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Importance of Antagonist exercises in climbing

Importance of Antagonist exercises in climbing What is the importance of antagonist exercises in climbing? Over the last 4 years I have endured several climbing injuries, and have had to learn to manage these.  As climbers we rarely will stop climbing completely, although we are aware that it may be the most beneficial action to […]

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Top 5 HVS climbs at Symonds Yat

Top 5 HVS climbs at Symonds Yat   Red Rose Speedway HVS 5a White Heart (2) HVS 5b Orange Wall HVS 5a The Russian HVS 5a Sickle HVS 5a   Symonds Yat is situated in the heart of the Forest of Dean, and overlooks the river Wye. It is a village in the Wye Valley, […]

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Top 5 VS climbs at Symonds Yat

Top 5 VS climbs at Symonds Yat   Whitt VS 4c Pam’s Pride VS 4c The Druid VS 4c Tiger Cub Special VS 5a Offspring VS 4c   Symonds Yat is situated in the heart of the Forest of Dean, and overlooks the river Wye. It is a village in the Wye Valley, and straddles […]

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Top 5 VDiff climbs at Symonds Yat

Top 5 VDiff climbs at Symonds Yat   Snoozin’ Suzie Traveller’s Rest The Little Red Edge The Seven Deadly Dwarves Tea on a Rainy Day   Symonds Yat is situated in the heart of the Forest of Dean, and overlooks the river Wye. It is a village in the Wye Valley, and straddles Gloucestershire and […]

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Trad Climbing Rack

What is in a trad climbing rack? This is the second in a series of articles where I will be writing on suggestions of what different climbing racks consist of, from our point of view.  We looked at a sport climbing rack on our previous article (click here).  We are yet to look at trad […]

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Sport Climbing Rack

What is in a sport climbing rack? This is the first in a series of articles, where I will be writing on suggestions of what different climbing racks consist of, from our point of view.  We will be looking at sport climbing, trad climbing, aid climbing, winter mountaineering, and winter climbing.  We have already looked […]

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How to survive a whiteout

How to survive a whiteout Bad weather, in winter in Scotland is common ground.  We seldom experience sunshine, blue skies, the ability to see for miles around, and no need to use the map and compass.  So, possessing the skills to navigate accurately, and confidently in whiteout conditions is a must in winter in Scotland.  […]

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BMC Climbing Injuries symposium

BMC Climbing Injuries symposium summary   As a climbing coach and instructor, I thought it would be interesting to attend the BMC climbing injuries symposium.  The room was filled with medical professionals, from Osteopaths to physios and doctors.  I must say, it was interesting, but a fair few terminologies went straight over my head.  Below, […]

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Winter Walking Advice

Winter Walking Advice – Top 10+ tips Winter walking can take you to some stunning locations and views in Scotland, the Lake District in England and North Wales.  As beautiful as winter can be, it is all the more challenging and engrossing because of the potential dangers.  But don’t let this statement discourage you, just […]

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Staying injury free – article 1

Staying injury free – general overview Having spent the last three and a half years with injuries on and off, dealing with the frustration of not being able to climb, coming back to climbing too soon, and either re-injuring or having a set-back.  I realise I have learnt a lot from the sport injury specialists, […]

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Progression from beginner to climber

Progression from beginner to climber   Here I’ll be describing the steps you can take to progress from complete beginner to climber, regarding the skills gained (taking away the learning of climbing movement).  I’m just describing the steps to take, and assuming that you will gain experience first before moving onto the next step.  Some […]

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Scrambling – Article 3

Staying safe on scrambling terrain – scrambling ropework Scrambling ropework is a hot topic, and tricky to explain.  So, I will do my best.  There are a variety of ways of protecting scrambles.  This depends on the experience of the participants, the route, terrain, weather, etc…   Please find below the different belaying techniques that […]

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The psychology of climbing

Psychology of Climbing – the Fear of Falling Does the psychology of climbing, specifically the fear of falling get in the way of your climbing sometimes?  Then please read on. “Almost regardless of their absolute level of achievement, when climbers operate at their personal limit they experience an emotional intensity, both elation and despondency, that […]

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Scrambling – Article 2

Staying safe on scrambling terrain – the scrambling rack Here in our second article, on scrambling. Here we will explain what to carry on your scrambling rack. As described in our previous article, grade I scrambling terrain, consists of the occasional difficult and steep step, and generally no rope work is needed. However on grade […]

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Scrambling – Article 1

Staying safe on scrambling terrain – Scrambling grades explained Here in our first article, on scrambling.  Here we will explain the scrambling grades. Firstly, what is scrambling?  Scrambling is the middle ground between hill walking and climbing.  Where the path steepens to the point which also requires the use of hands to gain height. It […]

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Snow Hole – near Glen Feshie

A snow hole for rent.  Located near the beautiful area of Glen Feshie, with views over the Cairngorm mountains.  As you can see, with its beautiful porch area.  Which can be used as a dry room, storage area, restroom (if it was windy).  It has many uses.  Please also note the beautiful, personalised name plate, […]

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Tower Ridge

The conditions on Tower Ridge today were stunning, although a bit windy.  Covered, mostly, in hard neve and ice, which made the climbing much easier than usual.

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Why go Winter Climbing?

I was recently asked by a friend why go winter climbing.  I thought long and hard about it, and the following was my response.   You get up at 5 am, try and force some breakfast – your digestive system is still dormant.  All your body wants to do at that time in the morning […]

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Grey Corries conditions – 02 March 2018

The Grey Corries conditions today was a little windy, as we managed to dodge the Easterly winds.   Lots of snow flurries, made for bad visibility.  Most of the new snow was settling around 200m, with greater accumulations higher up the mountain.  Lots of soft slab around, but underneath is very good neve.  Took a […]

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Freedom and entrapment

The feeling of freedom and entrapment is common as a climber, father and husband.  As a climber, I want to climb more.  Being a husband, I want to spend more time with my wife.  As a father, I want to spend more time with my kids.  Then there is work.  (Having worked very hard at […]

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How to sharpen an ice axe

How to sharpen an ice axe or ice tool 26 January 2018 To sharpen, or not to sharpen an ice axe, that is the question. As climbers, we might spend a lot of cleaning our gear, drying it out after a day out in winter, neatly and orderly storing it.  But once the winter season […]

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Hot Aches – How to improve blood circulation

23 January 2018 How to improve blood circulation, and prevent the hot aches, whilst hanging on a belay when winter climbing   Most of us who climb in winter have experienced the “hot aches”.  It brings hardy grown men (and women), to a wincing crumbling mess.  For those few minutes, whilst the blood flows back […]

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Creag Meagaidh conditions – 13 January 2018

The Creag Meagaidh conditions today was a little windy, the wind definitely started to pick up a little around noon.  The snowline started around 450-500m, and the path was pretty straightforward to follow.  Lots of small pockets of slab around, and the consistency of the snow was wet, until you got higher.  No blue sky […]

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Glen Coe conditions – 11 January 2018

The Glen Coe winter conditions today were a little cooler than previous days, sunshine, blue skies and no wind.  The path from Loch Achtriochtan was clear of snow up to around 650m above sea level.  The path was slippery in places due to verglas that has formed on the stones on the path.  Higher up […]

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Ben Nevis Conditions – 09 January 2018

The Ben Nevis conditions today were windy and warm.  Some of the snow has consolidated,  other areas have been cross loaded, etc… some instability present. The view of Castle area: Ice has formed on Gemini and Waterfall Gully, with the warm temperatures today, not sure if it can be trusted.   The view of Coire […]

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Success and failure

  22 October 2017 – Success and failure are part of climbing? Right?? After a recent trip to Yosemite Valley, I came back with mixed emotions.  I had set out to try and rope solo a route on the mighty El Capitan.  Managing to get to the top of pitch 12, then an old injury […]

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Climbing Psychology Workshop

We will be running a climbing Psychology workshop on Saturday 03 February 2018, at The Warehouse Climbing Centre in Gloucester from 2pm till 7pm. As climbers we train physically to try and gain strength and movement to be able to climb the next route we obsess with, but we forget to train our minds.  Here […]

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In Situ – article

Aha! A nylon loop protrudes from a crack, ‘My saviour. Clip it.‘ I relax and my body snatches some energy as I breathe again. But now the crack plays mean; too wide for torquing the pick but too narrow for the shaft.  My tools hang from my wrist as I jam and crimp for another […]

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