The One Show’s Alex Jones on her upcoming Sport Relief climbing challenge

The BBC presenter speaks to about the prospect of using a She Pee on a 1,200ft rock face, sleeping on a ledge, and getting a fear of exposure during her challenge in Utah’s Zion National Park

Next month, The One Show presenter Alex Jones will scale Utah’s 1,200ft Moonlight Buttress for Sport Relief. “I’m like a Boy Scout learning to tie all these different knots,” said Jones, who had never climbed before she took up the challenge. “It’s a lot to take in, in terms of safety. It’s learning a whole new skill set.”


Jones will be attempting the challenge in America’s Zion National Park. And while she will be able to learn the physical side of things, “you use every muscle – it’s pretty gruelling,” said Jones, she explains than nothing will prepare her for the mental aspect. “The challenge here is to get over the fear. They call it a fear of exposure.

“You’re hanging in mid air for so long and you don’t actually touch a solid surface. The entire time you’re tethered to a line, when your body gets exhausted you start having thoughts – you think what will happen if this rope snaps? You are constantly in it and you can’t get off. The biggest challenge is balancing exhaustion with your mind.”

Not only will Jones climb for three days up the sizeable face, but she will also have to carry all her food with her, all her clothes with her and sleep on a portaledge. “It’s a ledge that you can port around,” said Jones. If Jones was to roll off while sleeping, she would be attached to the rock but “it would be a nasty experience all round,” said the presenter.

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At that’s not all; she’ll have to go to the loo suspended in mid-air too. “This is one of the things that has worried me the most,” said Jones. “I don’t have a concept of [climbing a 1200ft rock face], but I do have a concept of what it will feel like going to the toilet in front of other people [i.e. the camera crew]. That’s the thing that’s really worrying me at the minute.”

The presenter joked that she’s been Googling She Pees: “I never thought I’d see the day, but I’m going to have to [take one with me],” she said. “It’s just something I’m going to have to get over… That’s the thing I’m going to leave afterwards, it will not be coming in the case back. That will be thrown away, and will not be kept as a memento from the trip.”

In order to train for her feat, which takes place on March 18 and ends to coincide with Sport Relief night on March 21, Jones has been learning to climb on indoor walls and has been doing intense circuit training three times a week. But, due to adverse weather conditions in the UK, she’s yet to try an outdoor wall. “I’m nervous that we’re getting close and I still don’t know what it feels like,” said The One Show star.

“We are going to do a climb in Pembrokeshire [in two weeks] as a practice run, weather permitting, we’ve had to cancel it once unfortunately.”

Before and during the climb, named Alex Against the Rock, the public will be able to donate to Sport Relief.

Watch The One Show every weekday at 7pm, on BBC1, to catch updates on Alex Jones’ progress.


Visit Utah with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details