Wednesday, 18 June 2014

On One Hand, it may be 8a, with another, it is 6c...

Practicing Contusion (6c) one handed
for Para Climbing Session

My coaching has mainly been focused on VI (Visually Impaired) and Autistic climbers but I thought it would make sense to begin my own work on getting a better understanding of what it is like to climb with one hand. Mainly to see what was possible within my own coaching abilities when working with these guys from the Para Climbing team.

Kev Shields on First ascent of Cu Sith-E7 6c-Pic-Dorota Bankowska

I climbed briefly with a well known climber Kev Shields in Scotland a few years ago and we discussed the possibilities of sport climbing and the technical and physical implications of climbing steeper rock without full use of two hands.

The one handed crux (still working on this move!)
 In Wales, at The Orme, I gave it my first go on the classic wall climb of Contusion (6c) on the Mayfair Wall. Not easy, but definitely possible. I know the route well and was trying to decide which hand to opt for as I felt the crux move would be better with the left hand, then I realized, in real life, you don't have a choice.

Tried it with my right. Not easy but not impossible. All but one move. Very interesting how much one works other parts of the body and how the easier sections become hard and the expected harder sections are less challenging than expected. A different method but great climbing...

If you are a Para Climber and looking for a coaching session outdoors or inside, here in Wales, then please contact me at to arrange a coaching plan.

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)