Well Nige and Neal have put their heads together and come up with something special. I like to think of that magical moment of conception they experienced as the scene from Tenacious D when KG and JB have the Butt baby – only the lads made a website and it’s actually gonna be useful and have a purpose and not just be a misshapen doll covered in fake excrement and blood. You with me? Good!
They’re trying to instil some motivation and direction into Irish climbing and offer people the golden opportunity to bypass all the mistakes they’ve made or heard about and learn from their experiences and shortcut their way to becoming a better climber. I know theres no real shortcuts but by avoiding what doesn’t work and focusing on a direction and aim suggested by someone who has learnt through experience I believe people can make great advances much more quickly. Their fledgling site is up and running and makes for some interesting reading – lectures, seminars, masterclasses, tuition, training advice, injury, nutrition, mental tactics… they really can offer quite a bit! And trust me they’ve been through it! Theres not much I can add to their growing site other than show my support and maybe add my 2 cents in about their respective bio’s. If you take the time to find and read about the lads you’ll get two very distinct, possibly contrasting pictures of the guys (especially if you don’t know them). Well heres what I have come to expect from them. Nige’s bio reads very focused, proud, logical and factual. He states what he’s done both academically and in climbing circles and reinforces all this with a career CV that backs it up. Just like him, he’ll not just send a route or problem he’ll crush it! (and probably pause to grin before topping out!). Straight away you know this guy knows his stuff and is passionate about climbing. He’s not all bouldering and sports science though – he has racked up like the rest of us and has had his fair share of epic days out on multipitch routes and seacliffs! Great craic, honest and wealth of information on all things body and climbing related. Like all people who’s advice you want to trust, he takes it himself and is never without a list of current targets he’s working towards achieving by a certain date... And also like everyone else he responds just as well as anybody to some well timed and sincere motivation or encouragement to fight through the last few crucial seconds of pump in order to latch the good hold above a crux section!
Neal? Haa! Neals bio paints the picture of some mysteriously funded hippy, climbing, snowboarding, travelling bum thing! And although a lot of that can apply, theres a calculating mind at work behind it all. He’s had to graft hard to fund his trips away and earn his experience and has never lost his motivation to improve and sample harder and harder climbing around the world. He loves to train …. Only slightly less than he loves to climb and as a result he’s been trying and researching different approaches and routines to climbing training on himself and any easily motivated bystanders for as long as I’ve known him (which is quiet a while considering he sold me my first ever harness and rock shoes for my 16th birthday!! Jeeze!!).
Long story short, the lads know their stuff and have always been nuts about rock and the movement over it (…and how to move over blanker and smoother pieces of it through training!). Plus they are optimistic (or insightful) enough to try things their peers would consider too hard or demanding and as a result of which they have achieved grades in multiple disciplines that could be considered top-end. I can see that it’s the same motivation and optimism that has fuelled this venture and I think any medium that acts as a vehicle to expose more irish climbers to these lad’s infectious lust for the sport and need for improvement is a great addition to the web’s climbing resources. If they can get me up a couple of 8a’s just imagine what they could do for someone with some ability!?!
Good stuff lads I’ll be expecting the cheque in the post, right?