Monday, February 28, 2011

Before I bouldered!

Before I started training climbing I trained trampoline - the first video is of me training in 2005, the others are of me playing about in 2009, just messing on trampoline. :)

Training hard

Messing about tomb Raider style!

Messing about in general...

Messing about in general continued!

Lough Bray, no skin and an old injury resurfaces

Found on the web: Image from Dave Flanagan's new guide to Bouldering in Ireland

Well the plan of action was to wake up super early on Sunday morning and head to Glendalough to have a focused morning's work on F@%k All Left, but the weather let us down over night and Tim text me at 6am on Sunday morning to concede defeat - 'rain stops play'

After a half hearted attempt to convince Tim that the forecast looked good, while deep down I knew he was right - everything would still be damp til about 12 - back to sleep I went.

8am came and I was awoken to the sound of another text which read of a fresh offer from Tim to head to Lough Bray. Jumped out of bed, out the door and off I went. I knew nothing about Lough Bray other than the fact that it was where the much hyped line called 'Away from the Numbers' was located.

The walk in was hilarious for me and my stupidly gammy ankles - it's steeply down hill, then steeply up hill again. A small cluster of boulders that host insanely good quality problems considering there are only about 10 lines in all. Absolute gem of a spot once I got there after falling no less than 6 times on my ass.

The rock is sharp and it was so very very cold - once I came off each problem and the pressure was released from my fingertips, it felt like a thousand needles piercing my hands at once, funny thing was, I couldn't wait to get back on and try again and again, each attempt at each problem using up my finger tips at an alarming rate.

The two best lines there are Rainbow (7a) which Tim made great progress on while I struggled with the sequence and the cold. Tim had ticked the problem before and looked like ticking it again, but there's a tricky heel placement and seeing as we were short on time we moved on from it. Beautiful traverse though.

I then found myself at a pretty highball problem called 'Away from the Numbers' (7a+) and thought to myself - 'this looks awesome!' As usual, it was difficult for me to deal with the cold, but I found the opening sequence came together quite well and I never really felt like it was beyond me. I got to the crimp in the middle of the problem, from which you have to throw around the corner to a crack and then work up to the top. I had the crimp and moved my right hand all the way over before attempting to place my heel, but I just couldn't feel my fingers anymore and had to drop off.

It was time to go, and if I'm honest, I'd have to say I had no problem with that cause we got a lot done (doing a few easier problems in between the two harder ones) in a short time and it was so cold!!

I came home yesterday barely able to walk, I was really exhausted - I have a feeling I was still feeling it after Thursdays intensive lamp session! 7 of my finger tips are all but wasted, with only my index finger on my right hand coming away intact - need to use that one more!! ;)

Unfortunately today things aren't so good. about 12 years ago or more, while training trampolining I landed short on a summersault that rotates backwards from your feet to your stomach, then summersaults backwards from your stomach to your feet. The first two skills in the routine below are what I'm talking about:

Though I didn't perform it as beautifully as Durand (trampoline legend that he is) I was attempting it with a full twist in the first and second summersault and fairly much landed on my chin with my feet beside my ears. I have suffered from a slip disc ever since. (honestly I don't know how I didn't break my neck!)

Well for some reason that disc flared up last night and I had to come home from work today and am currently lying on my couch hoping to bejaysus it goes away before this weekends Bouldering Meet.

Fingers crossed. :(

Friday, February 25, 2011

@ night

The opportunity came yesterday to go bouldering at night in Glendalough and I thought all my birthdays had come at once! I knew it would add a totally new dimension to the experience of bouldering.

In the car on the way Diarmuid warned me that the rock just looked different when lit by headtorch and that everything about bouldering in the dark would feel a little dodgy at first... and it did!

For me, The adventure started long before we got to the boulders. The guys cycle in and out of Glendalough at night. It makes perfect sense - it's way quicker and the last thing you'd want to be doing late at night is walking out for 20-25 mins. Only thing was I hadn't cycled a bike in about a year... I don't own a bike and the prospect of cycling in the dark over rocky ground kind of freaked me out during the day... Once we got going though, it was just fantastic.

So we stashed the bikes once it got too rocky and set off on foot. We were down at the ruins crossing the small stream and out of the darkness a small voice cried out 'we're over here!'...


So we looked over the stream with our headtorches and saw what appeared to be a father and son lost in the middle of Glendalough at about 7.30pm in the pitch black with absolutely no idea how to get out. It was so dark you couldn't see your hand in front of you!

Diarmuid offered the guy his torch but he refused, asking only for directions out to the path. Off they went and off we went, we were absolutely bemused at finding two stragglers out and about in the dark!


We arrived at the pathside boulders and started on the easy warm ups and it turns out Diarmuid was right - the rock looks different and it was easy to second guess myself even though I'd done these problems lots of times before - I found though that as each problem passed I became more confident and trusting that my hands and feet knew what they were doing!!

So down to the egg boulder we went and Diarmuid was keen to check out the Egg Traverse. We started with 'Tim's Mantel' (6c) and Diarmuid sent it first go. I tried it and felt pretty strong, but popped off while trying to turn my hand. Second go, and my heel just stuck in place, I turned my left hand, absolutely cranked as hard as I could up to the rail with my eyes shut in desperate hope that nothing would pop, and nothing did... at last, I sent it.

I was delighted! Not only was I climbing at night in what was a pretty stunning setting when lit by torch, I'd just sent a long standing project of mine!

So we moved on to the Egg Traverse and it was the same old same old really: Love the problem, can't do it! We tried every which way, and Diarmuid was making good progress, while I played with trying silly stuff like heel hooking and one arm lock offs that were not working!!

It was around then that James and Dave arrived and as they warmed up, we tried Superstars of BMX (7a+) and Diarmuid had it wired. He made it look so easy, I thought, right this should be no problem...

Couldn't get off the ground... and as a parting gift, my right side was hurting bad!

After that, we went around the other side of the Egg boulder and we tried the traverse (6b+). I had done the two seperate problems that make it up, but could never link them together... I linked them last night though! Delighted with my progress. Unfortunately I popped off the last move of the problem to Diarmuid and James' disgust!

Looking back I'm disappointed but at the time I was over the moon to have pretty much completed the traverse that I couldn't get before. It should go easy, whenever I'm out again.

Pascals (7a+) was next on the list and we all had a go at the opening move, but it seemed a bit beyond us so we moved on to a new problem for me! Dave introduced me to this low ball overhanging boulder problem called 'Squamish' (6a+). This can't be too bad I thought!

It's extremely sequencey and there's a heel toe cam thing at the start that won't work if you've small feet - but I worked out away around that and after about 10 attempts I was reaching for the jug at the top and my left foot popped. As Dave said: 'Unlucky'.

Diarmuid sent it and James got as far as I did twice, but slipped the same way. Lovely little problem, can't wait to get back to it! Last problem we tried was new to me too. It was called Beachball and was a fight or fall mantel that I nearly topped out on first go, but just fell off the end. The first thing I thought was 'WHY did I come off that.... now I'm going to have to try it again! Try it again I did, and send it I did... in the most ungraceful way possible... still though - I'd like to see any boulderer make that problem look pretty!!

It was then that Dave announced that as a right of passage I'd have to send this chimney thing beside Beachball. At first I refused explaining that I like my back without scratches all the way down it... Never wanting to disappoint though, I was quickly talked into it and made it up the top before a dodgy top out that at the end of the night was almost too much of an ask for my arms, but desperation got me over...

It was a long way down!!

We did a couple of other little problems too, including a little slab eliminate that was great fun. The wind had really picked up as the night went on and as we walked back to the bikes it occured to me that the cycle out was not going to be easy!

The wind tried it's best to knock me right off the path and finally got it's way as the bike veered towards the edge of the path and I fell crouching to stop myself falling completely down the side of the path. Conditions improved as we got into the sheltered part of the path and I really enjoyed the cycle out from there on.
Really beautiful nights bouldering. The most fun I've had in ages!
Cheers Diarmuid!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Banana bread...

So a few people asked how I make Banana bread, so here's my very complex and secret recipe ;)

I've put it on my blog cause I reckon it's good bouldering fuel!

8oz Self Raising Flour
2oz Butter
1 Large Egg
2 oz Sugar
3 Mashed Bananas

1) Rub Flour and Butter together until they resemble bread crumbs

2) Add Egg Sugar and Mashed Bananas, mixing thoroughly with a spoon

3) put mixture in a loaf tin (greased and floured)

4) Approx 45 Mins in the Oven at 180 degrees

5) leave to cool in tin for 5 mins

6) take out of tin and leave to completely cool down


Wage war!

Well, the conditions for today couldn't have read any better on paper, but the reality was that when we got to the boulders of Glendalough, despite a clear blue sky and beautiful sunshine, each and every one of them were wet.

Diarmuid had put the word out that conditions were damp, but we decided to check it out anyway and it turns out we should have paid more heed to his warning!

It was a beautiful day though and logic told us that if we went to boulders that were in the sun, they would surely be dry... So we went for a walk up to the Holiday Boulders which was a fantastic hike up the valley, I'd never been up there before and view is amazing, however it's a hard slog and when we finally got to the boulders they were wet, despite the sunshine... UGH!

I hate hiking for that long when there's no climbing at the end of it!!!

Back down the Valley we went and Barry suggested we check out Big Jim and Big Jane - crossing the river was gas craic - it was really wild and all the rocks I'd usually use on calmer days were submerged, so we all just had to jump for the edge... made it just about!

Our efforts were rewarded, the conditions were far away from mint, but at least the rock was drying a bit, so we started on some problems on Big Jim and I got introduced to 'Barry's Problem' (6c) for the first time - big launch from the opening hold to a flatty, and then work your hand up the crack a bit and throw for the jug at the top, Barry got it in a couple of go's, but the throw was just too far for me and Chris!

The three of us made it up 'Duffy's Slap' (6b+). The guy's flashed it, while it took me about 5 attempts. We were all well warmed up at that stage and we went over to 'Andy's Arete' (7a+)

Game on!

Trying the opening sequence, I felt strong and it seemed like it might just come together... But placing my foot on the arete was too much of a puzzle... It's a blind foot placement and I was all over the shop today on it! Taking a positive away from today's session, I was surprised at how strong I felt on it and once I work out exactly where my foot is going I'm going to send it.

It's really encouraging that it's not a strength thing, cause I've been working really hard on getting stronger in my fingers and my arms - I could hold on... I just couldn't place my foot! The last couple of attempts I was getting closer, but there were trust issues between my brain and my boot and I just kept getting spat off even trying it from stand start... Even trying it with Barry physically placing my foot in position!!!

The best advice I've heard in a long time is to wage war on the problems I'm trying... I can't give up, the rock can't win... and it won't!

The guys both left me for dust on Andy's Arete... for both of them, it went like: shoes on, send, shoes off.

End of story... don't blink!

Both Chris and Barry did it completely differently, but both looked rock solid on it. I can't wait to have it wired like that!! It was really cool to watch them send it with such ease.

So after our hiking and playing on a couple of problems on Big Jim and quick session on Andy's Arete I was pretty damn tired, I think we all were... walking is draining!!

We finished up on the egg boulder and Barry tried the 'Egg Traverse' and made the transition from the traverse on to 'The Egg' look easy, but just misplaced his foot and came off. Brilliant effort though!

I tried 'Tim's Mantle' (6c) but just ran of energy and we all called it a day.

Super psyched to get back to training at the board again, I can really see the hours at the co op paying off these past two weekends of outdoor bouldering, even though we only got on a few things today, I can definitely say I'm getting stronger and more confident on the rock.


Friday, February 18, 2011


Swiss psyche!

Stealing Dave's idea of 'Something for the Weekend'...

Here's something for the weekend!

Cheers for posting this on Facebook Paul, really enjoyed it!!


Swanky Swizzy from Savage Climbing on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Glendalough's 7a Ticklist 2011

So Dave raised the question, how many 7a's are there in Glendalough - 18 as listed in the guide.

Below is the list!

Rhythm and Stealth (Big Jane) 7a
Andy's Arete (ss) (Big Jane) 7a+
BBE (Pathside) 7a
No. 6 (beside BBE) 7a
Mark's Problem (Egg Boulder) 7a+
Egg Traverse (Egg Boulder) 7a
Superstars of BMX (Pathside) 7a+
No. 31 (Behind the rails) 7a
Roadhouse And Mindgeback 7a
Gimp Mask 7a
King Kong 7a
F@*k All Left (Before the Goat) 7a
The Goat (Behind the Cherry) 7a
The Cherry 7a
Chillax Left 7a
The Mentalist 7a+
The Fin 7a+
Hugh (Holiday Boulder) 7a

I'll take that challenge!!!! ;)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hang on a minute!

Image: Kev Marnane, stolen without permission from Colm O Riain

So yesterday I wrote a piece about my first send of a 7a...

I took it down because 7a is a big deal to me and I don't want there to be any question over the first one I complete!

However, the fun I had on Chillax Left yesterday should be noted!!

To recap:

Most of the super strong boulderers I have the good pleasure of climbing with do Chillax Left with a massive throw backwards from the starting jug. It's a really impressive move! When we arrived at the Chillax boulder yesterday in Glendalough I really wanted to see if I could piece this problem together.

The three of us, Myself, Kev Marnane and Colm O Riain all had a go on Chillax and several attempts later, Colm sent it at last! Smiles all around as he stood on top of the boulder and said, 'about bloody time!'

Great effort from him though and I told him to enjoy it!!

In the meantime, Kev and I were trying this legendary throw backwards from the opening jug with no success. Along came Kev Griffin and John Howard.

Perfect I thought - I can get some beta on this seemingly impossible opening throw!

Alas there was no magic foot placement, no trick to it. It was just nails, though John made it look like playtime! The point was then made that after the climbing gods hit this massive throw, they heel hook the opening slopers of Chillax!

Well, if the slopers are in for your heels they're in for your hands! THEM'S THE RULES!

So I didn't throw for the opening for Chillax, nor did I throw backwards for the start hold that the boulder gods use! I used an intermediate sloper as my opening throw and caught it!

Moving my left hand along then to the next hold I brought my heel up to the slopers on Chillax and carefully caught the next crimp with my left hand, quickly crossing my right hand over to the adjacent crimp. Heel was bomber, hands felt good and I heard Kev Griffin shout 'Go!' as Dec had done on White Stick the day before! I threw for the jug above my head and caught it! I was on and I thought... 'I can top this out!'

I love that, when you know you have it in you, and everyone's shouting 'c'mon', and 'go!' and you and you alone know you have the trump card and can do it! I always get a little wry smile on my face when I know I have fuel left in the tank to finish a problem, it's the best feeling!

so I slapped again with my left hand to the final jug and DISASTER! my feet cut loose to my suprise and as I swung around they brushed the mat on the way by! 'DAB!' was shouted by someone... ehem John ehem! I topped it out anyway cause I knew I hadn't used the mats, I'd simply brushed by them... I knew what I was in for though!

Sitting on top of Chillax Left I got the following praises from those below:

"Well done, if you can live with yourself!"
"That dab... I just don't know..."
"You should be happy... if you can sleep tonight!"

and so on!

I deserved all of it though and I knew it! So down off the rock I came and got straight back on Chillax left. Moved well through the opening sequence and though I tried not to cut loose as I caught the final jug, the inevitable happened and to my delight there was a deafening sound of silence as I glued my knees to my chest in an all out effort to keep my feet from hitting the mat just below as I swung through the air and re-established my feet on the rock!

Squeaky clean send!

Twice in a row, and I sat on top of what was, at the time, my first 7a. I was on top of the world, and chuffed to bits!


There have been more than a few people since, saying that in their opinion Chillax Left is not really 7a material and that's cool, it's their opinion. Yes, It's probably a soft grade, but it is noted in our shiney new guides as a 7a which is why I targeted it!

7a for me is a benchmark, it's a mental thing, like: 'I've got one in the bag, I can do another!' I'm not convinced that I've done a 7a now, so the quest continues, and I've no doubt having had more success bouldering this weekend than ever before, that it won't be too long before I get to the top of a problem baring that elusive grade!

Like the big girl I am, I got upset last night when the questions came up about the grade of Chillax Left. But today I had to think to myself...

Hang on a minute! Why do I climb... is it purely to top out a 7a? and after that... what next?!

Surely that's not all there is to it for me...

Climbing doesn't mean 7a to me, it's just where I'm heading at the moment. In the meantime I have to take stock and remember what climbing does mean to me:


Saturday, February 12, 2011

6c, little bother...

Glendalough was in sweet condition today as we headed to the boulders, the more I visit that place the more it feels like home - I find it pretty cool that others just see big boulders where boulderers see beautiful, classic and sometimes new lines to climb.

Got stopped by an unusually high amount of inquisitive walkers asking about boulder pads... a phenomenon that's still new to me... though it's getting old - at this stage I think there should be an information stand explaining what we do with a big - DO NOT DISTURB on walk ins and walk outs sign at the bottom!

Having said that, Glendalough is a popular spot not only for boulderers, but for the general public and if I didn't know, I'd probably ask too!

So this weekend marks the one year anniversary of my outdoor bouldering career and I really wanted to do something that was going to push my grade.

A year ago I was taken to Glendalough by Sean Marnane and it pissed rain! I was bouldering indoor problems up until then and was interested to see what all this talk of outdoor bouldering was about! In the rain Sean showed me around the pathside boulder problems of Glendalough and I thought... pff, this is just dangerous and indoors is much better!!

I clearly had no idea what I was talking about!!

On the way home it stopped raining and Sean suggested we check out the Scalp and it was there that I topped out on my first problem beside the road on some easy warm up arete thing. I hit the top hold and said, "I'm gonna jump off now", to which I was told, eh no! over you go!

Good memories!!

Back to the present and today a year on, I wanted to see if I could get a 7a in, but it didn't look good! I wasn't in the best form I've ever been in and though we warmed up well, meeting up with Dec half way through, I just wasn't as strong as I thought I'd be today, but these things happen.

Kev found 2 new problems near the path and sent them, the first is very easy, but worth doing as part of a warm up, the second is super tricky and left me and Dec stumped for a while! Dec soon topped out though and I reckon it goes at about 6a. I didn't get it and though I was just happy to be out, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach that this wasn't going to be my day at all!

Dec suggested we check out the Egg Traverse and we all made good progress on it, but the end is so tough!! None of us had an idea how to get around the corner, so Barry if you read this, pass on some beta please!!!

Moved on to Black art and I was psyched to try it again! But alas, I think my power training needs a few more weeks development before I go near it again!!! Dec did laps of it, Kev nearly topped out but came off the VERY end twice! We'll go back tomorrow for his send!

So that sinking feeling in my stomach was well established as we moved on to White Stick. Aside from the warm up I hadn't sent anything - not even Kev's new 6a! This wasn't how the day was supposed to go!!

Using Tim's beta of sticking a heel on the corner of the arete of White Stick and then bringing you foot around (As opposed to sticking your heel around the corner, which seems more natural) proved invaluable though and I was able to skip the initial slap and reach statically to the higher crimp... Holy moly I felt solid and the whole thing felt easy!! moved my right foot up to the launch pad and jumped for the top missing out by only a fraction! Dec took his next go and SLAP, he hit the lip and over he went - SWEET!

Two attempts later I was on the high crimp, my right foot was in position and I was ready to go, Dec shouted 'GO!' and I just jumped, blindly put my hand out and STICK! I was there! I was there and I was comfortable, I took a breath, looked around, left hand up to the jug, feet up, over I went, 6c eile liomsa!!

Sinking feeling gone, still smiling!!

Went then to check out 'The Goat' but all three of us were a bit tired and it's a tough problem!! So we moved on to see 'F@%k all Left' and though I had at that stage blown two tips and was wasted tired, I thought... hmmm this seems doable with a bit of work!

My first 7a?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Advances in sports equipment

Following on from Neal's posts about advances in climbing equipment and specifically his post about the new crazy sticky 5.10 rubber, I found myself thinking about Eamon's reply to said post... it kind of does seem a bit like cheating to use rubber that's SO sticky, but guys 40 or 50 years ago would probably have had the same opinion of the boots we use today...

Human strength, talent and all out relentless training can take you so far, but it's the minute advances and changes in sports equipment that often drive achievement to the next level.

This is is perfectly demonstrated in the sport of gymnastics where floor routines 40 years ago were performed on a carpet with no springs and you had routines like this:

Fast forward to Beijing 2008 and we see a sprung floor. Gymnasts from the 1960's would have every right to say... isn't having springs under the carpet cheating?!, but I think everyone would agree the result of these springs has driven the sport to the very edge of what humans are capable of:

So is crazy-sticky climbing shoe rubber cheating or pushing the sport... if they can put springs under the carpet in gymnastics and advance the sport to the level it's at, then I say bring on the spiderman shoes!! Some of the really strong climbers I've seen could do incredible things with shoes that stick for even a fraction longer...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Day for the Ducks!!

Didn't get out today, but training's off to a good start! -

2 hours in the Co op and after warming up I started with 10 single arm throws on each arm and then 10 attempts at 2 throws in problems I know I can't do.

I started on a single arm right hand throw from a jug to a jug, I sized it up and it looked easy, but I missed it on the first 3 or 4 go's. It was only when I realised I needed to put some power into the move and really go dynamically at it that I caught the throw. DUH!!

That really opened my eyes as to how statically I like to climb. I never favour throwing or jumping for holds... I always like to lock off and move instead.

I was then trying a throw in a problem I've been on for months, literally, and can't catch the last hold - it's a really awkward jump. I had been told by Kev to put all 4 fingers on the crimp that I throw from and use my thumb, as I usually only catch it with 3 fingers. Today I completely forgot that advice and was making no progress at all jumping for the final hold until young Niamh looked at me trying the problem and asked afterwards... "would you not better trying it with all your fingers on the crimp?!"

After that I got within mm of catching the final hold. Cheers Niamh!

I think it'll go soon, if I can remember the advice everyone's shouting at me!!

Went to try and do a bit of work on the campus board, but aside from going up the board 1 rung at a time I wasn't sure what else to do at this early stage as I'm not really capable of much more!

Ron suggested starting with my two hands on one rung and with my right hand campusing to the next rung and then back down without moving my other hand and then repeat on the left hand.

Did 10 on each arm and thought I'd better leave it be. I wasn't sore at all, but I didn't want to be either. I have a feeling that what I'm doing now is quite intense and I don't want to pick up an injury, so the 'slowly slowly catchy monkey' approach is being taken!!

Then worked on the new traverse problem on the 45 degree board, with Ron and Howard - with a new finish by Howard that gives hope to mere mortals and definitely gives more of a flow to the problem, though I think that's may be an excuse cause I can't get near the original end to it!!

Great craic training today, absolutely psyched for the climbing meet in a few weeks, the Paddy's Weekend Adventure (whatever it turns out to be!) and then Font... March is looking good!!!

Skin is fecked!

Friday, February 4, 2011

8 Weeks

Right... 8 weeks to go before Font 2011 part 2

No messing this time, training begins today with some serious rest.

My focus over the next few weeks is going to be development of power. My ability to jump, despite 12 years trampolining, is non existant and my dynamic moves (throws & dead points) need a lot of attention.

Need to work on my abilty to campus, cause sometimes you just have to!!!

With the exception of campus training, I have no idea where to start with developing all that power though... I know what I want the end result to be... but how do I get there, and how do I get there in 8 weeks?!

Any thoughts or tips?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Movie Clip: Fontainebleau Feb 2011

Bouldering traverse in 95.2, tricky top out spat me off!!

20 a day

Mileage was the name of the game in Font this January trip, almost no projects, no dwelling just a few send attempts at each problem and then on to the next one.

I believe I got through about 20 problems or more a day and as the hours of bouldering passed, my ability to move through the problems improved and my confidence just kept getting better. It was so cold during our trip that I found if I stopped that was the end of that! It got down to about -2 or -3 at some points and any chance of hanging around projecting something was kind of out of the question!

I stopped only once on the third day of bouldering to do a little bit of work on a project of mine called Beatle Juice (7a+) in Franchard Cuisinere. Repeated parts of what I'd done before but this is a long long problem and I didn't have the power this time round. The moves, all of them sequencey and strong, are pretty dialled now, so I think I just have to get strong enough to put it all together.

Kev Power tried it too... and well... he came, he saw, he crushed... It took him a few go's at the individual moves and a five goes from the start before he topped out. Super impressive.

I think I'll need a few more sessions on it!

Brilliant fun though, I love that boulder, she's a beauty!!

Got to see three more areas of Font this trip, 95.2, La Roche aux Sablots and Bois Rand.

I think Bois Rand is a cool place to go first day to warm up and get a feel for the forest, wasn't hugely impressed with 95.2. It's ok, but it doesn't live up to the likes of Aprement, Cuisinere and Isatis so we moved back to La Roche aux Sablots which I think is a brilliant spot.

The guide points out that it has one of the best blue circuits in the Forest.

So we did 2 days on, 1 day off, 2 days on and during the bouldering days the pace was pretty good if not a little easy going. With the lack of pressure to send anything out of my comfort zone, it became all about the fun and games as we ran around problems ticking 95% of them off as we went.

Our accommodation was absolute luxury, a beautiful gite in a village called Recloses that made evenings comfortable and our day off a pleasure!

The five days seem to whizz by and even though (with the exception of Clare) I was surrounded by a group of crusty trad climbers ;) that would rather do anything than talk about bouldering or admit they were on a bouldering holiday (prefering to refer to the trip as a practice session for real climbing!) I really enjoyed myself and I think the trad climbers did too!!!

I think the next trip will have to have more daylight available, earlier mornings and (now that I know how to warm up in Font properly), more focus on problems that will push my grade and take me out of my comfort zone.

Great trip!!

Wicklow bouldering, by Leo!

Three From Glendalough, Co. Wicklow, Ireland from Leo McKeever on Vimeo.