In the last year the BMC has faced a torrid time; the Climb Britain u-turn, and now a potential 40% Sport England funding cut, a proposed Alpine Club Special General Meeting and a guerilla 'vote of no confidence'. Is this a storm in a teacup, is the board "betraying" the members, or are these all just red herrings?
There was a list of four routes on Heather's fridge (the fridge list). Three weren't in condition after the recent storms in Chamonix, so that left one: Etat du Choc on the Petit Clocher du Portalet. My french brain didn't seem to be on form after a long week of work and I'd forgotten that this route translates as State of Shock, and not some sweeter alternative. That said the line, after a good few hours of upward fighting up a 9 pitch off-width was definitely worthy of being on the fridge list, and the north face of the Portalet is quite possibly the best face of granite in region.
Like many friends and colleagues I awoke on Friday feeling alienated in my own country. I appreciate those who voted leave saying that for them this is the feeling that has built up over many years, but the intensity with which such a feeling was brought upon was devastating. I don’t think those that voted to …
There's not much left to say about the quality of climbing at Fairhead festival that hasn't already been said. Perfect weather, perfect rock and perfect company from 500 friends from across the climbing community who came together for a weekend on one of the best crags in the world. After crushing most of the crag, including a flash of The Dark Side (E8 6c), Alex Honnold delivered a sold-out lecture in a cow-shed on the Saturday night.
I'd recommended the line of The Dark Side to Jordan Buys the previous day, and eager to take up the recommendation Jordan threw a rope down the huge 55m pitch as I climbed Jolly Roger on the perpendicular wall. As I was topping out, having plugged my entire rack into the route, I could see my belayer 55m below, slightly distracted by Alex Honnold who was heckling the amount of gear I'd placed and clearly engaging my belayer more than my bumbling about on an E3!
Following on from the Workload Challenge, I was commissioned by Advanced Learning to write a short report on the potential role of edtech in reducing workload. The report "Can technology reduce teacher workload" focusses on the key barriers that are holding back edtech innovation and its potential to impact upon workload.
Just over 12 months ago I was doing a route toward the end of an endurance training session at the climbing wall when I popped out for a hold with my left hand. My forearms were already very fatigued and as I caught the hold and pulled through into a deep lock I felt a bursting strain at the elbow end of my forearm and in my wrist.
I'm lucky to climb with some of the best climbing photographers in the UK (if not the world) who take some incredible shots of the climbing and skiing that we get up to together. Here's a selection of some of my favourite photo memories of the last 10 years of climbing in the UK, Alps, Africa, Iran and the Karakoram. Thanks to Alex Messenger, Scott Mackenzie, Lukasz Warczecha and Henry Iddon for many of these photos.
It's pretty clear that over the last 10+ years the ethic at Millstone has been to try and move further away from fixed gear. I can imagine a new peg being placed on a significant new line at Millstone, but it won't be without controversy and I wouldn't place a bet on it happening ...
Sometimes in the mountains things goes wrong, the unexpected occurs, the shit really hits the fan. You think you’re prepared, you think you know how to handle every situation, over the years you’ve probably rescued a few people here and there, but then something happens you can’t control and you’re helpless. The weather was foul …