Well, all good things must come to an end and so it is with the Upskill 2008 Climbing Coaching Holiday and Training Camp in beautiful Kalymnos.
The day before flying out, we hit up Arhi in the morning where Dave and Ruth tore up the slabs before I prodded Dave onto Mofeta, a wickedly technical and sequency gritstone-like flowstone wall. It was the perfect route to demonstrate that a strong upper body will only get you so far (keep up that footwork focus Dave!) Ben said later "On a packed day a week ago, I saw every route at this crag with climbers on it...except that one. It was free all day!"
Susy wanted to get on something hard and steep, so Kastor 6c+/7a was on the agenda. No cigar after two shots on this beastie, so as the sun started baking us, we raced off in the car to Syblegades Rocks, a shady cleft high above Panormos. Never having been here before, we were stunned to find superb quality routes in a unique, cold, wind-gully setting. Definitely one for a hot summer's day. Susy and I sunk our teeth into the primo Homo Sapiens 6c, a perfect blunt arete composed of super hard marble (see pic) while Ruth onsighted the four star Phineas 5c - yep, it gets the musical note in the guide (better than ***). Sam proclaimed Climber's Nest as the second best 6a of all time.
The next day (our last), Susy was champing at the bit to clean up her old Odyssey project Ciao Vecio 6c and managed to do it first try! The burly Itaca 6c+ remains for next time *snap*. With chalk still on or hands, we punched it for the airport and the beginning of the journey home.
So what did we get out of this trip? Besides climbing on some of the best rock on the planet, our team each went beyond their comfort zones to climb more effectively than ever before. There were some personal best ticks, and there was a lot of knowledge shared and lessons learnt. Perhaps most importantly, each member knows what they now need to focus on to break through the plateau and fast-track their improvement.
If you're feeling like you missed out, perhaps you want to join us on the next one? Whether it's the Kalymnos 2009 trip or any of our other climbing coaching holidays in Australia or overseas, check out the offerings and get in touch. The trips page will be regularly updated.
Thanks to everyone for their kind words of support and for following us along on our adventures.