Better Eat Your Wheaties V8, Hueco. Photo: Alex Messenger

Better Eat Your Wheaties V8, Hueco. Photo: Alex Messenger

Every individual is so different and that’s what fascinates me. When we truly appreciate & accept this, and climb from a place of happiness and joy, that is when your best performance will happen and everything flows. I know this deeply. It’s the same for everyone, regardless of age or ability.

Katherine Schirrmacher

I knew that I’d found my tribe…

… that first weekend away on a Leeds University climbing club meet. Sleeping on a karimat in a dusty Welsh barn, with a slightly foggy head I woke up to a day of unknown adventure. Some things have changed in that time, others not! Over time, as life has weaved it’s course, climbing in all it’s forms has never left me. It was only after trying many other jobs, did I realise there was a career for me within this sport.

My fingers have curled around the bubbly orange quarzite of Arapiles (AUS), I’ve stood on the luminous green lichen of the Needles (USA) and been at sea on the vast walls of the Verdon (FRA). But my home for the last 20 years has been Sheffield. The lure of the roughness and familiarity of the gritstone outcrops in the Peak District never tires. The fact I know it’s 10 minutes from my house gives me huge comfort.

I’m always amazed how climbing has been my constant companion throughout my adult life. As I delve deeper it just evolves further as I notice climbing will give me any experience I choose: pushing my physical body, gaining control over my fears, moving gently getting into my body and out of my mind, learning to listen without judgement to the messages my body gives me, being with my friends and inhabiting the present moment. And as a parent climbing only seems even more precious. It’s limitless!

My approach

Years of experience of both personal climbing and climbing coaching and instruction have given me a very in depth knowledge of technique, tactics and training. I’ve written training plans for GB competition climbers, coached people to climb their first E5s and helped people through injury & difficult times in their climbing.

However my strong belief is that it is your general approach that will reap the biggest rewards:

  • connecting to your deepest motivations, setting just the right goals that you can achieve and be inspired by

  • allowing number based goals to be guidelines, in order to allow other areas of performance to have equal basis for measuring progress

  • learning how to be in the moment, in order to concentrate, notice and focus on the tiniest details

  • listening to your body and respond without judgement to what its telling you

  • climbing from a place of kindness and presence

Photo Natasha Hirst

Photo Natasha Hirst


Mountain & Climbing Instructor

Mountain Leader

Rock Climbing Instructor

Development Coach

Former GB Climbing Team coach


Onsight: Trad E5, Sport 7c

Redpoint: Trad E7, Sport 8a, Bouldering 7c+

Former member of British Bouldering Team