Sochi ice climber shows Buxton students the ropes

New Mills ice climber Andy Turner in Sochi. Photo contributed.
New Mills ice climber Andy Turner in Sochi. Photo contributed.
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New Mills ice climber Andy Turner will be sharing his experiences of the Sochi Winter Olympics with students at the University of Derby Buxton when he returns from Russia this week.

Andy, of Church Road, was one two Britons chosen to go to the 2014 games to demonstrate why his exciting discipline should be recognised as an official Olympic event.

The 43-year-old, who has been climbing for 17 years, works with the team at the University’s Oaklands Manor outdoor centre, on Manchester Road.

“To work with someone of that standard is an outstanding experience for our students”, said manager Mike Gray. “He’s very keen to pass on all his knowledge to students and really believes in developmental training – the real-world learning ethos which has put Buxton students at the top of the UK league table for getting jobs within six months of graduating.”

Andy, who has competed in three Ice Climbing World Cup competitions, said: “It takes you to some amazing places around the world, to remote places people very rarely see. People think it’s about an adrenaline rush but you don’t always enjoy the climb; it’s the feeling at the top.”

While the mountaineer would normally spend six hours navigating an icy peak, in competitive climbing, the athletes ascend man-made overhangs or walls in six minutes. “It’s like a puzzle you have to work out. As a competitor, you’re put in isolation so you can’t learn from others’ mistakes,” he explained.