The Orange House
Into its 15th year and still trying to improve, ran by climbers for climbers……
Accommodation options are ensuite rooms, shared bunkrooms, small twin rooms and camping. Price list click here
Bolt Fund/Development of new areas
Flexibility is our strength!
Get in touch if the course dates do not work! We will make them work. Be the first to set a date and let us fill the week around you!
So who is Rich Mayfield?
Rich Mayfield S.A.C Dip (exercise physiology) & Mountain Instructor Award Rich was born in North Wales in the late 60’s and spent much of his youth climbing and walking in the Welsh hills. Relocating to Spain more than 15 years ago, was the ‘best move I ever made’ he says. Rich joined the services shortly after leaving school in 1986, and lived in West Germany for six years, before passing the All Arms Commando Course and moving to Plymouth to serve with 3 Commando. He attended as an incremental member of staff The Army Mountain Training Centre in the Harz Mountains of West Germany, and was an instructor on many expeditions and adventurous training programs.
Hard Rock Challenged ticked 2007
The aftermath of this expedition was acrimonious and Rich received a formal commendation for bravery. So, with a successful book under this belt Rich moved to Spain and bought the Orange House in 2003. During the summer of 2007 with his good friend Mark Stevenson, they took on and won the battle to climb all the routes in the famous book “Hard Rock” by Ken Wilson. It was considered impossible by most, yet during the wettest summer in many years they did it! Rich now splits his time between Spain in the winter and Bulgaria in the summer. He has been working professionally as a climbing instructor since 1987 and his personal climbing experience is vast which takes in his early beginnings in Wales, then to Germany and the South West of England. Rich enjoys all types of climbing and is equally happy on large Trad routes or short Sport routes, from the sea cliffs of Gogarth or The Old Man of Hoy to the steep overhanging crags like “The Wildside” in Sella. Rich is MIA qualified which backs up his former Army experience. (ps he is a Grandad 4 times over! but don’t tell him I told you!)
Train your weaknesses and improve your grade…
When we’re climbing a hard route and trying with maximum effort, eventually your forearms become “pumped” and your fingers open resulting in a fall. It’s all too easy to think I must get stronger forearms. Don’t think I know a climber who hasn’t fallen into this trap at some point. Understanding that the things you dislike doing the most are probably the very things that are holding you back. Training what you are good at won’t benefit you anywhere near as much as training one of your weaknesses.
Training antagonist muscle groups. Antagonist muscles are the opposite muscles to the ones you are using the most. By exercising these you are helping to prevent posture imbalances and problems like shoulder impingements, this also helps to stabilize the joint and prevent unwanted movement. This doesn’t really give you any real strength gains, but as the antagonist becomes stronger the agonist becomes far more efficient. Giving the impression of a strength gain.
Four limb drive So you can’t reach the next hand hold, standing up on one leg (hanging one foot in space because you’re so focused on your hands), you let go with one hand to reach it. A powerful and difficult move for sure. You have moved up the rock using one leg and one hand, that’s 50% of what you could have used! Bending your knees to allow both feet to gain some higher foot holds on the rock then standing up with both hands on, hand holds might be below your shoulders at this point, feel for the most balanced position to stand in, then go for the next hand hold. You’ve moved up with 100% of your limbs!
Flexibility Here are two facts: Stretching makes you weaker. Strength training makes you less flexible. Both these statements are true. No good being the strongest climber you know, if you can’t reach any hold to pull on, or being the bendiest person if you can’t pull from that position. If you’re training one you need to be doing the other as well.
Rest After a hard indoor session, a redpoint attempt or a hard onsight. Let yourself fully recover, then try waiting another 50%, don’t let impatience injure you or decrease your performance. Most people build these rests into their week by, for example, climbing indoors Tuesdays and Thursday leaving the weekend free to go outside. But if you’re on a trip to the Costa Blanca for a week no one would want to lose 3 or 4 days to rest out of 7! Try taking active rest days, long easier routes, maybe a via ferrata, ridge or a gorge.
A good friend of The Orange House ” Strong Steve” at the sea cliffs Toix