RocUp Success – now for 2016

Well, this is a well overdue update.
A lot happened for me last year and most notably RocUp Holidays. We spent the entire month of September out in Kalymnos with groups of climbers eager to learn from the best coaches and climbers in the world.
We had Magnus Midtbo, Alex Megos and Sierra Blair-Coyle join forces with British sensations Ben West and Leah Crane.

It was great to work with these guys and I very much look forward to working with them all again very soon.

(Quote Alex Megos)

2016, is going to be a big year for RocUp and Robin O’Leary coaching. With sessions popping up worldwide, I really am going to be busy. But, I wouldn’t change it for anything.

If you want more info on these trips, be sure to get in touch.

Ben West climbing the impressively steep Aegialis in the Grand Grotte in Kalymnos (7c).

Ben West climbing the impressively steep Aegialis in the Grand Grotte in Kalymnos (7c).

Chamonix – a scary, but wonderful place!

Wow, what an experience!!
I’ve been back from Chamonix with a little over a week and this is the first time I’ve had to reflect on what a great trip it was.
However, I will start this post with a bit of a warning.
It is interesting to see the experiences of well known climbers such as Sasha DiGiulian and Carlo Traversi and will be good to see how Caroline Ciavaldini finds it too, but alpine climbing is a BIG adventure!
The multi-pitch routes are bold and scary! I’d advise people to ignore the grades, leave their egos at home and just take it step by step. The French are strong and bold (or something like that anyway?).
Quite often we found ourselves with loose blocks surrounding us, bits of crappy tat and some huge runouts (10+m). It wasn’t just the trad climbing either. The multi-pitch sport routes had a bolt here and there, but not what someone operating at the grades would expect…scary indeed. We saw people operating at their limits and they were having a super tough time.
I admit, I am mainly a sport climber and boulderer, but have done plenty of trad too. I am new to alpine climbing and it was well out of my comfort zone, but what a learning experience.
I found myself doing what I tell myself and my clients not to do: worrying about clipping, locking off to clip as high as possible, holding my breath, over-gripping…man I was papping myself!
However, after a few days, you start to get used to the experience, the exposure, the runouts and you can enjoy the environment.
Once you do this, you can really appreciate how cool the outdoor industry really is. We would be climbing and look out to see mountain bikers, kayakers, trail runners and mountaineers well below 30+ paragliders.
Suddenly you’d hear the screams and whoops of the base jumpers and wingsuit flyers jumping over your head…
I loved it.
I’ve learnt a lot from it and hopefully it will make me a better climber as a result.
Until next time Chamonix!!!
As usual, thanks to Lyon Outdoor for all of the equipment. It really did make me feel safe! Crimp for keeping me warm and Climbskin for keeping my skin in good condition!
PowerFingers La Sportiva Petzl
DarkVentures Ltd – for providing all of the Climbskin products, thanks Pat!chaminx22






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Cheddar Gorge – first 8as for youth squad!

What a cracking day in Cheddar with firsts all – round.
First lead climb outside by Matt…A 6b+ with one arm first time out was incredible!
James’ first time in Cheddar and climbing really well.
Very close to his first 7b+ for Jake.
And both Luke and Sam getting their first 8as outside! (Plus a 7c 2nd go for Sam too).
DarkVentures Ltd
Lyon Outdoor
La Sportiva
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Do you want to climb with Sierra Blair-Coyle?

Copyright Sierra Blair-Coyle

Copyright Sierra Blair-Coyle

Did you get to watch the IFSC World Cup this last weekend in Vail? Wow – it’s so good and full of surprises, I’m loving it!
It is great to see RocUp coaches Leah Crane and Ben West compete on the world circuit as well as Sierra Blair-Coyle.
Although I am co-founder of RocUp, it still amazes me that you can get coaching by all three of these guys in Kalymnos this September. I can’t wait to coach alongside them.

I’m really routing the team on for the next round in China and hope you will too.

Remember, if you want to book onto the holiday with Sierra (and spaces are booking up fast!), then click on the link below now!!!
Climb with Sierra Blair-Coyle

Many of my clients have booked on already and we have limited spaces left.
If you climb at 5.11d/7a upwards, you may also be interested in climbing with Magnus Midtbo and Alex Megos? Click on the link above and scroll across to their pages.

See you in Kaly!

RocUp Holidays!!!



I am so excited about RocUp Holidays and it is about to go live!
This year, for the first time ever, you have the opportunity to be coached by the biggest names in climbing on the beautiful Greek Island of Kalymnos.

There are only a very limited number of spaces available in order to keep our clint:coach ratios down, so you’ll have to be fast to register your interest.
Go to and enter your email address now to find out more and reserve your slot.

I will be coaching alongside GB’s finest, Leah Crane and Ben West. These guys also coach on a daily basis and are also super excited about helping you get up your hardest climbs to date!

If that wasn’t good enough, we will be joined in Kalymnos by three of the world’s best and most known climbers.

You have the chance to be coached by the 9b beast that is Magnus Midtbø from the 12th to the 19th September.
From the 19th to the 26th September the first person to ever onsight the grade of 9a, Alexander Megos will be with us to help you;
And last but certainly not least, US star and team member Sierra Blair-Coyle will be in Kalymnos with us from the 26th September to the 3rd October!

These #Rocstars climb on a daily basis and have a wealth of knowledge that has got them to the top of their game. For the first time ever you are able to able to join RocUp in Kalymnos and not only get the best coaching from the resident coaches but also learn from our #Rocstars and get exclusive access to their best tips and secrets on how to get up your hardest onsight and redpoints.

We are all super excited and looking forward to helping you in Kalymnos.
Again, there are only a limited number of spaces available, so go to now to register your email.




Training indoors for outdoors!

Training/climbing indoors is definitely where you can get stronger and fitter, but it should always be for a reason. Whether it is competitions or your next project.

If you are finding yourself climbing and want help achieving your goals outside, then get in touch by email:
Last weekend I took some of my clients on the rock (some for the first time) to put their training into practice.
We had some great performances. From first ever leads (and bold ones at that) to onsights in the 7s and a V9 (3rd go)!

Not only is it a great release from all of that training (for competitions in this case), but it also improves your climbing hugely. From the fact that the bolts aren’t every metre (this crag saw them every 4-5m) helping your mental game, but also how precise you have to be with your footwork and body movement. Everything must be better thought out.

When you return indoors again, you are amazed by how big even the smallest screw-ons are!

I love climbing outdoors more than anything else in this sport and helping others outside gives me the most satisfaction too. Even though indoor sends are great to see, realising that potential outside is even better.

Are you in need of some rock climbing coaching? Whether you are competent indoors but never led outside, you need to improve your tactics, need help with a project or want a project, feel free to email me –

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A Competitive Start To 2015

My coaching time is split fairly evenly between youth climbers and adult climbers. Most of the youth climbers are competition climbers and most of the adult climbers are recreational.

I hugely enjoy both aspects, as the name of the game is improvement and achieving goals set out at the beginning of the year/plan by both me and the client.
When it comes to youth climbers, the rate of progression is faster, they have less inhibitions and with squads, you can set and watch over their entire climbing career. From a bumbly enthusiastic, slightly clumsy 7 year old, to a national winner – the progress is great and the journey is amazing.

I have had a lot of involvement with youth climbers over the last 5-6 years and hopefully it will remain this way into the future.

At the moment, I coach the Surrey Sports Park performance squad alongside Guy Davenport and Morna Middleton.
In 2014, Guy and I took over the squad. They won’t mind me saying that some of the squad were very keen, but technically – well, they sounded like a band whilst climbing – banging and smashing their way up the wall.

From previous blogs you will have seen this has changed. Over 2014 ALL of the squad (now 16 strong) has jumped at least 1 number grade for sport climbing and multiple grades for bouldering.
For example:
2 have gone from 7a-8a/+ and from V5-V8/9
Many from about 6a-7b/c
Some even from 5-7b!

The jumps have been incredible and they have all worked very hard – some more than others, but that shows when it comes round to climbing on the rock or in competitions.

This year started with illness – our entire squad (and coaches) were wiped out with a cold/flu virus. Not the best thing considering we had 3 weeks to the first Blokfest and 4 weeks to the first BMC Youth Climbing Series (YCS).

However, they soon got back into the rhythm after a nice rest period over Christmas.

Blokfest was held at the TCA in Bristol for its penultimate round for 2014/15.Many of the squad went down and the results were fantastic – with multiple 1st, 2nd and 3rd positions per category. I was unable to go to this event due to other coaching commitments, but Morna went with the squad and wrote up about the experience – you can read it here.

The fact that they had all done so well gave them the mental edge on the week run up to round 1 of the BMC YCS 2015.
The BMC YCS is THE youth series for the UK.
With climbers split due to age and sex from 7 and 8 year olds through to 16 and 17s.
The oldest category is A and the youngest E.

The first round this year was hosted by Craggy Island, infamous for being one of the first walls in the area – steep, short and hard! The squad had been getting in their training and had all done a recce trip to get used to the walls and setting.
Their training has worked well, with podiums in all bar one category we entered!
The Podiums:
Cat A Boys: 1st Sam Jenner, 2nd Luke Fletcher
Cat A Girls: 3rd Phoebe Dyer
Cat C Boys: 2nd Jake Collins, 3rd Rob Cook
Cat C Girls: 1st Beth Christian, 2nd Kat Davison
Cat D Girls: 2nd Maddy Broughton

Well done must also go to all of the other squad members and another 1st place in the London and south east (northern divide) Emma Futcher for Cat C girls. Emma trains with the Westway squad as well as 1:1s with me.

The setting and organisation was great. One issue with this competition is that all judges, chaperones and organisers are volunteers. This is a great thing, but also lends itself to some troubles with judging at times. One category had all bar two climbers disqualified (from one climb) for brushing another hold with their lower toe – more a hindrance than a help – still, we still had a 1st and 2nd place despite this set back.

We have plenty of video footage and much to learn from performances on the day. I have to say that most of the squad just sat back and enjoyed the competition, as they should have – and as a result, they climbed very well.

Areas to work on until the final round of Blokfest and the next round of the YCS in about a month’s time.

Thanks must go to Climbers Against Cancer for the clothing, Urbanrock for their constant support alongside Scarpa and Crimp Clothing for supporting one or more of our climbers and Surrey Sports Park for the support with the squad.

Here are some pictures from the day:

Amelie BMC YCS Cat A boys podium BMC YCS Cat A girls BMC YCS podium Cat C boys podium BMC YCS Cat c Podium BMC YCS Instagram BMC YCS JAKE BMC YCS Kat BMC YCS Luke BMC YCS Roof Phoebe BMC YCS Rob BMC YCS SAM BMC YCSMaddy BMC YCS