This month we get inside a Climbers Mind with expert climbing coach Paul Jackson
“There I am clinging to the overhanging rock face. A few feet above me I can see the small edge that I must get my left hand on and just above that the big resting jug for my right hand. But I am already pumped, my forearms are screaming. I know that my last bolt protection is about 3 meters below and that means a long fall, about 8 meters, my hands are starting to sweat and my limbs ache, I just want to give up, the fall won’t be that bad! Looking down I catch the eye of my belayer, ‘The Captain’ as he is known, old school climber of many years, always watching you, always ready, he will never drop you. internet statistics Suddenly I am jolted out of my stupor, Captain shouts, “go on boy go for it”, “GO ON MOVE”!! Back to basics without hesitation, pull, step up, left hip in, left hand reach, latched the small edge. More shouts from Captain, right hip in and reach for the jug hold with right hand, GOT IT!!! Relief, but must clip the bolt first and then relax. Clipped, my breathing subsides, I shake the lactate from my arms and re-chalk my hands. “Thanks Captain”. That’s the crux of the climb done, now for the last 5 meters, wow do I feel good!”
Climbing comes in many forms, urban indoor walls, scrambling, British traditional, sport, bouldering, big wall, alpine and mountaineering. All forms of climbing have their own forms of exhilaration and adrenaline and fun. All are great for the mind, body and soul and can push you to your limit like nothing else. In sky diving or space jumping once you jump that is it, but in climbing you are on the edge of that jump during the entire climb, get it wrong and you fall, get it right and exultation! Climbing appeals to those that seek personal achievement rather than competing with others, it offers a kind of solidarity that other sports don’t offer
One of Paul’s favorite places to climb is on the Greek island of Kalymnos, which has its very own climber’s town; Massouri (is a climbing paradise in the Aegean sea just a few miles off of the Turkish coast. With some 3000 plus routes to suit everyone from beginner to the elite climber, all within easy reach, great affordable restaurants and accommodation and 99.9% guaranteed sunshine. As well as the climbing the island offers scenery, caving, kayaking, scuba diving, lovely beaches and due to its laid back nature is great for the whole family.
For more information go to http://climbkalymnos.com, a great online facility that gives just about all the information you ever need to know about climbing and visiting Kalymnos.
For beginners there are many indoor artificial climbing centers around the World offering taster sessions and training such as Edinburgh International Climbing Arena, the largest climbing in Europe or Manchester City Climbing Centre which is uniquely built inside a 19th century Cathedral!
Arguably the best artificial climbing tower in the World is Excalibur at Bjoeks Climbing Centre in the Netherlands; Styled and designed to impress the Excalibur tower is guaranteed to provide an adventure you will never forget at 37 meters high and with 11 meters of overhang this outdoor wall is certainly a challenge for serious climbers. However, there are some gentler climbs and the facility offers smaller climbing walls for beginners.