Introducing The Behind The Wall Newsletter

April Fool’s jokes, athlete interviews, what it is like to train as a professional competition climber, and much more.

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Welcome to Behind The Wall, a weekly newsletter published every Saturday highlighting my favourite interviews, videos, and media from the world of competition and indoor climbing over the past week. 

As it is the first edition, I have also added some extra links from the previous week.

Next week, we will have the first competitions of the year in Keqaio and Wujiang, China. You can read about who to watch out for in Keqaio and follow us on Instagram for live updates in our stories.

I know there is lots of great content out there that I don’t know about. Let me know at, and I’ll give you a shout-out if I feature it.

Please subscribe if you’d like this newsletter delivered to your inbox next week. Please share with anyone you think would enjoy reading Behind The Wall.

The Drop

And some more from last week

  • Toby Roberts Training in Japan: Watch World Cup gold medalist Toby Roberts climbing and struggling at the famous B-Pump Ogikuko gym in Tokyo, the “hardest climbing gym in the world”. Roberts described the climbing as “being repeatedly punched in the face”.
  • Oceana Mackenzie Interview on Off the Poduim: Oceana Mackenzie sat down with Ben Waterworth on the Off the Podium Olympic Podcast to discuss how reaching the final of a World Cup convinced her to become a professional climber, what the Tokyo Olympics was like and what she is looking forward to most at the Paris Olympics.
  • IFSC Website new look: The IFSC website has been refreshed to improve the “digital experience” in the run-up to the Olympics. There are still problems with the site, though. News from before December 18th 2023, event data before November 2023, and details of the Speed World records are missing. While these get re-added, the best place to get all the information on past and future events is the IFSC results service.
  • The Outsider – Svana Bjarnason’s journey to the Olympics: Learn about Svana Bjarnason’s return to competitions to qualify for the Olympics for Iceland through the Universality pathway. She is coached by World Cup gold medalist Jorg Verhoeven. Bjarnson needs to reach the top 36 in the OQS to win her Universality Olympic ticket.
  • HoldRetex: Alex Waterhouse, former International Competition climber and co-owner of Contact holds, launched HoldRetex last week. HoldRetex uses the same hold re-texturing process that Contact Holds offers in the UK to fill in holes and re-texture worn plastic holds so they can be reused again and again, extending the lifecycle of the holds. The service saves 50–70% of the cost of a new hold, and some people even prefer the new texture to the original one.

That’s a Wrap

I hope you enjoyed the first edition of Behind the Wall. Let me know what you think at or DM me on Instagram.

See you next week!

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