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

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

A Hillwalking Introduction for a Grumpy Teenager

As a teenager, despite being a thoroughbred city-dweller, I loved mountains and the British countryside, and always wanted to be walking in the hills or running gaily through fields of wheat like Theresa May. I appreciate (but still don’t fully understand) that this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I believe everybody should at least … More A Hillwalking Introduction for a Grumpy Teenager

Great Nights in the Hills – Part 1, YHA Black Sail

It was our second day on the Wainwright’s Coast to Coast walk and we were sampling some of England’s dreariest weather (simply known as “weather” in the Lake District). We’d spent the previous night sliding downhill in a pokey two-man tent perched on the flattest ground we could find, and by the time we reached … More Great Nights in the Hills – Part 1, YHA Black Sail