Amazon, Apple, and Google are just a few of the many great businesses that started in garages. Now we can add to that illustrious list: The.. um.. Mountain Foundry. Joking aside, this feels like very big moment for me. From the moment I started training people, the idea of having a space with my own equipment and vibe was constantly been at the back of my mind, now it is a reality.

The Garage Business

Bumper plates and kettlebells

Bumper plates and kettlebells

While not the most glamorous of beginnings, everyone has to start somewhere and after a summer and autumn of training outdoors at the Chamonix sports centre track, I knew once the snow came that I needed a plan B. Ever the entrepreneurial epicentre, it didn’t take long for someone in Chamonix to hear of my predicament and offer their private garage for the winter.

At 3m by 6m the space is small but perfect for what I need. I am still at the beginning of my fitness and personal training career and this size allows me to focus on just a few clients at a time, giving them a personal and tailored service for their training needs.

Lindsey and Heather training together

Lindsey and Heather training together

Over the last 6 months I have had the privilege to learn from some incredible coaches and instructors; from Dan John and his Art of Coaching seminar, to the Strength Matters Kettlebell Instructor Certificate, and finally the Gym Jones Fundamentals Seminar. I have collected a huge amount of information, experience, and inspiration and since returning from each of these weekends I have started to integrate their philosophies and training methods into not just my clients but my own training.

With opening my own space, I have had the perfect opportunity to set it up with all of this training in mind, just how I want it. So, then I got to go shopping!

The Mountain Foundry v1.0

As the New Year dawns, The Mountain Foundry is going to be my focus for 2016. I have needed something to get my teeth into after recent events and I am incredibly proud and feel very fortunate to have this opportunity. There is an incredible opportunity right now in not just Chamonix but the outdoor industry in general for applying considered and designed training to these extreme and wild sports.

Following in the footsteps of climbers such as Mark Twight with GymJones, Steve House with Training for a New Alpinism, and Rob Shaul’s Mountain Athlete, to name but a few, I want to take the amazing hard work and learnings these people have discovered, apply them to athletes here in the Chamonix valley, and start my own journey to applying structured strength and conditioning training to mountain athletes.

2016 for The Mountain Foundry

Kettlebell and Turkish Get Up drills

Kettlebell and Turkish Get Up drills

As well as offering both one-on-one personal training and semi-private sessions for small groups, I am also going to be putting on larger weekend retreats focusing on sport-specific training in ski-mountaineering, trail running, and more.

I want these seminars and retreats to really teach people something not just be a fun weekend out on the hill – that should be a given! By covering training for the sport, working with local guides to add real mountain instruction, and then taking everyone out on a classic Chamonix route, run, or climb, I want people to come away with tangible lessons that they can apply on their own to their everyday adventures and explorations.

Starting with a ski mountaineering weekend in spring, watch this space for more information and sign up details. In the meantime, you can always email me and share your interest.

Moving on from Square 1

This is very much just square one but it is an incredibly exciting square one to find myself in.

I hope that if any of you find yourselves passing through Chamonix you will pop along, drop in for a session, or just say hi.

Here’s to 2016, The Mountain Foundry, and a future unknown.

The Mountain Foundry

The Mountain Foundry

by Charley Radcliffe

4 Responses to “All great things start in a garage”

  1. Eric

    Well done Charlie for being brave and going for it. I would love to come over for a few days and do some training and climbing with you.

  2. Carl Wright

    This is so cool Charley. I love the sheer simplicity of your garage business, I would feel so much at home training there.

    The company I work for (recycling containers) all started in a garage. Much respect, and I am excited where this will take you! 🙂


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