The Rocklands fever: How not to climb V10

Rocklands in South Africa. A bouldering paradise discovered in 1996, which in the last decade has quickly become one of the world’s hotspots for hard rock climbing. Elaborate shapes of orange sandstone litter the nearly deserted, rugged landscape. As the South African winter brings cold temps, low humidity and blue skies, boulderers from all over the globe flock towards Cederberg, the official geographical name of the region. Most of them are not your average climber and it almost feels like […]

Total Campusing Blast at BIFF 2017

It’s 10am and I’m on the bus from Sheffield back to London, still super hyper from last night’s BIFF at The Climbing Works, so forgive me if this post is just a stream of rambling. What can I say though, the psych is high! 😀 After attending the Beastmaker International Footless Festival for the first time last year, I promised myself to return stronger in 2017. Even though I came last at 2016’s event, the atmosphere was great and you […]

Let’s get personal

2016 wasn’t a good year for me. Life just can’t be perfect, and complaining about the past 12 month seems almost ungrateful for all the good things that happened. In many respects, I made heaps of progress, yet somehow I was constantly discontent. You see, In 2016 I turned 30. I was so wrong to think that I wouldn’t care. As long as I could define myself as a twenty-something-year-old, I felt as if with one leg I still belonged […]

My Life After The World Has Turned Right

I come from a country deeply affected by racial and religious hatred, violence, and poverty. Although I have been lucky not to experience war firsthand, the same cannot be said for the generation of my parents, and grandparents.I don’t remember the aftermath of the tragic events that shook my country. I remember that the ration stamps were taken out of circulation when I was three, and that a few years later my mother and I were able to obtain passports.

Reviewing The First Year Of Training

A year ago I realised I was stuck. After three years of pottering around the climbing wall and occasionally hitting the rock at the weekend, I could barely climb V5. My goals were a couple of 7A classics in the Peak District and I was determined to figure out how to work my way through the plateau. It dawned on me that I could get a coach and online coaching seemed like the most sensible way to go about it. […]

Magic Wood Guide For Newbies

With Font being all slopey and Albarracin all reachy, crimpy and overhanging Magic Wood sounded like the promised land.  (Scroll halfway down the post to get to the meaty ‘how to get there’ and ‘when to go’ part.) All my essentials (including camping gear and some food to avoid paying through the nose in Switzerland) got stuffed into my bouldering mat, which then got wrapped in cling film and gaffer, with only shoulder straps sticking out. With this well formed […]

Why I don’t get blown away by #ThisGirlCan

In principle, the Sports England campaign is a great idea. Increasing female participation in sports is an important initiative in the society plagued by obesity, osteoporosis, and, perhaps even more harmful than civilisation diseases, the gender gap. But to be my usual, full of spite and criticism self, I need to list the downsides. 1. The girl grew up some time ago Using the word ‘girl’ in the campaign’s title suggests that sports are for kids only. If you happen to be […]

The Vertical Kilometre

I’m not a runner. Actually, I really dislike running. Jogging in a city is almost as bad as on a treadmill, and I despise both. But going up a hill or a mountain, now that’s a different thing! Le Brevent can be seen  from my balcony in Cham, but the 2525m summit is too ambitious a goal for a quick, after work hike. Its ‘Vertical Kilometre’ is, as it turns out, is just perfect.   To classify as a ‘Vertical Kilometre’ […]

A hectic & worthless moving post

I’ve been trying to write something sensible for quite a while. Can’t come up with anything, so instead I’ll just post what I’ve got… A pile of neatly folded clothing is covering most of my bed. In the last seven years I’ve seen this sight way too many times. Each time I’m trying to give away more stuff. For years I haven’t been buying anything, maybe with the exception of my beloved, super warm downie. This time I promised myself […]

Getting serious about training

There are two types of climbers The first type is the people who just love what they do. They love socialising at the gym and drinking wine in Font. They enjoy themselves. And over the years of enjoyment they casually get really good at climbing. Or, they don’t. It doesn’t really matter; they will have fun anyway. The second type of climbers are the poor lot who might lack in social graces, but are well acquainted with the campus board. […]

Snakes and Ladders and Tunnels

The first time I heard about Snakes and Ladders was about two years ago. All of my male friends went for a stag do to Wales, and I wasn’t allowed to join for the fear that my idea of fun would be different to theirs. (They ended up cycling in the rain naked, with an inflatable sheep gaffer taped to the groom’s back, so maybe they were right…) The weather for their trip was bad, and they ended up doing […]

The Scotland road-trip

The road through Glen Clova is rather narrow and grouse are dodging the car’s wheels every five minutes. Andy’s driving slowly but it’s still pure luck that we missed a fat, suicidal bunny. On my first trip to Scotland I was expecting some weather but the skies are blue and it feels like the height of summer. Or at least it looks it through the car’s windows. We will have about three hours for bouldering before we have to head […]

The new blogging resolution

It’s good to take a break sometimes.   Like a long break from blogging. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with this website and writing for work was sucking out all my energy. Too much time in the office and not enough time for dreaming left me grumpy and uninspired. A trip to Rodellar was a nice holiday but I disappointed myself with some really poor climbing. I think I was expecting too much. Time off was what I […]

MA in Anthropology: writing a thesis about climbing

A guest-post written for OWA can be read here. When the time came to choose my MA dissertation’s topic, I was terrified. The plan was to write about something at least remotely connected to my bachelor’s course, but it just wasn’t exciting any more. I watched the eyes of my peers glow as they talked about their topics and I wanted to feel what they felt. I wanted to write about something that continuously drives and inspires me. Climbing. Now, […]

Can the fat acceptance movement help people be fit?

‘Fat acceptance movement’ doesn’t sound good. Let’s face it, it just doesn’t. Being fat is, in most cases, not being fit. Fit is healthy, so we all want to be fit. Not fat. Why would you want to accept obesity? Because according to scientists from Monash University, the University of New England and the University of Canberra, body acceptance can lead to healthier diet and increased exercise. I didn’t want to argue with the result of a study that spanned three […]

Tori Allen interview

Tori Allen is definitely one of a kind. She grew up climbing trees with her pet monkey in Benin, where her parents moved on a Christian mission. Extraordinary childhood was a beginning of an extraordinary life. At the age of ten, back in her native USA, Tori saw her first climbing wall in a sports store. From that day it took her mere six months to be crowned Jr. National Champion. Soon after, she became a professional athlete with a […]

Say hello to the campus board

As the Easter break weather was good for cross-country skiing (I’m guessing), but not so good for climbing, I decided to celebrate the occasion meeting some friends for a super long indoor session. Deprived of my real rock weekend, I was really psyched to climb hard. But not long after I got to the gym, my excitement gave way to frustration. Here I was again, sitting on the mats, staring at another problem I knew was easy, I knew how […]