The faces behind our climbing shoot. Meet our friend Mari

 

Mari took up climbing just a year ago, Mari loves BAM for bouldering so much we invited her along to our Autumn Winter shoot in the valley of the rocks, with the guidance of our good friend Terry. Terry has helped her overcome her fear of heights. Here we interview her to discover a love so strong it meant going boiler-less.

Give us your insight into climbing!

‘It’s exhilarating. It’s one of the best things I’ve done. I mean I’m a very keen snowboarder, but between climbing and snowboarding I can’t decide which I actually prefer, they’re both so different but so exciting.’

You have to push through. At my age, I think it’s easy to sit back and do nothing.

What other activities do you enjoy doing outdoors?

‘I’m a very keen snowboarder. I’ve snowboarded for a good 10-15 years. I love mountain biking, I love hiking, walking, swimming, all sports to be honest. I was a good runner at school. I don’t run now because I try not to get injured. My two loves are climbing and snowboarding.’

What makes you feel better after a bad day?

‘Climbing. I really do. I’ve actually built a climbing wall in my garage and if I know it’s raining and I can’t get out if I’m working all day I’ll escape to my wall in the evening and I’ll feel really good’’

What’s your advice for anyone that’s scared of falling or injuring themselves?

‘You have to push through. At my age, I think it’s easy to sit back and do nothing. If I’ve got any fear I push through because otherwise you just get old and do nothing. Push through whatever fear you have’

‘ I’ve got a huge fear of heights… it’s something I’ve had to overcome. Especially doing sport climbing, you know, if you’re doing a 30-60 foot climb, that for me is incredible I’ve managed to overcome that fear.’

What challenges have you had to overcome?

‘Because I’ve got a huge fear of heights, it’s something I’ve had to overcome. Especially doing sport climbing you know if you’re doing a 30-60 foot climb that for me is incredible I’ve managed to overcome that fear’.

Summarise a few words on how it makes you feel?

‘Complete, happy, just fantastic feeling. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so happy to be honest’

What would you advise for anyone thinking of starting?

‘You need to find a good instructor, I mean, where we live, you can potter and play on the rocks because there are so many boulders. But I think for proper sport climbing you need instruction’

I’m not really a legging person but since I’ve been wearing BAM leggings it’s almost like a second skin’

How has climbing changed your lifestyle and mindset?

‘It’s changed me as a person. I used to be very stressed with my work and bringing two children up and the business, climbing mentally is so stimulating and I don’t get stressed. If I know I have a trip planned I’m so calm and so happy knowing I’ve got something planned. I try to get out 2-3 times a week so the stress is all gone and it’s really good for me’

How did you build your garage climbing wall?

‘Some friends of mine, obviously all climbers, decided to join together and get the thing built. It took about 2 months. My boiler went at the same time but I decided to put the money in to the wall. I put up with a broken boiler!’

Where are your favourite spots in wales?

‘There’s so many places, I mean at the moment we’re doing lots at Cadair idris, Arrenig, the list is endless.’

‘Climbing makes me feel complete, happy, just fantastic.. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so happy to be honest’

Have you got lots of destinations you want to go to?

‘I mean I want to go all over the world, fontainebleauI haven’t been, I’ve visited quite a bit in Greece, we’re looking at going to Spain in October. I’d like to go to magic wood in Switzerland. I love travelling so I tie it in with my bouldering and climbing and it’s just fabulous’

What’s next for you?

‘Continue with the climbing. I want to do more sport climbing but bouldering is my biggest love. Maybe go to different places in the world, try out all different types of rock.’’

Why do you love wearing bamboo clothing for travelling and climbing?

‘It’s just so comfortable. The temperature control. You can be sweating one second and you cool down immediately, and you finish and you’re not all smelly. It’s so comfy I love it. I’m not really a legging person but since I’ve been wearing BAM leggings it’s almost like a second skin’

What are your favourite activities or sports?

‘I like all sports and I have to do some sport every day. Even if it’s just exercising. But since I built my little climbing wall, if it’s raining or if I have to work all day, I can escape to my wall put my music full blast, climb and do some exercise and then I feel good’