Positive Climbing

1:2 Climbing Coaching at Froggatt

"The highlight of the weekend for me was of course Three Pepple Slab, I am so pleased to have led it, and that you trusted me to do it - it was an amazing experience and exactly what I was secretly hoping to achieve from the weekend but didn't think possible."
Aine

Photo by Nick Smith

Contact Adrian Berry

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What I offer

Alauzon AdvertI am offer bespoke climbing coaching to individuals and small groups at prices that vary according to the number of days and the size of the group.

I am based in Buis-les-Baronnies, France and offer climbing coaching days as part of climbing holiday based at my gite complex Alauzon which can comfortably accommodate groups of up to 26 people.

Local crags are mostly sport climbing, but there is also bouldering and some trad climbing to be found nearby. Single and multi-pitch routes are plentiful. See my Rockfax guidebook Haute Provence.

Prices - per person per day - note that it doesn't have to be the same people - if a group would like five day's coaching for four different people each day - that's fine!

Groups can be clubs, friends, or famillies, and under 18s are welcome.

  1 Day 2 Days 3 Days 4 Days 5 Days
1:1 £150 £135 £127 £120 £112
1:2 £100 £90 £85 £80 £75
1:3 £83 £75 £70 £66 £62
1:4 £75 £67 £63 £60 £56

Note that these prices do not include the cost of accommodation - see www.alauzon.com for prices and full details.

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recent feedback

"I have got a lot of positive feedback from the climbers attending your workshops. So your part of the festival was a success!"
Stefan Jacobsen - on my workshops as part of the Danish Climbing Federations Climbing Festival 2011.

"Just writing to say thank you for the coaching on the weekend. You have definitely helped me to confront and overcome some of my fears and I am without doubt closer to my objective of climbing trad routes above my gear without squealing in a high pitched voice!"
Jeremy, March 2011

"Wanted to say thankyou for a great bouldering session last Friday morning at The Castle.I made some notes on the train home and have started a new training programme based on your suggestions and comments! It's only been a few days but I've noticed an immediate improvement so hopefully a winter of this work and I'l start getting on to the harder problems! Thanks again - it was so useful spending time with such a very good teacher!"
Wil, November 2009

"Leading outside now is much more comfortable, firstly having confidence in the gear that I am placing and secondly just climbing up and down the route to place the best gear and taking my time, anticipating four or five moves in advance and not just simply climbing, all great tips that I took away from your coaching. I really appreciated the way you gave the feedback on what I was doing."
Aine, November 2009

"Many thanks for a great days training, again we have passed on our recommendations to our mountain rep regarding using yourself to provide some training."
British Army, August 2009

"Just wanted to say thanks for the coaching on April 1st. It was a fantstic day, and I'm still buzzing from it. I would have been happy to have lead on HVS, but to have lead E1 and E2 was great."
Gary, April 2009

"Just a quick note to say thanks a lot for yesterday – I learnt an enormous amount and really enjoyed it. I’ll contact you in a while about another outing."
Matthew, April 2009

"I really liked your style of teaching - non-judgemental, very calm and patient. I also found that by your observation of mine and Edd's different climbing styles, you tailor-made the training and spent equal time focusing on improving our weaknesses and building on our strengths. You made me feel good about my climbing and even when things didn't go right I didn't feel criticised. You helped me to focus and observe a kind of inner stillness which has really helped with my climbing since. I never thought I would be able to climb VS 5a on grit, maybe on my next trip to the Peak it'll be HVS and beyond! Thank you Adrian, your teaching is truly inspirational and I would recommend your sessions to climbers of any ability."
Donna, November 2008

"I went and finished that HVS (Rear Wind) at St Govans that I had problems with initially, even when I found that one of the threads that I had used to protect the route previously was broken, I reassessed, kept my head up and my feet planted and found a different way to protect the move. Concentrating on getting my feet higher up rather than looking for the next handholds did so much for me on that route that I found myself halfway through a move and realised that there was almost no pressure on my hands and arms. [...] In all we now try harder, aspects of climbing are easier now we have been 'straightened out' a little, you have improved our rack organisation, confidence, technique, grade and have enhanced our enjoyment of climbing."
Edd, November 2008

Well the rematch took place on Saturday morning – and I won. It’s amazing what a difference I felt at the bottom of the route – more like I was there to dispatch something I expected to cruise up than the complete intimidation when we were there before.[...] I have added Kirkus’s Corner to the small but growing E1 tick list, and have been managing to jam with the skin on the back of my hands intact so far! [...] thanks again for all your input – it has made a lasting difference.
Katrina, June 2008

"Getting even one day of coaching is a fantastic investment, and ludicrously inexpensive for what you get. Aside from all that, Adrian himself was a lovely, fun person to be out climbing with for a day. That was my hardest day of cragging ever and today, day after, I am stiff all over and am mentally even more tired, and yet inspired too..."
Eric, September 2008

"Just a quick note to say a big 'thanks' for all your help on Saturday at Froggatt, particularly with my major wobbly head moment on Tody's wall.[...] On a more physical level, I'm now 100% more confident in my footwork than I was before, which is a good thing, and will help open up all sorts of climbs to me that previously I wouldn't have even thought about."
Neil, September 2008

More Feedback

"Just wanted to say thanks for all of your help over the last few days. Your guidance (and perseverance) has helped me to push the boundaries of what I previously deemed beyond my capability and or beyond acceptable risk. I'll take away strong memories of that failed HVS, not for negative reasons, but to remind myself that I can comfortably (and more confidently) climb beyond my gear to the point of grounding out. That alone will help no end with pushing forward on the better protected VS and HVS routes.No more limiting myself to S and HS. A good stack of VS and some HVS climbs is now on the cards!
Mike

"Your structured build up thru the day gave me more confidence than I'd had for a long time."
Alan

"Many thanks for another enjoyable and productive day yesterday and for the feedback.  In terms of the number of good hard problems ticked it easily goes down as my best ever day of bouldering and the most fun as well!"
Jon

"You’re brilliant – you really are the cup-more-than-half-full man."
Steve

"Thanks, Adrian.  Sounds cheesy, but I think you're a great coach."
Al

“I learnt so much, much more in that day than I have in the past 5 years, and I achieved my goal. Adrian is a really good coach, explains things well, is pretty patient and makes you believe in yourself. He gave me some things to work on and I will definitely be going back for another session."
Caroline

Never thought I would ever lead E1, so a clean on sight of an E2 was a real bonus... I got a shed load done in two days, a lot more than I had reasonably expected to achieve, a lot of mental distance travelled”
Paul

“Just a note to say a big thank you for the help and advice you gave this weekend. The boys are thoroughly fired up and inspired to climb...like you!”
16 year-old Sam climbed his first E4 on-sight during his first year of climbing after three coaching sessions!

"You present any criticism in a very positive way, making people feel good about their climbing potential and never deflated. You get people to recognise their strengths and to build on those."
Lucy

"I have experienced Adrian's unique approach to coaching on three week-long courses, two focussing on sport climbing, and one on bouldering.  He has an ability to unlock climbing potential through some very acute observations and comments.  He also provides an extremely inspiring role model through his impeccable demonstrations of a range of techniques, in particular on-sight tactics."
Kate

"Keep on climbing and keep on teaching, you have so much to give."
Soren

"I really appreciated your professional and structured approach; your tips have added a more thoughtful and disciplined dimension to my own climbing approach."
Louise

What to Expect: Roger Gibbs wrote this account of a day we spent together for the Oread MC Newsletter.

Finally the weather looked vaguely o.k. after weeks of delays. So the big day was here and it was off to Stoney (gulp!) to meet Adrian Berry (gulp! gulp!) for some coaching and some terror. He was very relaxed and it seemed a lot like going climbing with a mate, but I was paying for the privilege!

I suggested Mani and Padme as suitable warm ups but that wall was very wet so we walked further along and I got on Little Capucin, HVS 5a. This turned out to be really good climbing. It had some small loose bits but absolutely no polish. I thought it was hard for the grade, especially the lower wall but a good sideways wire protects. I felt I was climbing o.k. and Adrian said little apart from commenting that the route was good and hard for the grade – certainly E1 and borderline E2. It was nice to have my feelings confirmed – I needed all the confidence I could get for the day ahead! We discussed tactics and pointers on gear while abbing off – it’s remarkable what you can learn even after years in the game.

The sun was drying the crag nicely now so we headed up to Windy Ledge for Scoop Wall. This is very top end E2 in my opinion (I had seconded a strong climber who had struggled to lead it a couple of years earlier). It also sported some worrying wet patches but the gear was good and Adrian oozed confidence. The first half went fine with encouragement (and some tips on ropework) from below. I had to grit my teeth and hang in there a bit at the top where some seepage meant I had to do some harder moves to stay dry. This was a big confidence boost but I could feel I'd been working.

Coach reckoned I’d had been cruising so far, so he needed to push me to reveal some weaknesses (there are plenty after all!) He suggested Pickpocket (E4) mentioning long reaches and good gear – he was talking my language! The start was a shock – low wires and a poor cam. I was not happy. Using my newly learnt tactics I reversed to the ground and tested the gear. With the cam back on my harness and a bigger scowl on my face I set off again. I got the bomber wire in – relief! But I was soon back on the ground with my arms pumped solid. Third or fourth go saw me crack the crux and onto more amenable ground on the ramp. More gear and pulpy forearms. Some familiar faces appeared with encouraging words but my fingers uncurled (really? Or just in my mind?) I was off. It felt like I was failing.

Adrian was priceless at this point. Full of confidence, full of motivation – do you really want to do all this work and still not get the route? He was my conscience – “You’ve fallen off but you can still get it as clean as possible.” More tactical discussion and a break. I was shocked at how late in the day it was and frankly I was knackered.

I set off again with some wise words in my head – “Keep your eyes on the prize – you’ve really got to want it”. The crux felt easy. The pump was pressing but I knew I could do this. Into the steepest section and through to better holds. Runner on. One move to easy ground. Breath. Feet! Feet! A ledge you could camp on. Congratulations float up from the ground.

“You made that look easy.”

“How does that feel?”

Only the best feeling the world.

I have been climbing on and off for twenty years but I think I learnt more in one day than in the previous twenty years. Insights into climbing physiology and training, tips on tactics and technique, pointers on gear and a boat load of motivation. Bring on the summer!

It might not be everybody's cup of tea, being pushed this hard, but if you want to improve I can't think of a better way.

A word of warning – I have never been so physically and mentally spanked as after this day out on the rock!