Why every sport climber should do lots of practice falls

I finally manage to grab a hold on this overhanging 6b+ route that I’ve failed to manage on the last three attempts, so I frantically reach down for the rope and try to pull it up and clip the next quickdraw. I’ve definitely got my hands wrong here, as I reach down with my right to clip the quickdraw hanging on the left. It’s awkward, and it doesn’t work, so I plummet down. “Wow, that was scary!” – my belayer says, looking at me with wide eyes. But actually, it felt sort of fun…

Those who climb with me regularly will know that I’m obsessed with fall practice on lead climbs at the moment, and I can tell you in all honestly this has really improved my climbing over the last couple of months. It has been helping me to deal with my fear.

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Three ways yoga can help you climb

This is a guest blog from my lovely friend Jade, who is a total yoga guru, on how yoga can help you as a climber. You can find out more about her her yoga retreats on her website, www.jadelizzie.com.

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More and more climbers are discovering yoga, and for good reason. Yoga is about a lot more than just bending. Yes, it helps you improve your flexibility, but it can also help you to build mental and physical strength. All of these have the potential to take your climbing to the next level.

Here’s how yoga can help you climb:

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AcroYoga: learning to fly

“If this is your first Acro yoga lesson, it has been a bit of a baptism of fire,” said Jaqui Wan, the AcroYoga teacher who had just put us through two hours of trying to do things we didn’t know our bodies could do.

It turned out that in fact our bodies couldn’t really do these things, just as we had expected. We watched in awe as some of the more experienced AcroYogis flipped each other around – or “manhandled”, as Jaqui called it.

I had tried AcroYoga only twice before, and the first time was a very short experience, but I fell in love with it at first flight, so to speak. 

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New climbing videos project: Be inspired every day

This is a guest post from  Alex Street, the creator of BoxMonkey.tv, a new website bringing together all the best climbing videos to inspire climbers worldwide. Here, Alex tells you about his new project, which I really recommend you check out!
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Girlclimber.com is a blog I came across while researching some background on a film I was presenting on my website. Anna and I are both drawn to climbing and climbing culture. I loved Anna’s writing style and how she captured the conflict between society’s view of women and its assumptions about climbing. Given my project’s focus on climbing culture, I felt like-minded readers of Anna’s blog should be introduced to my website BoxMonkey.tv.
The idea behind BoxMonkey.tv is a simple one: bring together the world’s most inspiring and professionally produced climbing videos. “Box” like TV, “Monkey” like climbing.
I believe this is something missing from today’s climbing websites. I don’t believe any website or app yet captures and expresses the artistry in climbing films. That’s the destination BoxMonkey.tv aspires to be.
A new, handpicked video is added every day and more than 300 videos are now available. We obsess over the photography used to present each film, using only the most inspiring, powerful and beautiful shots. So this extraordinary culture of cinematography that pursues and records climbing feats in remote, wild and extreme conditions is faithfully represented.
Find us at www.BoxMonkey.tv – the world’s most inspiring collection of climbing films.
So I hope readers of Anna’s blog enjoy the project. I think it’s no mistake that Shauna Coxsey has been one of the most visited areas of the site in recent weeks. It’s a reminder that in British climbing women are often outshining the men, and I’m glad Anna’s blog is giving s voice to that community.
Alex

Working on the roof project in the Reach

At the end of 2015 the Reach built this massive roof overhang lead wall, rightly named The Project.

It is 16 metres in length and the latter half of the route is a roof, which in my opinion is the toughest climbing style there is, as you are essentially climbing on the ceiling.

Here is my attempt at the easiest lead route on this wall, a 6a+. I’m literally missing one last hold!!

For a list of the best climbing walls in London, check out this post.