Inspired by Calum Muskett’s awesome ‘year in pictures’ blog, I decided to make my own. The only problem is, I’m not Calum and my photos aren’t nearly as cool! Still, it was a great year and I hope 2014 gets bigger and better!
North Wales came into fantastic nick for a month, and I got lucky with fitness, ambitions, ability and conditions. I managed to onsight Travesty (VIII, 8) and helped Pete Harrison make the first ascent of Lateo (X, 10), which was cool!
Pete on Pink Panther
This winter also saw a quick mixed hit to Switzerland with Pete Harrison. He tore up Matador (M11) and I managed Pink Panther (M9+).
Sunshine came to North Wales! But I can’t find any photos so here’s a horrific one of uni nightlife! Napoleon Dynamite eat your heart out.
I enjoyed climbing on the A55 crags, the Cromlech and Tremadog. I had a great day with Will Oates, where we did Sultans of Swing and I finished off Cream - an old nemesis. These two classic E4s are simply amazing!
Spot the climber in Sikati Cave. 80m+ routes of dripping tufas!
Onsighting Mort aux Chevres (7b)
Kalymnos! I spent 3 blissful weeks in the Land of Tufas, hanging off stalactites, riding mopeds and getting pumped. Unsurprisingly, my dissertation took a bit of a hit...
Alex Hallam and I entered the infamous Isle of Jura Fell Race in Scotland. It coincided with total sunshine; everything worked out perfectly: the course, the atmosphere, the weather and even the hills was fantastic!
We both did well in the race and then climbed the Old Man of Stoer! What a mental weekend, thanks mate. The photo below sums up Alex and I well
I finally managed I’ve Been a Bad, Bad Boy (7c) at Lower Pen Trwyn. I hadn’t really tried this much, but it was spread over a couple of years! Thanks for the belays. A 3* route (sort of).
I also watched the sun rise after the uni Summer Ball - what a night!
I graduated from Bangor University. Thanks for an amazing three years, everyone. I also managed a couple of great DWS days at Swanage!
Nothing says ‘Welcome to Pembroke’ quite like a stellar sunset.
Dan Lane and I spent almost all of August living in a van, trad climbing round the UK. We only did the southern and middle part in the end, but still shared some great times. Dan’s fantastic photos and a write up is here. I finished it off by climbing Right Wall on the Cromlech.
Vagabond d’Occident (7c), Ceuse, France
Rachel Slater and I embarked on a three-month European sport climbing trip in mid-September. We hit Ceuse fairly early on and had a ball. The routes are almost all of impeccable quality!
Rachel and I moved to the Verdon some time in late October. Unfortunately there aren’t many photos of Rachel because a) I’m rubbish at bringing my camera, b) I’m rubbish at photography and c) Rachel takes brilliant, artistic photos! Here one of us on Pichenibule, the Verdon.
Made in Mascun (7c)
We spent all of November in Rodellar and Margalef, both in Northern Spain. One’s a juggy, steep paradise and the other is a powerful, pocket-pulling party! They’re both well worth a visit. I managed my first 8a, Gracias Fina.
Home. Our trip came to and end, after an amazing three months in France and Spain. We finished with Terradets, Montsant and Siurana.
I’ve written a few pieces about the trip earlier in this blog, so give them a read if you like. We left Spain in warm sunshine and arrived home to freezing cold rain. ‘Err... why did we leave?!’