Thursday, 17 July 2008


Last weekend was the British bouldering championships at cliffhanger in sheffield. The comp was really well run and a lot of fun. It was a shock to see how many strong people had turned up!

After returing from europe i needed to get back into plastic. i had a quick session at the works on their new dirty yellow circuit. Gaz told me "it will make you cry" and he wasn't far wrong. Most of the problems are hard and use minging little crimps. I felt pretty psyched to be climbing on plastic again (strange but true) and felt pretty strong, doing most the probems in a session. I left feeling really beaten with really sore skin, but feeling like i was in tune wth plastic again just in time for the comp.

After arriving at the comp on Sunday and warming up we got stuck in to the qualifyers. They were all pretty hard with loads of the problems being dropable due to bad foot holds. I was pretty nervous - i find it hard to climb well with the pressure of having to flash the problems. In the end I managed to do 9 of the 10 problems, qualifying in 2nd place behind Gaz. I was really happy to have made the final and wasn't really bothered with how well i would do as the worst i could do was come 8th and this would have been my best result in the BBCs yet.

After watching the womens final we headed into isolation and began the warm up again. I was out second last after all the others so could take my time and warm up fully.

The first problem suited me totally. An easy lay back led to big moves on pockets and dishes and a tricky move at the end. I dropped the last move on my first go (just funbled the finishing pocket) but did it next go.

The second and third problems were not too hard but they took me a few goes to figure out and do. Luckily they were not very long so i didn't get too tired despite having a lot of goes.
The 4th problem was dirty hard and i got shut down. Luckly so did everyone else ( a couple got very close). I limited my goes on this in order to save some beans for the last problem.

The last problem was easy all the way to the last move which used a tricky foot lock. It seems that most people didn't find the foot lock and couldnt hold the last hold. On my first go i saw what to do but got too pupmed getting there and couldn't make the foot lock work. I knew i could do the problem so i decided to take maximum rest and give it one more go. This time i pulled on and sprinted to the last move. I got there feeling pretty fresh compared to the previous go and had time to make the footlock work, and stick the last hold.

I was pretty pleased to have done 4 of the 5 poblems but presumed a lot of the others would have as well. As i went to sit down and chill Gangle ran up to me and told me i had won. I didn't belive him but then more and more people kept running over and congratulating me! Nice! It turns out that i am the youngest winner yet which is pretty cool, even if it does feel a bit like i won it by accident!

I had decided before the comp that i would be happy to make the finals, even if i came last in the final. After qualifying in 2nd place, i was really chuffed and not at all bothered how well i would do in the final. I think this stopped me from putting too much pressuere on myself which really helped.

Overall the comp was really good fun. It was good to see all the usual comp faces as well as some additional beasts, and it is always nice to feel like you are climbing well.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

euro trip

After my exams finished I headed off to Europe with the Masonator and the gangly Tom Newman.

First was magic – Dave and Tom crushed while I battled to keep up, but still got some cool problems ticked.
We then went to Fionnay (an area Dave Graham developed) which has a cool cave with loads of horizontal problems on amazing granite. We all got some problems done – especially gangle who was dispatching left right and centre despite being injured!

I then had a comp in Montauban (one of the last rounds of this years world cup) so we drove down to meet the others. Gaz was taken ill and had to go to hospital and get scanned and fed some funky drugs. He didn’t get to compete in the end which sucked a bit.

I managed to do ok and surprised myself (and probably the others) a bit by coming 23rd overall. I was close to getting into the semis which would have been really good fun, but I was pretty pleased to not come at the bottom of the field for the first time! The party afterwards was ok but the band sucked and they ran out of beer (probably because team austria (Fishuber and Lama) had got to it first judging by the state of them!)

After this we drove up to font to chill for a while before heading home. I had so much fun pottering about on easy stuff with a bit of carpet feeling all old school (but without the woolly jumper and high trousers), but also got stuck into a couple of harder problems.

fata morgana

Overall it was a really fun trip with us all getting some good problems done especially the other two who were dispatching despite old or new injuries. I managed to flash a 7c+ which has been a goal for a while as well as doing loads of cool problems at loads of venues.

This is my ticklist from may til now: -

Peak district:
Mutton busting – 8a/8a+ first ascent
Recreational violence (LH) - 8a
Candyman – 8a first ascent
Hard Candy – 8a first ascent
Neil’s wall (sit start) – 7c+/8a
Mint sauce – 7c 2nd ascent
Candy Kaned – 7c 2nd ascent
Hand candy – 7c First ascent
Candy floss – 7b+ first ascent

Left hand of darkness – 8a+
Right hand of darkness – 8a
Mutter tag – 8a
Rhytmo Brachial – 8a
Unnamed - 7c+ (flash)
Sneestrum – 7c+ (flash)
Unnamed roof - 7c+
Man of cow – 7c (flash)
Campus problem – 7c

Some river boulder - 7c first ascent
Back bloc – 7c
Sheep fatale – 7c
Welcome to jamrock – 7b+ (flash)

Fata morgana – 8a

keeping busy...

Have been busy and then on holiday so no updates for a while.
This is what I have been up to since

Dan and I developed a newish venue on peak limestone and did some sweet problems up to and including a couple of 8a’s. One of which is a link up of a couple of 7c problems via a butch move, and the other is a big move off a terrible crimp. We also did an amazing 7c called candy kaned which features sloper slapping up a vague prow as well as a bunch of other cool problems.

After this we went to beginners wall and did Neil’s wall from sitting (Dan flashed the stand up then flashed the sitter, leaving me flailing but I eventually did the sitter after a while). Next was recreational violence – polish dave’s big dyno thing. We saw some other holds on the left and climbed it. We thought it could be 8a? Who knows. Its fun!

Next we started to try the low roof across the road from beginners wall. Ru had been trying this via a savage crimpy sequence, but the dream team (Dan and myself) found some new beta which made it a bit more doable, and a bit more fun. We were close to linking it that session but had to go back for it. Finally on my 3rd session it went down with Dan doing it the session after. Its called Mutton Busting due to the sheep bones scattered at the base of the crag and is probably 8a/+?

After this we got stuck in to the highball groove to the left. After abbing it and pulling off loads of loose rock Dan dispatched and I did it a bit later with a slightly different sequence. Its called Mint Sauce and is probably about 7c – but pretty highball.

A bad pic of mutton busting.

A bad pic of rec. violenc

Tuesday, 13 May 2008


Keith did some filming while we were out in Font. He made this little video of a little problem at bas cuvier. It took us quite a while to work out this sequence!
Anyway, now its time to get back to revision...

Tuesday, 29 April 2008


The 18th of April was the first round of the world cup in Austria. There were 140 people registered to compete making this the biggest world cup to date.

We headed into isolation at midday ish then sat around for ages getting psyched out by how strong everyone else was. Croxall and the Watsonator were lucky and were out early after only an hour or so. The rest of us had to wait for ages (Roddy having something like an 8 hour wait!)

I warmed up and felt strong. My skin was quite good and I felt like I could pull pretty hard (although not as hard as most of the beasts there!).

I was called and went to climb and was rubbish. I can’t put my finger on why but I was missing loads of tricks and being stupid. I never felt like I could get into a position to pull hard which is really frustrating.
On the plus side (although not really!) the others struggled a bit too. This made me feel a bit better as maybe it was a style thing rather than me just being rubbish. Only Gaz made the semis.

The final was impressive. Daniel woods is probably the strongest guy I have ever seen. His strength was amazing and really inspiring, but his balance, footwork and flexibility were all a bit behind! That didn’t bother him as he crushed his way to 3rd.

After the comp the party kicked off. It was a good laugh and cheered us all up after climbing badly! After a late night and an early start we got back to england and i went straight to bed.


Ed told me to get this updated as he needs something to do at work… Hi Ed!

The climbing works had a nice comp the other week. It was good fun with some hard probems.

I managed to squeeze into the semi final, but only did one problem (close on 1 other) so ended up in 10th place. I was pleased to make the semis as it was good preparation for the coming internationals. I felt fit and was recovering well between attempts, but the problems were dirty hard so I couldn’t do them. Gangle was a beast and finished 6th despite claiming to be rubbish! Smitton was a beast and won, beating Earl and Wouter (the Dutch champion) in the final. Very impressive.

After the comp I ate a raw burger and didn’t get ill which was an achievement, then went to hang with Dan and the strong aussies.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008


This weekend was the BUSA bouldering comp (for dirty students). Me, Varian and Lily had been asked to do it, as we did ok last year. I was a bit unsure at first as last year was really busy and badly organised/set, but Sharma was lecturing afterwards so it seemed like a good plan to go.

Taz and Zippy had set the problems – with Taz being in charge of the harder ones on the comp wall. This is good as he sets good hard problems, rather than minging hard problems. A couple were hard (7b/+? – i dunno) and didn’t get done by many people. Team Sheffield won, with Lily wining the girls comp and me and Dan getting 1st and 2nd place in the males. Dan was kind enough to be the beta monkey once he had dropped a problem, so found the way on the harder problems giving me a good chance of flashing them. Luckily this worked and I flashed them all. I think a couple of them were pretty hard so I was pleased with this. Hopefully I can keep hold of this luck/form for the next couple of months as there are some big comps coming up which I am dead exited about.

After the comp we messed about on the “training” board where Dan fully burned me off and then went to the Sharma lecture. This was ok, but he repeated a lot of the stuff from king lines so was a bit tedious by the end (although I hate to say it! – he is still a hero).

I rested on Sunday and went out on Monday with Dave Mason. He is still injured but getting better and seemed happy to be out spotting and brushing but was clearly frustrated to not be climbing. The physio has said he can probably climb in 3 weeks or so. Good news.

We went to turnignstone edge as I wanted to try River of Life (goose). Unfortunately true to form it was wet but I had a few goes anyway, doing all but the crux move. I am keen to go back for this. It’s good.We moved on to Salle Goose (via Gibbon Swing – a really nice 7a or 7a+ slap). SG is a really nice line with nice holds. On the first go I got set up for the slap with feet in the wrong place and was no where near. After figuring out the bottom moves a bit better (where you put your right foot is crucial) I had a few goes at the slap. This felt hard so I decided to try and lock the move instead to see how close I could get.

Luckily I am lanky so could reach the top by standing up really high and locking rather than slapping – cool as I am bad at slaps. Did it after a few goes falling tickling the top.

Ben turned up and we went to the Secret Dyno. This is a really nice problem that only Jon and Neil have done (as far as I know). I think they gave it 7B+ which seems fair. It is like an easier version of Haute Tension at Cuvier Rampart, with the set up being harder but the end being easier. The top holds were damp but we both did it ok once we had sorted the sequence.

Dave got some photos and a video on his phone, hopefully he will work out how it works and send them to me so I can get them up here!

After this we went to Eastwood. Ben had a few goes on the traverse and then got stuck into westwood/hats for youths, coming very close to getting the slap move. I did Hats for Weasels in a few goes (felt about 7b+?) then did HFY from standing, via the crimp (like Simpson did) and tried it from sitting but couldn’t quite get established into the standing position. I think once I get into the last move I will do it, but it is really hard to get there. Involving a really deep lock and a hard cut loose move.

Anyway, enough rambling for now. am back in Leicester for a bit so won’t be getting out so much, but will be training more.

Also, Pete’s new thing at burbage looks well scary. The guy is a beast. Effort.