Ten things you never knew about the lives of elite climbers
“When we do big wall climbs that take several days we bivy (camp) on the side of the wall. Either we find a rock ledge that we can sleep on, or we use portaledges (which is just like it sounds: a portable ledge), which we anchor to the flat face of a ...
June 6, 2015
What it's like to march as a Roman soldier
Cornwell famously refuses to don any kind of Napoleonic period uniform, and I used to feel the same way about Roman legionary kit. What persuaded me to change my mind? By early 2013, I had written six novels and was finishing the seventh. A full ...
April 20, 2015
Cold mountain: a beginner's guide to ice climbing
You've got to get yourself to the foot of the climb before you even start, usually by walking and carrying a lot of kit. But don't worry. Learning, as I did, to climb in a controlled environment, on a man-made wall of ice, is a great way to stay safe ...
December 14, 2014
'Rock climbing is brutal, elegant and a phenomenal challenge'
Try to maintain three points of contact with the rock and, if you feel confident enough, lean slightly away from the wall so you have a clearer view of where your feet can go next. KIT. If you decide you want to invest in kit, the essentials are a ...
November 2, 2014
Jeremy Hunt says taxpayers should not foot bill for drunks who end up in A&E
Mr Hunt told a phone-in show on LBC Radio that he was 'open' to the idea of fining those who cost taxpayers through their own 'irresponsibility'. 'I have a great deal of sympathy for the people who say we should charge people who use A&E because they ...
September 11, 2014
How Tough Mudder became a phenomenon
People our age don't talk about what kind of car they drive, but I think they do talk an awful lot about what they did on holiday. Rather like a professional football club, they have a growing list of commercial partners, including a multi-million ...
July 10, 2014
The secret fitness weapon of Premier League footballers
Consisting of two heavy-duty straps, with a range of hand grips, foot cradles and attachments, it looks like something you might use to tether suitcases to the roof of your car, or to walk a particularly excitable and brawny dog. of kit. It works ...
May 7, 2014
Climbers are like modern day explorers “When you climb somewhere really exposed or difficult to reach it is amazing to think that there have probably only ever been a handful of people in that position throughout history. "The most exposed and isolated I have ever felt on a climb was when I was abseiling in the Italian Dolomites. I was hanging 15m away from the wall and several hundred feet up. I felt like a spider hanging from a silk thread. "But big walls are my favourite: huge rock faces with scary pitches and lots of air between you and the ground. When I am climbing in the Alps with mountains on all sides I have never felt more freedom. The worst experience is when the wall starts to crumble “The hardest environment in which I have climbed was at Cima Ovest in the Dolomites because the holds kept falling off or crumbling in your hands. The wall is ridiculously steep and formidable, it is constantly wet from high mountain humidity, and it gets really cold too. "At the Coolum Cave in Queensland, Australia, the rock looks like dinosaur skin and the hand holds are slippery. Chalk is a climber’s best friend “I am a big fan of chalk when I’m climbing: it dries my hands out so I can grip the holds better.
I’m simply a novelist who writes about ancient Rome and its armies. Cornwell famously refuses to don any kind of Napoleonic period uniform, and I used to feel the same way about Roman legionary kit. A full time/full-time author, I adored my job – but not everything about it was perfect. After their initial training, legionaries were expected to march 20 Roman miles (18. 4 Imperial miles) in five hours. They were also required to be able to march 24 miles in the same time, at the quick step. Their equipment during this training consisted of an undergarment, tunic, hobnailed sandals, armour padding, armour, two belts, sword, dagger, padded cap, helmet, shield, and a javelin. In addition, they would have shouldered a yoke, or forked stick, from which hung their bedding, pots, grain and other foodstuffs, utensils, entrenching tools and so on. It’s impossible to know the exact weight of all the equipment, but it’s... About the same as a British squaddie carries nowadays, in other words, yet without the modern luxuries of hiking boots, high tech backpacks and vacuum-packed ready meals. Being more than two decades older than the average army recruit, ancient or modern, I decided not to carry a yoke along Hadrian’s Wall.
Then, I made the mistake of looking down. ” “Oui, oui, keep going. But while ice climbing helps to focus the mind, it also has myriad physical benefits. Your cardiovascular fitness will improve and you’ll build strength in the forearms, shoulders, biceps, triceps and quads, as well as develop excellent core strength. Climbers tend to spend a lot of time holding on to overhanging pieces of concrete or railings to train their ability to lock into position and remain there for five minutes or more. It might not look very fast-paced but the average man burns 400-600 calories per hour on the ice, not to mention the metabolic “afterburn”, when you continue to burn extra fat for hours afterwards, which comes from using all those muscles so... You’ve got to get yourself to the foot of the climb before you even start, usually by walking and carrying a lot of kit. Learning, as I did, to climb in a controlled environment, on a man-made wall of ice, is a great way to stay safe and improve strength, confidence and technique. Ice Climbing At The World's Largest Ice Wall from Ice Factor on Vimeo. Kevin Shields teaches ice climbing at the world’s.