To celebrate the release of the Campshire fleece earlier this year We Are Explorers and The North Face gave 6 lucky duck adventurers a money-can’t-buy experience: climbing, camping, hiking and workshopping with pro climbers Ben and Lee Cossey.

The winners were flown in from around Australia and New Zealand to convene in the magical Blue Mountains where they scored some sweet swag from The North Face and sent it up the sandstone. Check out their weekend.

 

Can’t Dampen High Spirits!

Saturday’s forecast was for high spirits with a chance of atmospheric lows. Chilly winds and rain storm cells were rolling into the mountains as we all made our way to Mt York to experience climbing in the Cosseys’ stomping grounds.

Jeremy Lam, 3 Climbing Tips From Our Weekend With The North Face Pros, ben cossey, lee cossey, blue mountains, mount york, nsw, rock climbing, wilderness escape. clifftop, fog

It was all good though, and thanks to the knowledge and skills of the brothers and My Adventure Group, top ropes were set up on a diverse range of climbs; beginners could gain confidence on classic grade 10’s and the experienced could get their palms sweaty on grade 22’s.

Jeremy Lam, 3 Climbing Tips From Our Weekend With The North Face Pros, ben cossey, lee cossey, blue mountains, mount york, nsw, rock climbing, wilderness escape, ellie, hero

Jeremy Lam, 3 Climbing Tips From Our Weekend With The North Face Pros, ben cossey, lee cossey, blue mountains, mount york, nsw, rock climbing, wilderness escape, belay

Despite the occasional drizzle everyone had a blast climbing together! We climbed till our forearms failed and were pretty glad to dive into our Campshire Fleeces once we came off the walls.

Jeremy Lam, 3 Climbing Tips From Our Weekend With The North Face Pros, ben cossey, lee cossey, blue mountains, mount york, nsw, rock climbing, wilderness escape, campshire fleece

We ended the day with some Capital Brewing Co. bevs and a hearty stew ’round the campfire. Mint!

Jeremy Lam, 3 Climbing Tips From Our Weekend With The North Face Pros, ben cossey, lee cossey, blue mountains, mount york, nsw, rock climbing, wilderness escape, campfire

A Foggy Hike To The Masterclass

The clock hit 6.00am and alarms rang out across our community of toasty tents. It was time to shovel down some breakfast for a steep 3-hour hike to Katoomba!

Jeremy Lam, 3 Climbing Tips From Our Weekend With The North Face Pros, ben cossey, lee cossey, blue mountains, mount york, nsw, rock climbing, wilderness escape, ferns, 6 foot track

The beautiful (and tiring) hike along the Six Foot Track led us through eerie morning fog, waterfalls, and lush forests to bring us back to civilisation.  Still warm from the hike, we began a session of burly bouldering and a climbing masterclass in the Cossey brothers’ gym, Camp St Climbing Katoomba. Ben & Lee focused on these 3 training tips to help you crush your next project:

3 Climbing Tips From The Cossey Brothers

# 1 Points Of Balance

Focusing on “points of balance” is finding the least strenuous body position to effectively and efficiently reach the next hold. Doing this during training makes climbing more tiresome, but strengthens and trains technique for the best body positioning when next climbing for performance.

Next training session: Be mindful of finding the right body position to help you reach for the next hold smoothly and statically.

Jeremy Lam, 3 Climbing Tips From Our Weekend With The North Face Pros, ben cossey, lee cossey, blue mountains, mount york, nsw, rock climbing, wilderness escape

# 2 Accentuation Of Body Position

Most of us have techniques that we’re weak at or don’t like. We tend to use favoured techniques in lieu, even when they aren’t appropriate. Habitually, this causes muscle imbalances and poor technique. To avoid this, intentionally train and exaggerate every technique so you feel confident using them all well.

Next training session: Complete full climbs using only back-stepping or front-stepping. You’ll become a back-step master in no time! (Back steps are where your pinky toe faces the wall instead of your big toe).

Further techniques to practice include heel hooks, toe hooks, drop knees, gaston, lock offs and dynamic jumps.

Don’t recognise these words? Read: Rock Climbing Slang And How To Use It

Jeremy Lam, 3 Climbing Tips From Our Weekend With The North Face Pros, ben cossey, lee cossey, blue mountains, mount york, nsw, rock climbing, wilderness escape. gym

# 3 Breathing

Deliberate breathing during climbing lowers your heart rate and helps you to retain focus – it also minimises stress, over-gripping of holds and the contraction of unnecessary muscles. Employing breathing techniques during a climb decreases the likelihood of tiring out and allows you to make calculated movements towards the send!

Next training session: Deliberately breathe in during foot movements and breathe out during hand movements.

Jeremy Lam, 3 Climbing Tips From Our Weekend With The North Face Pros, ben cossey, lee cossey, blue mountains, mount york, nsw, rock climbing, wilderness escape, the crew

This article is thanks to a partnership between We Are Explorers and The North Face Australia & New Zealand.

 


All photos by @jeremylamx


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