Friday, 2 October 2009

Tuppence Ascent - Anstey's Cove


After one day attempts spread over about 3 years I am strong enough to cleanly climb Tuppence!

It is a truly incredible route- pure power endurance from the first move off the ground, and with perhaps the most interesting and weird crux move i have ever done - yes, you do have to do that bizarre drop-knee to have any chance of holding that tiny crimp!

It's also a route that has spat a lot of people off over the years - leaving people literally having to spend 10 years projecting the route because it is so difficult to link in one go.

Very, very pleased.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Burning Man Festival

After getting very scared crack-climbing in the Needles for a week, we hooked up with a group of friends from London.

We somehow managed to fit 4 couples into this . . . of our home in the Nevada desert for a week.

Our first night at the festival was incredible - we were constantly confronted with the most mind-blowing sculptures . . .

We partied quite hard that night and were a little worse for wear the next day . . . but what's better than watching the sun go down the next day on top of your RV . . .

Our next fews days were filled with more amazement as we wandered round the playa looking at art installations. I'll shut up and let the art do the talking . . .

More Bielsa Photos

A photo of a 7c+ i on-sighted at Bielsa 2 weeks ago courtesy of Ramon.

An awesome line with 5 parallel tufas in a row that had to be traversed across leading to a huge flake undercut coming up out of shot . . . the line was brand new and may have even been a first ascent . . .

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Maximuscle Filming

I have recently done some filming and a photo shoot for Maximuscle.

The finished edit that was produced shows a little look into the kind of training that i do. It was all filmed at my local training venue at the Westway Sports Centre in London. I also did a short interview that looked into how Maximuscle products help me train for competitions and completing routes outside. . . .

Rodellar & Bielsa 2009

I am currently out in Northern Spain training prior to the World Cup in Puurs in 2 weeks.

It's great to be out here training on rock as opposed to pulling indoors on plastic on the same routes and boulder problems.

It has been a blinder of a training trip already as I completed my two main goals for the trip within the first two days - Botanics, 8b+. I did this first go last Sunday! I did try the route last year though and i tore my Collaterol Ligament on it and had to stop climbing for 5 months . . .

I also climbed one of the maddest looking lines in Rodellar; El enano de la chepa del Seta, 8a+, again first try. It has a double dyno practically as the last move whilst in a 8m near horizontal roof while you are 25m high!

We also decided to check out Bielsa, a mountain crag in the Pyrenees very close to France. It's a beautiful area spread across 3 very different sectors with incredible views and practically unclimbed on rock!

La Foz was the most impressive area, containing many mid-8 grades through a barrel roof.

Here's a shot of me failing to onsight an 8a+ . . .

With training going so well i am going to be jumping on something that pushes my limits a little further . . . i will keep you updated.

The Needles

What a place.

Possibly the most beautiful climbing area i have ever been to - perfect granite crack-climbing with amazing features and lines.

A magical but quite spooky place - names for sectors like the: Wizard, Magician, Sorcerer, Warlock etc only add to this.

This trip really was an education for me - 2 hour walk-ins, followed by long intimidating crack climbs where my typically English rack - containing double pieces of gear (max) simply was not enough for 40m pitches of cracks of only one size! Also jamming was a new experience for me - i spent most of my time looking for razor edges around the cracks for light relief!

The highlight was working Pyromania - the classic Yaniro, upside down flake climbing 8a+ - i didn't have enough time to head-point it but when i return it will be the first thing that i jump on.

The above photo of Pyromania was taken from Urban Climber's site.

My photos to come . . . (my friend dropped my D90 off a boulder!)

World Champs China

Some photos in the few days run-up to the competition . . .

The training venue where we housed in the run up to the competition.

This is where the Chinese Olympic football, athletics and swimming teams train full time.

The quite unsatisfactory 'training facility' for all of the international competitors (Lead, Boulder and Speed) to stay in shape on prior to the World Championships. As you can see - it got a bit crowded!

Some interesting local behaviour . . .

It's been a while . . .

. . . since i last posted something on my blog.

In fact it was just before i was due to visit China for the World Champs. (See next post for some photos)

But it all went a bit wrong - i was meant to do the competition and then head to Yangshuo for some sport-climbing but the night before the Lead discipline qualification i received a phone call from England to say that my father had a severe heart-attack.

I flew home, missing the qualification round and not being able to put the 9 months of specific training to practice. Obviously my father's health and getting back to see him was my priority - climbing ranked very far behind that. And i spent the next 3 weeks looking after my Dad getting him out of hospital and back to normal home life - this was also right at the time of the British Championships too.

The whole incident had a massive impact on me, my training and my motivation. I didn't get the top 25 World Ranking i had been aiming and training for a year, i didn't get 1st at the British Championships (i got 3rd) and it took a while for me to get back training like i was.

Anyway, things have picked up again and i am training and climbing really, really well - (more to come in next post!)

I also have 3 World Cups to focus on:

- Puurs (25th/26th September)
- Brno (6th & 7th November)
- Kranj (14th & 15th November)

So here's to climbing in the remaining 4 months of 2009 and many more blog posts!

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Canada 2009

This March Tanya and I visited Banff national park for a mix of climbing and skiing. Althought it wasn't a hardcore trip it really reminded me that these kind of trips can sometimes be the best.

You are not chasing grades or ascents, more just enjoying climbing for what it is.

We climbed in a few areas during the trip despite the cold - Bataan & Grassy lakes to name a couple, and thenm skiied in Sunshine and Lake Louise - we vowed to come back to Louise one summertime soon. . .




Posted by Picasa

Migrania 8b, Siurana

I last visited Siurana in 1999, I was 18 years old and had been climbing for two years.

Despite having the worst trip of my life (due to non-climbing factors which i wont go into) i manged to do my first 8a -Anabolica.

It was however, this line, Migrania that i vowed i would come back to do one day.

This was the trip that it happened - first redpoint on my second day in Sirunana.

What a route! Pure power in every move with the crux right at the top.

Only the extension to go now . . .


Posted by Picasa

8a Onsight in Margalef

Visited Margalef on the same trip - what a crag!

Loads of awesome steep barrel shaped routes like this one - an 8a that I managed to onsight.




Posted by Picasa

Monday, 25 May 2009

Return to Siurana

Tanya hanging out in Cornudella . . .

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, 21 May 2009

China World Champs

AMV have kindly just supported me in my travels to the world champs in china this june/july.

I have just boooked my ticket and will be creating a film about my travels to Xining and Yangshuo(below).

In the meantime, i've been trying to get a bit of inspiration from Matthius Kisspert and DFuse - they have produced some truly amazing film work about city growth in China.

Check it out here:

And here:

Also check out Matthius' new work related site:

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

A memory from Kalymnos

I just found this photo of me on the net. . . . way back in 2003 onsighting Aegialis, 7c or 7c+.

With weather like we are having in the UK, perhaps its time to go back. . . .

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

British Leading League Elite Champion

This Saturday I won Grand Final of the British Leading League!

After 3 months of competitons around the country I qualified for the Grand Final of the British Leading League.

The Grand Final was held at the Foundry in Sheffield and was attended by over 60 of Britains top climbers from all over the country.

I was in the Senior Male Elite Category and had strong competition from 4 other GB Team climbers.

The competition took the following format: Each competitor had 3 chances to complete each of the 5 climbs - a 7a, 7b, 7c, 8a and an 8b (the same grade as a World Cup Semi Final route), the least amount of attempts it took you to do the route the more points you scored. i.e. if you did the climb on your first go ('flash') you scored maximum points.

I climbed out of my skin 'flashing' the first four routes up to and including the 8a, as did Drew Haigh. First place was therefore all down to the last route - the 8b. . .

I had to climb first and therefore was under the disadvantage of Drew being allowed to watch how i climbed the route. . .

Despite the pressure I climbed really well on this route and managed to climb to the highest point in the Elite category . . . and became the British leading League Elite Champion!

It was a really great day - (photos to come very soon) and it bodes sowell for me for both the one off British competition the BLCC in Edinburgh later this year and the World Cups and World Championships that i will be attending.

Without the support of my Sponsors - Peak Performance, Maximuscle and MTB it really would not have been possible to achieve this - so thanks so much guys!


Monday, 23 March 2009

Peak Performance - New Sponsor

As of Friday - i have a new sponsorship deal with Peak Performance!
As you can imagine i am over the moon - i have always seen Peak clothing as probably the only brand that manages to get close to the perfect mix of top quality professional standard technicality with cuts, colours and styling that are also fashionable.
Check out the Black Light Series - a highly techincal collection co-designed by a group of 20 of the world's most experienced Mountain Guides. The clothing line is streamlined to give climbers the essentials they need without excessive pockets, zips, drawcords which often have the potential to just get in the way and be annoying - i am sure we have all experienced this whilst climbing!
Check out their technical and casual clothing lines here:
More Peak news to come including a product testing day at the Westway Climbing Centre next month . . .

Sunday, 8 March 2009

A few snaps from Font this January

Jess having it with masive hands!
Awesome footwork by Adam on El Poussah

Better footwork by a Frenchman . . .

A bleak walk-in to Elephant one day.

Super-psyche Tanya Rainsley

Saw ths while picking up some pastries - very rustic!

Here are a couple climbing snaps:

Sunday, 1 February 2009

1st GB Team Training of the Year . . .

The first GB Team training of the year happened on the 17th/18th of January.

Here's a photo of the new elite team for 2009.

Last Summer . . .

A few memories from Rodellar, Albarracin & Tarn last year - desperate to go back stronger, fitter and more psyched this year . . .