Getting into rock climbing
I first started indoor climbing 15 years ago, enrolling in beginners course in West Way, London with a friend of mine. Back then I think the male talent had just as much, if not more pull than the climbing itself. It was just the kind of sport I’d been longing to try out, since my days ski bumming round Europe in my early twenties.
My climbing adventure was short and sweet as I stopped 6 months later when I moved south London and had no close access to a good indoor wall. Some time later I met Paul, got married, had Ingrid and Scott. After we bought our 1st house together, 5 years ago in Surbiton, SW London I got back into climbing again when I discovered the new White Spider climbing wall 10 min bike ride from our house!
Before leaving London for our round the world adventure, I used to go to White Spider 2 times a week climbing, hanging out with friends and taking Ingrid to her junior competition squad training sessions.
Passion for climbing
There are so many things I love about climbing, the fitness and strength it requires to be good, the mental part of clearing your mind and focusing only on the climb you are doing and all the great people and friends I have met through climbing. It can be a competitive sport, but you mainly compete against yourself together with other people. In the last 2 years I have also grown to love the outdoor climbing and just having an adventure in the mountains challenging myself and simply enjoying climbing.
Ingrid, 8 first started coming with me to climb and found she loved it just as much as I do. In the year before we left London she was training very hard in the competition squad, developing technique and strength. In April 2016 she did her first outdoor climb and was totally hooked. 2016 was also the year when I properly started climbing out doors as well and went on my first outdoor trip with my favourite climbing girls to Villa Nueva del Rosario outside Malaga in Spain.
Climbing our way round the world
So in planning our round the world trip, we agreed that part of the adventure would be to try and climb in all countries on our trip. The world famous beach of Raily and Tonsai in Thailand were high on the list, as well as the more obscure and less climbed Yangshuo in China. We also had our minds set on climbing in Vietnam and are hoping to find lots of places to climb in Central and South America.
I was looking at ways to keep climbing fit on our travels, but the weight and size of or bags dictated that we could not bring any gear for training. We have shoes, harnesses and chalk only and so plan to climb with a guide and, or rent gear as we go along.
In places where we struggle to find the time or money to climb outside, we try to find some cool indoor walls to try out. This will help somewhat to keep climbing fit while travelling but I’m sad that my finger strength has already faded away to nothing.
Ingrid climbing Captian Kirk Eats Bruchetta at Swiss cheese and me climbing Blood at Twin Gate
So I have finally come to terms with the fact that I will be doing some amazing outdoor climbing this year on a lover level than I’d really like, but will enjoy it for what it is. At home I would happily climb 6b+ , 6c and project 7a , while here I’ll be settling for 6-6b+. Ingrid is not pushing the grades either this year due to lack of regular climbing, but is building technique and confidence in lead climbing and all other outdoor climbing. It will be interesting to see the effects of our Christmas Deep Water Soloing when we go climbing next.
Watch this space for our next epic climb!