Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Happy New Year!

This year for the first time in my life I wasn't at home for New Years. Instead I was in Catalonia, Spain on a 10 day trip with Jim Pope and 6 others. We were staying in Margalef where we planned to spend the trip. However, because Margalef is in quite a low valley it was very misty and cold for most of the time. Therefore, we ended up climbing in Siurana twice, Monstant once and the other 4 days freezing in Margalef. It was however a very good, fun trip and successful.

Me standing on top of the dam at Margalef 
The first day started off well as I managed to send an 8a+ called Absolut which had a nuts jump to a two finger pocket. I then went on to flash an 8b called Photo-shot. Photo-shot is an amazing route and if you happen to go to Margalef I would highly recommend it. The hardest route I sent was an 8c called Los Ultimos Vampiros Hippies at Margalef. This is also a really cool route with a dynamic stab into a mono as the crux move. I also ended the trip well despite being ill, as on the last day I sent an 8b second go after blowing the flash on the last hard move!

Sitting in the comfortable car whist watching Jessica Pilz send 8b. 
In total I managed to send 10 routes from 8a to 8c during the 7 climbing days. However, what made the trip even better was the amount of climbing I did alongside the climbs I sent. I tried many harder routes, up to 9a+, which have got me very psyched to train harder and return for. I loved the trip and hopefully I'll be back soon.

Jim Crushing an 8a+ in Siurana

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

A very busy July!

Following on from my last post, I did manage to compete at the BBCs and have a good time. However I was still feeling pretty weak from the blood poisoning, so my climbing and result were not  what I had hoped for. I finished in 7th place, just missing out on the final on countback.
Straight after the comp I headed to Raven Tor for an hour before headed back home. This was the first time that I have actually climbed at Raven Tor, I have to say it's not the best looking crag in the country but the climbing was very cool.  

Having a good look at Hubble.

One week later I found myself on a flight to Paris on my first trip headed to Font. I had planned this trip as a mid season training break and a holiday with friends. Which is why I wasn't too bothered about going in the middle of summer. Font is a absolutely amazing place, with some of the best boulder problems in the world. Unfortunately, it was far too hot for any major sends but I did tick a lot of the classics. The hardest problem I sent during the trip was Mongolite 8A, photo of me on it below.

I did miss training during my trip and came back very psyched, but it was nice to be able to relax. Also just going climbing everyday to new areas and not projecting one single climb was really nice.

One of the sunsets at Font 

Monday, 4 July 2016

Visit to Slovenia, followed by some blood poisoning!

I've just returned from a fantastic trip to Slovenia, where I stayed with my girlfriend Ajda. During my stay I was able to train really well at some amazing walls, which are set up incredibly well for hard training. I was blown away by the high standards of all the Slovenian walls I visited. I also enjoyed some outdoor climbing, paddle boarding and hiking at some beautiful locations. The weather was very hot, so climbing outdoors was hard work. However, the crags I visited were amazing and the routes I climbed really enjoyable.

I climbed at Osp and at Misja Pec. I concentrated on trying many routes and practising my onsighting. The routes are long and many are overhanging, as parts of the crags are caves. One of the classic routes I onsighted was Active Discharge 8a, which goes through the steepest part of Osp's huge cave on tufas and cool features. However, I was robbed of a 40m 8a+ flash of Samsara Extension, at Misja Pec, when I was forced to jump off the route at the last move, as the finishing jug had a wasp nest in it and a lot of angry wasps buzzing around! Between the birds at Malham and the wasps in Slovenia I am getting fed up of wildlife!
I am definitely psyched to return to these crags to try some of the harder routes.

The cave at Osp

I returned to Scotland last week. On Friday evening I became aware of a strange, hot and painful red streak spreading up my left arm from a very angry, red spot on my elbow. After phoning NHS 24, I ended up at our local hospital where I was prescribed antibiotics. Since then my arm has been very painful, and the Doctor recommended not doing anything too strenuous, so I have been forced to have some rest days from climbing and training. My arm is on the mend so hopefully, I will be able to compete at the British Bouldering Championship this weekend, in Sheffield.