Monday, 1 February 2010
Coaching movement, in a hidden away corner of Dublin, Ireland Photo: Patricia Fox
Last week I re-set the climbing wall in Callander before heading off to Dublin. Confession: Three creme eggs, two bags of chips and a small porridge mountain were required to finish the job in the assigned two days.
Full of my third head cold of the last six months I headed over to Dublin early for coaching sessions with the Trinity College climbers. We had good fun working on endless problems for two days straight and thanks to the big crowd that came to my talk. It always strikes me when visiting Ireland for work or climbing the effects of being relatively isolated from the wider climbing spectrum. We have this a little in Scotland, but in Ireland it’s effect is multiplied. There is no sport climbing and although the small climbing walls around are pretty good, they don’t have the massive buzzing social scene I saw the week before in The Climbing Academy in Bristol. It has some downsides, because a big central meeting place of people with a shared interest inevitably makes good things happen. But I notice that the irish climbers are, generally speaking, some of the most hardcore lovers of outdoor, remote adventure climbing around, certainly in the UK. Everyone is a to a certain extent a product of their times. I was encouraged repeatedly to make it over again soon, but for climbing adventures next time on the many possibilities in the west of the island. I have a date with Orkney first, but I’m there!
I have a feeling that a major climbing centre in Dublin or Belfast is only a spark of inspiration away and would make a big change in the climbing community here.
As the hours in the bouldering wall passed I forgot about my head cold, for a while at least.