Tuesday, 20 December 2011


Well I new turn of events has come around, in the shape of a pip a 12 week old cocker spaniel she's been her a few days now and settling in nicely.
On the way home 

The road

Well I must say these last few months have been on the hectic side of things starting off with a dash around the uk putting up christmas decorations all over the place, if you were to plot my corse on a map you'd have a big blob around London with lines going in and out of hear going all over the country, from Manchester, Cardiff and Southampton and many inbetwen. 
But on this mad maze of lines you'd see a little long line heading south across the channel through France and ending its journey in northern Spain.For hears where Lisa and me were to spend the next week chilling out and climbing, we met up with Gaz and Kate for a few days climbing before we headed to Santa Linya and the massive cave. With a cuppa at Tom and lyn's we set off down the highway to the crag.
 Now as iv not done much climbing outside this year and certainly not much stamina climbing I thought of not pushing the boat out to much and just see of I could get an " easy " route in the bag, at this crag a crag of 9's a easy route comes in at around 8a so I found myself on airline. I'v done the first half before a very nice 7b+ so I went up this to warm up then went bolt to bolt working the moves on the higher part of the route. Well fitness is the key word hear and a 30M route meant I had no margin of error it had to be perfect or it's the soft catch for me, needless to say as is my stile I'd need another day as I rushed the second crux and my foot popped of a smear. But the second day was all that was needed as I sent the line on my second day.With a few days of climbing left I had a little play on a few 8a+s just to make a project list for the fitter future to come I am so motivated to get fit for this year, I can feel good things coming !

 So now I had to work so a little hop down to Madrid to build a bouldering wall, I'll not say much about this as I'll just boar you with the details but I think it is going to be a fantastic venue when all the finishing touches are done.I can't say it was a work and no play, we might of had a few days out climbing and our hosts showed us around from granite slabs, granite bouldering and sport climbing on the lime we had a nice little time all told we might of got a few laps of karting on as well. 

 With the wall done and thoughts of home we headed north to vist Jon Wad in the basq for my first taste of the climbing there, and I wasn't disappointed as Jon took us to a secret crag around the back of a massive hill not a good walkin but the climbing is the best a massive cave with 100m lines possible and steep.Again I headed to the shorter parts and with a warmup of 7c ( the easiest line at the crag) we had a play on a 8a+ cave route on the first day followed but a less steep but longer 8a on the second witch Andy and myself managed to send Just.

Monday, 24 October 2011

The lion sleeps tonight

Well after climbing shadow walker the next logical step was to then try Dave Pickfords new link out of the top of shadow the lion sleeps, so inlisting the help of pete for belay and photo duties we set off back down to the ched.
with perfect conditions and after a coffee I set off up the line warming up on the lower half getting the draws in this then followed by a play on the new moves of the link, this entails from the undercuts of shadow a shuffle right past some small undercuts and crimps to the arate where some nifty heal hooking and hand flicking sees you topping out back at the lower off of shadow. The moves worked and where to clip from sorted I lowered back down for a little rest before going for the point.

The upper arĂȘte heal flick move

Feeling good I pulled the rope and set off, with not to much fuss I found myself under the last slab of shadow on the undercuts feeling happy not to be going up on the small crimps and sidepulls but right instead over to the arĂȘte and the fun climbing there on.
So that brings us to the grade and I think from that feeling I had on the headwall it's for me easier than shadow but not much putting it in the hard 8a or easy 8a+ or as the Spanish like to put it 8a/8a+ gota love the slash grade?

- Posted from someplace I'm sure

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Black shadow

Not a bad month for a what I thought was an unfit fat man wile not getting out climbing much as iv been working quite a bit this summer, but when I have got out those days have been quite good.

To pick a couple of those such days the first one taking me down to blackers hole in Dorset and looking up at the very steep infinite gravity a 45 meter very steep 8a+ first done by pete Oxley, this is a route that iv wanted to climb for a few years now and the last time I was on it was two summers ago for a day of playing around but not going for the send as the bottom crux was nice and wet.
So on the return I pulled on with new numbers for the start move making it much nicer so I set off working the line, it started ok moving from bolt to bolt breaking the line down, this was working nicely but the links were getting smaller and the rests bigger not a good sign, I'd forgotten just how steep and long this thing is, anyway after the half way point totally pumped my mission for the day was just to get to the top on the dog, red pointing quicky vanishing from my head!

So recovered from my shocking working sesh an hour later I thought I'd pull on and see first if I could do the start and if I did just how far I could get. With the start done and in the first rest I was having hopeful thoughts but no way I'd get past the steep roof in the middle into the next rest.
In the next rest still not believing I'd got this far I only had the top third of the route to climb it's only about 7b from here but a hard move off a pinch in the middle of that bit and a sandy rail to finish was what I was up against, under the rail quite pumped and in fear of failing this far up the route the
sprint was on, so off I set with what I must say is my best scrabble of all time finding myself with both knees on, the last three draws missed and the finishing jug in front of me just i needed to get a hand to it !
Some how I did and clipping the chains has never felt a nicer.

Fast forwards a few weeks and another few days off cheddar was on the cards and the very cool looking line of shadow walker on lion rock a very thin and technical 8a+ first done by Mat Cox.
So to cut a long story short I spent four days on this line with the first two with a wet hold just before the crux. The next day was a silly day of trying the moves in full sun on the hottest October day on record, but saying that all but one move got done and the tan came on a treat.
That was Monday and on Thursday approaching in the rain and wind with thermals on I got to thinking how things change ! But in the cold the move I was unable to do in the sun I did first try on my warm up so with little fuss I got the draws in did a few moves to recute the fingers then bang the route was done , but on coming down stripping the draws I got to looking right and my next line to play on the game gos on.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Deep water Norway

Well as always I'm rubbish at this blogging stuff as iv not done anything in it for an age sorry about not much I can say really but stick with me and I'll see if I can improve!
First off is Norway and a little bit of deep water solo in the form of a comp the first comp of this type on the ifsc Callander.
The comp was held on a porpoise built wall over a harbour in a town called arundall in the south of Norway, the wall standing at 12 meters looked good and was a dream to climb on, a little steeper would of been nice but still good.

With steve Mac, Aid Baxter, Ben Heason and me Team uk did fairly well coming in the results in 5/6/9/11 with steve aid me then ben.
This was a great event and with a few extras I can't wait till next year.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011


Well since china it's been a mad dash of work and a little play, the play involving a bit of Font, Portland and Cheddar.

So Font the boulders mecca, that is as maybe but in the sun with temps touching 30 friction is far from Bon, that said a good trip was had meeting up with loads of friends not seen for an age!
After a slow start with Lisa and me both thinking it way to crowded we found ourselves at isatis with Lisa making good progress on a steep line not her style at all but making it look good, I had a sneaky peek at a problem I had a look at a few years back. finding fellow sportiva athlete Barnaby under the line we set to making moves higher and higher until feeling brave i did the flick from under the roof to a sloper and then on to the top jug happy days, closely followed by Barns.

Cheddar's been a game of two half's as in most times I have been it's been on the back of not sleeping the first time was jet lagged from china, and all tho did all the moves on a route called homegrown (8a+) I just kept on making silly mistakes so had to leave with no skin and nothing more to show for a days climbing. So the next time in the ched was a little disappointing when after warming up I sent the line with the minimum of fuss! Next up was Bristol weed of the same grade and lo and behold the same result working all night heading to the crag and walking away with shoulders hung low only to return a few days later and bang she's in the bag.

Iv been feeling the pull of the sea for an age now and last weekend I made a start to the season of DWS ( the latest start for me in years ) so with a dash to Pembroke I had a quick look at Neal G's new line from last year an 8a down in lydstep. It was a grey and windy day and after a few splashdowns and the tide going out I had to call it a day with a sequence that I think will work and and a smile on my face that it will go and iv taken my first splashdown of the year sweet, can't wait till I can make it down there again to get back in the sea.

On top of this iv been working loads building Walls north and south, a bit of visual bliss party prettification and setting at climbing Walls around the uk. I am at the moment sat in the work van driving back from Durham a drive iv done twice in the last week and a half !
But on the good side iv got a weekend off in Cornwall to chill out party and have a good time with friends, it don't get better than that.

Monday, 9 May 2011


Well on arriving at Getu river southwest china  two days of travel in the bag,  Bristol-London then flight one heathrow - Beijing  10 hours then three or so hours to change plane followed by a three hour flight to Guiyang then a taxi to hotel in the city. Day two picked up by a driver then a 7 hour drive into the middle of know where, that just so happens to be not only beautiful but also where the arch of winners is! 
So on arriving Erwan our host from Petzl thinks the best thing to do is go look at the crag this involves a little walk,  a river crossing helping the motorbikes on and off the small boat then a small set of steps (1477 steps)up into the cave. And what a cave well more of a arch than cave 100 M across 300 M long and 80M high at it's lowest point! With a head wall and wings covered in tufa.

So the brief, with a supply of two thousand bolts, a team of climbers from all over the world manly france Spain and England, bolt as many routes as you can. Right then mission on.
With accomidtion sorted and the food menu worked out I.e two weeks of rice and noodles with spice and random stuff put in to make it yummy, we set to

to get our eyes in we had a climbing day ( a few routes were put up in October ) to see what we were up against, in the arch it was a stiff learning curve as the routes were totally nails and so hard to onsight  as the rock is smooth and all looks the same! But a few new lines stood out to andy and me some easier routes just out side the main cave so we set to bolting five lines over the next few days most in the mid 6 grade. 

with this done we went for a wonder to have a look at the rest of the valley finding with two of the French boys a nice crag that ended up being called fish crag because there is a painting of a fish at the bottom of the cliff! 
As we could get round the tp of this cliff be a little track in the il side things moved along a little swifter as we could bolt top down instead of bottom up, much faster.
Between the four of us we then had the crag set on four or so days with 15 routes from 6c to 8a  not bad I thought.
after this the weather tok a turn for the worse and tho not proper rain we had a fine drizzle so Andy and I hung up our drill did a little climbing and ran for Beijing to be tourist's for a day or so.
meanwhile the rest of the team were going big in the cave with dani bol
Ting an 8 pitch monster thru the middle that will be in the mid to high 8s to climb Toni putting a five pitch route at 7c+ on the left and deago bolting the crag classic a five pitch 7b on the right.
Also many new routes put up in and out of the cave leaving the valley with about 250 new pitches from 5 to 9 not a bad job boys good work !

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Comps and Walls

Comps and climbing, well the indoor season for me is very nearly at an end, it's been a bizy few weeks starting with the final round of the climbing academy, well not getting off to a good start falling off an easy problem spent the rest of the of the sesh playing catch up! Well with a good try I missed out on the final by two points but came second overall for the league. One down two to go the next being at the cloning works Sheffield for there yearly comp the CWIF and with an international field was thinking a tough tour and low points was to be my day but low and behold I did quite well climbing the tecky routes with a little bit of stile.
So from a field of 200 men I came 24th not bad, I'm well happy with that!

Well now to the north and a fun week building a small climbing wall in a leisure centre, wit a strong team a big bag of tools and Longy at the helm I think we did it again and made a beautiful thing.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Jan / Feb

tools of the trade

Well it's time to go back to school, when I say school I mean that if you think not climbing routes for four months over the winter then rocking up to one of the biggest caves in Spain with only a few weeks training and expecting to do anything it's lesson one O one.
But first let's go back a week and a bit and talk of Font, a quick weekend trip with some of the Bristol crew. Leaving on Friday eve and headed to the tunnel, iv not had the pleasure of the tunnel before and what a joy 30 mins of standing around and bingo France, So from hear we drove on to the formula one just outside font getting there late and wedging five into a three person room!
The one thing about going with others is they tend to be a lot more on it that me, like for me the day hasn't started in font till at least a coffee and cake has been had In a nice French cafe. Still a gas station coffee and to the climbing, I think on that note all I can say was it was cold and I flapped around like a punter thinking I need to be in the Spanish sun doing routes and getting pumped out of my mind.

the cave, santa Linya

So on to the afor mentioned Spanish sun and the cave! Santa linya, on touching the ground after warming up doing pitch one of airline with said pump I was struck by the thought that fuck that hurts the arms and I might of lost a bit of fitness over the winter so on sighting might be the order of the day on the short but steep routes of the cave can't be that hard steep = jugs surly, so off I went scrabbling my way up 7b+s wile all around others were trying 8c's and that was just the girls!
So day one over and a hand-full of sevens I got to thinking I might be better off just bolt to bolting things working them for redpointing from hear on in and so in this method a few 8's went nicely in the pocket as well.
Day five! And with the rain not coming on day four as forcast that turned into a climbing day instead of rest I was feeling a bit under gunned and in that manner hit the wall of can't pull any more at this grade falling from the last hard move on a 8a+ so after one go I had the rest of the day off thinking day six (my last day in Spain) was going to be a book reading chill day!
Well with Alex having a go on his proj I found myself back in the cave on belay mission but as I s always the way with these things I thought I might have a bit left and lo and behold I did on sighting a 7b,a 7c and the hardest of the day sharmers warm up 7b+ second go but to my defence it's nails hard to read and was wet and everybody comes of the route!
So now on the way home sat on the plane drinking coffee and thinking where next?

readpointing irac attack 8a+

Tuesday, 25 January 2011


to calll it training would be overstating it some what i think, I think to call it training i think you have to have some structure planning and goals, i had one of these a goal the BBC's in London town The british bouldering championship is where the top British boulders go to have at a hard set of blocks.
so back to my goal witch was to come in the results at about mid field so with 52 competing coming around the 25th place is where i was aiming, so after climbing witch i was very happy with the way i was climbing relaxed and feeling strong i came 20th iv got to be happy with that.
so now what ? well iv just entered the CWIF in Sheffield so theres another goal to aim for just need to get round to doing the other two bits structure and planning, till i get round to that (iv never managed it yet) i think ill go have a play at the wall, knowing me ill drink coffee and talk moe than climb but if im in the right place i might get strong by watching others!

Friday, 7 January 2011

2011 jan

well hear she is A new year , What shall she bring, hopefully a good summer to Finnish off my projects the main one being climbing all the deep water 8's in the uk so come on people step up get some new lines done to make my life harder go on i challenge you.
but that Will be in the summer its a bit cold the now for getting in the sea! till then bouldering and sport will have to to but i get ahead of myself work needs to be done evan before that so im off now to take some lights and borbbles down the last remains of 2010 and the year gone by, It was a good one.