Flow, climbing, and optimal human performance

Imagine it’s last day of your climbing trip. You’ve managed a few good sends, but there’s still one unclimbed project remaining. You’re trying your best, but you can’t put the moves together. You should have sent in your previous session. The frustration builds up, and a sense of disappointment creeps in despite your best intentions not to be childish. The boulder is some ten moves long and you’ve fallen off every single one, even the easy finish. The crux is […]

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 […]

Bouldering in Prilep, Macedonia

We travelled to Macedonia exactly a year ago and I regret not noting the details of our trip as many have fled my memory since. It was definitely a fun microadventure and one I wholeheartedly recommend if you find yourself roaming around the Balkans. Expect being ridiculously hot and most of the time lost. __________ On the border between Bulgaria and Macedonia the queue of trucks stretched for a good kilometre or two. There were only a few passenger cars crossing […]

The Fontainebleau Pillow Book

It’s been so long since I wrote my last post and there so much going through my head that I don’t really know where to start. Instead, I’ll start in the very middle of all the ideas that I had, just note down the most important points for you to consider. I call it the Fontainebleau Pillow Book because it all relates to the six weeks we spent in France and because I’ll follow the literary example of Sei Shōnagon, […]

Getting Stuck on “Zippatrocity”

I was first introduced to the most esoteric of grit classics by my friend Martin during a brief time when I lived in Sheffield. Martin had been projecting “Zippatrocity” for a few years already, and convinced me to go out with him to the Cowperstone. After a quick lesson in taping I begun to rather ineffectively wedge my body parts into the crack. The first part of the traverse was seeping, but the second, easier half seemed quite inviting. I enjoyed […]

Climbing: Managing A Finger Injury

The internet is full of advice on what to do when a finger injury happens, but most of it seems incomplete, conflicting, and really darn confusing. So, I decided to put together this step by step guide based on my own experience. Please note I’m not a medical specialist, and the list below only sums up what I got to know through reading and asking around. It worked for me, it might work for you, but possibly something else would […]

5 Epic Winter Vacation Spots for Climbers

❄Guest post by Rachel O’Conner❄ I feel like I blinked and this year was over. Did we really get 365 days? I demand a recount. But as I convince myself to come to grips with the fact that this year is ending, it’s also time for me to make my annual bucket list. It’s not your typical bucket list, as you might have guessed, but it’s one that I check off before the year ends. Hey, who knows how long we […]

The Zen Art of Climbing Projects

Let’s get this one out of the way: I don’t know much about long term projects. The most sessions I spent on a boulder problem is six*, both on ‘Papa Jango’ (7B/C), which I managed to top out, and on ‘The Green Traverse’ (7A), which still eludes me (I even managed to fall from the easy finishing mantle). But what I know very well is the intense, internal battle that happens when you can’t make it happen despite feeling like […]

When a Pulley Snaps: The Honest Account

It’s a tale we’ve all heard before. The dreaded sound of a popping tendon, hollow and sharp as a snapping twig, that puts you out of the game for weeks, months, and sometimes even longer. It can happen to beginners insisting on playing on the fingerboard too early, intermediates overzealous on the campus board, and even to pros projecting away on their super futuristic lines. It’s almost inevitable, a normal part of our sport, but we fear it like nothing […]

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 […]