Climbing for Two: to climb or not to climb?

Guest blogger: Valerie Van den Hende

This climber has a baby on boardOne of our first considerations when thinking about trying for a family was would I have to stop climbing?  There seems to be a lot of conflicting advice (and some rather strong opposing views) on the internet on the subject of rock climbing during pregnancy.  General medical opinion appears to be that any activity where falling is likely should be avoided, as well as contact sports, anything that could result in even mild abdominal trauma and loaded twisting movements.  The reasons for this are obvious – clearly I wouldn’t want to cause any physical damage to either myself or our baby, but on the other hand, there are definite benefits from climbing, both physical and psychological.  And if pregnancy yoga is safe, then surely some aspects of rock climbing (or ‘yoga going upwards’ as I like to call it) could be ok? Read more

Learning to lead

Libby teaching me about placing gear.

Guest Blogger – a post by my fiancee

Well, after two years following Robin up crags and cliffs, we decided that 2012 would be the year I would learn to lead.  Aside from the fact that it’s frankly rather cool, I had several reasons I wanted to progress to leading.  Firstly, I wanted to start pulling my own weight in our climbing partnership, we both want to have a stab at longer multi-pitch routes where leading through is necessary, and lastly, you haven’t really experienced trad climbing until you’ve been reduced to a quivering wreck…

Women usually climb very differently to men, so I decided I wanted a female guide to help me through my first foray into leading.  As we climb mostly in North Wales, Robin contacted Libby Peter, and we hired her for two days at the end of July 2012. Read more