Newsletter – April 2020

By 23rd April 2020 Newsletters

Tip of the Month

All over social media there are pictures of people building their own climbing walls during lockdown. Keen climbers are training harder than ever so that they are ready to get back onto routes as soon as the lockdown is over. But what if you want to train and don’t have the luxury of a space to build your own wall?

There are simpler training aids, such as fingerboards, but these also need somewhere sturdy to be fixed. However, a slightly more flexible (and cheaper and portable) option is a set of Rock Rings, by Metolius.

Rock Rings are easy to set up anywhere that you can safely hang your body weight from and are easily moved from place to place (or put away when not in use). What’s more, you can find a variety of training programmes on the internet to help you get the best from them.

Fact of the Month

The first active ‘cams’ to be produced and sold were Wild Country ‘Friends’. But how did they get their name? They were developed during the 1970s by American climber Ray Jardine. Ray was very protective of his design before they had been patented and didn’t want other climbers to know about them and he kept them concealed in a bag. On one busy day at the crag, his climbing partner asked him simply “Ray, have you got the bag of…ahem…friends with you?” The name stuck from there.

Route of the Month

Here’s another of my plans as soon as we can go out again. I’ll be heading up to my favourite UK crag, Gimmer Crag, high up on the Langdale Pikes. Looking for easy climbing to get back into things, I’ll probably do the ‘Classic Rock’ route, “Bracket and Slab” (Severe, 3-Star) which I mentioned way back in summer 2018.

Photo of the Month

During lockdown I’ll be sharing a few ‘flashback’ photographs. Here, chunks of ice break off the snout of the San Rafael glacier in Chile and float away as icebergs.

 © thesummitisoptional

Forthcoming Events

These are some of the scheduled events coming up in the near future, lockdown permitting:

  • May-June – availability for rock climbing, scrambling and navigation courses in north England and north Wales.
  • 12-15 June – Cuillin Ridge Traverse (fully booked).
  • 16-21 June – further availability on Skye.
  • June-September – UK rock climbing and scrambling courses available.

Download this newsletter as a PDF (below)

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