Monday, 23 November 2009

Masterclasses

I am now doing masterclasses in association with Manchester climbing centre, the next one is on Sunday the 29th of November.
See my website for further details.

New Website

I,ve finally finished my new website, after months of messsing around and cursing internet explorer(anyone who develops web pages will know exactly what i'm on about!)

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Two weeks in Font.........and only two days of rain!

Just returned from two weeks in font, and finally had some decent weather to wear my skin to the bone in! The first week involved back to back cold sunshine with a good breeze to keep the temps down, unfortunately my index finger split on the first day (it had been threatening to do it for about a week before!) so i maned up anyhow and taped it, still manging De Vita Beata - 8a, Isatis and my first 8a+ in Font with Papillon at Petite Reine, a cool prow/arete which i was probably doing wrong and spent most of my time looking at some areas i had not been to before. Once my finger had heeled it was time to resume battle with Kheops which is still managing to elude me despite having had several days on it, although i did feel more controlled on it this time but still feeling like i should have sent it! I'll get some video footage up next week.
I'm back in the UK for a while, now with a van which has decided to try and kill its gear box, could be very expensive! Anyone got any work?

Friday, 2 October 2009

The summer

Since a slightly disappointing 2nd at the BBC's missing out on a frustratingly reachy last problem, i have been predominantly sport climbing at Malham, Kilnsey and Pen Trwyn. I'm starting to feel properly fit for the first time in my life, Having onsighted another 8a in the form of Over the Moon Direct at Lower Pen Trwyn, and sent several other 7c+ and 8a's first redpoint, the highlights being Zoolook at Malham, and Vorsprung Durch Technik at Yew Cougar. I even dusted off the trad rack for a perfect sunny day in North Wales to do Right Wall, glad i was fit enough to really enjoy such a class route.
The main focus of the summer, well as focused as i get on sport routes has been Power Ranger at Malham, having had a very frustrating day of redpoints on a hot day in August, falling off after the crux three times on the trot, i decided to leave it alone for a bit, it since having got wet or being too hot to even contemplate. I have also being trying Northern Exposure at Kilnsey, an incredibly bouldery short route, much more my style, here is a vid of a frustratingly close go, where i ended up with the wrong three fingers(back three) in the hold at the top, arrh, 8b+ seems to be very elusive!
video

Friday, 24 July 2009

slack blogging! world championships

definatley been a bit slack on the blogging front, especially with everything that has been going on. First up was the world championships held slap bang in the middle of china and no where near any climbing, Xining in the qinghai region to be precise. Qualifiers where held on the tuesday, i felt pretty tired and my legs where really stiff, probably from the travelling, but managed to hall myself up three out of the five problems to qualify for the semis in 19th. With the semi-finals not till saturday i would hopefully manage to recover and do some stretching!........but thursday night saw me reproducing my dinner at a high rate of knots out of both ends! not a pleasant experience. Friday i managed a small plate of dry spagetti for lunch and not much more in the evening leaving me expecting to be last in saturdays semi-final. Saturday morning i felt really strong and light......... for two moves before all energy seemed to desert me! How ever it seemed that my new found pre-comp tatics worked quite well as i did three out of the four problems, coming very close to the fourth one and i'd qualified for the final in fifth place, maybe it was th jam that made me feel at home!
So to the final, i felt much less nervous than i had felt in Vienna, probably as i didn't expect anything.
I did all four problems but in less attempts than the two Russians leaving me in third place, although in hind-sight i should have flased them all and been world champion, but thats comps for you.
Here's some pics of me in the final,



So that was the world championships, a totally unexpected result, and Britains first medal at a world championship, awesome!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

World cup - Eindhoven

i have just returned from the final round of the world cup in Eindhoven. On reflection 25th isn't bad considering i've been fighting a bought of man flu for the past week, leaving me feeling pretty drained and having no power on the steeper problems. i earned a few more valuble points and finished in 21st place overall, not too bad considering i only did 3 out of the five rounds.
It was awsome to see ned make the final, his first and the second British finalist in two comps! Heres Ned in the final.


I now have just over a week to stop the flow of liquid coming out of my nose (nice!) before flying out to China for the world championships.

Monday, 1 June 2009

final time

Finally i climbed to my potential in a world cup semi-final, to make it through to my first world cup final, in first place! Unfortunately in getting there i pulled a muscle in my shoulder, making it a real effort to lock off on my left arm, though it didn't seem to effect me too much, that was more due to very thin skin and wet finger tips, making it very difficult to stay on the tiny crimps involved in the 2nd and 3rd problems. It was slightly disapointing to finish in 6th, having climbed so well in the semi's, although i still enjoyed it, thanks to Jamie for a great set of problems.
Here's a pic of me in the qualifiers.



Wednesday, 27 May 2009

World cup - Vienna

Just about to fly out to Vienna(Wien) for the third round of the bouldering world cup, my 2nd of the season. i am hopefull for this one on the back of my last three comps, plus the fact that Britains Jamie Cassidy is the chief route setter, so no excuses about the style of problem.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

8a onsight

On sunday i onsighted Kleptomania at hollywood bowl (Giggleswick North), my first 8a onsight in the uk, i onsighted 8a in Kalymnos last September.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Three comps....three weekends!

1st up was Rd 2 of the bouldering world cup and my first of the season, i felt strong and fit going into it and training had been going well. Qualifiers were a nerve wracking affair with the field split into 2 groups so the top ten going through from each group. i finished 9th in my group having comfortably flashed 4 out of 5 problems. Semi finals did not go so well, two very wide problems and one that no one looked even close to doing, although that was the one i felt closest to doing! oh well it was good to make the semi's again especially in such a strong field.

Next up was an open international in Kitzbuhel, part of the Austrian cup. I felt bad during the qualifiers, probably down to nerves at the free for all format with as many goes as you liked on the problems! Thankfully i made it through to the semi's the next day. Warming up i felt much better than the previous day, thats what rest days do for you! I proceeded to flash two problems out of the four, good enough to put me in 2nd place and the final. I still felt strong warming up, if a little nervous it only being my 2nd international final. The first problem was the easiest, everyone did it, although not first go, i managed to flash it and felt good and relaxed me a little bit. The 2nd problem was a horrendous pull onto the slab using a razor for one hand only and bad feet. Everyone seemed to have a bad time on this one, i came out brushed the hold and it felt good, the move felt easy, that go, as i dropped the top and could not pull on again! The third problem was another hard one and i knew by the crowds reaction that no one had topped it. A few failled attempts and a quick rest i pulled on with 20 seconds to go, the knee slid perfectly into the knee bar and i grabbed the penultimate hold, but i could feel the familiar friend "pump" setting in and launched for the last hold/volume and to my surprise latched it, i was in the lead.
The final problem came round far too quickly and i knew that i needed it but only had one go left in my arms. I could feel the crowd willing me up it or maybe that was just the small British contingent! i was agonisingly close to latching the last hold, but it was not to be, and i ended up in a slightly disapointing 5th but had great fun getting there. Here's a video of the third problem in the final. There's more videos of the other problems on youtube.



The final comp was the Plywood masters at Boulder UK in Blackburn, I greased through the qualifiers in 2nd, and still felt strong going into the final, were i topped all five problems dropping one once. 2nd was Ned who has not been training too much due to his dissertation, would have been nice to have been a bit closer! Finally i had won something, after far too many 2nds to even mention!

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Skymasters

This weekend saw the second skymasters event, so as defending champion i was invited back to defend my crown, although in a very different comp to last year. This years event was termed as speed difficulty, ie climb as fast as possible on lead, across a 14m roof of swinging rotating volumes!
Saturdays qualifiers went well, although my clipping didn't seem to be working too well i qualified in 5th place for Sundays head to head knock outs.
The first knockout against bouldering team member John Partridge, went well, i climbed smoothly and quickly and my clips seemed to be working, bonus! so i posted the fastest time of that round. The quarter finals i came up against Adrian Berry, again all was going well and i was in the lead until disaster struck on the rotating planet, i miss timed the kick getting on to it and oh so painfully rotated too slowly and let Adrian in to take the Semi place (and go on to the final at least!). I was a bit gutted it being the first time i had got that feature wrong, but it was great fun to take part in such a spectacular event, well done to the boys at X1-sports and to James Garden and Shauna Coxsey the eventual winner, good to see the youth doing well.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

out and about

Mostly been doing a bit of fitness work since the CWIF, linking problems on the bouldering wall and a few routes in there it seems to have paid off. Had a trip to Woodwell, did Nuclear Transplant, a nice bit of 'crabbing' at v12. After warming up on sections of it sent on my third go, slipping out of a tenuous toe hook the first few goes, found some different beta and sent next go. Sean got it on video, i'll get it up as soon as poss. Flashed Not bad Dave too, a nice 7c at Woodwell far right involving a bit of hugging in a roof.
A visit to an unseasonably dry Malham, resulted in a lot of sunbathing for most of the afternoon, until it cooled down a bit, before a quick assault on Magnetic fields, John Dunne's 80's test piece. I sent it on my fifth redpoint after frustratingly fumbling the jug a few times, not bad for my first 8b, i really should try harder on routes!
Anyway its the annual trip to Birmingham this weekend for the second Skymasters. This year its based on speed, head to head races which should be exciting and completely open!

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

CWIF 09

WOW!

what an event, almost the perfect show for competition climbing (would have been perfect if i'd won!)
The qualifiers went well, only failing on one problem, although a few went 2nd or 3rd go, putting me in 3rd place. the lottery of the qualifiers over it was down to pulling hard on the comp wall for the semi's. Warming up again i still felt strong and fresh, it took a few goes to get the measure of the tricky dyno on the first problem, mostly due to the layer of grease on the volume! but nailed it on my fourth go. I then seemed to be in my stride dispatching the typical Percy volumes with ease. the third problem was a lesson in undercuts, which i happen to rather like and so flash number two. The final problem a pumpy quest on undercuts across the roof into a good bit of precarious groove, a quick battle against the pump in the roof an there was non way i was going to drop the groove after that battle, the third flash and i knew it was enough to get in the final, my first international final. Turns out it was more than enough as i qualified in first, bring on the final, i still felt fresh, strong and psyched out of my mind.

First problem was a quick volume wrestle followed by a big dirty press up the groove onto the slab and teeter to the finishing hold, i dispatched first go as did Jerome and Tyler, the final was well and truly on! Second problem, more volume wrestling to a very hard finish, dropped by Tyler and done by Jerome, i got perched on the volume went to set off on the last difficult section and then my hand slipped as i re weighted it, an i was off! a foot pop on my second go at the start , and the third go all went perfectly as i latched the finishing hold with a roar. Down to the last problem , i knew no one had topped it, once again a tricky dyno set up for some campusing on very poor sloping edges, it seemed my fitness had found its limit as pump set in, seems that the man flu did effect me in that i couldn't do quite as much power endurance work as i'd liked.

All looks good for the coming world cup season, nearly taking the scalp of current European champion, i'll take a great deal of confidence from an awesome competition (weather i'd been in it or not) well done to the boys at the works, and the setting team. Congrats to Leah who was even closer than i was to winning the women's, if only she could have matched the last hold!
I'll try and get hold of some photos and once again

WOW!

Friday, 6 March 2009

New photos

I have finally got round to uploading photos from font onto my website, thanks to Stu for some awesome shots.
Have mostly been training hard, mixed in with some route setting and am starting to feel the benefits for the CWIF at the works this Saturday, feeling stronger and lighter than ever before! Unfortunately i've picked up a nasty bout of man flu this week, but it doesn't seem to affect my climbing too much. Bring on the Lemsip (other decongestants are available!)

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

works comp and team training

Friday night was the last round of the climbing works bouldering league and the last Percy special problem.
Jordan was the first to the top of the special, on his second go as soon as the comp had started, Jordan being warm from the crag that afternoon, and bouncing from someone finally giving him some sponsorship in the form of mr Moon, about time too i say!
So i plodded on with the rest of the comp treating it as a training session, flashing all 25 problems and the perfect score of 250!
Saturday was team training held at Stockport, with problems set by ex team member the Earl, it wasn't going to be an easy day. The first 5 problems in the morning session were anything but easy, and we worked them in small groups, always a good way of improving (or is that just trying harder, not wanting to be outdone!) followed by another ten problems in the afternoon, left my skin feeling decidedly raw, still not fully recovered from font.
On with Sunday and my fourth and fifth sessions of the weekend, a comp style 5 mins on 5 mins off on six problems, three of which were very hard, the other three being easy. i topped one of the hard ones, annoyingly pissing one of the others after.
The final session involved international final style four problems with four minutes to climb each problem but two minutes observation before to look at all the problems. skin was definitely at a premium, and i seem to suffer on my usual forte of slopey pinches, proving the importance of good skin!
It seem s that my fitness is very good at the minute, i just wish someone would invent spray on skin!

Friday, 13 February 2009

City bloc

Visited the newly opened City Bloc wall in Leeds, owned by former British team members, Ben Meeks, Rachael Seymour, Tom Sugden and Martin Smith. It is a nice wall with some really good angles and good problems too. By coincidence Gaz was there too so had a good session climbing with him and Martin. Well worth putting into your regular circuit of walls.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Fontainbleau

Amazingly we actually had some good weather in font, i finally did 8a in font, in the form of Neverland, the most ridiculous feature you will ever see and climb on rock, like one of Percy's volume creations at the works, pure mauling! well that was my tactic anyhow. Pic below.

Finally sent a few nemesis problems too, Hypothese, 7c+ and Sale gosse, 7c one that's been driving me mad for years, no upgraded from i hate that problem to doing it several times as its so cool.
I now have some more projects in font, doing the big move on Total Eclipse with damp holds, a move that i thought i would struggle to span and it was full span but still did the move!
Had a morning session on Karma coming frustratingly close, a mere inch from the hold, before racing for the ferry and the carnage of a snow covered southern England.

Got a load of cool photos thanks to Stuart McNeil and his remote flashes, which i will put up on my website soon.

Here's a vid of me being too close to Karma for comfort!

video

Friday, 30 January 2009

Fontainebleau here i come

just about to set off for a week in Fontainebleau, Hopefully we will get some good weather watch this space to see what if anything i get done.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Little women - E7 7a onsight

On Saturday I on-sighted Little Women E7 7a at Stanage. I can't comment on the E grade as this was my first E7 and haven't really done anything above E5. Bouldering wise it is about 7b+ and probably one of the best 7b+'s i've done. Thanks to Jordan for bullying me into tying in, might have to do a few more. No photos, was a bit gloomy!

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Works comp

just realised i've not blogged for a month, been too busy enjoying the mostly good weather! Made some good progress on a few projects in Yorkshire, watch this space. Did Red Baron Roof at shipley glen, i have got a video but it doesn't seem to want to upload :(

anyway back to the works comp, Percy and co decided the recession is hitting so we had to do two problems for half the money this month! I was the first to do the harder problem but ended up in a race with Ryan which he won by a matter of seconds. see ukclimbing for a report.