Saturday, 14 April 2012

Going for double figures...The big 10!

...a short diary entry on the last day by Mark McGowan ...

Over the Pyrenees down into Spain 
The route from Pyrenees to Siurana

When I arrived from over the Pyrenees at my annual Siurana ReAch Coaching Week I wasn't really perpared for how the week would end.

My team of Ninjas was Ben, Louis and Jamie, all from different parts of Scotland (Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Oban) and all of differing ages from 9 upwards.

The coaching began with the usual process of getting the kids to relax and get used to me and each other whilst the parents watched in trepidation making sure their little ones were in 'good' (or at worst 'safe' hands!).

Eventually climbing standards, individual charactoristics and strengths and weaknesses began to emerge. Eventually some scope for coaching emerged and eventually an increase in personal bests and celebrations of successes began to emerge with goals being met and surpassed by some.

Mandy and son Jamie

Louis and Jamie enjoying their leading...
Competition climber & Coach: Jonathan Stocking putting up ropes for the kids
The Ben & Mark show!

But today Saturday (sabado) our final day will be renamed to 'Louis-day' after our team ninja Loui from Edinburgh who's selfless, quiet persistence saw him find the confidence to climb better and bring smiles to his mates the other ninjas who's week had already been made by their worthy attack on their big 7a.

Young Jamie from Oban has showed great inteligence in his climbing and this is reflected through his ability to read the moves quickly and climb at a pace that impressed me and the other Ninjas.

However, young Ben from Aberdeen (aged 9) really impressed me with his unwavering determinationation to keep trying and each time his father (Gus) and I suggested he might need to consider coming down, he just downright refused to give up.

An absolute inspiration to me and when I asked Ben what age he was, he told me:  " I am only 9.., but I am shooting for double figures soon.., soon I will be 10.., the BIG time!"

"Going for double figures...The BIG 10!"

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Eva Lopez Finger Boards & JM Climbing holds coming to UK market

Whilst based in the Spanish and French border of the Pyrenees, our ReAch coach Mark McGowan has also been working in his capacity as a consultant with the innovative manufacturer of Eva Lopez new Finger board systems: Progression & Transgression which is produced by JM Climbing in Barcelona. The combination of the Eva Lopez 6 year PHD study and JMClimbing's manufacturing experience have produced a training system and finger board concept that is so innovative and so  has been produced under copyright.

Mark is combining his own vision of colaborating ReAch Climbing Coach with a hold manufactrer to take bespoke climbing coaching to a new level and JM Climbing have what it takes...

"As well as having Eva Lopez on as a researcher and consultant to their company, JM Climbing have developed the highest quality of training holds that I have seen, where the core material is less succeptable to humidity : This is key in a training environment where it is a huge problem for skin which in turn produces an un-neccessary compromise to a training session. 

My vision for ReAch Climbing Coach goes far beyond what people are experiencing today in the UK in a climbing coached environment and it is great that they are coming over to the UK and I am delighted to help that process."  

Mark McGowan in Island of Gozo

JM Climbing have a whole range of innovative climbing products and are currently looking for UK sales agents to partner with for May 2012 onwards. If you are in the trade with a proven client relationship with major UK specialist retailers then please contact in the first instance Mark at

Referrals from clients:

"...This training season I decided to get all the help I can to speed up my improvement. I needed guidance to work towards my goals in long term. I also needed more vision and opinions about my exercises and weak links. I am glad I can share my training with Mark..." (Ville Mustonen, Finland)

" I met Mark in Glen Nevis on his return to climbing to check out some lines he had in mind for me, I wasn't really training at this point but after a day or two talking and training with him I had a much more structured idea of what to do to improve and I did" (Kev Shields)