2015 has been the greatest year yet! From the satisfaction of surviving another day winter climbing in Scotland, to golden beaches on the coast of Ireland; from alpine summits to the vast Canadian wilderness. I’ve also learnt plenty of lessons. The whirlwind has spanned across the globe and I look forward to continuing the momentum. Thanks everyone, and here’s to a fantastic 2016.
From Euro-style ice like The Shroud (VI, 6) to classic mixed climbing on The Secret (IX, 9) and The Citadel (VIII, 8): Scottish winter keeps on giving.
Abseiling off after climbing The Shroud.
Photo: Pete Harrison
Welsh winter also briefly appeared: Cracking Up (IX, 9).
One of the best routes I’ve ever climbed.
Photo: Will Hardy
Tony Stone and I kicked off the trad season in Pembroke in March.
I enjoyed From a Distance and taking the monster-lob on Boat to Naxos (E7 6b).
Photo: Barbarella (E5 6a), taken by Dan Lane a few years back.
It’s not a slab! From a Distance (E7 6b).
Photo: Mikey Goldthorpe
April was sport climbing in Gorge du Tarn, France, with strong scenes! I clipped bolts with John McCune and Uisdean Hawthorn and trained well.
Pyromania (7c).Photo: John McCune
The training paid off. I climbed Strawberries (E7 6b) with Nick Bullock.
I should’ve worn some power tights, like Stefan Glowacz!
Photo: Uli Wiesmeier.
Around this time I joined the Jöttnar Pro Team, which was a real honour. I’ve been putting the kit to good use.
We went to Ireland to see what all the hype was about. It turns out they’re absolutely right! We spent some time on Owey (a ‘remote’ island off the west coast) and Fairhead.
This is Jack Lawledge climbing Immaculata (E5 6b ish) on ‘The Holy Jesus Wall.’
Photo: Brian McAlinden
Tony Stone and I went to the Alps but the conditions were very poor. We dodged a lot of rockfall so climbed in the Wendenstock and Salbitschijen. It was still a great trip.
This is Tony on Gulliver’s Travels on the Grand Cap.
Ah yes, where would a summer trad season be without Gogarth?!
I spent many glorious days down by the sea, and managed the third ascent of Adam Wainwright’s The Fourth Dimension (E7 6c).
This is Dave Kendall’s photo of Paul Pritchard attempting the route.
Uisdean and I went to Canada for September with alpine objectives in mind. Alpine conditions were very poor (again!) but we climbed the Greenwood-Jones on Mt. Temple and tried a bunch of other routes, including the north face of Mt. Alberta.
Photo: Uisdean Hawthorn.
After Uisdean’s liberal hashtagging I joined Instagram. You can view my profile here.
After Canada I went to Cornwall with my family and Victoria. The weather, surf, sailing, beaches and company was perfect!
I’m also honoured to have had several pieces of writing published, including the BMC’s Summit magazine, Climb, Climber, Trek & Mountain, NectarClimbing.com and UKClimbing.com.
You can read my individual blog pieces throughout the year here. I’m quite proud of some of the writing.
After enjoying the Indian summer I completed my MIA training course and got some Rope Access work. I’ve also been training hard in anticipation for the Scottish/Alpine winter. Thanks everyone, and here’s to a great 2016!