Ups and downs

Being ill sucks, the fourth time in 4 weeks really sucks but then doing a job around children as it gets colder and wetter just isn’t conducive to staying well.

In better news two training sessions this week to follow up the three from last week. Not many routes done at Awesome Walls but included in these few was a sweet 6b+ constant small crimps, good but technically placed footholds and a sweet overhang move. There was a fall on it but still finished on the first attempt.

Followed by a great session at The Works finishing the majority of the yellow 6a+ routes and moving into some of the black finishing one set at a 6b (ish) The new shoes have bedded in perfectly and feel like gloves, the trust in being able to stand up on small chips makes such a difference.

Right aim for the next week….get well, run, gym session, 2 climbing sessions… healthy


My Gear

This year I’ve slowly put together a gear rack for trad and sport. There are many ways of putting together a rack, secondhand, cheap from Ebay or wade right in and splash out. Try and read reviews of the gear you are buying, buy from trusted sources and remember that gear bought secondhand, you don’t know where it’s been- picked up from a crag, stuck in a wall for two months, fallen on, dropped or perfectly safe.

Sports Direct sell DMM gear at a fantastic price, way less than any of the main climbing shops. Run a google search for ‘Sports Direct Voucher Codes’ and you will always find another 10-20% off

My Gear:

DMM- Shorty Rope 30m

DMM- Wall nuts 1-11

DMM Dragon Camms 00 – 3

DMM Slings 2m / 60cm

DMM Spectre Quickdraws (10)

Grivel Master Belay ATC and matching Locking Crab

DMM Aero Locking Carabiners

DMM BOA Carabiner (HMS Style)

Black Diamond ‘Aspect’ Harness (Women’s Medium, don’t be afraid of trying on both men’s and women’s harnesses, buy the right one for your body type!!)

La Sportiva Miura Shoes- great for steep stuff, horrible to walk in. I’m just breaking these in

Scarpa Force- My first proper shoes, still useful for trad but totally wrecked

Metolius Chalk bag- bright orange

Coleman Head Torch (always take a headtorch if climbing in the evening)

The Starting Point

So right now, I’ve been ill for pretty much a month and I’m seriously unfit but here goes anyhow:

I climb in all different styles, indoor and outdoor, boulder, trad, sport. I know most of the elite athletes focus on one and that helps them perform but hey, I love it all!

My Logbook:

Indoor top grades:

Foundry- Lead 6b/+        Awesome Walls – Lead 6a+    Leeds Wall – Lead 6b

None of these grades are comfortable, they were just odd climbs I found I can do.

Climbing Works- comfortable on the Purple & Pink, pushing the yellow

The Depot Leeds- Black, some red, few wood.

Climbing twice a week, golfing once and an occasional gym session means I’m generally fairly fit, but with a shocking diet I’m not your skinny guy, weighing in at 13st 4lb

So my aim, to improve the grades I’m climbing, and to lose that weight and tone up!

Welcome to my journey

As most climbers will testify, we spend our time watching the best, dreaming of clearing that first E1 or scraping through that impossible E8, climbing in the wilds of China. We watch videos posted all over youtube, read blogs from the best and explore all the latest gear.

This blog however is about me (narcissism at its best), just an average guy, with a 50hr a week job, a house to run and a love of climbing. I climb for fun, to be outdoors, to meet my friends, to be part of a trusting partnership with other people where we trust our lives to each other.

I’m Yorkshire based, climbing indoors and out, I have bouldered for 18 months but had to take 3-4 months off to complete my Masters degree. I started using ropes in February of this year, learning to top rope, learning to lead and lead belay then moving outdoors to trad and sport. It’s been a whirlwind but I feel ready to train for next year, and have an amazing season.

The reason for this blog is both for me, as a push to train, to get myself healthy again and do harder climbs and also to document my progress (if any). And for others, if anyone wants to read it, other average climbers that want to read, share, ask questions, find new groups, try new gear.

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