| 7°C Dublin

71-year-old turns her home into a makeshift climbing wall during lockdown in UK


Dressed to scale a perilous peak, a grandmother-of-six expertly picks her way up and down the sheer three metre beam, travelling from her first-floor landing into the attic, before adjusting her head torch, ready for a spot of caving beneath her double bed.

For retired civil servant Judith Plowman, 71, of Glossop, Derbyshire, who discovered her “adrenaline junkie” side in retirement, will not let the absence of a mountain range prevent her from practising her favourite hobbies – rock climbing and caving.

Married for nearly 30 years to German teacher Adrian, 68 – her second husband – she was inspired to start rock climbing at 68 after watching her IT consultant son, Tim, 29, teach younger members of the family at The Foundry Climbing Centre in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, back in 2016.

Enthralled, she was not content simply to watch from the side-lines and, within a few months, in early 2017, was scaling the climbing wall beside them, then going on in December 2019, aged 70, to start caving, too, saying: “Trying a new hobby will only have a positive outcome – even if something isn’t for you.

“It’s such an achievement to still be willing to try something new.

“Your age has nothing to do with how you attack something or how hard you try at it.”

Most Watched Videos