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Rock climbing is fun. There we said it. It really is one of the most enjoyable hobbies out there – and for most it becomes far more than a hobby. In our never-finishing quest to make ourselves fitter (okay, drop a few of the pounds we put on from the many ‘business lunches’ we have down at the Gardener’s Arms), we have tried many sports; canoeing, football, extreme ironing and the other usual suspects. None has ever quite measured up to climbing in terms of enjoyment and sheer exhaustion. If you think about it, climbing really is a very natural thing to do. After all, we evolved from more simian creatures that would have spent many of their days up in trees, swinging from branch to branch. It’s certainly more natural than using a computer. That’s probably the reason kids enjoy climbing trees so much – well at least we used to in the days many years ago when we were young. Proper rock climbing – indoors or outdoors – is one of the most competitive non-competitive sports around. It’s all about pushing yourself to see how far you can go, to try and reach that hold, to tray and extend, twist and contort your body into doing things you wouldn’t believe it could. Its that feeling of testing yourself, of coming down victorious and transformed that makes climbing such a wonderful thing. NB