The best thing about clmbing

Is that you can wear whatever you want. My outfit tonight is in no way like the beta monkeys cartoon….



Gear Review: Scarpa Velocity

First time I’ve done a gear review so feel free to give me tips. When I popped my finger I was climbing in Miura laceups, beautiful aggressive shoes that hurt beyond belief. Sadly when I put them on after 3 months sat out, they cracked and I found myself without shoes. I spoke to Seb at the Climbing Depot Leeds, we discussed the pros and cons and decided to go for a super comfy entry level shoe so that while getting strong again I wasn’t thinking about pain in my feet, I also thought they might limit the level of climbing I could do. Seb recommended the Scarpa Velocity as a decent shoe for the level and he couldn’t have been more right

After a month of using the Velocity I can’t recommend it enough for doing exactly what it is designed for and outweighing it’s price tag.


Super comfortable I can wear these all day, even when tightened right up, I can even jog around in them without pain  (jogging in climbing shoes is an experiment not to be repeated). Last night I cruised a few nice V4 routes without difficulty and they just don’t let me down. For the price and from description I thought if be reaching for my wallet again but I’m quite happy to stick with these for a while and I’ll certainly keep pulling them out for trad.

They’ve proved super sticky on grit and plastic and the feel through the soles is good. The comfort allows focus to be on position and balance.

Pricewise these are great, having tried decathlons own brand before and some boreal jokers they are certainly a good entry level shoe.


Don’t even think about heel or toe hooking. I love a good heel hook, it’s practically my middle name but these just don’t. Similarly the lack of toe rubber really sucks and toe hooks become a thing of hell. This has however made me think more about how I climb although a couple of cave routes are simply off limit

The shoes have a limit, they are soft and too flexible around the sole to edge well and as the holds have become smaller I’ve started to find a limit, they did outperform a friends Scarpa Instincts however.


For entry level, comfort or long days of low level trad or multipitch these are brilliant for the price, for anything thin or requiring hooks look for an upgrade.

You can find them here

Life Crux…..?

As I’m climbing more. Actually twice this week, I’m realising I filled my life with other things, mostly diy on Nat’s house to get her house rented out and her in with me. I can’t remember the last time I was this heavy or unfit but it somehow seems worth it right until that thin crux move and I dread the extra weight. O to balance life. I have no idea how to get back in the gym and fit everything back in my life.

Brilliant book and Shipley Glen

This is the best book I have read in many years. Do not be put off that it is set in the fell running world. It is aimed at anyone with a passion in the outdoors, often that others don’t understand. The author is superb and the setting beautiful! It’s like finding you’re not the only person to think this way.


And in other news, back outdoors bouldering. Jug for a thug at Shipley Glen on crisp rock mmmmm

Budapest (not climbing)

On a break with my Mrs. Got convinced to have a massage at the rather nice and amazingly cheap Gellert Spa. The masseuse did a quick evaluation and told me I’d had a left arm injury,proceeded to pick the finger I’d injured and do a full sports massage. My arms have never felt so relaxed.

He also told me to do more yoga, stretch more and drink more water. Also memorably told me ‘please don’t shit yourself’ before ironing my back out.

Places to recommend eating- Huszar, Ecke22 and the For Sale Pub. Everywhere we have had great service especially the Huszar restaurant.

Tomorrow….beer festival.

No E11's, no Yosemite, no hair-rasing solos, just the beautiful art from an average climber