Kalymnos coaching May '15

14th May 2015

Monastery Priapos jugs Priapos rest The Gang

After a brief few days in Sheff on my return from Spain, I was jet setting off again to the holiday island of Kalymnos. The land of dripping tufa, sun soaked beaches and restaurants aplenty! Image right. Enjoying dinner on the hotel terrace in the evening sun, bliss

This was another Positive Climbing coaching week and what a good time was had by all. The coaches were myself, Adrian Berry, Gaz Parry and Simon Rawlinson and we had a full house of 17 clients.

With the usual array of experience and abilities, this gave us lots to work with and plenty of scope for improvement.

And there certainly were improvements! However, what was really great, was how everybody seemed to step up to the plate and move out of their comfort zones to break old habits and try new things. The beauty of these weeks is that everybody gets swept up in each others successes and this engenders an environment for people to try harder than they normally do; it’s fantastic to see. The next trick is to return home and apply it to your normal climbing venues... 

I managed to get some climbing done, on a couple of rest-days and non-work days. I sampled the delights of a boat trip to Telendos with Adrian and Simon, where we climbed at three different crags and climbed some great routes up to f7c+. The crag Lambda had some 50m pitches that were pretty incredible. Nothing hard but just looong, luckily Adrian had a 100m rope, so we didn’t have any faff with rebelaying etc. The rock was clean and unpolished and interestingly had a very Pembroke-like quality to it. Grey, frictiony limestone, with good moves. It was a nice last day. Image right. Telendos boat trip

But the highlight route for me was onsighting the classic f7c, Priapos in the Grande Gotta.This route is truly mind blowing (just as I found Fun de Chichunne f8a, last year). In fact I was giggling and chuckling the whole way up it. You barely have to climb, it’s a case of negotiating your way through a forest of tufas and finding rests every couple of moves. As I had just got back from Spain, I was very fit and with the amount of rests the route offers, there was no way I was going to get pumped. It was the most fun I’d had in a long time.

Image left. Lucy onsighting Priapos f7c. 

And below. One of the many incredible rests. Both images: Jeremy Axford.

As well as great climbing from everyone, we had a social time too. It was lovely and hot, so swimming and snorkelling were on the agenda most days and I definitely worked on topping up my tan. There were also a few visits to the bar, we had some bad influences in the group (you know who you are!) and cocktails were imbibed. Lovely at the time but not so great the next day, we never learn. Image right. Trying to rehydrate with a large coffee!

Quite a few of us all travelled back together which made the hours pass quicker but we had an eventful time of it. Our flight had to undertake an emergency landing in Croatia, due to one of the passengers falling very ill. Our star Doctor, Glynne, ended up having to perform extreme first Aid 30 000ft up! And we had a very hairy landing, I was convinced we were either going to crash into the mountain range that looked way too close or we were going to swoop into the sea that the pilot seemed to be careening over with crazy abandon, it was not a nice experience. But it did make the landing in Gatwick seem like a piece of duff, so maybe it will have helped my irrational fear of flying.

The Grande Grotta and Panorama crags, where we spent a lot of time as a group.


Anyway, great week everyone, I enjoyed your company and your climbing improvements. Keep up the good work and see you on the crags!

Image left. Some of the gang sampling the lovely Fatolitis' cocktails.

Above. It doesn't get more Greek than this.