For Caerphilly, Wales-based nail tech Kayleigh Bevan, rock climbing is a hobby that helps bring her family together. “My son had done a few summer and school holiday lessons at an indoor climbing center in Cardiff, she explains. “I had assumed this was just something for kids. Then I met my partner, who informed me it was something for us big kids too.” She and her family began with indoor bouldering and rock climbing, but they’ve also started rock climbing outdoors when the weather is good. “You would be surprised how many walls are set up for climbers with clips and hooks all year round,” Bevan says. “We do this as a family, which my son thinks is the best thing ever. It means we spend more time together doing what we love.”

Rock climbing led the family further afield to climb via ferratas — permanent climbing routes found in European mountains. “You use every muscle to get up the mountain, following the cable provided,” says Bevan. “I had imagined it to be easier, but you need a higher level of endurance and strength to get to the top. Climbing has now become my training to do more via ferratas in more countries.”

Bevan appreciates the escape from daily life rock climbing gives her. “It’s something else to concentrate on without having to think about anything else,” she says. “If I’ve had a tough day, I take it out on the wall.” The biggest challenge is about believing in yourself, Bevan says. “Climbing has taught me that you can reach that final hold. You might need to get stronger, or use a different technique, or just be patient, but it’s always worth it.”

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