Sunday, April 29, 2012

This blog has moved!

I'm now rocking it at:

Why? I hear you ask? Cuz blogger's too restrictive with many things especially when it comes to media links. See you at the new dig!

Monkey retires his Blogger Blog.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Monkey tries to hold on

"So is this a side-pull or what?"

If you're a regular indoor climber, this should be a familiar scenario.

You're making the plunge, trying your hands on that route a grade higher than your current comfort zone. You psyche yourself up, even though on the back of your mind you know you're probably not going to make it. You start making your ascent thinking "This is not so bad", and then it hits you.

"I'm supposed to touch this with my HAND?"

Disclaimer: This post focuses on indoor holds mainly.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Smells Like Teen Spirit...

You sure everyone said they were here...!?
Anyone who knows me or has seen the picture of me in my first post (you know the one of the handsome guy), may have realised (I have been told I look older) I'm a teenager (However normally I'm told I look younger), and recently I have been pondering why I know so few teenagers older than 16 down at my local centre.

Up to the age of 16, there are plenty of young climbers because climbing centres run clubs, but after this age many tend to drop off the radar. But why? (Clearly not because they are spending hours looking at funny cat pictures.)

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Adam Ondra Phenomena

Adam on Le Planta De Shiva
one of the five 9b routes he has done
Adam Ondra is undoubtedly one of the worlds top climbers and arguably the best, but why? How has the 19 year old made it to the top of the climbing world?

So for those of you who don't know who Ondra is, let me give you a quick bio:

Born in the Czech Republic (Brno to be precise) on February 5th 1993, he began climbing at 6 and managed to lead 6a in the same year, then by the age of 8 he had successfully on sighted 7b+. The grades keep going up until he hits fame in the magazines in 2005 at the age of 12 for on sighting 8b. Ondra climbs his first 9a in 2006 and in March 2011 he became the second person ever to on sight 8c+ (Kidetasunaren balio erantsia) just under a month after leading 9b (La Capella) and has since on sighted a further 6 8c+'s. For those of you interested in bouldering he put 2 8c's(V16) under his belt in November 2011 (Big Paw and From Dirt Grow the Flowers).

His competition career has been pretty much the same story of success and he has won a number of events and is the first person to have won both the IFSC Bouldering World Cup and the IFSC Lead World Cup.

If you want a more detailed bio I'd recommend reading his Wikipedia page, his unofficial website or watching the Wizard's Apprentice.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monkey Judges your Belay

"Just calling to check. You wanted slack, right?"
I said previously that Rock Climbing is a pretty safe sport - since over 50% of the sport is about safety.

Of course, safety only works if it's taken seriously. So today, I'll talk about belaying.

If you don't already know how to belay, get lessons from qualified instructors before reading on - I'm not going to teach you how over the internet.

Also, I don't care if your friend knows how to belay - unless they've been trained to be an instructor, don't blag free lessons off them - it'd be like asking a bomb disposable expert how to defuse a single bomb and then head to the war zone, instead of learning how explosives and detonation devices work.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Kiaran Ponders Projects

That Guy looks familiar (maybe even attractive)... Oh wait it's me!

Part of the fun of climbing is that you're constantly making new friends. Sucks if you have the memory of a wet sponge like me when it comes to people's names, but who needs to remember passwords when you can just etch it on your laptop?

Well recently I've met this upcoming talent Kiaran, or Kenan or Kel. Anyway, he wants to join in this blogging lark. So please give him a warm welcome.

Take it away Kiaran.

Firstly I better say hi! My name's Kiaran, I climb and Stan is letting me post on his blog (not quite sure he understands what he's let himself in for...)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Monkey Looks back at a Year of Climbing

THIS is what I climb atop for my euphoria.
This Thursday I hit another milestone - redpointing my first 6c lead route at Redpoint Climbing Centre.

It was my second attempt at the route, after falling off the crux during my onsight attempt last week. Oh and I mentioned doing this at Redpoint Centre because of their supposed higher grade level (*shrugs*).

So I messed up a move at one point, which left me wrong handed at a crucial section - managed to slowly sorted myself out and recovered; rested properly and cruised the crux with conviction.

As I topped out though, I realised that I wasn't get the sense of euphoria that I was expecting. It wasn't like I was playing it cool either, I just felt calm (but not zen) about it.

Having thought about it on the way home, I suddenly I realised exactly why - it's been exactly one year since I had my first climbing session, after passing my belay test.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Monkey goes Hands Free

Just to contradict the muggles out there who think climbing is all about the arms, today, I'm going to talk about hands free climbing.

"Are you kidding me?" is the general response I get when I suggest it for the first time to any of my fellow climbers. "Oh no, not again." would be the other common response when I reminded them the idea during our next session.

Some people think I'm obsessed with the idea, but then I've only done it about 3 or 4 times over the past 6 months. Though I sure as hell suggested it a lot.

So what's the dealio then?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Monkey Reviews RedPoint Climbing Centre (part 1)

Oh right... it's lower 'p'...
Today I'm going to break away from the norm. I'm going to write a review about RedPoint Climbing Centre. No jokes, no unrelated pictures - hopefully just concised views about this little place.

Yeah right...!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Monkey Progresses

I was so chuffed, I grew a fist mustache
So this weekend, I spotted a nasty looking 6c+ that I still hadn't tried yet. Monkey saw, monkey climbed.

My expectations were as non-existence, besides maybe falling off a load of times, apologising to Eloise on the camera and cringing at the recording to figure out what went wrong.

Except I didn't really get stuck at all. I fell off on a move because I rushed into it, I could have recomposed myself, I could have grown a manly beard. Hindsight is a bitch eh? Could I seriously have on-sighted a 6c+? Who knows? Who cares?

So instead tonight I decided to tried another 6c route, and on-sighted the shit out of it.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Monkey Sells Rock Climbing (Part 1)

£10 a rock climb, get 'em while they're ripe!

This article was going to be along the lines of "Is Rock Climbing Right For Me?" But let's be honest here, when was the last time one of your friends said, "I was thinking about doing rock climbing, what do you reckon?"

... I'll tell you when. NEVER!

Admit it, the conversation usually goes more like this:

"Sorry, I can't come with you to the Pencil History Museum this weekend. I'm doing something more worthwhile - like rock climbing. You should come along!"

"Rock climbing? But I'd never have imagined you as a climber! Alas, such exciting sport is out of my grasp, my arms are simply too feeble for something like that."

Friday, February 3, 2012

Monkey is a Pervert

Caught black and white handed.
If you don't already know, I have a large stash of personal videos that I share on the internet.

What you probably didn't know (but possibly suspected) is that I also like to explore other people's stashes as well.

So what is it with my obsession of Rock Climbing videos?

Do I particularly like staring at my own arse for prolonged periods?

Do I frequently compare mine to other people's?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Monkey talks about Lead Climbing

Yep, not scary at all.
Let's get this straight, I'm a pussy. Lead fall practice is something I still suck at doing. I hate the rollercoaster rush, even if I feel obliged to jump on them to prove my manliness.

Almost every one will tell you that you need to practice enough falls to get the fear out of you. Get to the top of the wall, don't clip in at the screwgate and just jump.

When you fall enough times, you'll learn to trust the rope and the safety etc. You want to know your belay slave partner is good at their job as well to be confident with your falls.

I call bullshit on that theory.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Monkey ignores his Lovebird

Lovebirds are smug creatures,
just look at the background...
According to Skip (what a suitable name for a climber), I'm at the disadvantage with rock climbing; according to Gravity (which I may name my son one day), I'm at the advantage, so it all balances out I guess.

Like most climbers, I didn't understand the concept of climbing with your feet. What I lacked in skills, I made up for with my unfound confidence in my climbing abilities my the early days of climbing.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Monkey thinks with his brain

So that's where all the climbers went.
Winter is a funny season. You've got the annual winter-clean for your bank account Christmas, snow, daylight saving, scarfs, Darwinian punishment for clubbers who don't believe in cloak rooms, and excessive consumption of food & drinks with people you see once a year. Happy days.

I have no data to validate this, but I'm confident staff at RedPoint would confirm that client level tends to dip with the temperature during the festive period.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Monkey decides to start a blog

This wall was dedicated to Skittles
Yep, the first post introduction, explanations of the whys and whats, yadi yada ya (that's not Chinese, before you ask).

Let's talk history. I was born in the Year of the Monkey under the Chinese zodiac (I'd have preferred Panda but apparently that only comes round like once every 127 years), and just like everyone else who were born in the same Lunar Year, I was born slim and agile like a monkey and I 'Entertain' others with my antics, sometimes with horrific consequences.

I'll be honest, climbing hadn't always been 'my thing'. You see, I've got this slight handicap where I shit bricks at high altitude. It's not exactly vertigo or acrophobia, I guess height isn't the issue, the idea of falling is - and there's nothing irrational about that.