Monday, 25 February 2013

Cold Season Update, BRRRRrrrrrrrr

Time for an update. I have been doing a fair bit of bouldering lately. Ive managed a bit more finger boarding than usual, and have stuck to my guns of trying to boulder more through the winter. It has payed off with some nice ticks including, Little Northumberland V9 traverse (finally unlocked this badger after a bit of Johnny Dawes Wisdom at the end of last year), Rockatrocity V9, Smackhead RH V8, Regeneration V7, Left Wall Traverse V8, and Flake Start V7.

 Back in December I went to Siurana with Adam ,Calum Muskett and Caff. We had a really cool week and it felt great getting a bit of winter sun in the depths of December. I tried to concentrate on on sighting rather than redpointing due to time constraints. I turned up pretty unfit, so it felt really nice to take a few days just to get back into the swing of things and by the end of the week I had a couple of Fr7b+ onsights and a couple of Fr7c's second go under my belt. Whilst most of this fitness has since dissapeared, I dont think it will take much to boost it back up, and I will try and get a few stamina sessions in at Llanymynech and at indoor walls before the spring kicks off just to make sure my elbows don't end up pointing to high on the scary trad routes when I get overcome with the MegaPump!
In the first week of January, a rare visitor known as the sun popped by for a pleasant crisp day out at World's End, Clwyd. I managed a second go of Cigar of the Pharohs Fr7b which was cool, and then returned to The route to the right, Shooting Star E4 6b***. This route is essentially E5 type climbing and effort but really safe. I tried the route about 4 years ago and got really pumped and fell off, and pulled back on to finish to the top. Not having lowered to the ground I vowed to return soon and that with the knowledge of the moves fresh in mind, I thought it would be going through the motions. Unfortunately, 4 years later I had forgotten the sequence, but with the thread and peg tat freshly replaced by Ryan, I went up for a look and managed a clean ascent finding it as brilliant as I remember and being happy with the extra power and stamina I had this time round. I finished the day off with the E5 to the right, Brigadier Gerard. it nearly ended sooner than I hoped when a foothold at the shakeout snapped under my pie ass but I hung in for my first E5 of the year on the 4th of January. Well psyched! I'm going to try to do lots more on sighting this year which I'm really looking forward to. Mountain trad and sea cliff trad are getting me really fired up, and I'm really looking forward to hosting on the BMC International Meet for the first time in May. Should be a good bit of foreign banter. Before then I have a week in Font in April and other than that as much bouldering trad and sport as I can squeeze in! Until it warms up, this photo of the Greenwood is getting me fired! I can't wait to be on the upper wall! Amazing!!!


Tuesday, 15 May 2012

The annual!

My patience to stick at things I get psyched for is low, my blog being a prime example. I managed two blogs last year. Hopefully I can pick it up from now and get it going more regularly. It's not as though I don't have enough time. A rapid summary of the year so far... Most of the beginning of the year was spent bouldering at Grinshill and Nesscliffe in a bid to try and boost my power up a bit. Managed lots of cool problems including some links in the Cave, Libertine and the second ascent of the amazing Dixon E7/V7, White Tower Ridge. Towards the end of March the temps started picking up suitably to get tied in and I had a few cool days in Wales. On the slate I did the classic frightener Never Never Land, and tried the Quarryman Groove finally which is tiring beyond belief but could go with a bit of work and effort.
I also resisted the lure of the remaining E5's on Scimitar until later in the year and decided to "just do an E4" up the gully called Mutiny on the Mouse Organ which was full on and possibly E5. Dirty but great and pretty shit gear. I also did Zukator and Vulture and Venom at Tremadog. Zukator was brilliant, you kind of just fall upwards all the way up it. I have now completed all the V's apart from The Valerian so should think about trying the big link as fitness training before Yosemite in September. In April I had a few cool trips. We had the bank holiday weekend in Pembroke doing classics like a Witch Hunt and Barbarella and falling off the mega pump that is Get Some In. I then headed to France with Ad in the Van. We headed to Buoux to try and have a week of 'get really fit' sport climbing. In retrospect we should have carried on south to Chateau Vert or even Spain. Buoux was great but its pretty savage and our skin and tendons were fucked by the end of day 1! I think the key with Buoux is go after a full winter of dead hanging pockets on a beastmaker and also when you can climb Fr8b+ and you would get a lot out of the crag. We drove across to the Verdon on our third day for a rest as the forecast was bad and we just fancied a change of scene. We were so inspired we decided to just stay there. We did lots of 1 - 4 pitch routes in the Fr6b+. They are all great all completely terrifying.
I am keen to head back there in the future. I also had a top rope on the famous Papy On Sight. It was a shame it was so polished but classic none the less and I was chuffed to do all the moves. On the way back north we stopped for a couple of hours play at Volx. It's a bit of a shit crag but we both really enjoyed climbing pumpy juggy climbs. After a warm up, I onsighted the classic Fr7b Charles de Goal and Adam narrowly missed the flash falling by the last hold. He dispatched it next go. Back home I have been doing bits of training and had a cool week just gone. I Started off by doing Shoot to Thrill at Pinfold. A bold bouldery E7 which I first tried on my SPA training about four years ago. Nick put a 120cm sling on the bolt and led it like that thinking it about E6. I tried and fell onto the sling clip. Good job I didn't try and solo it. Going back this year was great, I have improved since 4 years ago and more significantly have done lots more sport climbing. I had an afternoon working it and then went back with Anna the following day and sealed the deal. I met up with Calum Muskett a few days after for some Ogwen smashing! We both started the day off by leading the E4 leaning crack which is more like E3. Calum then tried the direct project which he got close to but the drizzle probably wasn't helping on the techy smeary slab fest. He has since gone back and finished it off. We headed off up the hill to check out Nemesis. An E7 from Mark Reeves. I vaguely remembered an OTE article about it but not much else. I set a rope up and gave it a good clean and chalk and tried the moves and got a sequence. I realised it was going to be steady after the first crux move off the ledge but very bold to the top lichenous scoop above one average alien. The scoop is not even that hard, it was just slippy and in a place where you don't want to fall off. I gave Calum the beta and with some cams to protect the first move he went for the flash and just barn doored too much and was off and landed ass in the silver birch. Not put off, he pulled straight back on off the ledge and made light work for a nifty second go ground up. I followed and made a redpoint. This route felt similar to Le Fin on Gribin Facet. Low in the grade, probably a Pete Robbins E6... We also tried a very inspiring wall climb project, but thats enough about that! This week, I missioned over to LPT between night shifts with the one and only Fennerz. We both had our sights set on Bad Bad Boy. We warmed up on Under the Boardwalk and Fennerz was up first. He cruised all the way up the the last groove and spanned out right to the edge and the lobbed off. Amazing effort, I completely thought he had it in the bag. My turn - I managed to get up there as well, got a bit of a shake on the undercuts, set my feet high, lurched up and right but not quite far enough and I was in the air. We both had a repoint attempt after, and both fell in exactly the same place. It felt great to be on sport routes somewhere other than Dinbren and it felt good to be on some nice sized holds for change rather than dirty crimps. With the tide coming in and work to get back for, i cut my rest short and tried another burn. I felt shit and it showed, I fell by the second bolt so just resigned to getting to the top anyhow and learning the moves ready for the next trip down there. Awesome to finally be getting involved with such a great crag. I bailed to work and Fennerz headed to Grinshill just in time to catch Nick making the First ascent of Shropshire gold, hard E7 6c or V8+/9. Another esoteric corker that could be highballable with a full sheffield compliment of pads. Despite being wasted, we had a session on the Rite Time arete yesterday. I managed to top rope in one to within 3 m of the top(basically the crux of the original top half route) and Fennerz top roped the whole thing with one rest. It's on and will be a totally incredible route. That was far too long for a blog but hopefully now they will be a little shorter if I can keep them up. Happy Smashing!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Summer drawing to an end

I haven't blogged since back in April when I got out for my first high pressure session of the year. I have got somewhere close to doing as much as i wanted this year. My high aim ticklists are exactly that but always set me up well for getting some good stuff done in preparation, even if I don't manage many of the routes off the list.
There has been good moments. Hanging out in Llanberis, Sitting in caves at Grinshill with Sean and Olly. Van trips with Adam. Mountains with Anna. Talking shit with Fennerz. Training with Pat and Jon. Catching up with Rob and Gus in France. I Hope there will still be more fun occasions before the year is out.
Amongst many cool climbs this year, I had an awesome trip to Ceuse. As well as meeting Mr T dog, I did so many brilliant rock climbs which included Vagabond, Bibendum, Cent Patates on site, and Super Mickey on site. This was a good consolidation trip for me cause I'm shit at sport climbing, but i know i can get fitter. It also made me realise when i got home and visited Sharpnose, that onsighting classic E5 trad routes is good fun if you have a bit of stamina. For me though, I love to find a route, rig it, work it, clean it, worry about it, look forward to it and have an involvement with it. I am really fired for some headpoints. I am going to train hard over the winter and try and keep using my 4 days off to my advantage next year and try and get on as many routes as i can. I plan to keep onsighting lots in the gaps, as mileage on rock is so important. I have climbed quite a few E7's this year (probably not as many as Franco Cookson in his isolated Moor's bubble of destruction), the highlight being one I did at the start of the year, Self Harmer, which could possibly be E8?? It felt harder to me than My Piano and alot more dangerous. It was brilliant. But whilst I have managed a few E7's (mainly due to my sport level improving) I havent done any E8's since My Piano nearly 5 years ago. NIck Dixon said to me yesterday " Ive come to realise, you can do routes at Nesscliffe that feel really hard, but you can be completely crap everywhere else!". When it comes to hard trad headpoints, some you get in the zone for, some are more protracted affairs. I have repeated a few routes at Nesscliffe, but I need to do more routes at other areas and broaden my climbing. I have finally got my on sight level about where it shoud be (not to the right volume though and perhaps i should be pushing a bit more) but I want to do more headpoints around the country. Before it sounds like a really serious boring blog post about me ticking some routes that aren't very interesting, the reason I have put them is because they have put me in a mind set about some of the routes I would like to check out next year, so here is another Boothy special wacky tick list to keep me psyched for the winter training:
The Great Escape
Femme Fatale
Spina Crack
Totally Wired 9
Dawes Rides a Shovelhead
End of the Affair
The Gathering
Nothing to Fear
The Ego has Landed
I'd better try and get climbing 8a at the wall and on the limestone, bouldering V9 and get strong for a Euro trip in April and a few more E7's before the year is out. I'll see how I have got on with these by December.

Monday, 23 May 2011

High Pressure on it's way...?

I haven't blogged for ages. Since I've started my job, despite having plenty of free time, I still find myself feeling busy. The last month or so has been really cool. We had a high pressure period in North Wales where everything was dry. I managed to not get over there at all until the last day where I did a couple of cool routes in the Pass, Rimsky and BEasts of the Field. The next day it pissed it down and we headed to the Orme where I got on the 7a+ classics of Pen Trwyn. I managed to onsight Axle Attack and flash Bloodsports(or the bloods???) and flash Mayfair. It was a cool productive couple of days, and I really hope I can get lots of two dayers in in North Wales over the rest of the summer. I feel like I have climbed loads, but Im not really sure when and where seeing as I only managed one trip to North Wales. The answer is all fo the local cragging. Apart from my usual jaunts to Nesscliffe, I have been going to Grinshill a fair bit to experience the esoteric delights of a load of new bouldeirng that is being developed. If you can be bothered to clean stuff, there are some great problems there. We repeated Soles as a highball, and also did a new line down to the right, Inspector Moss. Also, I just completed the cave project, A Gentleman's Perspective On Ass Crack. A tough powerful V7 in Shropshires own sandstone version f Parisellas Cave. Quality. I have also managed to redpoint Berlin Wall. After finishing off the Fatboy Finish, which got a second ascent from the on fire Ollie Dreghorn, I thought I would channel my attention to BW after never having the power endurance to do it about 4 years ago when I tried it with Jonothan Cain. I had a day on it the other week, where getting the sequence redialled I had 3 redpoint attempts and hit the hold but failed to hold it on my best effort. Going back on Friday, I managed it first go placing the quickdraws on lead, and felt suprisingly good on it. This would rate as my hardest sport redpoint on paper at Fr7c+ but its on pegs. I really need to sort myself out and put some effort into getting 8a done. Just to many trad adventures on the horizon to tempt me away from the bolts. Innit Doh!

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Yuckan II.8, The Fat Boy Finish

Finally, my project is complete. On tuesday the 8th, belyed by Finn, I top out on my project. Its been a long time coming due to finger injuries preventing me from getting on it due to the fingery nature of the crux headwall, and also the weather has been shit. I'll not start a project in the winter next time.
I'm so pleased to finally have my own route at Nesscliffe, and I'm glad its a good one, or at least I think so. The headwall is so fun!!

The description,

27m, Yuckan II.8, The Fat Boy Finish. E7 6B/C **

Climb the first half of the Yuckan groove (pegs), taking its crux, to reach the half way break (nail runner). Hand traverse right (peg) and pull up and right to reach a short diagonal crack. Pull into this (peg) and reach up and left to two obvious pockets and reach the break above (gear and uncanny hands off if you can find it). Blast up the headwall (peg and small wire) via some excellent moves (crux) to reach the top.

Its a wicked route and I'm really looking forward to people repeating it ver the spring. i Hope they enjoy it as much as I did... As for grades I'm not really sure and don't really care, but I have given it E7 6B/C as a rough guess. I know it is harder and more sustained than Yuckan II, but only a bit. Nick Dixon had a brief play and reckoned E7. Its taken me longer than other headpoints at Ness, but thats partly down to injury and weather. It'll become clearer when people repeat it.


Thursday, 10 March 2011

Tremadog E4

Being a proud new owner of Extreme Rock, I got a sudden kick in the ass to go and tick and couple more off. Cream and Void at Tremadog have been on my list for years. A few years back when I seemed to climb there a little more, I was always to scared by them and their reputation, and recently, I've always trie to get into the mountains, which is a shame as Tremadog has some amazing climbing. Un scared, on Friday I went for them with full commitment and managed to do Cream, Atomic Finger Flake and the brutal but great top pitch of Void. None of them are contenders for the best E4 in Wales ( I do think Void is E4 for effort as much as anything, but maybe thats because its start of the trad year) but they are all pretty high calibre with some cool moves and jamming involved. Great day and nice to onsight some clssics. Big days are the best! Will have to start thinking more seriously about the Tremadog V extreme challenge, MEGA! Also effort up to Mike Goldthorpe who had an insane week of dispatching hundreds of E points on the grit last week in really good style.

Sunday, 6 February 2011


Last January I was mid training as a fire fighter, nipping to North Wales on friday nights for manic weekend winter hits, and I dont think i did any rock climbing. This winter I made the decision to not do any winter climbing, partly as I wasnt enjoying it, but mainly as I want to try and push my rock climbing a bit and thought a bit more dedcicated winter training might help. I have been doing a fair bit of indoor bouldering which has been good. I have climbed font 7b indoors, which i don't think I have done before.
The weather has been up and down, but despite the cold temps, I have managed a fair bit of trad. I had a cracking 3 days on the grit. I went to Millstone with Anna and did Regent Street and Coventry street (pitch 1 only), I went to Ramshaw and did Dangerous Crocodile Snogging, which is my second E7 in a day headpoint with DeQuincy. The next day I went to Froggatt where I finally finished the brilliant little route, Strapodictomy. I onsight soloed Downhill Racer. I did Artless 3rd go, and I flashed Oedipus Ring Your Mother after watching Adam Long cruise it first. We also gave Adam a spot on Toy Boy the E7 7A slab monster. He did the 7a crux move about 5 times, and it was spitting, which I can't imagine makes a difference as there aren't really any holds.
After that I had a cracking weekend in the Borrowdale, teaching Med students navigation, and assisting with some instruction on first aid and trauma care. Adam and I managed to sneak in Battering Ram, a two pitch E3 6a on Sheperds, the first multi pitch mountain rock route of the year. Sweet.
I have been manically reading through extreme rock, it seems like a pretty good tick list! Albeit with a few hard sport numbers, and some downright scary ones. Bring on the challenge!
After having a week of trad, I thought I had best keep up the boulder strength, and went indoors on Wednesday night. Unfortunately I must have lost a little of the strength as I overdid slightly and now my muscles hurt and two more sessions have been giving me reffered pain, very similar to the pain i had about 2/3 yrs ago when they were really bad. I really need to listen to them and rest to make sure they are not knackered for the spiring/summer, I think off the steep bouldering for a bit. Althoguh i did tick Firestarter and Panty's down yesterday, before my arms started aching.
So, get healed, finish my project at Nesscliffe and start stamina training, and base level bouldering lots so I can push it in Font without getting too injured.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

New Year ticklist

It is normally about this time of year when i write a new ticklist, completely unachievable but really exciting. Instead of doing a new one, I am going to write last years up, because for the first time last year, I actually managed more than one of the routes off the list. The list went as follows;

The Indian Face (Finally got on this on a rope, so a half point)
The Axe
Midsummer Night's Dream
Melancholony (Finally got on this on a rope, so a half point, bit was in the wrong placefor the start so felt harder than it perhaps is)
Lord of the Flies
An E5 on Scimitar Ridge (Did an E4 but got a route done up there)
The Long Run
The Gathering
Prozac Link
Booby Prize
Headhunter (Full tick)
The Skull
8a (No cigar,, need to stop fucking around)
El Rincon (injured fingers, weather, excuses, man the fuck up...)
The Ego Has Landed
Dawes Rides a Shovelhead
London Wall
The Nose (Hell yeah!)
Demetreus (Tick, great route!)
Teenage Menopause

So I am going to leave the list the same for this 2011. Obviously in reality there is loads more I want to do. One thing I have realised for my climbing is that I used to go to crags wanting to on sight one of the harder routes and would generally blow it. It always seemed silly to me that I would do this without having ticked other starred classics at lower grades at the crag beforehand. The biggest example was when i fluffed Right Wall on the Cromlech. I fell off and really had every reason to. I had fallen off Ressurection the year before and hadn't been back to do that clean.I hadn't done True Grip or just generally put in the mileage leading up to it. I went back and finished it in 2009 and it was great but Right Wall I was lucky enough to be able to fall off on without nailing myself. Lord of the Flies is really really high on the list for this year as I keep putting it off. Dave Macleod puts in his book, 9 out of 10..., that you shouldn't put off trying stuff you want to do, and I agree it's a good way of just getting out and doing stuff, including failing at stuff, but by failing and the successes of getting on stuff, you will improve big time. I am going to try and get in a good base of trad and sport through the spring and get as prepared as I can but I really just want to be on that wall, feeling scared of hw fast the pump is coming on, struggling to fiddle in crap gear, working out the technical sequences. Just being on those hallowed walls is a special feeling! Right Wall was a proper climbers climb and that leave's Lord's to speak for itself. It looks quality!
Also, I did a fairly big blog post on The Indian Face which I am still really keen for, but with that route, it's just a case of putting in the time.
One thing that worked well for me last year was to try and get a better mileage base at the start of the year, and I did and it really helped as well as being great fun and just getting out and enjoying trad climbing rather than feeling I can only try the scary E5 at the crag and can't do the cool 3* E1 or E2. They are so important for experience, which is the best piece on your rack for sure!
To get that mileage and diversity, I plotted a list of places I hadn't climbed to make the most of my 4 days off from work and get my ass into gear to go and try new places. It worked really well but I could still do it better this year and put in a bit more effort. I definitely need to get to Tremadog more too...
I'm so looking forward to climbing with everybody!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

2011. Let it Begin!

Another year, another even longer tick list. I will post in the next few days with the tactics plan and full wish list. But in essence, train hard, lots of variety, Lord of the Flies and of course The Indian Face. I will also post up a photo of our visit to a wet Tremadog the other day. It wasn't a complete waste of time, as we rapped down a particular famous hard line.More next time.
I hope everyone has a great new year and climbs all the routes they want to. Lets 'av it!

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

2011 approaching fast!

Apparently my finger didn't appreciate the extra overloading of Christmas cuisine and all the good work has been knocked back yet again on my flexor unit strain due to trying to use a 3 finger open handed pocket (how id did it the first time) at the wall, and my foot popped off giving a sudden loading. I am hoping that i can do some manic icing, massaging and stretching and careful strengthening on the fingerboard over the next couple of weeks before i start trying to hit the limestone and grit a bit more. Especially now all the snow has gone, I'm getting really fired up.
Weather still on the iffy side, but going to try Tremadog tomorrow and and try to get a bit of multipitch trad rhythm back and them hopefully western grit on friday. Psyched.
Just a quick Big Up to Adam who ticked Central Ice Fall Direct on boxing day. Top effort, on a very famous hard ice climb.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Bouldering Video

Here is a short film I made with Anna, about bouldering at Grinshill. It includes Utopia which is one of the best problems of its grade in Shropshire, ata round font 6b+/font 6c. Also, Tropicana Allergy which was my project last winter until I took Fennerz along who used his long and lucky powers to lank his way through the desperate span moves I have to make, but good effort and it's a great problem. The sit start is still a project and into the up problem will probably rate around font 7a+ at a guess. Enjoy!

Grinshill bouldering, Church Quarry from ed booth on Vimeo.

Sunday, 12 December 2010


Managed to sneak a quick hour in at Burbage North yesterday, for my first experience snowballing. I warmed up on a short HVS right of Ai No Corrida and then promptly started trying this one with Gus and Steve Ramsden. No tick on this occasion. Felt scary! I'm not convinced that a fall off the crux would land you on the mats. It seemed very close to being above the slopes below. So I went across to Three Blind Mice and joined the queues. No cigar on this one either and to be honest, not even that close. Its very cool though and i'm really keen to seal the deal if i get another chance soon.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Winter is here . . .

And that means training. The main plan for the next month or two is train like a nutter. Lots of bouldering is the main bit to get some raw power but also keeping up bits of endurance and stamina but mainly build up some strength ready for when the spring hits so I can go at the start of the season with as much on my side as possible. This year the bouldering from last winter payed off a bit, but due to fire fighter training I had a 3 month period where I didn't even pull on. Still the use of new bouldering facilities sent me into the spring and summer with new strength. I have maintained most of it all year and am going to push a lot this winter and hopefully fially get that elusive Fr8a tick and hopefully in the plural form!!
On the horizon of spring is a trip to Font in April time with Sean and also I am getting psyched for some safe but pumpy and techy trad at Tremadog. a tempting challenge is the V routes at Tremadog in a day or weekend. More on that in the next blog. I had the plan last spring to make use of the great abundance of mid E grades routes at Tremadog to get back into the swing of Trad, but went there once for a weekend and had a great start to the trad season, and then haven't been back all year. What a doughnut! Too many places to go I guess but there is no excuses for Tremadog. Especially as it catches alot less rain that the mountains!!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Catching Up

I have not posted for a while as I have been moving into my new house and as of yet have not got internet installed. I am therefore writing this from somewhere else. As soon as my broadband is setup (hopefully in the next few weeks) I will resume the blog in earnest and start doing some regualar posts.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

The Indian Face

This blog post is somewhat overdue, due to my recent slackness at blogging. I was perhaps hoping to have more to write about but the summer weather has followed last year's pattern and been really bad. As mentioned in other blog posts, and anybody that knows me will know that I have been kicking to get on this route for the last couple of years. Last year I made a couple of attempts to get on it, but couldn't get to the top of the route, as it is quite scary in itself which is a little bit ironic. Determined on not being put off trying one of Britain's scariest routes by being a gimp just getting to the top of it, I manned up and made my way down there. May 25th and the sun was sort of shining. I went up with Will Nichols and we decided that we would do a big VS to allow Will some practise for his upcoming MIA assessment and then make our way across the green gallery and down to the top of the route. After a few hours of getting scared on Pigotts route, which had suffered a big rockfall and felt more in keeping with an Alpine route, we got to the top, made a belay and I prepared to get lowered down.How surreal. I had been waiting for this moment for the last two years, and now here I was, lowering down to top rope The Indian Face. It felt good.Nick Dixon had given me loads of advice about the route, and in particular for this trip had explained that I should just practice the section from the foothold to the top, as this is the crux section and has no gear, just a bloody big runnout. Despite this, the section below to reach the foothold is long and still hard and bold and probably warrants about E8 in it's own right. I had not expected much realistically with mootings of FR7c slab climbing. Fr7c is my limit and that's on steeper routes with holds on so I wasn't hoping for much. After an hour playing about, I managed to do from the foothold to the jugs at the top in one . . . just!! The climbing on the headwall was perfect. Hard enough that it is a really hard route that will likely never become a trade route, but just about within my limits. It was perfect. Just slightly harder and I would have wasted two years thinking about it and getting excited for nothing. Any easier and everyman and his dog would have done it.I caught the fever and was back up for an extreme day session between my day and night shifts. I drove up after work, slept in the car at Stefan's cafe, hiked up at 8, had a couple of hours shunting the whole thing and then caned it back to Shrewsbury for my 6.00pm night shift.I knew the second time round I would find it alot harder. Whenever you have done something or made a link on your first session, you always go away thinking that's it and forget that it felt desperate and you nearly came off every move. I knew that and I knew it would feel very hard second time round. It did. I still managed all the moves, but not this link this time. Partly cause I am a bit intimidated when it comes to shunting. I don't like falling off which is annoying as it means I can't really try things. I try and move and pull it up and slump. I did try the route from the bottom on this session though and had a play with the gear. Two reasonable RP 2's half a metre vertically apart, between tenuous hard recurring 6b moves and the floor 100ft below.What a route! Unfortunately I have not been able to head up again since as the weather has been awful and there had only been one ore dry period up there and I was in France.I'm definitely going back up there, even if I have to wait until next year.Would I lead it?? I'm not sure, I don't think I'm in a position to say because technically I can't even do it on a rope yet. With practice I wouldn't rule it out and I know if I worked hard I would be able to do it as I did the top in a oner. It felt like insecure but in a kind of still works most goes kind of moves sort of a route. I know that you would want it dialled though, thats for sure. I'm not going to lose any sleep over it, it's only a piece of rock and it certainly isn't worth dying for. It is a good piece of rock though, so I guess the trick is to do it but don't fall off and get the best of both worlds.

Sunday, 1 August 2010


Got back from Tarn early Friday morning after an epic journey of nearly 17hrs of driving! Anna and I had an awesome trip. Managed to do some cool climbing, and some other
cool adventures such as driving over the Millau viaduct and doing a bungee jump in the Tarn itself. The climbing was amazing, I didn't do anything particularly hard but t
hat wasn't really what the trip was for. I wanted to have some nice time away with Anna and so any climbing was a bonus, so I was pretty chuffed with my Fr 7b+ onsight. Other than that which was a bit of a bogus ascent, I managed to get a 6c and 7a in on most of the days. I did feel slightly unfit and weak on the trip though, and I fell off a couple of 7a's which I'm sure I should have done. I am really psyched to train hard this winter. Going to cool venues gives you the chance to see some amazing looking climbs. I saw a few 8a's that would be well worth the effort training. Bar Bitturique and Les Nouvelles Plantations du Christ to name a few. On the way back we called in to Font for a couple of hours. After ages driving round the to
wn and not seeing any rock, we finally came across Bas Curvier. Cant wait for a bouldering trip there.I also pulled my finger tendon, so thats hard crimping out of the question for a while.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

A blog overdue!

Its been a while since I blogged. In fact I haven't since the new year. I will do a blog with a bit more detail explaining what I have been doing but in short, I have been settling into my job as a firefighter, and climbing! Got a few good ticks so far this year, including a couple of E5's and an E7 headpoint. I have even finally made it to Cloggy and had a go on The Indian Face!! That is a whole blog by itself!
I have been continuing my healthy appetite for wanting to do every different tyoe of climbing going, but unfortunately keep swapping frantically between them, when I am doing one of the others.
In 2 days, Anna and I are going to Gorges du Tarn for 8/9days. The only time I have ever felt fit for climbing was after 5 days in El Chorro. 8 days of 30m sun soaked pocketed limestone in the south of France should be quite handy. Especially as things like Lord of the Flies are still outstanding on my routes to do list . . . Scary!
The blog is back!!!!

Sunday, 3 January 2010

A new year

Another new year has arrived. It's usually about this time that I write a ridiulous list of things I want to do, so I'll do one at the end of this blog. I usually buy a small notebook to record all the routes I do and make my list at the start. I haven't got one yet this year so I'll use the blog mtot draw some pysche together for now. I think my main aim this year is to really push my rock climbing. I have done next to nothing over the past few weeks apart from eat and put weight on. I don't mind because I use times like this to rehcarge my batteries, get inspired and let my muscles repair form all of the niggling micro tears I can always feel. I also have a finger tendon injury and a bit of rest could be a good thing. I also start my training to become a whole time fire fighter. This could be a big investment for my climbing due to having an income, good time off and a structured lifestyle to allow me to focus on my climbing more. The training will probably last until the end of February or so, so I'm going to give it all my effort and get settled into the job and then I'm going into crushing mode.

So here's a couple of things I'd like to do. Some more general aims, some specific, and this year I'm not going to care too much about blowing on sights.

The Indian Face (as always)

Lord of the Flies (when I'm fit . . . )

True Grip

Loads of Routes at Pembroke (they all look good. Maybe some like a few more routes in the Leap, Barbarella, Some DWS like Breakfast Zawn, Out for the Count etc)

Some hot rocking in Spain ( emphasis of my climbing this year is to try and get fitter)
Go abroad with Anna, preferably the Alps, and climb the Aiguille de Dibona with her.

Keep bouldering and getting sme more strength gains (I'm keen to do a bit more mountain bouldering such as wavelength and Sheep pen and Caseg areas)

All the routes on Cloggy

All the routes in the Pass and Ogwen ( Totally Wired 9, Down on my Knee, Teenage Menopause, Gribin Routes, Kaya)

Something on the Naranjo, also try the Murciana, I'd like to do this free at some point.

8a!!! (El Rincon or Elite Sycopations or BackBee Tubin, or any really!)

Another E8 maybe

Onsight another E6. Do some more routes on the North Stack Wall.

Do some climbs form the Meiryionydd Guide. Repeat some of Crockers routes, and some classic too. Craig Y Mwn(search for new routes as well as trying to repeat some of the E5's and E6's.

SO, that lot should keep me going for now. Oh yeh, and the other reason I haven't done much climbing, is because Me and Adam have done some cool climbs in Wales on the white stuff.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Long time no write!

Been up to a fair bit. Highlights include nearly doing the top traverse at Ness with Nick on a cold day. I did Savage Slit with Ad in Lochain. I have been skiing on a hill near a lead mining village on the way back from the gorms. Me and Ad finally climbed El Mancho and added a new start after a tip off from Stu Mac and Big Tim. The Mankini start. Now just mad for the rock!

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Old stomping

Despite having not written for a while and then writing my second post in a day, it may seem a little bizarre. However, after writing my blog earlier on, I cycled down to Meole bridge where I first used to train when I was getting into climbing. I used to have to go there as there were no indoor walls and it was the only place within cycling distance. There is lots of pottering around to be done but the 'main event' is the traverse from L-R of the Shrewsbury side tunnel wall. Its is fingery, technical and very pumpy in a short space of distance. Basically great for the kind of stuff I want to train on.
I used to be able to traverse there and back in one, just about. Even though I couldn't remeber the moves I thought that my climbing standard has improved to the extent that I'd have been able to probably do that straight off. I was wrong! I found it very tricky on first aquiantance, and despite feeling alot stronger on certain holds from what I can remeber, I was still falling off. This made me think, I must have been about 14 or so when I used to come and do this traverse and I used to manage to get across it several times a session. Just getting across it felt hard today, despite having since climbed supposedly up to Fr7c and E8 trad. So it was a shock, but kind of pleasing. It means it's still tricky enough to provide some really good training possibilites. Maybe there and back 4 times this winter ;-). It made me think that when I had a reasonable run of form in my climbing around the age of 16/17, it was very likely down to the training at Tunnel Walls. I just didn't know it at the time which is really cool. the rock is sandstone so I reckon that was a big factor in helping climb routes at Nesscliffe too. The bonus is it stays dry all year round and is better for friction in the cold. Get in! Rumour has it that the master Stuart Cathcart used to go back and forwards something like 20 times for training. There's a challenge!