ll only be a few hours flight from Europe it’s a different world, high mountain huts, ancient markets and the ruins of lost cities”.

Greg Houghton, Public and Uniformed Services Course Manager added, “Experienced NCO’s and Expedition Leaders like Mick are brilliant on courses like ours. Those decades of experience,  rank and qualification  make a real difference to our students giving them the real skills you need to work in a public or uniformed service. No other college can offer students experience like this!”

survival skills

survival skills

Self Defence, Rope Rescue Skills and abseiling into buildings?

These are all part of the practical skills Uniformed and Public Services students have been learning in January.

Former Warrant Officer, Shropshire Light Infantry, Mick Keeling took a group of students to the Lee Mathews British Military Martial Arts Academy.

“They learnt how to deal with a bigger attacker and suppress an assault” described Mick Keeling, who after teaching Survival Skills and Adventure Training in Bavaria for the Army works for Reaseheath and leads international expeditions.

The next week the students looked at Improvised Rope Rescues and abseiling. Greg Houghton, Uniformed and Public Services course manager described it, “They might find themselves having to use ropes to rescue people who have got onto steep, dangerous ground or to abseil into a building to resolve an incident. At Reaseheath we have the specialised staff to teach survival or ropes skills. In their second year they’ll get extra training for Dog Handling and Horses. That is what is so great about Reaseheath, we have such specialised staff and resources to make our courses exciting and increase student’s employability.”

Public Services lesson

Public Services lesson

Public Services lesson

    Public Services lesson         Public Services lesson

What do you do at weekends when your job is instructing Adventure Sports?

Simon Wells, full-time instructor in the Adventure Sports team, and Dalton, a recent Reaseheath graduate and now on the team as a part-time instructor, wanted to spend the weekend climbing winter routes in Snowdonia but the sudden thaw had made them unsafe.

The pair are preparing for a nine day climbing trip that will focus on the major winter climbing routes on the North Face of Ben Nevis.

They ended up at a ‘Dry Tooling’ crag, called White Goods in North Eastern Wales.


Reaseheath Adventure Sports graduate, Dalton

“We both wanted to climb, but it was too warm for ice and too wet for rock, so dry tooling was the answer”, explained Mountaineering Instructor Simon Wells.

Dry tooling is using axes and crampons to hook over tiny edges of rock or torque  the blade into cracks. It developed from the super hard continental routes on mixed ice and rock, hence the M grade for mixed is used to show how hard the route is. Dry tooling is ice climbing without the ice!

Despite being involved in Winter Climbing for over 20 years Simon has only dry tooled a few times before. It wasn’t the first time dry tooling for Dalton either.

“When I was a Reaseheath student we did a dry tooling workshop on our Winter Skills trip with Adam Hughes, who is sponsored by Edelrid.”

“I whipped Simon” laughed Dalton, “he fell off the first route and couldn’t get over the main overhang on the second route!”

Simon muttered something about it being graded at M7, before admitting it was great to see a former student climbing so well.

Adventure Sports instructor Simon

Adventure Sports instructor Simon

“I trained and assessed Dalton for his Climbing Wall Award. He also came on one of my Rock Climbing Master Classes and went from not getting up English 6C to doing it with no hands!  It’s fantastic to see him climbing so well, it’s the best reward as a climbing instructor to see your students improving so much.”

“What was great about today was Dalton coaching me by using some of the techniques from our Rock Climbing Master Classes. His feedback helped me to improve my dry tooling. As a climbing coach I learn a lot from trying new and harder forms of climbing. I can bring more to my groups and it helps me relearn by applying it in a harsher environment.”

In Simon’s defence he was climbing  6C+ a few days before and he wanted to preserve his strength for a degree student Master Class in indoor lead climbing the next day.  At least that’s what he told us!!!