Monday, 29 August 2016


It's been two years since I bust my shoulder hitting a fence post on my bicycle and concussing myself along the bank of the Llyn Padarn near Llanberis in North Wales. It hurt!

And two years out of hard training for rock climbing felt hard but also lead to some great adventures and developments less selfish had I not hit the fence post so selfishly at speed!

I always struggle when my body cannot deliver the level I want in climbing and I usually find myself straying off track towards some other things that holds my attention. But I have always found that a break has this great capacity of regenerating one's motivation to a newer, higher level than before. Some people never slumber with their motivation and just keep trucking along, but that's just me, I enjoy the break and variety of other things.

Right now I want a project. I want something that will hold my mind, require a trained body and be worth a six month journey back to what I was physically and beyond. It would be nice to record the journey in some way, wither on the internet or through film.

Grotte de Sabart

I have really enjoyed working with filmmakers,  both the in my earlier climbing career with the BBC back in the day and more recently with the Alpine Adventures featuring the Eiger and the Matterhorn.  It would be nice to combine all the skills and disciplines that are required over a six month period to see what it takes to change one's body and overall approach to improve an ability or achieve a personal climbing goal.

I've climbed and trained with some world class climbers from all the different disciplines in climbing from trad climbing, bouldering, sport climbing, competition climbing and alpine climbing with climbers like Johnny Dawes, Malcolm Smith, Stevie Haston and more.

I have learned when I could and tried to focus where I should and always tried to move my climbing forward. But the most stimulating climbing experience I have had in terms of training was with Stevie in the Grotte de Sabart cave in the Pyrenees where he introduced me to the amazing world of three dimensional climbing on one of the world's most amazing roof climbs that I had seen.

Metis (8b+) Photo: Alan James/UKC

But there is also this amazing bulging wall with tiny crimps that I worked a few years ago on a crag further up the valley in the Pyrenees. Very different style bit equally satisfying a project. So no definitive project yet, but it feels like a new journey in climbing for me.

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)