The Quintessential Climber

Climbers at Froggatt Edge
Climbers at Froggatt Edge

People who like rock climbing are apparently more likely to enjoy eating gruel and poppy seed rolls, live in Wales, be middle class and describe themselves as analytical and practical, but occasionally neurotic. This is according to YouGov Profiler, a new, free app that allows you to look at survey data from polling company YouGov. It’s designed as a taster for the much more in-depth, paid-for YouGov Profiles that is YouGov’s segmentation and media-planning tool for PR agencies and brands.  It’s quite fun to input random things into YouGov Profiler to see what it can tell you about people and their interests. However, looking through the occasionally quirky results from this app made me wonder if some people are admitting things in surveys that they aren’t sharing with their friends at the crag or if YouGov might need to talk to a few more climbers. Read more

The Recipe for Rock Climbing Cereal Bars

Guest Blogger: Valerie Van den Hende

A cereal bar fit for rock climbers.
A cereal bar fit for rock climbers.

There’s no denying it: when I’m on a mountain, I want my calories.  On a recent climb, having run out of both food and water, the path down the mountain was occupied with intense fantasies about ice-cream, salty crisps and about as much icy water as my stomach could handle.  It’s common sense that when you’re exercising, unless you’re trying to shed the pounds, you need to increase your calorie intake.  When it’s exercise over a long period of time such as a day on the hill in winter, obviously you need to carry this food with you to avoid crashing from low blood sugar.  But however much some of us would like it, a tub of Ben & Jerry’s just isn’t practical…  So the question is, what works best? Read more

The return of the rock climbing wedding cake toppers

On 27 October 2012 I got married to a wonderful woman.  On our wedding cake were a pair of rock climbing wedding cake toppers made by my brilliant and amazing wife.

My wife and I share a love of rock climbing.  It’s just one element of our partnership, our support for each other and the life we share.  It therefore seemed appropriate, symbolic and fun to have these figures on our wedding cake.

The rock climbing wedding cake toppers on the chocolate marquis.

The cake itself tasted great.  It was a dark chocolate marquis.  This basically means that each tier had two layers – a base of dark chocolate, fudge cake that was topped with a thick, creamy chocolate mousse. Read more

Rock the morning after

It’s common for rock climbers to drink alcohol after climbing.  It’s also common for rock climbers to go climbing the morning after drinking alcohol.  If done in moderation and sensibly, this can be fine.  But it can also be unsafe and affect climbing performance both in the short and long-term.

It’s my stag party soon and a big part of the plan is to go rock climbing.  As alcohol is typically central to a stag do, I’ve been wondering recently how sensible it is to combine rock climbing and alcohol.

It’s not just on my stag trip that the two activities of drinking and climbing might come in to close proximity.  Alcohol comes into a climber’s life all the time and it’s often part of the climbing lifestyle.  A pub is a good option for food, drink and relaxation on the Saturday night of a weekend away rock climbing.  The alternative of relaxing in the campsite, hostel or hotel usually comes with a few beers, some wine or the odd whiskey.  Then there is the trip to the local pub that can follow an evening session at the climbing wall.  The next day, climbers can be out climbing again.  I’ve been around climbing and alcohol in all these situations and my forthcoming stag has got me thinking about what affect this has lifestyle has on climbers and whether it makes it harder to keep yourself and your climbing partner safe as well as to climb at your best. Read more

In praise of Builders Bars

It’s hard to write about Builders Bars without sounding like an advert.  They may only be protein bars, but they are great protein bars.  They are also brilliantly convenient if you want to recover after rock climbing and don’t want the hassle of protein powder drinks.

A Builders Bar

Clif, the company that makes the eponymous power bar, makes Builders Bars.  They are basically chocolate-coated biscuit bars that contain 20g of protein for building muscle and aiding recovery after exercise.  There is even a picture of a ripped climber on the packaging to give you an idea of what to aim for (I’m still trying). Read more