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Beginner Climber

Ten cool things about Windgather…

  [caption id="attachment_527" align="alignright" width="300"] Sunset at Windgather Rocks[/caption] Easy walk in (30 seconds!!!) Fantastic for beginners as it's short and has a lot of easier routes No midges Friendly chatty people Family friendly and dogs Easy to find and access Plenty of parking [caption id="attachment_518" align="alignright" width="224"] Evening climbing at Windgather Rocks[/caption] Lovely gritty...

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How to Improve your Route Reading

route reading31By Emily Pitts // Route reading is like solving a puzzle. It involves time, skills and attention. These are some exercises you can use and practical things you can do to help you get better at finding solutions to your climbing puzzles, focusing mainly on indoor top rope climbing, as a mechanism for improving and moving on to lead climbing indoors and climbing outdoors.  There’s hopefully something in here for beginners, but also people who are more experienced climbers.

What is the women’s climbing symposium?

Sign up now for the UK’s best climbing event just for women designed to bring together everyday women who climb with the UK’s top female climbing professionals  – coaches, nutritionists, celebrities, physiotherapists, trainers, speakers, and much more.  Saturday September 27th sees the return of the now annual Women’s Climbing Symposium.  The first event was in 2011 and each year it travels to a different venue around the UK – The climbing Hangar in Liverpool, The Arch in London and, this year, The Climbing Academy in Glasgow.  Essentially it’s about sharing the passion and the love of climbing, whether you’re just starting out climbing or an old hand.

Becoming a Munro Bagger: Part 3

Day 3- The hard way may be hard but it’s so much more fun.

descent viewThe next morning we were both sore and stiff after sleeping on some awkward rocks but got going after a bowl of porridge and sultanas (and a call of nature!).  I found the first 3 hours of the day quite hard physically due to my legs being so tired from the day before and starting immediately on steep downhill loose rocks.  However, once I found my stride again it was as if my legs we reborn and I was ready for some more Munros!

What is… Kettlercise

kettlerciseKettlercise is a fat burning, body toning intense kettlebell workout session of around 45minutes to an hour. There are 37 x minute-long kettlebell excercises which are easy to follow and done alongside stimulating music with a dynamic and fun instructor demonstrating the exercises at the front of the class.  Kettlercise is a specific brand of kettlebell class, so the instructor will need to be officially recognised (and trained), with the workouts structured and developed according to the Kettlercise program, for maximum results.

A woman on a bouldering wall being instructed in the art of flagging, a climbing technique
How to start climbing

It may seem very straightforward to some people, but knowing how to start climbing is not simple if you don’t know anyone who climbs**.  Firstly there are different types of climbing, both indoor and outdoors.  Decide which you want to try and that will help you decide the best way to get started.

Here are six ways you can start rock climbing:

What is… Bouldering?

Kilnworx Climbing Centre10Bouldering is unroped climbing, which is usually lower in height than other climbing routes, both indoors and outdoors.  Indoors the highest bouldering problems are around 5 metres high.   There are often crash mats below to help protect you if you fall off.   Indoors, these mats are provided, whereas outdoors, you carry a bouldering mat to the boulder with you.

People often mistake Bouldering as ‘practice’

Buying a Waterproof Jacket


How to choose a Waterproof Jacket 61
I have recently taken the plunge and made the decision to replace my 12 year old jacket and enter the world of modern fabrics and design.  I thought I would jot down my experience and share it with you.

Firstly, it’s important to remember that staying dry is the key to staying warm.  I spent a lot of time researching different jackets and trying lots on before making a final choice.  This is definitely advisable if you are thinking of spending your hard earned cash, as a good waterproof jacket will set you back anything from £120 to £500 depending on what specification, fit, fabric, style, brand and colour you’re after.  Don’t feel under pressure to buy until you are happy with your choice.

Women’s Climbing Symposium 2013 // Dynamic Climbing

Dyno climbing moveLeah Crane and Shauna Coxsey, both from Team GB bouldering team, took this workshop during the 2013 Women’s Climbing Symposium at The Arch climbing wall in London. We were split into 2 groups and I was in Leah’s. I had watched Leah at many a competition event and always marvelled at her flying-squirrel like tactics so was eager to learn her secrets.

Ailefroide – what’s there to do?

Ailefroide climbing 31

Ailefroide is a very small village in the Hautes Alpes in France.  It is situated in a valley at around 1500m.  We went there to climb and others of our group went for mountaineering on the surrounding high mountains and glaciers of 3000-4000m.
What I loved about this area was that there was a really good mix of things to do and it felt like it was a far cry from regular tourist places. I had expected fewer local facilities and was really heartened to find a Sherpa supermarket with freshly baked bread, croissants and pains au chocolat every day, as well as cheeses, hams, tartes, fresh yoghurt and jams.

Kilnworx Climbing Centre Stoke – Review

Kilnworx Stoke10

I recently had an email from a man called Jin, inviting us to Kilnworx Climbing Centre in Stoke for their new Women’s Club.  We were very excited and went along to see what they have to offer at their inaugural Women’s Club Night.  Here’s what we found out:

Kilnworx is a Social Enterprise.  What this means is that it’s essentially not for profit.

Kilnworx Stoke 12

It has a great feel and we could see from talking to Jin and the other staff and volunteers that they have big ideas for this place and they’re passionate about it.

It’s set in a church and some of the features (which you won’t be able to see yet, as it’s still under construction) are truly magnificent.

Stanage Review

Stanage climbing women4Guest Post by Linda Wales: Stanage End, Peak District, UK

What I liked most: I’ve climbed here before and you get a multitude of different grades so whatever grade you’re at, however you’re feeling that day, there will be something to climb.  The other people climbing there are always friendly so you can take advice, offer advice, or just chat and there are no cliques or funny attitudes.

What could be better: nothing.  It’s great.  Really enjoy my time climbing there.

Beth…On Indoor Lead Climbing

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have just lead my first 7a+. I still can’t quite believe it, but luckily I had a witness – the lovely Emma Timmis from Womenclimb, who led it after me.  This post is a reflection of my own personal climbing journey and includes the things that were most helpful to me and made the most difference to my climbing.  During this period I had 1-2-1 training with Libby Peter, from whom I got some of these tips. Finally, please note I refer to everything in terms of indoor climbing!

A Tale of Woe with the Shewee Extreme

Scottish winter skills course1The background to my purchase of the Shewee Extreme was a 14-hr epic mountain day in Scotland this winter with three men, during which time I had to perch on a snow ledge sandwiched between two men with their eyes closed while I crouched for a wee, with another man ascending up to the stance at the same time.  The ascending male had to be asked to hold on for fear of receiving a face full of warm yellow liquid.  An interesting tale, but not an experience that I particularly wanted to repeat after that journey.  I’m sure the men would rather it weren’t repeated too.

How to improve at bouldering – Ten ways to get better

Following on from the last blog post here are some practical things you can do right now to improve your skills for bouldering:

Learning bouldering1) Watch

Watch someone who looks like they boulder well. If you watch, you can probably learn something. Look at their hands, how they hold the holds, where and how they place their feet, what are they doing with their weight, their knees, are their feet always on the holds?