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Sport Climber

Climbing Frog Belay Glasses // Review

Belay glasses seem to be all the rage at the moment.  They’re a save-all for your neck, according to the manufacturers and thankfully the cost of a pair has reduced dramatically in recent times.  Today we review the Climbing Frog brand of belay glasses, which come in at less than half the price of some premium brands (with 10% off for 10 of our readers, so get in quick).  But… do you get less bang for your buck or are these a winning pair of neck-saving specs?  Beth and Emily from Womenclimb both tried them out independently; it’s time to find out their verdict:

#GetOutdoors Profile: Mandy Glanvill

navigation1For today’s Get Outdoors Profile we’re heading up to the beautiful Lake District where Mandy Glanvill runs her business Womenrock. As the name suggests, Mandy focuses on working mostly with women, she explains that “It is important when you are new to this challenging activity, or if you are wishing to develop and push your limits, that you get the maximum support and feel as relaxed as possible. For many women it is much easier to achieve this relaxed and supportive atmosphere in an all female group.” Although the focus is on building the confidence of women climbers, Mandy also works with mixed groups, individuals and small family groups.

La Sportiva Katana Velcro Rock Shoe // Review

Love…

Comfort and feel. They are a comfort/performance hybrid so edging is really precise but could also wear on long multi-pitch routes. The blue and green show looks great too!

Would like to see…..

Them change the women’s fit from pink to something else! Better durability in the toe

**Overall rating

Criteria Grade
Value for Money 4
Design 4
Comfort & Fit 5
Durability 3
Functionality 4
Total out of 25 20

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 16.20.29

#FridayFilm // Metallica

Weekly film entertainment, this week featuring the incredible Aleksandra ‘Ola’ Taistra, as she takes a step away from her usual sport climbing, on a mountain trip into the Polish Tatra range, bringing a new perspective to her climbing.

Ola Taistra FFA First Female Ascent Metallica Tatra

Ola on ‘Metallica’ in the Polish Tatra Mountains

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.

#FridayFilm // Project Ellie

Each week we feature a film to inspire, excite and motivate you to go on an adventure.

Ellie running across gorse in the hills, with a thin layer of snow on the ground.  She is carrying a rucksack and wearing a hat and buff.

Ellie Johnstone out running in the hills in winter

They films are free to watch.  Some feature climbing, while others will showcase other great sports.  If you want to find more films, just click on the ‘Reviews’ tab and scroll down to ‘Film’, where you will find even more awesome films to enjoy.

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.

15 Knee Surgery Tips for Climbers

There are all types of knee surgery, from ligament repairs and reconstructions to cartilage trims and kneecap scrapes.  Two of the Womenclimb team have been in for knee surgery in the last 12 months (August 2015 and Feb 2016) for meniscus repair and ACL reconstruction respectively.  They have put together their top tips to help climbers who have knee surgery.

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

Expedition Funding – Apply for Grants

Rebecca Coles on expedition in TajikistanBy Rebecca Coles // When I began tentatively investigating the options for funding an expedition I was organising independently, I found that there were many more grants offering support than I expected. The expedition comprised a two person team going to eastern Tajikistan and the Wakhan Corridor, Afghanistan. Although the destination was a bit wacky, we only planned non-technical (single ice axe) ascents of mountains. I applied for funding, and was blown away when our expedition was actually given some money.

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.

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.

Author, Tiffany Stonemason posing in her climbing helmet at the bottom of a climbing route in Mallorca
Embracing ‘Sexy’
Author, Tiffany Stonemason posing in her climbing helmet at the bottom of a climbing route in Mallorca

Tiffany Stoneman posing and cooling down after a long old walk in! before her first multi pitch climb in Mallorca

By Tiffany Stoneman // Climbing is a complex sport. It requires stamina of body and mind, the ability to haul your weight up vertical cliffs, and the mental stability to take on huge challenges that can incur risk. It is a sport/activity/hobby that has been around for longer than you might think, and is slowly but surely coming into the mainstream as an awesome way to get fit and see the world. Not only this, but it can be hugely competitive, and these competitions are gaining an increasingly global audience, recently helped by an attempt to get sport climbing into the Olympics. Overall, climbing is a pretty badass thing to do, and the ones who do it tend to be pretty badass too!

Leah Crane // An Interview

By Jacquie Budd ‘It's important for me to have something else alongside climbing so that when I need a break, I have something else to go to…’ The name Leah Crane has always seemed synonymous with climbing. Through my 18 years of climbing there have been numerous articles...

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Climbing at Malham Cove // Yorkshire

By Jacquie Budd // When I was 5 years old I moved to Malham.  Growing up there, the fields and rivers were my back garden. Sitting with friends on top of Malham Cove and playing rounders in the fields below the Cove was just normal life and I was totally unaware of the importance that climbing had in the area. The only time I did become aware of any climbing taking place was when the odd emergency siren went past our house and my Dad spoke the infamous words we came to know and love “that’ll be another climber fallen off then”.

Climbing in Costa Blanca in March

By Hannah Thomson // There has to be no giddier a team than two girls from Hull finding themselves in a rental car on the Spanish coast on a Sunday morning in March on their way to climb in Costa Blanca. Lydia and I had met working at Rockcity Climbing Centre the previous winter and, after hearing rumours of sunny sport climbing abroad, we booked flights to Alicante and worked out the rest afterwards. We found cheap accommodation at the Orange House near the village of Finestrat and hired a rental car from Alicante airport which made getting to the many crags a piece of cake. That, and we had managed to borrow a guidebook (from the 80s) and commandeered a SatNav. Oh, and a brand new 60m rope belonging to one of our friends.

Ten Great Christmas Presents for Climbers

Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 14.49.57Over the past year I’ve made lots of friends through climbing and one of the things that accompanies friends is birthdays and buying presents.  I always leave it until the last minute and then find myself faced with the dilemma of either a) buying a substandard gift or b) spending more money than I want so my friend receives something s/he deserves.