Leading the Way

“And you’re happy with that?” asked the walker, looking sceptically at my anchor – an ice axe buried in snow. “I was until you said that,” I thought, too tired to speak having hacked a hole in névé with the consistency of set concrete, as I now tentatively shouted “Safe!” down to my second, Nick. … More Leading the Way

Weather Window Panic – A Good Conditions Smash and Grab

I recently joined a Facebook group dedicated to the conditions in the UK’s mountains. This is a uniquely British concept; we like to talk about the weather, but this is talking about the weather with added fervour. The changeable conditions that are part and parcel of our little island make such pages ideal for anyone … More Weather Window Panic – A Good Conditions Smash and Grab

My Mountain Family

With the notable exception of the Isle of Man, no man is an island. All of my mountain experiences have been shared with a ragtag clan of like-minded individuals who I believe deserve a mention. The Motivator If it had not been for Matt, I would not be here today and instead be smashed to … More My Mountain Family

Great Nights in the Hills – Part 2, Stanage Edge

The lengthy gritstone escarpment of Derbyshire’s Stanage Edge has a special place in British climbing’s past and present. So revered as the hallowed rock of traditional climbing (i.e. no drilled bolts) that when a climber posted an April Fools’ prank picture of a bolt on the grit he received death threats from the climbing community. … More Great Nights in the Hills – Part 2, Stanage Edge

Climbing Back on the Horse – Reflection on Falling, Fear and Re-finding Climbing

After becoming airborne on a multi-pitch ice route earlier this year, it was time to return to outdoor leading with a trip to Stanage Edge for a spot of single pitch trad (rock climbing placing your own protection in natural cracks). By comparison this was more like getting back on a Shetland pony than a … More Climbing Back on the Horse – Reflection on Falling, Fear and Re-finding Climbing