Q: What are your climbing goals?
In my youth I climbed a lot and then had a period of maybe 10 – 15 years where it wasn’t such a big thing in my life. At that time I was leading up to HVS / E1 and the hardest route I did was an E1/5c. I would like to get back to or even exceed that level in that discipline. I am currently leading 6a+ indoors and would like to be comfortable doing that or harder outside in the next year. In bouldering I would like to get to a point where V4/V5 is consistently doable and a friendly V6 might succumb on a good day.
Q: Most memorable climbing experience?
There are a few; climbing that E1/5c knowing that I barely had the strength to top out and had to wait 10 minutes before I could even contemplate setting up anchors, soloing a monster 200’+ Diff in the Lake District looking out over the valley all the while being barely 4-5 feet from the path that went alongside it giving a feel of exposure without any real danger, climbing somewhere in the North of England and waving to the fast jet pilots as they went by below us on low-level flying training – and trying not to get blown off the rock in their wake.
Q: What do you like most about MyClimb?
MyClimb gives me the opportunity to track my progress, compare in a semi-objective way how I am doing from week to week or month to month. The process of logging my climbs allows me to review the routes I have done once more in my head and realise how much improvement I am making.
Q: What do you enjoy most about climbing?
I have always enjoyed the outdoors, whether that is climbing, skiing, walking or any one of a number of other activities. Climbing in particular allows me to completely focus on what I am doing in that moment excluding everything that is not pertinent to solving a problem. That problem solving element is also important to me, I have never liked the idea of going to the gym to run on a treadmill and climbing gives me the opportunity to exercise both brain and body and walk away with either the satisfaction of completing something or the desire to try again (and again and again) to conquer the problem.
Q: How did you start climbing?
I started climbing in my teens through Scouting, I got to experience a variety of types of climbing including winter mountaineering and ice climbing as well as traditional climbing. I am still involved in Scouting to this day and over the years have tried quite successfully to introduce 100s if not 1000s of young people to climbing and many other outdoor activities.
Q: Favorite Climbing Discipline?
I guess traditional climbing still has to be my favourite as that is what I grew up with, sport climbing and bouldering didn’t really make it to the UK until a few years later and were always slightly looked down on. Bouldering for me comes a very close second now as it has helped me significantly focus on technique.
Q: Favorite Place to climb or destination?
The English Lake district – particularly Langdale is a place I am fond of although I have not climbed there for more than 20 years, I need to go back! Fontainebleau for bouldering is just amazing, once you understand how the place works there are so many problems at every grade imaginable. There are so many places I would love to visit though that I will never have the time or money to get to.