Positive Climbing

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Click for Full Size PosterThe Provence Workshop 2018

With Adrian Berry and Jude Spancken.

Now Fully Booked - Email if you would like to be on the reserve list.

The Provence region of the south of France has for a long time been recognised as one of the very finest sport climbing areas in the world. This coaching holiday will combine at-the-crag presentations and demonstrations with one-to-one coaching, plus evening video presentations and end of week written reports.

The Provence Workshop is designed to offer you new skills, and create an atmosphere where you are encouraged to push yourself and learn more about yourself and your climbing in a positive and supportive environment.


30th March to 8th April 2018 (includes Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and Easter Monday)


We will be climbing on the many crags a short drive from the town of Buis-les-Baronnies, which is an hour west of Avignon.

Carrie Cojocari on Sikaraté (5+) at one of the nearest crags - Baume Rousse.

How do I get there?

Buis-les-Baronnies is an hour's drive from Avignon. Avignon is a six hour TGV ride away from London, and it is here that you will be picked up. If you prefer to fly, you can travel to Marseille and journey to Avignon from there to get to the pickup point.

Who's it for?

This trip is suitable for anyone who sport climbs and wants to improve. We recommend you are leading at French grade 5 or above on rock and need you to be keen to push that.

Climbing partnerships and individuals are all very welcome. Couples are welcome, though we strongly suggest that you 'split up' for the week and climb with other people. The most important thing is that you are motivated to improve, like to be pushed, and are willing to push yourself.

This week does not cover the basic safety skills of sport climbing, and there is no supervision of the safety aspects of the sport, we expect everyone to be able to sport climb safely and independently.

Audrey Seguy attempting a super-steep 7c+ at Baume Rousse.

How it works

Over ten days there are six climbing days, two rest days, and a travel day at either end.

Each climbing day we get an early start and head out to one of the many climbing areas a short drive away. At the crag there will be one or more presentations, where appropriate, demonstrations will be made.

On rest days you can explore the area on foot or on bike - or just take your book to a hammock while we heat up the hot tub.

Guaranteed 1:1 with the coaches

All guests will be offered a full day's 1:1 climbing with one of the coaches. 1:1 coach sessions wil be scheduled at the start of the week so everyone knows when they might need to find another partner for the day. You will have a choice as to when and with whom you partner-up for your 1:1 day.

Workshop programme

This is a typical programme for the week - the exact programme will be determined by the individuals' needs.


Typical Content

Friday 30th
  • Evening presentation - what to expect.
Saturday 31st
  • Warming up, planning the day, and setting goals.
  • Technique essentials
  • Evening presentation: Fears (AB)
Sunday 1st
  • Fall practice and dynamic belaying.
  • The sport climbing approach - onsight tricks and tactics.
  • Evening presentation: Fears (AB)
Monday 2nd Rest Day!
Tuesday 3rd
  • Steep rock intro/primer.
  • Rest and recovery techniques
  • Evening presentation: to be decided
  • Evening presentation: The Climbing Mind (AB)
Wednesday 4th
  • Introduction to redpointing
  • Evening presentation: Introduction to training
Thursday 5th Rest Day!
Friday 6th
  • Finishing redpoint projects or onsighting
  • Option for multi-pitch 1:1
  • Evening presentation: Exceeding yourself (Audrey)
Saturday 7th
  • Extra day to finish projects - or go on an onsight spree!
Sunday 8th Return (option to stay longer uncoached for those able to arrange transport)


Climbing at Malaucene

Above: Climbing at Malaucene - one of the most beautiful crags you will ever visit!

Enjoying the perfect limsestone at Combe Obscure.

The evening programme

Each evening we will be giving presentations on themes such as the psychology behind climbing, training, and nutrition. The exact topics will be determined by the coaches present, which in turn is determined by numbers.


Alauzon is a the thirty acre estate with a range of accommodation, a hot tub, and plenty to do on the rest day. See www.alauzon.com.

Getting there and getting around

Pickups will be at Avignon TGV station at times convenient for those traveling from London. You can of course get to the Avignon TGV station any other way you wish. For those with cars interested in driving down, a reduced price is offered, with more reductions if you are willing to transport others in your vehicle.

The coaches - full lineup to be announced soon

Should a coach be unable to attend the trip due to injury or ill-health, a substitute with equal experience and ability will be found. The actual number of coaches is determined by the number of places filled - the number of coaches is determined by the number of clients on the week.

Adrian Berry Adrian Berry has been climbing since 1988 and coaching climbing since 2002 when he began the planetFear coaching program. Adrian has coached numerous individuals and climbing clubs, including several clubs and operational units within the armed forces. He has delivered lectures and masterclasses at the request of the sport's governing bodies in Denmark and The Netherlands, provides instructor training at a major UK climbing wall, and has written two books (Sport Climbing+ and Trad Climbing+) which helped herald the new approach to the teaching of climbing. Adrian has climbed competitively internationally, sport climbed up to 8b+, trad climbed up to E9, and bouldered up to V10.

Jude Spancken is a highly accomplished all-round pro climber. She is passionate about teaching, coaching and transmitting to others how to use body and mind as positively and efficiently as possible in order to find joy, flow and performance on and off the rock.  Originally from Germany she has lived many years in Wales and England and today calls France her home.

Jude is a holder of the French National Instructing and coaching diploma (BE escalade) and is a qualified Climbing Athletic Coach.

Above: one of our local crags - St. Julien.


Feedback from our previous Provence Workshops

"Thank you for a truly amazing time on the Positive Climbing week at your beautiful home in Provence. I must admit that I thought the week might have been beyond my capabilities due to my inexperience and age, but you and Gaz quickly put me at ease and allayed those lurking fears. As did the other members on the course. You and Gaz are a superb team/duo - encouraging, positive, amusing and funny. Perfect!"

"I had a great week and learned a ton. I'll probably book into either your Kalymnos trip or the other Font one. The evening presentations were excellent - I found the ones on the mental side of climbing most helpful. I really liked the continuity of doing them after a day on the rock, because everyone was in a focused place to reflect and absorb the information and relate it back to their climbing that day. I really appreciated the time 1on1 with you or Gaz, so I would continue doing those days like that."

"Feeling a lot more motivated now so thats good. Hopefully will book up another trip soon!"

"Interesting for me was to see how much the fear of falling could hold back people in their climbing even after the fall practice, I know that I was the same three years ago and I’m really happy that with your help I managed to change this behavior. For myself I now have the feeling that 7a is feasible and I want to try to redpoint as much as possible within this year." a couple of weeks later: "On Saturday I redpointed my 7a project in Malaucène. In the end it did not even feel as if I was climbing at my limit. So again many thanks for coaching me and helping me to find the right attitude to get my first 7a done. Hope to get some more done within this year."

"A great week which I’ll remember for a long time. Hopefully I’ll make it back again one of these days."

"Many thanks for the helpful and encouraging feedback. I feel that the coaching that you and Gaz provided last week has really helped me get the right mindset for sport climbing. It's difficult to find fault with any aspects of the course. The coaching was excellent from both of you. The crags that we went to just right for our level, and I appreciated having the video of me climbing. Once again thanks for an excellent week of climbing."

"Thanks for the feedback and also for an excellent week. It's certainly given me the "kick" I needed!"


Ollie Ryall climbing one of the superb technical routes at St. Julien.

Feedback on our other climbing coaching Workshops

“The course has changed my understanding of what I can achieve, left me motivated to make further progress and hopefully go again next year.”

“Thanks! I loved it and will be working on my climbing using all the new information.”

“I really enjoyed the week. I wanted to be pushed to my limit and I was.”

“It's really like I've discovered climbing again for the first time and I'm currently resetting my targets for things I never would have thought I would be able to climb.”

“Thanks for an epic week and for sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm. It's totally changed my approach to sport climbing and I can't wait to put all the stuff I've learnt into practice.”

“Thanks again for running a great trip, and for all your help with our climbing, it was fantastic!”

“We were extremely impressed and pleased with how you and Gaz were able to manage the instruction and coaching amongst all the group. I really can't imagine how you could improve on that.”

"The coaching was perfect. Not all top performers can convey the knowledge they have but I felt that you provided concise but eloquent coaching with a fair proportion of humour that made the sessions very enjoyable."

Not still afraid of falling are you?

"I am so pleased with everything I did on the trip, I feel in some ways that Carpe Diem was the climb of my life - I have never felt any climb easier - it just came! I can't explain it! It just came!"

"I think you and Gaz work well together as a team and have slightly different styles which really complement each other. You're both very astute when it comes to watching someone climb and being able to give accurate and constructive feedback and suggestions."

"It was a fantastic trip, possibly the best I have ever been on, and certainly the best coaching trip."

"Thank you for a fantastic opportunity. I think I'm still on a high."

"Coaching was excellent.  The very different personalities and approaches of Gaz and Adrian makes a perfect combination."

"Would definitely recommend the course to friends. Thanks for an excellent week."



How Much?

£590. Price includes six days climbing, transport from Avignon TGV, and accommodation, it does not cover the cost of getting to Avignon. A full board option will be offered at a very competitive price for those who do not wish to cook.

Terms and Conditions

1) Climbing is inherently dangerous! During the week you will be pushed to and beyond your limits, you will be encouraged to fall and there is a very real risk of injury during the coaching holiday which you accept when you attend.

2) There is a risk of death or serious injury from, amongst other things, rockfall, equipment failure, and human error, which you accept when you attend this coaching holiday.

3) The coaches on this trip are not climbing lifeguards! By booking on the workshop you are representing that you are an experienced and competent sport climber who does not require any supervision or instruction in the safety aspects of the sport. Further, you agree to take responsibility for your choices and actions during the week.

4) To secure your place we require a deposit of £100. This is not refundable and your place is non-transferable.

5) The remaining amount of £490 is required to be paid by bank transfer two months before the holiday begins. This is not refundable except in exceptional cicumstances and entirely at our discretion. We recommend taking out travel insurance that covers the risk of you being unable to attend for any reason.

6) Coaches are human beings who can get ill, injured, and so on, and on occasion it may be necessary to substitute a coach for another of similar ability.

7) Coaches are hired based on numbers attending.


Once we have received your booking you will be given access to a google doc and you will need a google account to access this. The 'doc' has everything you need to know about how to get to the accommodation and what to bring. It also allows everyone to share information about themselves prior to the trip. If you have a google account associated with an email address different to the one used to make the booking, then please send this to the following email address.

Contact Adrian Berry