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									Edition 5 If you would like to receive this December 2005 via email, please leave your deThe Castle Climbing Centre tails on the list at reception.

The Castle
skidding and sliding into the blankness following the line that he might have fallen. He had dropped it. 100 feet apart we shrugged and smiled nervously at each other. Then he turned and was moving again. After all we both had chosen to solo. NOW IT was my turn. I moved positively, making sure each foothold was good and each axe placement sound. When I came to the step I knew to move By Paul Winder with assurance, I don’t hesitate when as if to question and I am alone. he went to try again. SOON I caught up I looked away this with him and totime. A soloist must gether we looked at make every step the rope 1000 feet with complete au- below us. thority and I was worried. The slope ‘The seracs are too disappeared into dangerous for us to whiteness and se- get it.’ I didn’t know if he understood racs. me. WHEN I looked SHRUGGED back he had made WE the step. He and smiled. I felt stopped and looked guilty about him losup at me. I smiled ing his rope in trying and shrugged my to help me even if I shoulders. H e didn’t need it. I ofwaved and said fered him my rope. something I didn’t ‘No, please. The understand. Then mountain is beauty he went to uncoil today.’ the rope he carried on his back. He was WE AGREED, that concerned for me was all that matmaking that step. tered, a stunning Then in a moment day. We’d share a the rope was gone, beer instead.◘

A monthly newsletter for Castle Customers to keep you informed about what’s going on at the Castle. Submissions should be emailed to by the 16th of each month.

Friends on the Hill
IN THE valley it had rained constantly for 24 hours and at 3500 metres 93 cms of fresh snow had fallen. The usually organised country of Switzerland was in disarray as floods had engulfed houses, washed away roads, railways lines and blocked mountain villages off from help. FORTUNATELY my life was simple as I broke trail through this fresh vista at 4000 metres. I was alone and heading for a summit. My partner had been forced to turn back early on due to illness. I was unsure whether I should go on however I was feeling fit and confident. I revelled in the joy of movement and breaking new ground and making sure I didn’t get too close to the corniced ridge. Then cutting steps in bullet hard ice above a gaping zawn. I made a note that descending this steep ice band would be the crux on the way down. another soloist caught up with me on the summit. I TOOK a few photos and headed down knowing it would be easier now that the trail had been broken. Just below the summit I rested and took a bite to eat. The other soloist passed me and we exchanged broken hellos. I spoke no German. I followed THE FINAL ground him a few minutes to the summit later. proved tricky and ON THE steep ice time-consuming as I band he hesitated. had to clear thick He made one awksnow on unstable ward step and withrock. Every action drew. Then he tried was made with aconce more. Again curacy and I sumhe stepped back. mitted at 4327 meHe looked up at me tres. A couple and

The Castle Newsletter—December 2005
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Ever wonder why, when you happen to be crimping for China or locking off by your ankle, someone always seems to be engrossed at the start tag directly beneath you, oblivious to the fact that your next move is fast becoming a life and death situation, both yours and theirs? You’re too polite to holler ‘GET OUTTA MY WAY!!’ and too cautious to make the move just in case you miss, (high improbability, as you are a finely tuned athlete, and this only a 4C!) and give them concussion on the way down. So what do you do? You hang on, telling yourself that this is a good exercise in controlling your pump!! Hoping that they, by some divine intervention, look up and realise that the puddle forming on their shoe is from the sweat gathering at your brow, and quickly vacate your LZ!

A new monthly column of righteous whinging.

Boulder Bitch

Word of advice to those climbing: make the move! To hell with it! It’ll do wonders for your headgame. To the rock-virgin, you’ve signed a disclaimer upon membership, so please, please, PLEASE, for the love of all that is holy and sacred: KEEP YOUR DISTANCE! Those climbing automatically have right of way.◘

Thanks to everyone for their positive comments on the newsletter, and to the several hundred of you who now seem to be reading it… big thanks also to all those who have contributed their wonderful articles, photos and ideas…. HOWEVER if we don’t receive more contributions in the new year, this newsletter will NO LONGER BE POSSIBLE! So, a few words about your trips away, adventures (climbing or otherwise), drawings, photos, letters, whatever, SEND IT IN to: and you never know, we might make you famous...

News in to everyone for Enjoying the Castle newsletter? nate to ACT,brief: Thanks Boulder Ladder helping us doespecially you Competitors.
Here’s how much money you have raised recently:
Date 01-Aug-04 01-Oct-04 14-Jan-05 11-Feb-05 08-Apr-05 27-May-05 29-Jul-05 17-Aug-05 21-Sep-05 11-Nov-05 05-Dec-05 Total Amount £300.00 £1,497.38 £806.94 £126.45 £317.80 £310.00 £315.00 £170.00 £125.00 £300.00 £115.00 £4,383.57 Event Film Festival 2004 Boulder Ladder B. Ladd.& Top Rope comp Boulder Ladder Boulder Ladder Boulder Ladder Boulder Ladder Boulder Ladder Boulder Ladder Boulder Ladder Boulder Ladder

Name the new area!!
Having trouble trying to find all the new bouldering areas with mezzanines, upstairs, downstairs, features, top-out boulders etc.? Here is a list of the official names for clarity, and a competition to WIN A FREE BAG OF CHALK with the naming of the new mezzanine section (you know, the one with the overhanging bit, the vertical walls, the systems board and the scary top-out. You see our problem). 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. The Panels (downstairs) The Cave (including the Wave Wall) The Pen (opposite reception) The Upstairs Featured Bouldering (near the café) The Traverse Wall (near the current men’s changing rooms) The Campus Board (near the Panels) The Catacomb (including Boulder 1 and Boulder 2, near current women’s changing room) Lust (pink traverse boulder) and Envy (green traverse boulder) The Quarry (new slab area including Low Top-out Boulder) ????????? The new mezzanine bit with the blue couches, the overhang, the vertical walls etc etc. etc. SEND YOUR IDEAS TO: and you could WIN A BAG OF CHALK! And of course life-long fame as the namer of the new area! The winner will be notified by the 16th December so get your entries in before then.

For those of you who are not so excited about bouldering, don’t worry your time is coming. New walls for toproping and leading will be arriving very soon...

The Castle Newsletter—December 2005 Stamina—Resistance / Continuity

Page 3 by Dylan Fletcher

This month’s article will cover the last two cycles of periodisation. So far in this series of articles we have looked at the five building blocks of periodisation training, each cycle gaining on the last to achieve increased performance, to progress from a plateau, or to stave off injury. This article moves on to Cycles 4 and 5 (Stamina – Resistance/ Continuity), where we continue to build on last month’s high-end gains from power/ recruitment to force the body to keep up the intensity for longer periods of time. It is in these cycles that we hope to gain a peak in performance. Stamina, or Anaerobic endurance, is important for those of us who wish to climb rope-length routes, or longer and more continuous boulder problems. The difficulty of a stamina route does not derive from the individual moves, but rather the sheer number of moves. To train our bodies to adapt to these longer periods of exertion we must choose problems or routes that are quite consistent in nature. It is important that when we fail it is due to accumulation of fatigue factors, rather than individual crux moves. After continual repetition of these exercises your muscles will adapt by developing a higher tolerance to exhaustion. Stamina training in climbing can be split into two main categories of either Resistance or Continuity. Resistance is where we increase the body’s ability to resist accumulating fatigue factors Gaby Masini in La Azulita, Venezuela while climbing for as long as possible without Medium Length Roped Routes 20-25 resting. Continuity, on the other hand, atmoves. Yes you guessed it, no resting. tempts to eliminate fatigue factors on route by training the body’s ability to rest and recover Interval training (4x4s). Find 4 different while on the wall. routes that you have already completed and climb each one 4 times in a row. Start with a 5 minute rest between each route and then reCycle 4: Stamina—Resistance duce it until the exercise becomes too easy to keep the intensity high. resting holds into your routes. Practice getting mildly pumped and then staying on the resting holds until you are completely recovered. Avoid positions such as knee bars or bridging where it is possible to fully recover. When in the resting position, concentrate on relaxing and maximizing the rest by experimenting with body position. Breathe deeply and try to find the most relaxed position possible. Gradually reduce the size of the rest holds as you gain confidence and fitness.

Continuity Exercises
Attempt long roped redpoints that have a minimum of 30 and maximum of 60 moves. Climb 2-3 medium length routes (15-20 moves) one after the other. Roped Interval Training. Climb continuously on varied difficulty for set intervals As with all training, make sure that you warm up thoroughly and progressively before embarking on your session. As the intensity of these exercises gets harder, also increase the amount of rest between sets, however the time between sessions can be reduced. This four-part series of articles have given you the building blocks to design and organise your training schedule. In the next article we will discuss how to fully implement your personalised training, the length and sequencing of these cycles, and how these are dependent on a number of variables such as style of climbing (trad, sport, bouldering etc.) that you wish to improve. ◘
Dylan has been coaching climbers for the past 10 years and is currently researching climbing training for a PhD. He is available for private coaching sessions and can be contacted at Dylan will be away next month, the series will continue in February.

Resistance Exercises

As your body adapts to the training stimulus it is important to gauge the correct intensity for these exercises. Failure on these exercises should occur as near to the last move of each exercise as possible - otherwise you will be training too hard or too easily! The intensity of the exercises can be maintained by reducing the rest between routes, increasing the angle you are climbing, and raising the difficulty of the routes. Moderate to High Intensity Bouldering. Find problems on the bouldering wall 10-20 moves long. It is important to complete each problem without resting on route. Link Boulder Problems, that are again continuous in nature so that you fail within 12-20 moves total. Again no resting whilst climbing

Cycle 5: Stamina—Continuity
The second stage of stamina training is continuity. In this cycle we bring all the fitness gained over the last four cycles to culminate in a performance peak. It is during this cycle that you should aim to climb your hardest routes. The exercises we choose must be longer in length than the last cycle, but have very difficult sections mixed with short respites. This cycle is more specific to roped climbing as hard bouldering rarely allows adequate resting opportunities. The ability to rest/recover on route is an often neglected skill. It takes practice to be able to recognise resting positions and maximize the amount of recovery you can get from them. When starting out this cycle, add big obvious

The Castle Newsletter—December 2005 Advertisements

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This Month at the Castle
Bored on the weekends and looking to improve your climbing skills? Why not try one of these?

Mountaineering Clubs
There are a number of mountaineering clubs who meet regularly at The Castle as well as running trips away and social events. For specific info, get in touch with the contacts listed below. Hertfordshire Mountaineering Club – Contact Geoff Dean on 01727 810032 or email: London Mountaineering Club – Contact: Chris Bailey on 01223 562 106 (Home) or 020 7242 9866 (Work) or email: Membership.sec @londonmountaineeringclub.c Marylebone Mountaineering Club– Contact Tara on 07930446612 or e-mail: North London Mountaineering club– E-mail:

Improvers Course
The aim of this course is to help you focus on improving skills essential for intermediate and advanced climbing activities, such as efficient technique, balance and footwork. Time: 3:30pm—6:30pm Cost: £45 Upcoming Dates: Saturday 17th December Sunday 18th December To make the most of the Improvers, you need to be comfortable up to 4c, perhaps working 5a.

Bouldering Technique Course
Bouldering is more than just climbing without ropes. This course is about revealing the true nature of the sport as an accessible yet everfascinating way to climb. Time: 10.30am—2.30pm Cost: £60 Upcoming Dates: Saturday 10th December Sunday 11th December This course is designed for those consistently climbing 5a and above.

Lead Climbing Course
Developing skills and attributes “on the sharp end” is the first move towards being competent, confident and safe when climbing independently. Time: 10.30am—2.30pm Cost: £60 Upcoming Dates: Saturday 10th December This course is designed for those consistently climbing 5a and above. All of these courses have a 1:4 instructor/ client ratio, and can be booked on-line, at the front desk or via phone.

Brownswood Christmas!!
Yes, it’s that time of the year again—the

Annual Castle Christmas Party
at the

Alternative Therapies
Climb Clinic- Book some time to get rid of those gremlins that stop you climbing your best. Jake is a registered therapist and uses deep tissue, myofascial and traditional Swedish massage. To book contact Jake on: 07977 958 798.

Brownswood. Please join us there on the evening of Thursday 15th December after

Dragon Safety Systems— Industrial Rope Access
Dragon Safety Systems are a member of the Industrial Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA) and provide nationally recognised qualifications. Instructors train and assess clients levels 1, 2 and 3, and are themselves qualified to a minimum of IRATA level 3, with extensive industrial rope access experience. Dragon are based in Snowdonia, North Wales, and run monthly courses at The Castle. For a registration pack, dates and booking visit: or e-mail:

physical and emotional tensions.” Hilary McPherson is ITEC and MTI qualified in holistic massage, and is a member or the Massage Training Institute. She is based in Hackney, East London or alternatively can travel to you. To arrange a treatment contact Hilary on: 020 8986 2365 or 07790 634 669.

your climbing session for free food and fes“A deeply relaxing and rhythmic massage to release tivity.
(In the unlikely case of you never having been there before, go out of the front gates, turn left, cross the road, it’s the first pub you come to.)

The views expressed in the articles are not necessarily those of The Castle Climbing Centre. The Castle Climbing Centre does not take responsibility for information supplied in advertisements. Readers should take care and responsibility for themselves when purchasing goods and services.

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