Friday, 28 December 2012

2012 highlights

 It's been another rad year for my climbing! Even through all the heinous weather we've had to battle here at home, I have done a whole tonne of amazing routes.  Some took us by surprise and others I've wanted to do for as long as I can remember.
 I have been able to break through into the next level with my bouldering, something that was a big aim for me at the start of the year, as well go on a bunch of cool trips around Europe with my homies.

I spent two weeks with Ted hanging out in the Frankenjura during the spring. One of the coolest spots to climb I've ever been, and pretty excited to return! I then headed to the Gorge du Loup in the south of France with the Hamer boys for most of the summer. I love traveling with these guys, we always have a hell of a lot of fun together and always push each other to the max with our climbing. I've done routes that without their support I can guarantee I wouldn't have made it!
The five weeks in France flew by, but it felt great to escape the UK for a while and chill. We've met loads more amazing people, from all around the world, over the past 12 months and we're looking forward to more of the same next year!

Anyway here is a quick list of my personal highlights of 2012, and some of my favourite photos. Really hard to choose as there are SOOOOO many, however these are just a few that stand out to me.

New Power Generation - 8b
Leftfield - 8a
Wrestling With My Dangerous Soul - V12
Dark Art - V11
Low Rider - V10
Western Eyes - V10
Masters of the Universe - E7 6b FLASH
Nosferatu - E6 6b FLASH
The Bad and the Beautiful - E7 6b
The Power of the Dark Side - E7 6b
Stanage Without Oxygen - E5 6c
The Beast of Bauston - E6 6b

Happy New Year to you all and huge thanks to everyone that stops by and reads my blog, it means a lot! Also a massive thanks to all my fantastic sponsors! These guys give us incredible support and I am very proud to be working alongside them all.
I am super stoked for 2013, its gona be a big one! We have a number of trips already planned and I'm just really looking forward to getting back on the road, seeing more places and to keep on pushing things forward. Bring it on boi, big up!

Peace x






Monday, 17 December 2012

Pearls of Wisdom

 How totally inspiring was it, watching the BBC Sports Personality of the Year last night! So many world class, dedicated athletes with incredibly moving stories. "Súper emocional" as Daila would say! It has been a magical year for sport and last night did a pretty decent job of summing all that up. Unfortunately we missed the Olympics over the summer as we were all in the Gorge du Loup, but I would get texts from home each day giving us updates on everything that had been going down. Which just about kept us in touch with the world.

The amount of training, commitment and effort that these guys put in is so so motivating and really makes you want to work and push yourself harder. If you want to improve and become a better athlete then you have to really put the time and effort in. So get fired up, make sure you're doing what you're doing for the right reasons, have fun and remember... LISTEN to your body!

 Anyway enough of my pearls ya'll. Last Thursday Ed and myself got psyched to hike up to the very end of Stanage and give Low Rider a burn. Neither of us had been further than Marble Wall before and it definitely felt like a mini adventure as we trekked along and the crag slowly began to peter out. Temps were prime, around -5 degrees and we were both proper stoked to get the tick and not have to walk back up again! If you've not seen the video Ed put together than take a look below.

 Thanks to Jon Fullwood for seeking out this bloc. It feels like you're right on the edge out there, which you are really... you could stay up there for a week and probably not see a single person. A great find and great bit of grit!

I also had another sweet day out a short while back with my homies, this time up at Froggatt. Totally baltic but the sun was out, and after the odd bit of cake we all got onboard the send train. Sam made quick work of The Mint 400, E6 6b and Sole Power, V9. Ed somehow managed to fight the bitter cold at the end of the day and climb Business Lunch E5/V9, and I got a tick of Narcissus, E6 6b. Sketch, but its all in the mind, shut it out and squeeze! Grit mode is for sure in full swing right now!

 Getting prepped for The Works birthday party! 
Ted then did this the next day... after partying till dawn and just 3 hours sleep. Nutter!

Walk On By, V10

A lovely present...

Have a MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone and thanks for stopping by. Lets hope the cold, crisp conditions arrive in time for the holidays. Have a mince pie on me. Happy climbing. 

Peace x

Monday, 3 December 2012

Boss day out!

I woke up early Saturday morning and immediately heard the rain hammering it down on my skylight... A lovely start to the day, so it was straight back to sleep. About an hour later we got up and after checking the Met again we had a drive out. Extremely cold and fresh but everything was dry and the sun was out! Time to shine!

About a week ago I went back to Higgar and ticked the old Neil Foster route, Block and Tackle, E6 6c. Not long after the weather closed in big time and we had to bail but not before Sam made a quick ascent of the neglected route Linkline, another E6 that takes the blank wall to the right of Bat out of Hell. I was really keen to return for a blast as well.

After warming up Saturday morning I was a bit unsure about whether it would even be possible for routes with the wind chill making it feel proper bitter, but I tied in, set off and the next thing I knew I was standing on the top of the block! I don't know why this route gets ignored, but its one of the best lines at the crag. More people should go try it and find out for themselves! Don't listen to what others say about it being heinous. IT IS FINE!
I think Higgar has to be one of my favourite grit crags, a lot of hard routes, safe, and steep!

The conditions were feeling amazing and anyone who was out over the weekend will agree that your hands were pretty much sticking like glue to virtually any hold you touched!
Later on we met up with Ted over at Burbage West. We were both up for trying Western Eyes, a full on classic fridge hugging grit mission. I had come close on this last winter falling near to the top, and after warming up again it went down! Fantastic day, just a shame it didn't last longer. But I guess we only have another few weeks before the days will start to get a little longer again.

Ted on Western Eyes, V10

It was good to hear about so many ascents over the weekend. One I was particular syked to hear about was Sam's send of Dangerous Crocs Snogging over at Ramshaw. I know he's been after the perfect weather window for this one for a while now and he nailed it yesterday! Good one bru.


If anyone is around in Stockport Tuesday night, pop into Awesome Walls for the Mammut Test Event Tour. We'll be there running some coaching workshops and gear demo's from about 6pm. Then Thursday night we'll be doing the same at the Liverpool Awesome Walls.

We are all pumped up for the Climbing Works birthday party this Friday, as if its a year since the last one! Hopefully we'll be able to get out the day after... maybe. See how everyone is feeling!

Outz ya'll

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Grit grit grit

So the last couple of weeks have seen us wrapping things up on the limestone and starting to get stuck into some grit again. It doesn't seem like 5 minutes since we were doing the same thing this time last year but here we are again, round and round we go! It is a great feeling to be back out on the edges, with so many routes to try. The only downside being how short the days are at this time of year... However you just gotta get stuck in! I've written up a big list of routes that I'd love to try this winter and I'm really excited to tick off as many as possible. We will SEE!

Here are just some of the stuff that we've been up to:

Ben's Roof Extenstion Start - V11
Weedkiller - 7c+
Pulsar Direct - E6 6b
Moon Crack - E5 6b
The Power of the Dark Side - E6/7/8 6b.....?

Sunset up at Higgar

 Dave setting up for the crux on Pulsar Direct, E6 6b
The weather has been pretty good as well with some decent temps coming along making things nice and sticky! Yesterday was one of those perfect gritstone days, cold, crisp and were everything is just right. We found ourselves up at Bank Quarry in Matlock to give Pearson's route 'The Power of the Dark Side' a try. When you first look up, you're like " **** that's high!" but once you get your head in the game it starts to become less daunting. The landing however is pretty dreadful, and if you were to blow it then a VERY spicey drop into the abyss below is beckoning.
It was a great feeling to top out on this anyway, just as the sun was going down and one of those moments were everything just clicks and comes together.
Originally this used to be given E8 but nowadays it seems to have settled around the E7 mark. But to be honest, I have no idea about these things, so screw it dawggg! A truly classic route, on a perfect set of holds and one of the best around I'd say. 

Big thanks to Matt Usherwood for coming out again and filming this for us, have a look at the short video he put together below.

Just had this short clip sent through as well of us on 'Let's Get Ready To Rumbleweed' at the Tor. Myself and Sam had a brilliant day out down here a month or so back. Good links! Cheers to Michael for sending us this!

Sam high up, post crux on Waddage, 8b - Respect! 
© Michael Bate

Oh we had a great time a couple weeks ago hanging out with our good friends Tanja and Sonja over from Deutschland. Really cool to see them again and we had some awesome days out introducing them to a bit of grit bouldering, fish and chips and the Sheffield party scene! 


Lastly just a quick reminder, I mentioned a few weeks ago the European Outdoor Film Tour kicks off this weekend in Manchester. There is some fantastic looking stuff lined up so if you are around or need some extra psyche come along! Tour dates are below, more info and tickets can be found here.

Here is the trailer!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Summer Shoot

Back in the middle of last summer, on a scorching hot day I headed out with Ed and Sam down the Tor to meet up with Keith Sharples for a bit of a photo shoot. Keith was keen to get some shots of Ed on Waddage for his new 2013 Calender. After this we got set up and I jumped on the 8a, Call of Nature. Big thanks to Keith for these below! Check out his website here where you can see more of his work and buy the new Calender which is out today. It looks pretty awesome!

I'm also very syked to be joining up with a several new companies. ProBalm, HatsfortheHill and LiquidGripUK. Big thanks to these guys for all their support! They make some really amazing stuff and I'm very syked to be representing and working with them. So check out their websites and give them a follow on Twitter etc. Cheers ya'll!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Loughborough Uni research proj

 Early on this year I took part in a study at Loughborough University, helping some PhD students out with their research into how effective the blood vessels in climbers are at delivering blood. It was a really cool day hanging out in the labs and checking out all their ghetto equipment.
 Here was the study overview again.

Elite rock climbers have a highly adapted forearm vasculature, when compared to the sedentary population. For example, we have previously demonstrated that the blood flow capacity, and blood flow during exercise, was much higher in the rock climbers compared to non-climbing control subjects. However, this study is not able to identify the mechanisms for this higher blood flow capacity, which could be due to structural and functional changes in the artery supplying the forearm (brachial artery), or a higher number of capillaries within the forearm.

Therefore, this study aims to examine artery structure and function, and capillarity, in a population of elite rock climbers, and compare them to a group of non-climbing control subjects.

Anyway they sent me the results a while back and I thought I'd put them up for the people that might find them of interest...

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

You gotta go big sometimes son!


Its been a good while since my last post. Time seems to be rushing by at crazy speeds at the moment its sometimes hard to keep track. The autumn so far though has been pretty decent with good conditions for both the lime and grit. I really like mixing the two up at this time of year. It keeps things interesting and means you can get totally wasted on the lime one day but still have enough left in the tank for a good day out on the grit the next.     
I got a call last week from an old friend who wanted to come out with us to shoot some pictures, so I immediately thought of heading on over to Millstone to try a route that someone had shown me last winter. The line sits high in the sky, right above the famous Masters Edge, giving climbing in a slightly unusual position with plenty of exposure! It was a big relief to top out on this one and give the season a really good kickstart. We were also joined by Jerome, a good mate of ours from London, who made a quick ascent of this sketchy rig as well. Super impressed with this lads efforts, very cool given it was one of his first hard grit routes! The pictures came out pretty awesome, massive thanks again to Usherwood for these snaps!     

Mid crux on 'The Bad and the Beautiful' E7 6b

A week or two ago I also managed to do something new at the Tor, repeating 'Lets Get Ready to Rumbleweed'. It gets V11 this thing but in the end its all just training. Should have a quick video of this to post up sometime soon. 
Looking awful out there though today so a board sesh is calling and massive bowlful of stew! Below are a few more shots. Cheers x

Stoked after topping out!

Ted gurning on the top of 'Blood and Guts on Botty Street, E5 6b

Perfect end to the day, gotta love the grit!