31 January 2012

The Outdoors Show - Climbing Techniques, bargain hunting and more

To mark the last post of January, I will finish January off with my review of the outdoors show at the Excel London. I went to the outdoors show on the 15th January but couldn’t open some of the pictures I took as the files got corrupted. This is possibly due to the fact that I have been speaking rather disparagingly about my Samsung camera so maybe this is to teach me a lesson about being loyal to my gadgets.

Traversing the wall

I had a couple of sessions booked with the DMM stand at the show but in the end I only did one as my poor fingers were sore after a technique masterclass I did with Libby Peter. I did pass on my other booked sessions to my friend. The masterclass session started off with a chat with Libby asking the group what we wanted out of the session so as to tailor it to our needs. I mentioned that I wanted to get advice on getting the balance between keeping the body close to the wall and efficient use of energy by keeping arms straight when moving to different holds. There were three other people I climb with who were also booked on the session.

Libby Peter
Starting off with traversing from one side of the wall to the other to get warmed up while Libby looked on. After a couple of minutes she gave tips on how to efficiently conserve energy by keeping the body low, close to the wall and aiming to keep the arms straight. At which point she gave a demo of what she meant. Watching her climb slowly with such grace from one foot hold to the next made it look so easy but trying it out was off course a totally different story.

Over all the session was brilliant and I picked up a lot from just watching her and trying out some of the techniques she was showing us. Like many things, climbing is one of those things that you have to put in the time and practice in order to improve technique and gain body strength. Sometimes I find that on a climbing route I tire quickly because I am either rushing the climbing or straining the grip on the hold because my arms are slightly bent. One technique I picked up from the session was to rest into the wall that is, making a few moves then resting by leaning into the wall. This allows you to rest your hands enough to allow you to climb for longer than you might otherwise do by rushing into a climbing route.

                                                        Bike show at the Animal Stand.

The session was meant to be for an hour but it went over a little which we totally didn’t mind nor did we even realise as we were too engrossed in the fun of climbing. Overall I am even more excited to do more technique sessions both for lead climbing and techniques. Some of the sessions I do at the Reach Climbing Wall means that I can climb with different people so this still gives me the opportunity to learn from some of the experienced climbers in the climbing group. Sometimes I get stuck on a route and end up screaming at the belayer at the bottom to give me a hint on how to make my next move to the next hold and if all else fails I do a rainbow climb just to get over the hard move. A climb that involves a minor cheat or using holds from another route just to get over a hard section is what I call a rainbow climb as you will mix the colours of holds you use rather than stick to the one grade or route you started with.

As you can see some of the pictures that I managed to save are slightly dark, hence why my Samsung needs to be replaced by a younger and newer model. I can’t complain too much though as its saved me well even when my iPhone camera died on me. Other than my techniques course I managed to blow some cash on some climbing goodies and try out the world’s longest indoor zipline at the Go Ape stand.  I also came away with some Red Chilli shoes, DMM slings, screw gates, nut key. I didn't spend as much as I thought I would as I still came back with half the amount I took with me. Again, no complains with that one!
Longest Indoor Zip Line
Hope your NY resolutions are still going strong. As I am currently learning how to develop for the Windows Phone 7 don’t be surprised if my next few posts in February are about programming.

Please don't forget to “like” me on Facebook if you haven’t done so already! Thanks for your support!


29 January 2012

The Year of the Invisible Dragon

A rather busy week was finished off with another round of New Year celebrations. Yes you read it right, Chinese New Year celebration that is. In London! I was totally geared up for the Chinese festivities and expected dragon parades, Chinese dances and the whole nine yards. What I did get was nowhere near a yard let alone nine. The opening ceremony  was at Trafalgar Square and kicked off with fire crackers at the bottom of Nelson’s column.  There were stage performers with Boris schedule to address the crowd. After waiting for a while in the cold my friends and I decided to move on to China Town to hunt for a missing dragon.

26 January 2012

MTV Presents Emeli Sandé at KOKO Camden

Arriving at KOKO on a cold Wednesday evening thinking that I was just “fashionably late” enough to go straight into the venue as the show was set to start at 7pm but instead made to wait in the cold for nearly an hour while a queue formed outside. Out of my Mary Poppins purse came my gloves and if it was going to rain or snow I had a miniature umbrella, some snow shoes and a plough! Just kidding! Let’s just say I was preparing for a little waiting. KOKO London, a very decadent venue with art deco style interior gives the whole place an edgy but glamorous feel to it. 

17 January 2012

ReachOut! First Mentoring Session...

My mentoring session kicked off on Monday evening after attending the mentoring training the previous week. It was quite interesting being back in a school full of lively and energetic teens.  Arriving straight off a busy Black Wall Tunnel I let go of all that traffic craziness when I was introduced to my mentee who offered his little hand for me to shake. The hour was spent with us trying to get through a piece of work on the role of Language and how language evolves whilst also trying to get my mentee to concentrate on the work. He reminded me of my nephew whose energy levels could match that of the Duracell bunny.

11 January 2012

Victoria Falls Bungee Jump Accident: Reason for goal reassessment?

Test your flight skills: Bungee jump from the Victoria Falls Bridge 
So with the recent headline of a bungee jump gone wrong on the Zambezi means that some 2012 goals may need rejigging. An Australian girl miraculously survived a bungee jump after the bungee cord snapped sending her straight into a crocodile infested Zambezi River. The interview and video of the fall can be found on the BBC News site.

5 January 2012

Paralysis by Analysis

I thought I would share my mini success on the climbing front. In my first post I mentioned that I would like to start doing more 5+ and 6a climbing grades. My first climb in 2012 was this evening and I think I got off to a great start! I managed to do 3x 5+ routes and 6a route even though the 6a involved a minor cheat where I stepped on a different colour hold. The main point is that I managed to get to the top without giving up.

Reach Climbing Wall - Woolwich London

1 January 2012

Happy New Year!!

Welcome to my Blog! I have been wanting to start a blog for a while and I thought what better way to christen the New Year than to start a blog. To borrow from a British expression “Start as you mean to go on,” Which basically means that you should begin new ventures by acting and sounding like you were already a success.