Climbing stretches…

I’ve been meaning to get these images onto my blog for ages. Seven really useful stretching diagrams to give a good all round stretch, mainly for during and after climbing/bouldering, once the body is warmed up a bit.

(I honestly can’t remember where these are from but I will be more than happy to state a source if someone can let me know).



Another week, another bouldering session. Lots of photo potential in there.

Making progress again after the long lay off and shoulders starting to hurt! Love it.


It’s been a while…

Bouldering at the Warehouse – get ready for aching arms in roughly 24 hours time!

It’s been a while since the last time I went bouldering but was well worth it. New routes to try, the campus board to challenge (it won this time but i’ll be back!) and a nice pint with Mr SKP afterwards : )

The next target is getting on the top-rope and belay course so we can get into the main climbing area and hone the silky skills (??).


Stretching for bouldering…

Just found a really good site with information on stretching techniques for bouldering. Here are the illustrations for the recommended moves…

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At the moment, i’m not doing enough stretching, before or after bouldering. It can take a few days to recover sometimes and this is likely down to poor stretching technique. A bit more time on this should help a lot.

There’s also a lot of good information in there about finger strength. It does suggest 3-5 years for fingers to become reliably stronger, given it is not just the muscles, but the tendons which need to grow. The tendon is the main part of the finger and this apparently needs longer. So, no miracle cures for not being able to do that impossible French traverse!


French traverse…

A successful but knackering session at the Warehouse, after a break of a few weeks.

A new route has been marked out which we tried out. Rated as ‘6b’ French traverse. Well, we got about 1/5 the way around (that’s being generous) and the hands gave up! Bloody hell, it looked easier than it was – the ‘any feet’ tag also lulled me into a false sense of security!

Generally good grips but the whole first section is on the incline which means you’re hanging the whole time. By the time you get near to the next section, the arms and hands were out.

Next time this is being done! : )



Some bouldering adventures the other day, with a re-painted bouldering area with new holds and routes being installed while we were there.

Me lifting off!


Mr SKP on the campus board

No progress with the campus board this time (the beer and big lunch didn’t do anything for my agility!) but Mr SKP did go from 1-10 then back down again! That is a great feeling. More work needed for me on the main central boulder, especially getting the very small holds and cracks mastered.


Bouldering – yellow route…

Some good bouldering last night at the Warehouse, but didn’t attempt the campus board this time!

There’s a particular route in the corner of the bouldering floor which has proved to be very challenging so far. It involves good yellow holds, but more than half of it is under the tricky overhang, which is sloped at something like 30 degrees. This means you have to hang from the holds for the first half of the route which in turn means the energy levels go right down by the time you reach the nearly vertical part.

So, there’s lots of emphasis on arms only and a fair bit of full-reaching for holds. I’ve managed this route a few times now but always after an attempt or two to warm up.

Mr SKP also got some good shots of the main boulder in the centre of the floor and I got some good textures and contrasts which give some nice depth. These are from the tunnel through the main boulder and it was the first time we attempted it. Some good holds but hanging the whole time. Past the middle of the tunnel there are really only finger holds plus a couple of slightly better ones. Good fun though!


Bouldering pics…

Another good session of bouldering and more progress on the main central boulder. I can feel the fingers getting stronger each time and I can now do a couple of lift ups on the middle campus board rungs, with only the tips of the fingers for leverage.


Climbing with the big boys…!

Another step forwards with the climbing… JMK, SKP and I met up for climbing and bouldering (image is JMK at the top of the main climbing area wall – first ever climb!)

We had a couple of climbs then went up to the bouldering area. It feels like a good progression to the main climbing area and more confidence. It’s amazing seeing the people in there and their techniques. The main walls are 13 metres high and the balcony walls are 8 metres high.

The last time I climbed I tried a grade 6, only using blue holds. These were well spaced and rounded, so it was difficult to get a solid grip. This time I tried another 6a on the far wall, with black grips. these were placed in two columns, about 1 metre apart. The holds were better to grip but smaller than the blues, with a lot more traversing across between the two columns. I got a bit stuck near the top but then managed to find a way out!

Some good bouldering from everyone and it’s feeling more comfortable each time, with less hand damage as well!


Bouldering & climbing grades…

I’ve been vaguely thinking about what on earth the whole bouldering and climbing rating system means for a while now. The time before last at the climbing centre, I had the first go at proper indoor climbing (with ropes) for the last 15 years and enjoyed it.

But, making any sense out of the various numbers shown on the cards for each route or climb was not easy. So, i’ve looked through various sites and i’m now even more confused than before!

The one ray of light in my dark corner of existence is this website, which takes a rather more humerous approach to the subject!

Seeing as i’ve only done half of a grade 6 climb so far (plus a few grade 5 ones), i’ll just have to do more then be able to compare the various different types and difficulties.

As a guide, 4 = easy, 6+ = not so easy. It works for me. I’m not even contemplating the scary yellow section of the image! That is probably reserved for people who put videos of their exploits on You Tube! *i’m just jealous!*


Protected: Boys climbing…

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Rock mice…

I took the boys to the Warehouse climbing centre ‘Rock Mice’ group on Monday, just before Jac was going to the dentist.

They have a kids climbing wall which has lights on each hold (pic above from internet shows this well). The start of the group was a free-climbing session where the kids could just do some random climbing, then more organised games.

These were very cool and included a game where each child had to knock out as many lights over the whole wall as possible (and the lights came on in random places), a matching pairs of lights to pairs of sounds, falling lights on each section of the wall (where the kids had to hit the lights before they got to the bottom) and individual sections of the wall were divided up and each child had to hot as many as possible.

This was so fun for both the boys and they loved the environment and activity. There was also a bouldering area on the floor below, with soft crash mats over all the floors and bouldering grips over all the walls, with a slide, hanging ladder bars and cupboard crawl ways in one end of the room!


Bouldering 4 – SKP makes it look easy…!

Another good session of bouldering and SKP & me tried the vertical finger board fixture! Bloody hell that is hard. It’s an amazing feeling standing in front of it when you’re just about to try and lift yourself up it, one rung at a time.

The first try on this was impossible and I couldn’t even move up one rung. The next go was better and at the last attempt I got up to 1 hand on the top thick rung, having started from halfway up, from standing. Next time, i’m trying the same set of thicker rungs but will aim to get to the top, then go down each rung.

A great finger board video sent from SKP which shows this very well + a great soundtrack!

SKP made it look easy and cleared the overhang route at the 1st go! I got across as well, but in a very inelegant way! The climbing shoes I now have are very kindly on long-term loan from SKPs father in law – big thanks to all involved for those! Almost a perfect fit, but the left big toe will need to stretch the side of the shoe very slightly.