Tuesday, 6 October 2009

old man

Well it happened im now 30! but worse than that i'm also back from spain and a month traveling around with Lisa and other friends. starting off with a somewhat choppy ferry crossing and a two day drive down to the Costa Blaca, We arived at the Orange House ready for a weeks Deep water soloing.

Deep Water Solo Feastival Spain sept 09 from Gavin Symonds on Vimeo.

From the hot and sunny south coast we traveled up hill to the famed bouldering spot Albarracin, with good temps and wkd climbing we set of to test our skills and power on the blocks, i had with me a pair of speedsters from sportiva and was trying these out on the sandstone as well, i found out to my cost that wile very good in the steep for pulling not so good at edges.

So back in the van and headed north yet again we ended up at a little known crag just west of mont grony, With lisa flashing a 6a on toprope then pulling the rope and leading it all was set for a good few days i then onsighted a 7c up the steep and long wall cheacking my arms are up for the up and coming routes in Roddelar.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

San Sim

Well it comes to pass that after my last try and the weather set in it looked like a no go For San Simeon before i went to spain, But driving back to bristol to drop Tim off to go to a wedding the power of the Iphone shone through saying that a window of weather was coming, So fuled with a shower and food i drove back to the westest of Wales. Geting to the bosh head for last orders i found myself a team of lifegaurds/ spotters and camera crew ready for the seven oclock start.
So comes the morning, Not knowing when the wall comes into the sun had me playing at high tide in the shade on rather wet rock! The top was in the sun and pream ready for the move but the bottom and more improtant the only sloping hold on the route was far from dry. So warmed up it was a race of sun v tide witch was on the way out!!.
At last the resting rail and the bad grip came in to sun so with the tide falling and only one go at doing the route before it became to shallow off i went. The first 25ft went easily enuf seeing me at the rail ready for the next 40ish ft of harder climbing, After having a shake and clearing my head off i went, All going well and getting to the move where i fell only a few days ago i took a breath moved slow and deadpointed to the hold all i had to do then was to stay calm and not pull one of the loose holds off the top!
Job done only took me two years and five days to get the weather right and do this route making it one of my longest pojects i'v done to date.

San Simeon from Gavin Symonds on Vimeo.

So now its time to pack the van and head to Spain, First stop the orange house for the deep water solo fest held there sponsored by La Sportiva.
Not sure what to do after that apart from climb and try and do a 8b before I'm 30! will keep you posted..

Wednesday, 19 August 2009


Well hear I am again hoping that the sun
mixes with tide and rock so I can get my project done, after having a play last week only to find out that it started to seep when it went in the shade at high tide thus making it a no go.
One week on looking out the window at a rather damp and windy day! yesterday was better a bit of sun in the afternoon making it bon and climbable, With a film crew on site (stolen from Tim) ready to catch the climbing it was all going well till after the first crux and the big move to the crimp apon high, finger tips over the grip and slipping off to plunge the 55ft into the sea.
Time's running out for me this Year i'v only a few days left before me and Lisa are heading to spain for a month of climbing First down in the blanca for a deep water solo fest at the orange house them up to the mountains of the north to getfit and live the dream....

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Well things seam to be coming together after a trip down to Ansteys cove in Devon a sweet sport climbing spot on the south coast, on a route called Tupance a route i first tried it must be three or four years ago where I made it must be said good progress on that day so long ago only not doing one move on my working sesh.
Well three years on iv done the move! With it I think I can climb the route I might have to spend some time playing on it but it will be done.
wile down in the west I headed to Dartmoor for a spot of van camping followed by an early wake up call coming from a Dartmoor pony popping his head in the open door to say hello I called him Tom!

From my early start I went up to Hound tor to do a bit of soloing before my coaching clients turned up for there days climbing on the perfect granit of the moor in the wind and sun, with a debrief over a pint at the Rugglestone in Wideacome in the moor. Back on the road it’s off to Portland to meet up with Lisa for her first climbing day outside in seven weeks! With her call on climbing venues she had us headed to Blacknor north and a redpoint she looked at all those weeks ago. Working the moves on toprope a few times to get her eye back in she pulls on for the lead.
Mean wile mike and myself on another long term project of mine Freaky Ralph a route witch starts with a nice 7a+ and finishes with a slaby 7a with a spicy V7 splitting the two, a new set of numbers witch include a slap to a poorer hold then a flick to the slide pull proper making the crux a different story the game was on, so two go’s down and finding out that I do need to move my foot before the slap I just had to step up one more time and sure enough after watching Mike fall off the slab sent it on my next run.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009


Well not a bad camping spot on my working road tour, I came across this spot(Wardour Castle) when driving towards Gillingham Dorset a nice castle in the dorset hills i can recommend popping in if your in the area! best to do early morning before they open.

Thursday, 14 May 2009


Well times a funny thing and she run's on apace and i see that its been awhile since i last tapped away!
Well whats been going on in this life of mine? climbing wise on returning from spain had me headed to the skymasters comp with fitness up all was set for a good few days fun, climbing and drinking. With that done and Easter around the bend looking at forecasts seemed little help with the planning so Lisa and me booked a ferry for france and Font, thinking that sat in the forest drinking coffee/chocolate in the rain was not the worst way to spend a few days, Who could of guessed that the sun would come out and make it lisa's best Font trip to date!
With the weather good on the south coast climbing on portland seemed a good bet so a few weeks working and climbing evenings brings us to now where i find myself again packing for Spain bring on the steep juggy limestone.
a picy of me in Newport standing around!

Friday, 27 March 2009

Spain again

Well just back from spain again this time climbing with the French man Yann (the project maker!) with a special appearance from me bird Lisa.
On this trip i had a few goals 1= get fit/strong for sky masters 2= do a few 8a's 3= try and onsight one!
twelve days of climbing lay befor me so my thinking was little and often so only a few routes a day for me, Day one saw us at Forada sleepy but keen getting our eye's in doing a few climbs up to 7b+ then over to the house to settle in and meet up with the others.
El Bov was next on the list and redpointing the super steep Arcadia 7c after dropping the last move first go! Then followed a pair of days falling off flashing and onsighting 8's at Wildside and L'ocaive, not god falling off things but starting to build fitness up, More redpointing needed so back to Wildside to do Ergometia 8a with Yann's hands of rest near top helps! followed by a rest day only a 7b+ done this day.
The arrival of Leah Crane climbing in the sun saw us at Echo vally and again an almost flash of Shelter 8a sent 2point.
As climbing in the sun is overrated we went back to the dark side and i got back on Dimension Diamante 8a+, i was on this last time out but got shut down on the crux but this time pissed it pointng it second go.
More rest days followed only trying 7c+'s and climbing up to 7b's, then we went to the short crag of Murla 15 meters and i jumped my way up LaChaqueta Hidraulica 8a.
Then on to our last day what a perfect trip fitness up, four 8's in the bag climbing and chilling in sunny spain with friends life can't get much better?
With a late flight we went to Cabezon a long crag 40+ meters and is near the airport so good as can climb for longer, warming up on the best 6b+ and 6c+ anywhere i can think of, looking up at Columneta an 8a so long i couldn't see the top the only two bits of info i had on the route were gaz fell off it not a good thing to know he don't fall much and a small tufa pinch for your right hand i set off just seeing how far i could get.
Well finding a knee bar after the steep start 25 meters up and not falling off was a nice place to be, after resting a bit set of up the still steep but not quite so steep top, it went like this steady climbing hard move more steady climbing to side pulls on bad feet, pulling with all i had i found the small tufa with my left hand? pushed on past it to bad crimps and a jug i had made it this far im 38 metres up the route onsight hanging on a resting jug! i can see the chain now only one bolt higher up but the only problem is i can't see any holds! getting my feet up and reaching up finds me at a two finger pocket trusting this is the way to go i pull up again and found another pocket i still can't see any holds and seeing as this method has worked twice now i try it again and again and again and there it is the chain all i need to do is get my finger out of the pocket it seams stuck in and clip! Panic setts in as finger is quite stuck but no a bit of a hip wiggle sees it free and clip and relax 8a onsight in the bag whoop whoop.

Friday, 27 February 2009


Well just back from the Blanca with a nice stay at the Orange House with Gaz P, Shauna C and charlie E.

The one overriding feeling is that i need to get fitter, not just a bit fitter tho i need large amount of fitness i can hang on for a point or two but as for onsighting its just another game.

Saying that though not a bad trip considering that be for going out the years tally of routes was at a hedonistic tally of about 10 climbs on the rock stuff! The first day was just a case of doing a few easy routes in the sun as id not slept much and was recovering from setting at the Academy the day be for, Then the climbing started proper getting out of the sun and into the shade of caves and the dark of north, With Crags the likes of Wildside, El Bov and Forada.
the ascent of the week has to go to Shauna on climbing her first 8a in the shape of Watermark at Wildside sella working the climb with Gaz's sequence of putting your thumb in a whole on crux move we went for our first redpoint trys, i managed to pull though the crux and on up past the easier climbing to the chains bricking it on the easy ground all the way hoping i wouldn't mess it up. Shauna tho after getting her thumb in on the action missed her foot sequence and peeled off the crux.
So on to day two of redpoint land she worked up the route sorting the numbers and getting warm, so second point! getting past the crux surely its in the bag but no dam footwork. So round three and guess what yep that's right feet again not such a problem on round four with a picture perfect ascent, a sweet effort as 7c was her hardest climb up to this, i'd recommend not sitting out on those dancing lessons from now on sort out dem feet.

With a few more days of trip left i made short work on another 8a/8a+ at Forada and finished up climbing a long standing project for me a 7b+ at Wildside i was working ten years ago!

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Out of the box

Well the day started well waking up in Clifton Bristol overlooking the bridge, After a big Bowl of porridge on to the climbing Academy for a spot of coaching for the uni climbing team and coffee on tap.
Well with the weather shinning and work Finished the outdoors was calling and a few hours later i found myself on Dartmoor! After getting a bit stuck getting into the car park at bonehill i pulled on my new climbing shoes the La Sportiva miura VS's, i can safely say that they performed beyond compare on the small granite crystals making the climbs of my usual circuit a path, not so good on the snow but cant have every thing!

Snow+Sun on the Moor from Gavin Symonds on Vimeo.

Monday, 26 January 2009


TCA or in longer speak the climbing academy, Bristol’s new boulder wall held its opening party last weekend, kicking off at high noon with the sun showing an unusual appearance the Bristol climbing masses made a beeline inside to the wall?
With 30 problems and three hours to get them done it was set to be a trying day out for all, All started well with the climbers spreading out to explore the many parts of the wall to find the easier probs to get involved in warming up.
Three hours later with a nicely split field and most but not quite all the lines climbed it was time for the final! Coming out first for the girls was jo purslow getting on the arm sapping 28 move monster, Following jo was Hazel Findlay then charlie Kelly out on the prob/route with Hammy coming in first just four moves from the last grip, nice one ham.
Next up the boys with Andy, Jak and yours truly in the final.
I can’t say what went on with the other two, as I was last out so unable to watch but im told that the steep long route took its toll on already battered arms!
So on to my turn, I had already looked at the route and had a sequence in my head but looking at the holds didn’t make me ready for was how steep the wall is! So knowing I had limited climbing time and not knowing how far the boys had got I climbed as fast and as smoothly as I could hoping I had enough left in the tank, till all of a sudden the watching crowds roared letting me know that I had done enough so now It was all for glory can I make the top? Well no I fell off the next move but I had won the first climbing academy boulder comp.
Thanks go’s put to all that made the day possible from wall staff /setters but most of all Rich and Paul.

comp TCA from Gavin Symonds on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009


Well not meaning much to many but longy has been toiling at his craft again and stripped and reset the Shed on Portland as very few people know of the Shed let me explain, A small group of Portland climbers with Andy at the helm set up a climbing wall for the locals, mainly all circuits consisting of the 60/70 move problem. Andy has set two new ones a red easy (7b outside) and a Yellow nails one (8a upwards?) crossing the new bit of wall we added late last year. Wile I can do the red the yellow is some what trickier I got half way round on my first go but could only do the remaining 35 moves in seven move sections, the last of witch is probably a V6 boulder in its own right.
So now we have a few new challenges I need a trip to get fit for! I know that means nothing to most but it keeps me happy.
Spain I think is calling!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Thursday, 8 January 2009

festive times

Well its safe to say that i'v still got reason to travel to Fontaiebleau! with  a failed attempt on my my proj came to the rather striking thought that one might have to train to get up hard climbs.
So with this on my mind i stepped back from the game of hard and just entertained self on pottering around the Forrest and did a few circuits with Lisa hot on my trail expanding her knowledge of cold equals sticky.
So to Christmas din dins not being the ones to miss out on a slice of bird and having no cooker in the van we went with fire roasting? 
In hear someplace is a Turkey crown roast spuds and all trimmings for our forest feast yummy. 
Just as we were finding our flow and the weather turned even more sunny i had to come home for a few days so with a mad dash round Paris we headed for the ferry, Next stop the Peaks for a frosty new year.

We climbed at stanage on new years day just doing the rounds on a perfect winters day in tut north. A splendid way to start the year, With a little play on burbage north the next day and a quick send of  Submergence 7c i think its going to be a good year.