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Category: Outdoors

Climbing, skiing, running, mountaineering etc

Is this the BMC’s Corbyn moment?

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?

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A State of Shock (Etat du Choc)

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.

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Fairhead Meet 2016

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.

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Fairhead 2016: Alex Honnold flashing The Dark Side, E8 6c

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!

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10 things I’ve learned about Climber’s Elbow or Medial Epicondylitis

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.

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10 years of climbing showreel

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.

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Whose ethic is it anyway? A climber’s history of Millstone

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 ...

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When running goes wrong – heart seizures in the mountains

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 …

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Skiing Mam Tor Gully

Skiing in the Peak District is a fickle sport, we get out usually 1 or 2 days a year. It’s not the alps, there’s usually no base snow, but every now and again we get a fairly sizeable dump of snow.  This coupled with the winds which often accompany the snow in the North of England and …

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The savage statistics of K2

“K2 is the most demanding climb in the Himalayas. 1 in 4 climbers who have tried to get to the top have perished.” James Naughtie, BBC Radio 4 Today Programme, 16th Nov 2011 If my mother was listening to Radio 4 this morning I’m fairly sure there’ll be no way she’ll ever allow me to …

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