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Skills, Training & Fitness

Three-Stage Breathing Space

This is the third mindfulness download by Beth Thomas for 12 Steps to Climbing Confidence.   We often are not aware of how we are really feeling. We can spend so much time in our heads that we lose touch with our direct experience, right now. If we don't...

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Climbing Inspiration // 1920’s to 2010’s

We all know that you can't be what you can't see, so in today's post are some Youtube videos to help you visualise success.  Vicarious experiences, seeing other achieve success, are critical to gaining self-efficacy. Feel Successful, Watch Others' Success Self-efficacy is the thing that makes us...

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Fancy Footwork: How to get better

Footwork is talked about so often by climbers, but even experienced climbers often don't know where to go to improve their footwork. Today's article is all about improving footwork. If we've missed something, leave us a comment and share your experience and knowledge with us...

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Training Book Review // Gimme Kraft

Do you enjoy climbing but want to develop further skills and strength but don’t really know where to start? Gimme Kraft by Patrick Matros, Ludwig “Dicki” Korb and Hannes Huch is a comprehensive guide to getting fitter and stronger for all types of climbing.

“How do I get stronger?… train most efficiently?…what exercises make the most sense?” are questions set out in the introduction. These questions are readily answered in a compact, enjoyable and motivating training manual.

Yoga Studio app// review

UPDATE:  In light of changes to the Yoga Studio App, please be aware that the app is no longer a one-time purchase app and operates on a subscription model.  Previous purchasers of the app have paid for the app and subsequently had their access revoked, subject to paying a monthly subscription.

We can no longer recommend the app on the basis that the fundamental basis of our original review has changed. Please see comments below, from customers.

Ever thought about taking up yoga as a way of improving your flexibility and core strength, but can’t seem to get yourself to a class? There’s loads of free yoga apps on the market for smart phones so we’ve reviewed Yoga Studio to see if paying for a yoga app is really worth it.

Getting Close to Emily Roo // Intimate Climber Bio

[caption id="attachment_3014" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Emily Photo Credit: Jen Randall[/caption]   Emily Roo rocks; a strong, independent person, with an untethered passion for climbing.  She's 5ft 4's worth of fun, laughter and motivation, hiding a serious commitment to alpinism and exploring untouched areas of the planet.  In 2016...

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What to Pack – Scottish Winter

“2016 was my first experience of the full power of Scottish winter. As a complete beginner, I headed into the mountains for some training with my friends and colleagues. To say the least I learnt a lot. And from their combined advice and experience I was taught how I should pack for a real winter.”

A day out mountaineering in the beautiful hills of Scotland.

Steph Heeley talks us through her top tips of what to pack for a successful day out mountaineering in winter.

Packing for a Scottish Winter Day Out

Packing for a cold winter day in the Mountains should be split into two categories:

  1. The car
  2. The bag
Do I love bouldering now?

If you read part 1 last month you will have a good understanding that, while I’m pretty outdoorsy and active, I was completely unaware of the point of bouldering and how it fits with my ambitions of climbing mountains.  I set myself the challenge to give it a go – here’s how I got on.   If you want to find out the challenge I set, and why, you can read my previous blog post Why Should I go Bouldering.  I have no illusions about doing anything as advanced as this:

The amazing Esme Hart bouldering at the 2016 Paraclimbing Championships at Manchester Climbing Centre.

The amazing Esme Hart bouldering at the 2016 Paraclimbing Championships at Manchester Climbing Centre.

People do keep saying that bouldering will help me with my climbing, so I wanted to find out what all the fuss is about.

Emily Allen’s App recommendations

IMG_5581Emily Allen was the youngest female to climb 8a in the UK.  In July 2013 she climbed Aberration at Chee Dale.  If you’ve never heard of her you should read her story – she’s really inspiring, having had a number of setbacks yet still achieving the outstanding performance at the age of only 14 years old.  You can read more about Emily at Stoke Sentinal or on this superb UKC article.  A while back she shared her favourite three mobile apps with us, so we are sharing them with you now: 

Women’s Climbing Symposium is back!!

If you’ve never been to WCS this is the year!  Put 17th October 2015 in your diary and book your WCS tickets now, before they all sell out.  This year sees an absolutely stellar line-up at the Women’s Climbing Symposium, which takes place at the Climbing Works in Sheffield on Saturday 17th October.  We have no vested interest in promoting the event, other than it looks like the best collection of female climbers, together, in the same place, in the world, EVER!  And they will be coaching, inspiring, entertaining and supporting you to climb more, to climb better and to dream higher.  You can get your tickets on the Women’s Climbing Symposium website.  If you’re still not convinced check out the line up:

I hate the gym
Boulder problems, campus board and gym equipment at PT Hut Stockport

Boulder problems, campus board and gym equipment at PT Hut Stockport

By Emily Pitts // I’ve only ever been to a gym twice in my life and I hated every moment. I felt like a fish in goldfish bowl and a fish out of water at the same time. I couldn’t get out fast enough. In fact the last time, I actually did a runner out of a class at a Virgin Active gym after 25 minutes, because I felt like my life was seeping away, it was so boring. I hate the gym. Hate hate hate it. I hate the idea of slogging away inside, when the weather is nice outdoors. I hate the idea of ‘working out’ with a bunch of muscle bound men who want to gawp at my sweating, heaving, struggling body, while showing off their massive pecs, as I struggle away picking up a 5kg weight.

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.

South Sinai Expedition 2015 // TXC

Sinai Women Climb 20TXC invite you on expedition to south Sinai, Egypt.  This expedition, led by international Mountain Leader* Anne Arran, will take a group of adventurous women into the mountains of south Sinai to put their stamp on this emerging new climbing destination and enable women to:

  • Experience the thrill of climbing first ascents
  • Challenge mind and body with the endless bouldering problems up for grabs
  • Become immersed in the beauty of the local scenery and culture
  • Hopefully make friends for life!
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 1

The first in our series about becoming a munro bagger.   By Beth Thomas.

After reading an article in TGO magazine early last year I decided to become a Munro bagger. This is not as creepy as it sounds. A Munro is a mountain in Scotland of a height of at least 3,000ft and there are 282!

The article in question was on the Charlie Ramsey Round, a fell run challenge covering 24 Munros in under 24 hours! However I am not a superhuman and neither was the author of the article who wrote about walking it in 4 days. Even this looked like a challenge, a beautiful, tough wild camp challenge.  It was a good 12 months before this plan came to fruition when I convinced my dutiful and just as unassuming partner to do it with me.

Day 1- Expect the unexpected!

Becoming a Munro Bagger : Part 2

Day 2 – Just because the tunnel has corners doesn’t mean the light isn’t at the end!

first nightI woke in high spirits and opened the tent door to a view, which made up for our unfortunate start. Directly facing Ben Nevis I squatted over and tried to wee into the wind (a shewee would NOT have been great in this situation! it was far too windy and I fear it would have created a sprinkler effect upon leaving the spout).

porridge

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.

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’

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.

WCS 2013 // Awkward Holds

How to use slopersYou could feel the buzz from the moment you stepped in, instantly spotting all the elite climbers milling about and chatting with other attendees.  Initially I was a bit star-struck, but they were so friendly and welcoming it felt like you were just there with a load of mates.

The workshops I attended were Awkward Holds and Dynamic Climbing.  I was looking forward to an afternoon of talks including Rebecca Dent’s talk on nutrition and losing weight safely.

Women’s Climbing Symposium 2013

Climbing HandsDo you want to climb better?  

Then the WCS is for you.  If you don’t know about it already, you should.  This year’s Women’s Climbing Symposium is upon us – taking place on Saturday November 2nd at The Arch Climbing Centre in London 9.30am-6.30pm.  What a great line-up the WCS team have put together for us this year – Angela Soper, Fran Brown, Anne Rigge, Jen Randall, Eva Lopez and Rebecca Dent to name just a few.  They’ll be covering everything from nutrition to yoga and training to testing yourself – and all in relation to climbing and at every level – from beginner to competition climbers.

Women's Climbing Symposium 2013

They have a handful of last-minute tickets available (we’ve heard on the grapevine), so if you log onto the website now, there may be one left just for you.

The Core Challenge

Towards the end of last year and into this year I was working quite hard at improving my climbing – technique, skills and knowledge.  I picked people’s brains and worked on areas I thought would help.  I started to improve, and what I mean by...

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Core Exercise Ideas for Climbing

If you're not sure what exercises to do to improve your core muscles, here are a few suggestions, with demos I've found on the internet: Sit Ups http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fbU_MkV7NE Crunches http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xyd_fa5zoEU Reverse Crunch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyv14e2QDq0 Left and Right crunches http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwVXJKqWGpg The Plank http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dz0oFaVGuh4 Russian Twist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NeAtimSCxsY V-Sits http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_1KGrBx2T4 I've been doing a mix of these,...

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What is ‘Footwork’

This is the first in the 'Footwork' series - aimed to demystify the terminology, help you think about your footwork and ultimately help make you a better climber. So what do people mean by footwork? When people talk about footwork they mean things like: How you place your...

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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!

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?