Thursday 4 April 2013


A scary realisation came to me resonantly and that was the fact that iv not been on a climbing trip for about a year, this only means two things iv Been working way to much over the last year and the van breaking down last September ment that iv just not been getting out.

So at the moment me and pip are sat on the train in-between both of these as iv got a new van and am going to pick it up with its new shinny poptop roof on it so trips a plenty needed. The other middle is iv just got back from siurana in Spain, and on the weekend I'm off to Sicily for ten days, now the problem with not climbing much and working loads is that you have no fitness and movement on rock is clunky and just doesn't flow.

So Siurana was just a foot in the water to see where I was route climbing wise it was a bitter pill to take as iv dropped down to punter level, the last time I climbed was in Kalymnos last year and i was onsighting 7c+/8a now 7b feels like the living end. Bt she's a fast ladder to climb as by the end of the week idid a 7c+ redpoint and she felt fine I know this is not onsight but movement feels better and I know fitness is there just needs to be slapped around a bit.


So last year as a no blog year asi had nothing on the climbing front to report this year I feel is the year for great things, ill keep you posted



Wednesday 21 March 2012


As I'm sure some of you who know me might of heard me utter in the past " well I wasn't expecting that" And again I bring this out of the bag yet again.

Down at ansteys cove with a Bristol and local team I did my usual warm up trav under the empire wall warming up the arms and fingers, it then set abut putting the draws in my project an 8b+ called Poppy a route iv wanted to climb for a few years.

Although the crag was dry and not in to bad a nic, on my first go up it took me quite a few try's to stick the crux move a funky foot compress pinch roll move to a shocking hold you have to kind of sidepull pinch, then your foot gos on and a flick sees you at an ok pinch to clip from. So not overly inspired I came back to the floor to rest ready for a redpoint attempt.

So pulling on it started all ok you start up cider soak for two clips then break left, up to this it was all flow and chill then nerves set in and my climbing went to shit getting holds wrong my healhook not sat properly so on and such forth. thinking this was a throwaway go I kept on going so I could have another look at the crux move thinking I'd never get up on the roll to fiddle the sidepull into my grasp. So now time for my catchphrase! not caring or trying overly much taking the self imposed pressure out of the equation I found not only the hold but found it useable with a foot move I was on the pinch and clipping, game on can I do this ? With only five moves to the chains I took a breath and went for it, move one a missive flick to an undercut this move I find hard when working it but the power was flowing and it felt easy next up is a foot shuffle clip and a another big move to a crimp followed by bump to a pocket, feet again, other hand to the crimp foot up and jump



my first 8b+ well happy, that was yesterday I was down there again today steped left and nearly did another one but I think a rest day is in order then maybe just maybe.


Thursday 8 March 2012


Progress is on the cards, iv put aside that silly work thing again and been getting out and about with a focus on ansteys in Devon on a route iv wanted to to for a wile now so iv slapped myself around the face and told myself to pull my finger out and get it done. Easily said but for this one iv got to but effort in I.e if got to train and get better at this climbing thing something iv not really done before.

Up till now all the routes iv done iv done quickly with out really trying and this route (poppy) has got a move I can only just do from the hang so iv got to get stronger so I can get to it fresh, this feeling is slowly coming along it feels better every time I go down and have a play.

More motivation as if I need it is pip as she is getting more mobile around crags and danger I now have two options one is to take her for a morning walk , or go climbing so she can get a walk that way. Easy to work that one out me thinks.

So what now, the next few weeks hold a little bit of the indoors in the shape of the CWIF followed by a trip to Madrid to set a comp out there, the pressure is on as well as the starting List has names like woods and Robinson in it ! I'll get back to on how it gos.



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.