Monday, November 2, 2015

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Autumn Garden

Autumn seems to be really bringing the garden alive at the moment.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Scotland the Brave

Living in Sheffield I'm surrounded by thousands of routes, many of them amongst the most coveted climbs in the country - but when I have any major block of free time my heart leads me further north as soon as possible. Trips to Skye earlier in the summer and most recently Orkney were both extraordinary experiences. Here's a few pics

Welcome to Skye
The amazing Blade
New routing
One that got away
Let the adventure begin
Route-free multi pitch cliffs
North Gaulton in typical sea conditions
An old man
Another old man
An an even older one
Goodbye till next year

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Woolpacks

The British landscape constantly surprises me. I'd seen the odd pic of this beautiful place on the south edge of Kinder but it was much better than I'd imagined. Called by some the Mushroom Garden I prefer the name The Woolpacks as described on the OS map.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Donegal April

I was lucky to get a week climbing an the extraordinary cliffs of Donegal in Ireland at the beginning of April and even more privileged to have 5 days of sunshine. Here are a few pics (click on them to get a bigger view).

This is Sail Rock, and the E2 Mainmast - the first route we did. What an introduction. After a scrattly first pitch, there's a 55m rope length of pure quality climbing. 
That same day we visited a tide swept and damp Muckcross but managed an excellent VS.

Some landscapes mainly of An Port, a beautiful wild bay filled with sea stacks
We'd hoped to climb the 4 pitch stack on the left but the Atlantic swells meant we ended up doing the small one (40m) called Lurking Fear Stack
The team on top of the Lurking Fear stack after our new route
Landing back on the beach
One of the highlights was 2 days on Owey Island including a chance to climb the Blade. 
Ben heading up the Blade with the Atlantic making its presence felt
Jon finishing a typically high quality route on Owey with the Holy Jesus Wall in the background, home  to the island's toughest routes.

Many thanks to Iain Miller who helped us out so much on this trip. Iain is one of the main pioneers in the area and runs his own guiding business

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My Climbing Year - 2014

So the traditional personal photo roundup on an odd but fun climbing year. Odd because my main effort was running my first marathon in September - which started with a 6 month training master plan and immediately derailed with injuries but ended well (I digress as this about climbing not running). Having decided therefore to just enjoy climbing whenever the opportunities arose I ended up having a surprisingly successful year.
January - My second visit to the Dubh Loch and this time despite just missing stellar ice conditions with the Giant still complete but with soggy ice, managed the super classic Vertigo Wall with Ben.
February - I had two separate weeks in Scotland. The first week at the International Meet was one of my best ever doing some great routes with Olov from Sweden and then one of my dream ticks - Centurion with Michelle from Canada. The Second week with Garth was perhaps the worst I've had up there and despite lots of very wet walking we only got one minor route done.
March - Lots of fun routes this year including Aiguille du Merlot traverse on the Lleyn with Jon on his birthday.
April - More fun on Chris's stag do with a trip to Reiff and the Old Man of Stoer
May - Back to old haunts in Bristol with my fellow Climb Mag editor Dave and the superb Haystack finish to Yellow Wall in Avon.
June - Beginning to get trucking with Zippy on Gogarth's main cliff. Fowler's meaty 6 pitch traverse Trunk Line finishing up the Citadel crack.

 July (Part 1) - So much fun in this month that I've cheated and used two pics. The first a fine family holiday near Baggy Point - highlights were a great coasteering odyssey with Paul and Steve's families. And then Steve and I nipped off to Sharpnose to revisit some old favourites including Sea Green.
July (Part 2) - The mighty Mandarin at Hoghton Quarry - the second best pitch I lead this year.
August - Extraordinary day with Dave at Cilan Main starting with the ab set up and culminating in another dream tick - Vulture.
September - Churnet with Jon. Great bouldering place even for those who can't really boulder. Infact just a great place full stop.
October - Tremendous trip to Skye with Jon. Including best pitch I lead this year - Mothers Pride at Elgol, but seen as I have a better pic here's another corker the charmingly named Golden Shower at Neist.
November - Attempted to get fit for a specific mixed route in Switzerland. If I could do the easiest thing out of the Works cave then I'd book a flight. I failed so didn't.
 December - Bit of a depressing December was saved by surprise Christmas weekend winter conditions and the chance to fall off a lot trying to follow Pete up a taxing new route in North Wales (click on pic - I'm in orange, Pete's in red). [Photo credit: Andy Harbach]

As much fun and variety in 2015 and I'll be a happy boy.