Climbing has changed dramatically in the last few years. There is a clear distinction between climbing ‘as a competition sport’ and ‘as a pastime’. The inclusion of indoor sport climbing in the Olympics is utterly brilliant, but this form of indoor climbing is so different from that which I enjoy.
Climbing in the mountains is not in a controlled environment, its out there in the open, pitching you not just against the route, but against mother nature herself. Conditions can vary from good to diabolical in the space of just a few minutes. Holds can snap, gear can rip, the landings aren’t soft and the midges can be a touch annoying. To be successful you have to be a good opportunist able to exploit the moment when it arrives.
Staying motivated for climbing in the mountains (over a long period of time) therefore becomes far more than just about climbing itself – you have to savour (or endure) the full outdoor experience at all times.
I started climbing regularly when I was 16 years old, with my first lead climb being ‘Equity’ on Pot Scar (North Yorkshire) in August 1996. Since then my climbing has steadily improved, year on year repeating some of the hardest climbs that the Lake District has to offer. These include the modern E9 test pieces of ‘If 6 was 9’ and ‘Welcome to the Cruel World’.
My blog page has additional information on a number of the harder E8+ routes I have done.
Keep up to date with my most recent climbs on my blog.