Another lovely week in La belle France

12th Oct 2010

I’m clinging on to the last rays of sun before we drop into the depths of winter, not my favourite time of year, I’m kind of dreading it. Having just got back from a great week in Chateauvert, South of France, I can almost kid myself that it’s still summer. I was coaching a great bunch from all over the UK along with top French boulderer Corinne Theroux (we were working for Katherine Schirrmacher’s Love To Climb company). There was only one washout day and the rest of the time it was shorts and vest weather, so the vibe was good. We were staying in a lovely gite on a vineyard which was very tranquil and it was a great base for us all. There was even a pool which I think only Kim and Ben were brave enough to venture into! Everybody climbed well and by the end of the week seemed to be really getting into their stride. If only we’d had a few extra days, I’m sure there would have been a lot of great ascents happening.

But as it was, everyone seemed to learn a lot and will have plenty of things to go away and practice.

So good luck to all of you and hope to see you out on the crags somewhere:










Rob and


I did do some climbing at Chateauvert which was lovely. I wasn’t climbing anything hard but it was very enjoyable to move on rock and get the body used to climbing again on normal face holds and pockets. I think the cracks in Italy were great but a bit of a shock to the system after a longish break.

Since France, I have been hanging out in the Bristol/Wells area with my family. It’s been good catching up and I’ve also done a bouldering session down at The Climbing Academy, which was hard work but fun. My 14 year old nephew has really taken to bouldering in a big way, which is great for me because we can go together. So last night we went down and had a session. My plan was to stay on the circuits, as they are great for getting pumped and lower impact on my shoulder. But inevitably when my nephew Oli arrived I ended up bouldering with him. It was great to see how much he’s improved and the standard of problems he is doing. I was struggling to keep up! I also got a harsh reminder that my shoulder is still pretty bad. I was trying a problem that had a long move on it where I had to go again, which I tried but the pain kicked in and I just fell off. It’s not hurting too much today but fortunately yesterday I rang and made a chunk of appointments with my physio because it’s time I got it sorted out once and for all.

The fact that I haven’t been able to boulder or train properly for nearly two years is starting to get beyond a joke. So my mission is to get it fixed as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, she didn’t have any availability until November, so I’ll just potter about until then and then go for the rehab November and December.

Hoping to go out on the Staffordshire grit Thursday and Friday, then back down to Bristol on Saturday as myself, Mum and sister Ali are off to London to see a concert on Sunday. We’re going to do the touristy thing and go on the London eye and maybe a few other bits and bobs, should be fun.

After that, I’m hoping to stay put in Sheffield for a while and catch up on ‘stuff’ and work on various things that are coming up. Such as a ‘chat show’ style talk that Steve McClure and I are doing with John Horscroft at The Kendal Film Festival on Friday night (where I’ll also be presenting some of the films). Not long after that I’ll be doing a talk at The Royal Geographical Society with Jonathan Foyle (the presenter on ‘Climbing Great Buildings’) in December. This will be a very different experience for me, so I’m kind of looking forward to it.

I’m psyched to get back on the grit on Thursday- I’m going to head for the cracks!