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Beginner Climber

Get Outdoors! Women Climb Profiles

During June, as part of our Get Outdoors Series, Women Climb will be profiling some of the amazing women who work in Britain’s Outdoor Industries, specifically as climbing instructors and guides. Women are underrepresented in the industry so, with this series we want to show that there are women out there with years of experience and buckets of skills and qualifications who make a living doing what they love. If you’re looking for a guide for your next adventure or, just want some inspiration to follow your own dreams of making working in the outdoors, this series might be just what you need!

Our first ‘Get Outdoors’ Profile is the wonderful Lou Stone who is a hill walking guide and rock climbing instructor based in Brighton.

Why should I go bouldering?

If you don’t understand bouldering, or are unsure about what it’s all about, then follow our contributor Emily Thompson on her journey of discovery, starting this week, with her thoughts on feeling like a fraud, having never been bouldering and having piles of insecurities about giving it a go.  This is a live activity – Emily is reporting on her journey as she does it, so we have no idea how it will turn out or what she will discover.  To learn more as her journey unfolds, sign up now to our newsletter and we will let you know when the next instalment is out. 

Climber Bio // Rocio Siemens

‘You are not alone.  Being afraid is normal.’  

These are the words of Rocio Siemens.  Rocio (pronounced Rotheo) is a 5ft 5 (165cm) tall Spaniard who started climbing at the age of 21.  Depending on how stretchy the material is she is a size 10 or 12.  Born in 1975, she is 41 years old at the time of writing.  She is an International Mountain Guide and an IFMGA member who climbs all sorts of winter and summer routes in the UK and beyond.  Her short answers are an incredibly insightful look into the life and experience of this climber.  We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Indoor Rock Climbing in West Yorkshire

Sandwiched between the Peak District & Yorkshire Dales National Parks, and between the well known climbing areas of Sheffield & Manchester, West Yorkshire might not be the first place you think of for indoor rock climbing but it boasts 6 climbing walls to suit every ability, all within an hour’s drive of one another.  These climbing walls are all close to Leeds, but accessible from other areas in West Yorkshire too.  Hope you enjoy this great six.  Why not visit and write us a review?

Ella Williams // Climber Bio

Ella Williams - Outdoor Instructor‘Climbing for me is like a dance, when I am in the moment I don’t have to think about what I’m doing.’

Ella Williams is an outdoors instructor living in North Wales.  At the time of writing, she was 29 years old, born in 1987, having started rock climbing at the age of 26.  She is 5ft1 (155cm tall). We met Ella on a climbing weekend in north Wales in 2015, where she showed her love of sharing the outdoors with others.  This is a really beautiful piece of writing, enjoy.

Itching to Climb // Barbara James // Book Review

itching to climb Barbara JamesItching to Climb, by Barbara James, is a book unlike any other I’ve read. It’s a non fiction, autobiographical book, a copy of which I found adorning the shelf of a lovely second hand bookshop in Caernarfon whilst visiting on a rainy day of a mountaineering club weekend. The story recounts the progress of this highly adventurous woman through life, talking though her jobs, one of which was as the first and only female civilian instructor with the British army, through her relationships and through family life. 

Climbing without an ACL

For my entire climbing life, I have climbed with an ACL injury.  The Anterior Cruciate Ligament is one of a pair of cruciate ligaments in the knee, forming a cross shape with the Posterior Cruciate Ligament. It provides crucial stability to the knee, preventing the knee from twisting and rotating.  You can find out more in this Youtube video about what the ACL is and what it does.

Background – how I tore my ACL

Climbing Injuries // Meniscus Tear Repair: Pt 1

The trials and tribulations of a meniscal repair – Knee Surgery Recovery

In August 2015 Beth Thomas went into hospital to have a repair of torn cartilage (also known as meniscus) in her left knee.  This article series is about her journey, from hospital to getting back to climbing.  Thank you to Beth for sharing.  We would love to hear your comments about her journey – please tell us what you think about her story.   

Climbing Injuries // Meniscus Tear Repair: Pt 3

In August 2015 Beth Thomas had a repair of torn cartilage (meniscus) in her left knee.  This is the final article in the series that charts her journey from hospital to getting back to climbing.  We would love to hear your comments about her journey – please tell us what you think about her story.   If you want to read the first parts you’ll find them here: Climbing Injuries // Meniscus Tear Repair: Part 1 & Part 2

Climbing after an operation

4 months on

Climbing Injuries // Meniscus Tear Repair: Pt 2

Training and Complications after Knee Surgery

In August 2015 Beth Thomas went into hospital to have a meniscus repair for torn cartilage in her left knee.  In her last article she talked about the first part of her journey to recovery and the first weeks after her meniscectomy.  Today she talks a bit about the realities of her recovery – the workarounds and the setbacks.  Tell us what you think.  If you’ve not read the previous article you can find it here: Climbing Injuries // Meniscus Tear Repair: Pt 1

The lowdown: Anodised Climbing Gear
Climbing Gear on an Alpkit Bouldering matt

A trad rack of assorted anodised and non-anodised nuts, cams, slings, carabiners and more!

Is there a difference between anodised and non-anodised climbing gear?  If you’ve been into a climbing shop recently or been trad climbing you will probably have seen loads of nuts hanging around – some just silver and others in bright shiny colours.  The coloured ones may look very nice, but why would you spend extra money on anodised climbing nuts or anodised friends/ camming devices?

Navigation Top Tips

XMOZEWMN8OWhy did you get into rock climbing?  Or, if you’ve never tried, why would you? Maybe you love being outdoors or maybe it’s an alternative to the gym and a good way to keep fit. If you reach a point when you want to climb an obscure rockface or a big wall tucked away you in a valley, will need to consult a map and have to work out how to get there. So, here are my 7 top tips for finding the crag:

5 Top Tips for a newbie film maker!

 Heather Swift, winner of the 2016 Women in Adventure Film Competition with her film Kosmos, gives us some tips for newbie film-makers.  The competition will be re-launching very soon, so sign up to our newsletter today to find out about the competition first. So, you are...

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Being Deaf, Becoming a Climber

Natasha on Epitaph Corner at Hobson Moor Quarry - one of her first outdoor climbs.

By Natasha Hirst // I was a fearless child, and my favourite word was adventure.  Often to be found up a tree, racing through fields and staying out on my bike all day, I always had an affinity for the outdoors.  Sometimes though, life has a way of knocking the spirit of adventure out of you. 2015 has been my year to turn that around and release the active, carefree side of me once more.

How to fix a hole in a sleeping mat
Alpkit warehouse

At the Alpkit premises on my visit in June 2015

At the start of 2015 Alpkit invited me over for a fish and chip lunch to take a look at their office/ production facility/ warehouse and a few weeks ago, finally, I made it over there.  They gave me some great tour of their workshop and showroom as well as showing me some of their fantastic kit.  Their gear is developed in the UK and a large percentage of their gear is made over here by the people who do the sports. It’s great to see passionate people who are into sports making products for the sports they love.

We heard on the grapevine that they’re developing some new clothing lines – trousers and jackets.  Keep an eye on the Alpkit website to find out about their ever-expanding range of equipment & clothing.