Now I know this sounds ridiculous, but as a form of training it works.

In fact it is probably better to do blind bouldering than blind climbing. The idea is that you get onto the climbing wall or boulder or cliff, take a deep breath and close your eyes.

Before you begin look at a likely route that you want to climb and while on the rock with your eyes closed attempt to remember where the holds were.

You will probably fall off quite a lot to begin with but this technique teaches you two invaluable skills. Firstly it increases your kinesthetic awareness of your body. I would say that you become at least ten times as aware of how the slightest changes in balance affect your ability to move on the rock.

The second thing that it helps with is visualization. Visualization is where you internalise the climb and try to imagine climbing it. This is of incredible benefit because after you climb for a while you build up an internal library of techniques and sequences of moves. Visualisation allows access to that library when it is required and climbing with your eyes closed absolutely forces you to use that library.

more fun than slapping yourself with butter, rolling around in flour and baking yourself in an oven for twenty minutes.