31 Dec 2011

2011

2011 has been a great year full of highs and lows. I am looking forward to 2012, it's going to be an interesting year trying to live new adventures in my life. I'll be doing a few comps in Europe, trying projects at the local crags, dipping my toes into the World of alpine climbing but most of all making big changes in my career. I have big decisions to make to progress and this is the year to make them.

Have a good one guys.

27 Dec 2011

UK Trip: Day 1

I woke up in Manchester this morning to the sound of rain tapping on the window. This was typical, I thought, we'd planned a day up at Stanage and it was raining!



I checked the weather forecast for Sheffield and it looked hopeful. We set off and travelled through the rain until we were greeted by the sun in the Peak. This was going to be a special day.



We climbed Deliverance and started trying the Ace. I have always wanted to climb this bloc. We first climbed at the Plantation a good few years back and I always admired how the boulder stood on the hill so proud. I climbed the Joker a few years ago and, since moving to Austria, I have always hoped to find it in good conditions when I returned on short visits.



Today it felt great.... I had to wait for the sun to hide behind a cloud before the best conditions arrived. With Mart and my Dad spotting, I climbed the bloc after a good few attempts. Such a good feeling!

Mart was looking so strong on the Joker, so we'll be returning to the bloc in the next few days.

18 Nov 2011

What's next?

Since my trip to Spain I've been taking it easy. It's not been easy though, the weather has been unbelievably good and there are some incredible projects in Ötztal to be climbed. I have been trying a project of Hansjörg's with Lukas. I have not committed myself to trying a route of this difficulty since I climbed Mordor 2 years ago. It is almost as though I have been intimidated by the commitment involved. It feels really good to have this focus again and I am looking forward to the journey.

5 Nov 2011

Terradets Trip

I have just spent a fantastic week with my Dad in Terradets. Paret de les Bruixes is one of the best climbing sectors I have been to. An awe-inspiring wave of perfect limestone covered with tufas provides a playground for climbers. The weather was perfect and we climbed, climbed and climbed a little more until it went dark. I have posted a few photographs from the area and LLeida below.











30 Sep 2011

Passport to Honesty 8c, Oetztal

On Wednesday I made the 2nd ascent of Hansjorg Auer's route 'Passport to Honesty' in Oetztal. The route is outstanding. The initial slab sets you up for an all-out dyno from two small crimps to a huge jug around the lip of a small roof. After this you can recover and re-focus for the scary upper prow. The route feels a little more committing than just a normal sport route, it kind of has Hansjorg written all over it. The last clip is impossible to clip so you end up climbing a good few meters above your last bolt with massive fall potential if you fall from the last slopey section. The redpoint went really well and it was a little unexpected.




Ötzi Trifft Yeti, Dolomites

When Heiko mentioned that a trip to the Dolomites would be cool, I didn't really think much about it and just went with the flow. A few days before our departure Heiko sent me a link with the route info and at that moment I realised what I'd got myself into. I don't really have much alpine climbing experience, I have always tried to stay clear of it for some unknown reason. I analysed the route map and decided it was way too much considering my little experience. Heiko encouraged me that it would be fine so I went to the local crag and practised my rope work a little and decided to go for it. The night before I didn't sleep too well, strange thoughts were whizzing through my head and I felt unsettled. We awoke early and drove down to the Dolomites and my concerns disappeared as soon as I saw the mountains jutting though the early morning mist. The first couple of pitches went well and I slowly got into the style of the climbing. We started flowing up the wall and the pitches started to feel shorter as we ascended. It was a mega feeling pulling over the last roof with nothing between my boots and the ground 300m below. After a scary abseil, a few beers and a good pizza I was lying in my sleeping bag dreaming of the route.





Ötzi trifft Yeti (300m, 8+)

Kleine Zinne - Dolomiten

Topo

1 Aug 2011

IFSC World Climbing Championships Arco

The world's capital of climbing, Arco, held the 2011 World Climbing Championships. The event was not just a climbing competition, it was a celebration of the sport.

150 athletes competed in the men's bouldering event and it was going to be tough to reach the semi-final with so many strong climbers present. I was able to climb 3 blocs and qualified for the semi-final. The next day I chilled out and thought about the following round. I felt really determined. I ended up 9th. The final was incredible, the field below the stage was completely full of spectators and some of the performances from the athletes were just mind-blowing.

Thanks to Nick Clement and Tom Sugden for providing support throughout the event, it was very much appreciated.


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18 Jul 2011

Boulder Worldcup Sheffield









The latest round of the 2011 bouldering worldcup was held as part of the vibrant Cliffhanger event in Sheffield. The competition was a mega success thanks to the experienced organisers and route setters. The British bouldering team performed fantastically with a number of the British athletes competing in the semi-final. I was satisfied with my 12th place in the semi-final and enjoyed a week back at home in Manchester after the event.

29 Jun 2011

Boulder Worldcup Barcelona (ESP)

The 7th round of the 2011 bouldering worldcup was held in the beautiful city of Barcelona.

The event was unfortunately held indoors and it was a real challenge to stay focused when the temperatures seared through the roof. Towards the end of the event the heat in the builing had beaten most of the athletes and the air was thick with disappointment.

Looking on the positive side, the British Team climbed very well and we had 5 athletes in the semi-final. I finished 14th in the semi-final.

23 Jun 2011

Boulder Worldcup Eindhoven (NED)

Between spells of heavy rain the Worldcup in Eindhoven (NED) ran very smoothly. The competition was, yet again, a mega success with a great location and some of the best competition blocs I have ever tried - good work Cassidy and team!

Dave Barrans climbed very well and made his first final of the 2011 season finishing in 6th place. Fischhuber won yet another event and looks unstoppable. Woods pleased the crowd with a display of immense power. Akiyo Noguchi made some strange shapes on the wall and Anna looks like she is going to take the overall worldcup title.

I was very pleased to climb in the semi-final again where I finished 14th. The next round is in Barcelona.