New venue causes pain…

So the promise of a return to more frequent posts has kind of been a bit hollow.  If I’m honest, I’ve lacked a bit of drive and inspiration lately.  That changed on Wednesday night, very unexpectedly…

I really enjoy my regular climbing wall, great atmosphere, friendly staff, many and varied routes, set by some well-respected members of the climbing world.  I feel comfortable there and had no real desire to look elsewhere.  Out of the blue, I discovered that a work colleague had also recently started climbing.  He told me about a small Continue reading

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Drama in the Peaks!

Not posted for a while but now that the “silly season” has
passed, normal service should resume… We’ve still been climbing
regularly each week but nothing to report of any note.
Definite improvements in strength and technique but slow and steady
progress. For some time now, Si and I have discussed the
possibility of climbing a couple of the ridges along Winnats
Pass in the Derbyshire Peak District. The main reason was to
test my progress in overcoming my fear on high and exposed
terrain. With a day free to go and play, we headed out
with a plan to try Matterhorn Ridge which is graded as Continue reading

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It happens to everyone…

I didn’t post anything after last week’s session at the wall, mainly because I had nothing much to talk about.  The climbing had been good and I had lead another couple of routes at 3+ to increase slowly but that was about it.  I went home happy but feeling that I had hit the point that all of the instruction books warn about.  My ability has reached a plateau and if I don’t change my goals I am likely to get frustrated and just give up!  The quest to improve and Continue reading

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Thanks for showing an interest, all of my recent posts are below and the site is very much “work in progress” but do have a look around at what’s here before you leave.   Don’t forget to subscribe to receive updates as they happen.  Please leave comments, either positive or negative as you see fit…I can take it!



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Thank a teacher…

Not climbing until Friday this week so nothing really to report.  However, I’ve just posted a reply to someone on a forum thread and it has inspired me to go a little off track.
The guy who started the thread was asking for advice on taking someone with a fear of heights climbing.  In view of the fact that I started in exactly the same way I offered a little help and  thought that it may be a good idea to expand on that  and share my experiences in a little more detail.
As I have outlined in my intro, I was introduced to climbing by my walking buddy in the hope of easing my fear of heights and exposure.  I could have just booked in for a beginner’s course with an instructor but fortunately for me and my wallet, my mate is a very experienced climber.  He has taken me from putting on a harness for the first time, right up to where I am currently, having completed a few 6a and 6a+ routes indoors and leading my first indoor grade 3.
I am certain that my progress and confidence are mainly due Continue reading

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Not what I had planned…

I had been reading some more of the excellent “Performance Rock Climbing” in the build up to this week’s session.  The section on technique had me engrossed, how all of these individual skills could improve one’s ability…as long as you can put them into practice!  In the car I was excitedly babbling away about how I wanted to work on “flagging” and “twist-locks” etc.  Unfortunately the place was heaving when we got there, especially on the bouldering wall which I feel is the best place to work on technique.  I find that trying to repeat a move when top roping is a bit cumbersome, also not very interesting for my buddy.  If I do it on the bouldering wall, I can just get on and off
Continue reading

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A new approach…

Weekly trip to the wall this Tuesday, usual build up of excitement during the day but I was planning a slightly different session. Until now I’ve been focussing, as I assume most beginners do, on improving my grades. This has worked well for me and I’m really pleased to have completed a couple of 6’s after only a few months of climbing and only one session (or less) each week during that time.
My outlook changed over the course of the last few days when I started reading a book called “Performance Rock Climbing” by Dale Goddard and Udo Neumann. It’s an American publication from 1993 so is a little dated and some of the terminology and grading is different but that doesn’t detract from it’s
Continue reading

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Flu remedy!

I thought it was going to be two weeks on the trot. Waking on Tuesday morning, the “man flu” that had been clinging to me like a homesick tick for the last two weeks still hadn’t cleared off. I had cancelled my regular night at the wall last week and was determined that I wasn’t going to miss out twice. An easy day at work and a dose of Ibuprofen and we were off.
Whether it was just the pills or the buzz of anticipation I don’t know but I was feeling a load brighter by the time I was slipping on my Scarpas and warming up. As is our normal routine it was bouldering first, a lot of the routes had been reset since the last visit, nothing looked easy. We eased in with a couple of the simpler problems and
Continue reading

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A great day at Birchen

You’ll get the gist of where I’m at from my intro. My last trip out was to Birchen Edge on 10th of October. Climbing with my mate who lead all five routes and I seconded.
We started on Trafalgar wall at about 11am, already very sunny and starting to get much warmer than the predicted 15degrees. A refreshing change from our last outdoor trip when it rained for a while then rained for a bit longer and…well you get the picture. Three routes seconded by me on that wall, Trafalgar Wall (S 4b) Barncacle Bulge (VS 4c) and finally Camperdown Crawl (VS 4c). I had little trouble with any of these but
Continue reading

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