Author Archive

27 Mar 2018

Blokfest 2018 Final

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Well, it doesn’t happen often but today felt like a good day! I managed to flash all the qualification boulders qualifying in joint 1st with the legend that is Louie Parkinson (Captain Cutloose!).

The finals crowd were amazing and the Blokfest and Castle teams put on a fantastic show, I felt like I climbed ‘ok’ in the finals topping one and getting close to the other two. Turns out it was enough and I managed to top the podium and take the round win!

I’m still blown away and in slight disbelief about the whole thing. I’m not sure what the future holds competition wise, I still feel like I’m on a precarious edge trying to balance the increase in training and my injuries.

I know what I need to do to get back to the level I want, I just don’t know if I can. That said I know I want to try. Don’t call it a comeback.

26 Jan 2018

Oakwood Blokfest 2018

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15 Dec 2017

Blokfest @ Stronghold 2017

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Fresh off the back of my confidence-boosting return comp at the Oakwood boulder battle, I returned to my old friend Blokfest.

Somehow I managed to qualify in 1st place for the finals before getting a proper schooling from the all-around strongman and legend, Jim Pope.

I can feel my comp addiction returning….

Epic TV was there to report on the day and made a lovely summary video.

03 Dec 2017

Oakwood Boulder Battle

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Well, it had been a few years since I last competed so I decided it was time to try my hand and my new local wall was hosting it’s first major competition so I felt duty bound to attend!

I managed to navigate the qualification course OK qualifying well with some of the other big guns and surprised myself in the semi-finals doing 3/4 of the boulders and qualifying for the finals, far exceeding my expectations.

However, this is where all my current injuries/weaknesses and lack of practice were fully exposed. I still had great fun and the crowd were great. It really reminded me that I still love comps and had been missing them.

21 Nov 2017

Buttermilks, Bishop, CA

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So I guess you could say I have been off the circuit for a while… It’s a very long story but I guess the brief synopsis would be as follows.

I had some phenomenal times with climbing and was lucky enough to compete and climb all over the world, something I am hugely grateful and proud of, but in all honesty back in the summer of 2015 I had a few injuries causing me some grief and for the first time in almost 20 years, I fell out of love with it.

I went cold turkey and didn’t go to a climbing wall or put on a pair of climbing shoes for over 12 months. I lost my passion and focus and needed time away.

Towards the end of 2016, I started feeling like my mind and body was ready and I wanted to re-engage with it and since then have been slowly starting up again. Naturally, I have have had to review my expectations and association with the sport and what I want from it but I am finally enjoying climbing again and being part of the wider community.

My body also changed in the time away and I’ve had some new injuries to contend with but back in November, I decided it was time to bite the bullet and go on a trip. I decided I would go to a new location to keep expectations to a minimum so headed off on a solo pilgrimage to the ultra classic Buttermilks in Bishop, California.

I’ve wanted to go for as long as I can remember and it did not disappoint, it is by far one of the best places I have ever been. It has some of the most incredible climbs out there for pretty much every grade and all set in a perfect picturesque location.

I would encourage anyone to go, climbers or not. It feels so peaceful and serene and I definitely think it’s where I would want my ashes scattered…If not just as a way to get my nearest and dearest to see it.

I always think a picture tells a thousand words so here is a little highlights video of some of the climbs I managed to get footage of.

Anyway, on to the next adventure, I know there will be plenty more.

01 Mar 2015

Blokfest Round 5 – Mile End

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Another Blokfest season has now been and gone in what seems like the blink of an eye. Each event seems to get better and this final round in Mile End was no exception.

The standard of the blocs and people competing was extremely high and after being thoroughly tested in the qualification round I made it through to finals and was super psyched.

I was out first which is always a mixed blessing and fell of the last move of bloc 1 twice, a few of the others topped it so I knew it was going to be a real battle from then on out.

Bloc two was a techy mess which suited me well and I managed to flash it and put myself back into contention. Unfortunately Bloc 3 was my anti style involving a sideways run dyno thing and it took me a number of attempts to figure out how to do it. After that I missed a crucial hold twice on the head wall and failed to top.

Matt C crushed everything in the final and took top place on the podium, a huge congrats to him :-) Louise P came also cam a very close second by one attempt.

As this was the last event there was also the overall championship to be decided and after a very close call I managed to swoop in for my third consecutive series win ahead of Aiden ‘The future’ Roberts.

Full series results can be found here.

I can’t wait to see what the Blokfest crew have planned for next year :-)

17 Jan 2015

Blokfest Round 4 – TCA bristol

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A good qualifying round then nightmare of a final for me. Awesome effort from Hamish and Tom who smashed the second bloc and topped the podium.

13 Dec 2014

Blokfest Round 3 – The Castle

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As usual the highlight round of the season so far. A fantastic comp in probably the best centre in the South.

I had a wobbly qualification round getting through to the final in 5th (last possible) place but then came joint 1st in the final flashing 2/3 of the climbs. Unfortunately due to my wobblyness in the qualification I ended up 3rd overall.

Still great fun with an amazing atmosphere in the finals, next up Bristol.

02 Dec 2014

Blocbuster 2014 – Nottingham Depot

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I recently competed at a fantastic event up at the Depot Nottingham called Blocbuster. It was a really fun day with a 30 problem qualification tour and world cup style finals, with such a strong field it was super close but I managed to win both rounds and take the overall victory.

I’m rubbish at writing these blogs turning them more into diaries of self loathing so I recommend reading a great write up and report on UK Climbing here – http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=69342 

I particularly enjoyed the “Dropped the clutch and engaged the hammer straight to the top” line :-)

 

28 Oct 2014

The Big Flash, Norwich

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My first time to Norwich and a fantastic trip it was, although disappointingly no sign of my namesake Alan, I didn’t get to see the pedestrianisation of the city centre and not a single person flashed me.

Despite the above the comp itself was amazing, so much so that I had one local tell me that ‘this was the best thing to ever happen to the city’. The team at Highball put on an amazing show and with huge efforts being put into every aspect.

The result was an incredible final which I was thrilled to be part of. A fumble on the tricky slab the only thing stopping me from keeping pace with the top two but very pleased to finish up 3rd in a tough lineup.

A full (and better) report is available here; http://highballclimbingnorwich.com/news/34/23/THE-BIG-FLASH-2014.html

A big thanks to all the Highball crew for making me feel welcome.