5 years ago I was sat behind a computer surfing YouTube for whatever life-inspiring, risk taking madness I could find to ease my lack of direction in life. It’s a process one finds oneself in sporadically when motivation is low, senses dulled. I was in New Zealand at the time. I had the shared house to myself, leaving me to plugin to the web, searching for answers. That’s when I stumbled upon a 5 part documentary called ‘SkyWalker’.
Take a tour with crazy free solo climber Alex Honnold, as he shows us his pimped out tranny van that he lives in when he’s on the road climbing super high shit.
I think it’s time I gave my van a bit of a makeover myself…
The video was made by GoalZero – a company specialising in portable power units in the form of batteries and solar panels. I was given a small GZ solar panel last year, but to be honest, using it in both European sunshine (high grade) and UK rays (low grade) was an absolute waste of time! Looks like they might have stepped up their game if they’ve got Honnold on board.
My self-experiment was to learn how to rock climb, in 16 weeks. I set myself the challenge of reaching a V6 bouldering, and/or a 7a sport grade.
I was what you would term a royal newbie. My background of slacklining, weight-lifting and MMA would prove to be advantageous, however, as I undertook a completely new and different physical challenge.
By the end of the 16 weeks, I had reached bouldering grade V5, and even sent my 7a sport climb, after weeks and weeks of attempts.
I achieved it all by hacking the learning process, discarding the useless info, people and attitudes, and embracing relentless change in the name of achievement. Not to mention suffering an injury and healing it in record time.
This post should help explain how I achieved my climbing goals, briefly cover how I got injured and what I did to rehabilitate, and offer you some resources and tips so that you too, can push your climbing grade, whether you’re a noob or a veteran.
I’ve tried to include the 20% of vital knowledge I gained over the 16 weeks that contributed to 80% of my results, to save you wading through…