Double Olympic gold-medal winner Dame Kelly Holmes went back to training this week to get her personal best. Not at the running track but on the rock faces of North Wales, attending a five-day ‘Rock Improver’ course at Plas y Brenin, the National Mountain Centre.
Now in her second year as a climber, Kelly developed a taste for climbing during her days in the armed forces but only recently found herself with the time to pursue her passion for the sport.
During the week, headed up by James McHaffie, one of the UK’s leading climbers she climbed successfully at a range of venues including Holyhead Mountain, Bus Stop Quarry, Tremadog and Rhoscolyn, enjoying the wide variety of rock types North Wales has to offer. The highlights of the week included her first ‘lead’ and a successful ascent of the classic route Christmas Curry (with the Micah finish) at Tremadog, which offers the developing climber a richly rewarding sense of height and exposure.
On Dame Kelly’s visit PYB’s Chief Executive Martin Doyle commented: “Kelly was a model student for our climbing coaches. Strong, agile, balanced and incredibly determined – everything you need to become a truly great climber. But what struck us most was her obvious passion for climbing and in turn the natural affinity she had with everyone else on the course. I’m sure climbers around the country will be bumping into Kelly for many years in to the future as she continues to improve in this unique sport.”
A whole range of rock climbing courses are available at Plas y Brenin, including the Rock Improver. For details see the Plas y Brenin website.
Read more about Kelly's day of climbing and bouldering with the BMC at Stanage last October.
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Plas y Brenin
Kelly Holmes - Double Gold