A couple of weeks ago It was my 30th birthday, so to celebrate, (or should that be commiserate), I hired the boulder bus and along with 13 friends headed to Font for a weekends bouldering.

The weather was spectacular all weekend right up until we left the forest for home and I think we all had a great time. I didn’t go with a tick list in mind, which was a pleasant change from the usual sending objectives. This meant we had a chilled time climbing problems that looked fun rather than bothering about grades. I do however have a couple of projects I want to go back and finish as well as a couple of classic 7a’s that I was one move off…next time, and a good excuse for another trip back!

World Number 1

Last week I got back from the 2014 Climbing World Championships. A full report from the competition can be found here:

The competition was mixed for me with some good points, such as climbing well and not making mistakes, and some bad points due to team politics and some poor organisation. More than anything, the team politics and changes to the competition upset me loads and that kind of ruined what should have been a great week. I was also really disappointed by the poor route setting that really didn’t challenge me. I trained immensely hard for this competition, dedicating my entire summer to training and turning down a number of outdoor climbing opportunities, which made the poor setting choices for my class really disappointing. After two easy qualification routes it would have been nice if the route setters could have put my class on something a little harder for the finals. It’s really a let down when you train hard for a competition and the route is easy enough you have done it without the training! I don’t really think my class was considered important in the competition so little thought was given to the setting. Overall it was just a massive letdown.

At least I did the job I had to do and I achieved the World Masters Title and the World Number 1 ranking to add to my uncontested World Champion title. I could have let the politics and stress get to me and I didn’t do that so I was happy that I was able to focus when I really needed to.

Now I’ll hopefully be able to find the time around university to get in some outdoor trips to use the training that I put in over the summer, starting with a birthday trip to font. I can’t wait!

Photo Credit David Munilla/Top 30



Stuck in transit….

I am currently stuck in Frankfurt airport (and rather bored) courtesy of the incompetence of Lufthansa. Ok so my flight out of London was a little delayed but that shouldn’t have meant I didn’t make my connection here. The problem was that when we landed no one came to help me off the plane. I asked and even offered to crawl off but was told that is unacceptable. As it turns out that wouldn’t of helped anyway as the wheelchair accessible bus from the stand wasn’t there.

Ok so I was a little annoyed but kept my cool assuming renowned German efficiency would be demonstrated, all would be well, and Lufthansa would book me directly onto the later flight this afternoon. Even a quick phone call to the transfer company changed my booking for the bus no problem. But no, lo and behold Lufthansa have given me a standby ticket for the later flight, stuck me in a cripples (sorry disabled) waiting area, because clearly they think I might get lost or run away or something if I am let out into the big wide world of the transfer terminal and possibly disabled people aren’t to be seen roaming around like everyone else, and told me they might tell me at three if I have a seat on the later flight. Just great err NOT.

Number one, I really need to eat and can’t get any food in this area, number two, waiting until three to find out if I have a seat on the flight means I miss the opportunity to get a flight with another carrier or take the train. I think if I don’t make this flight I will have to go home and miss the comp as I won’t be able to get to Imst before one am and can’t get into my rented accommodation then. And the Lufthansa lady had the nerve to ask me why I looked stressed!

Needless to say I can only wait until three. Undoubtedly millions of people have been in this situation before so I should just chill and wait. It’s not the waiting that bothers me, I’m quite adept at sitting around, it’s the fact that I am stuck in one place with no option to do what my able bodied counterparts could do in such a scenario – shop, eat, drink etc. It really bugs me when as an individual with a disability I get shoved in a separate area without a choice and basically told what to do. I am not a piece of meat on wheels and would like to actually be treated as a human being if that’s ok with Lufthansa.

Oh well I guess I should stop rambling and get on with, what was it?, ahh yes, waiting.

Update: Lufthansa just gave me a seat on the next flight so I might make Imst after all. Maybe tweeting this blog might just have had a positive effect..

Busy times!

I’ve been super busy since I last blogged here so it’s time for a bit of a catch up.

Firstly I will be on TV on Saturday! Transworld Sport have done a piece on me and it is being aired on Channel 4 at 6.30am (and then at 7.30 am on +1 for those of us who don’t do 6 anything on a Saturday morning!). It will also be on 4od later in the day. I’ll post a link to it on 4od when it goes up there.

It’s been an honor to have a film made by these guys so I hope everyone enjoys watching it. I remember watching Transworld Sport as a kid so it meant a lot to be asked to do a piece with them!

Other than that I was recently featured in a news piece for the BBC breakfast show – see the link below for the video.

The British series has now come to an end and I’m happy to say I won the female NPD class outright, winning each of the three rounds. I was happy with how I climbed in the final comp (I achieved a perfect score) and it is a good measure of where I am at with my training. The first world cup is three weeks today so it is back to hard graft from here. Thankfully university exams finish next week so I can dedicate a little more time to myself. University finishing doesn’t mean I’m not busy though with filming lined up for a Children’s TV show and some percussion work with the Para orchestra as well as full time training.

Busy times!


Busy days!

It’s been a while since I blogged here, mostly due to university being full on and that combined with training means I’ve not had much free time.

Back In February I flew out to Colorado Springs for the 2014 Abs Para Climbing Nationals.  It was a good comp although the setting didn’t really suit me as it was quite jumpy in style, not my forte! I was happy to come second though in what was a mixed class so I was climbing against much more physically able individuals.

Since then it’s been back to training for the world cups which start in 12 weeks. I won the first round of the British Para Climbing Series in March, which was a nice measure of where I’m at with my training.  The second round is in a week so I’m training full time now. It’s nice that it’s the uni holidays finally so I can juggle fewer commitments for a couple of weeks.

I’m close to getting back into skydiving and have been working on my body flight at Airkix so I can be 100% sure that I am comfortable in the air before I go jump  out of the sky!

I’ve also recently been filming with Transworld Sport so I’ll blog again when that is going to be shown on tv and I’m also in the process of filming a new video of a return to my climbing roots on Dartmoor.

I was disappointed to be dropped by my shoe sponsor Five Ten in January, I had assumed that as it’s a world championship year I would never be dropped but hey ho, you live and learn, it was just a bit of a blow at the time. As it turns out though it wasn’t all bad as it was a catalyst to try and find a new sponsor and I have a new amazing deal lined up so all is well (look out for the announcement soon!).

I’m also really pleased to say that I am now sponsored by Blurr Clothing who have even managed to convert me to wearing women’s climbing trousers not guys ones! Their kit is comfy and functional as well as looking pretty damn cool.

The end of 2013!

Well its been a busy few months with university, exams and training. I haven’t managed any climbing trips outside as the Font trip I was planning got a bit derailed by transport issues.

In early November I spoke at the Women’s Climbing Symposium at the Arch and hope my tips on dealing with pressure and expectations were useful to those who attended my talk. A couple of weeks later I presented a workshop about performance coaching for athletes with disabilities at the first disability climbing symposium at the Calvert Trust in the lake district. This was a really successful event run by the BMC. I have also recently been selected as a BMC ambassador, a post I am honoured to accept and I am looking forward to acting as a role model for those new to climbing.

I have a number of outdoor trips, filming projects and training ideas for 2014 and being a world championship year it looks like it’s going to be busy!

I did an interview with London athletic yesterday at the Arch. The video is below and you can read the full interview here:

I hope everyone has a great new year and 2014 starts well. As it’s the end of the year I’d like to thank my sponsors The arch climbing wall and Five Ten for their ongoing support in 2013 and my coach Jimmie Gustin for being amazing this year as always.

Happy New Year! Fran

Fran Brown at the Arch Climbing Wall, Bermondsey from Andy Waterman on Vimeo.