Archive for August, 2018

23 Aug 2018

Go big or go drone

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I’m on a little-forced hiatus for a few weeks from climbing or any training for that matter as I recover from some cortisone injections to two fingers and an elbow.

You’ve probably read a number of other athletes getting in on this action recently so it seemed like the en vogue thing to do. I’m joking, it was a huge decision and not one that I took lightly, apart from surgery to my knee i’ve been super lucky with injuries over the years and always managed to work through them.

There are definite risks associated with the treatment but they were affecting my day to day life let alone climbing and after prolonged physio treatments and looking after myself things were showing no sign of improvement.

Anyway, the break has given me time to edit some footage from DWS a few weeks ago which has been fun. I think it’s fair to say that drones are a real game changer now, particularly for sports like climbing where access can be so difficult.

I’m not sure how the idea came about but I guess it was in true spirit of the route that an obligatory velociraptor face mask was worn and always ensuring a safety-first approach the HMS Karabiner bouyancy aid was also in play due to low tide.

Due to some tiny and misplaced eye holes in the mask I was unable to use central vision and had to rely on my knowledge of the route and peripheral, in addition, it seemed to restrict my oxygen supply so by the top I was definitely hyperventilating.

I’ve said it before but I think Animal Magnetism is one of the best routes I’ve ever done in the UK and in its position with the sun, warm waters and good company it was a fantastic experience.

Looking forward to more this winter although hopefully not deep water.


07 Aug 2018

Always maintain three points of contact.

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Note to self – Always maintain three points of contact.

Like any sport there are a number of facets to climbing that I enjoy; social, mental, environmental, technical and physical being some that spring to mind.

Naturally, the technical and physical aspects have always been the ones that give me the greatest satisfaction but over 20 years of climbing I’ve developed a dependency on them and I feel like they’ve narrowed my vision and defined me as a climber.

In 2015-17 I took a long break from climbing and coming back from this period of abstinence has been hard. I’m simply not the same person and the realisation that I’m nowhere near the same level I was (and in reality might never be) is difficult and I feel like I’m having to completely recalibrate my association with the sport. As a result, I’m on a bit of a journey to see what it is that I enjoy the most about climbing now and what I will focus on in the future.

I’m trying to get out as much as I can to re-experience all that climbing has to offer and this weekend it was DWS. It’s always a discipline that my brain has found incredibly hard to compute. It’s a complete sensory overload and my irrational fears always take over when climbing outside of my comfort zone.

This trip I was determined to try and overcome the fear so I spent time working on the basics doing lots of practice jumps into the water from increasing height to gradually acclimatise with the height of the walls.

This teaser clip is the result of me, post-practice jumps trying to flash the iconic route Adrenochrome. It perfectly sums up the experience – literally all over the place, still scared out of my mind but having sooooo much fun, I think. And, no, I didn’t top it this time but I was pleased to go out fighting. Sound on for full experience!

Thanks to the team for the support on another epic day.