Injury and Climbing for 2015, the highs and lows of climbing and coaching


It’s been a few months since I last wrote an update and I’ve been very busy. Things have been up and down, it was very exciting launching Onsight Coaching and the business has been slowly gathering pace and we’ve been developing some interesting products, both for indoor climbing and on rock.

Rodellar, Injury

Having fun in Rodellar

But a significant part of the year has been taken up with injury. Shortly before Rodellar I started to develop a hip impingement, for the first few weeks it was more of an annoyance than anything and didn’t limit me, but it soon got much worse. Initial rehab seemed to make it even worse, with days when I could walk up steps my range of motion was so limited.

Something had to be done and I went along to Care for Health, a Chiropractic and Physiotherapy clinic in Godalming. An MRI confirmed I’d torn cartilage in my hip and had major inflammation. Treatment started in earnest and started to produce immediate positive results.



Cake, Beer and Climbing

Cake, Beer and Climbing in Frankenjura

With only two weeks of rehab under my belt I was off to Frankenjura in Germany for a 2 week climbing trip. Unsure of what I would be able to do I took it very easy. Limiting myself to onsighting steep routes and top-roping harder routes as I couldn’t risk falling off and making my hip worse. The trip was a huge success with a good mix of interesting onsights and top-rope ascents of Magnet one of the first 7c in the world put up by the legend Kurt Albert, Sautanz (7b+) another Kurt Albert Classic and Chasin the Train (7c) first climbed by the American phenomenon John Bachar.


The climbing wasn’t the only reason to visit Frankenjura, the main part of the trip was based around a morning at the famous climbing gym Café Kraft and a ‘coach the coach’ session with their head coach Dicki Korb. The session aimed for me to understand how they analyse a climber and what they prioritise in terms of training. Although I was familiar with much of what they taught their initial emphasis on mobility was an eye opener and something I’m very much exploring from a personal angle and coaching angle.

This nicely fitted in with Neil Gresham coming down to White Spider in September to deliver the first of his Masterclass Coaching Academy modules, the first on Technique. As with the Café Kraft course, not much was new to me, but the process and application of the his knowledge was exceptional and will certainly help me deliver better coaching.


British Junior Lead Championships

Bouldering, Climbing

Holly climbing on Gorilla Warfare after the BLCC

With a nice amount of climbing and coaching courses under my belt it was time to kick of the next competition season. The first event of the year was the BLCC, held at Awesome walls in Sheffield. With three members of the White Spider Competition Squad attending, it was going to be an interesting event seeing how the dealt with the pressures of a lead comp. Some tough route reading decisions and one minor error left Lucy and Holly out of the finals with Immy going through to the Girls A final. Climbing nicely and smoothly on the technical and powerful finals route she looked nicely in control. Unfortunately a tough sequence throw her off, but it was a great performance and she finished a superb 3rd place.




Climbing in Margalef, Spain

trying Innuendo in Margalef, Spain

Margalef brings us right back around to the present, a 6 day trip to re-acquaint myself with my old project Innuendo and a nice bit of climbing to sort my head out. Well, that was the plan. Easyjet had other plans by loosing our luggage for 24hours, once it was retrieved it was back to the plan.

Innuendo was played on, but a decision had to be made to push on with the redpoint process or focus on fixing a few weaknesses. With my fitness still at barely 50% of what it was I packed it in and got stuck into some nice onsighting. Long days at the crag climbing some of the best routes Margalef has was the perfect way to build back up my confidence and work on my footwork and technique. On my penultimate day I nearly pulled of an onsight of the powerful 7c Penelope Cruz and was prepared for an exciting last day. Unfortunately the weather had other plans and it was Tapas in Tarragona instead.

The future is also looking exciting, nearly injury free and with the first Blokfest of the season having just come and gone, more Junior Cups on the horizon and a couple more trips to Spain planned 2015 is looking to end in style!