Academic at Avon

Now this was just getting silly! 22 days with no climbing! On Sunday I just had to go climbing. The weather forecast was bleak but me being the eternal optimist dragged Hannah up a wet and slippery grass bank to belay at the base of Academic, a short bouldery 8a that Gav Symonds’ had said was very good.

First go to warm up, place the clips, check conditions and work the moves. After a quick play I had worked out some super techy beta involving lots of leg trickery (exactly my bag) and I was warm. Standing at the bottom waiting for the arms to be fully primed I was hopeful it would go down next burn. Rain clouds loomed, it was time to give it a bash.

Easy traverse done, quick shake, clip. But wait a minute, I was already boxed. How come? The traverse isn’t harder than 6c. I pressed on, kneebar, drop knee, drop knee (the legs were working well!), squeeze, slap, slap and I was off (the arms were working not so well!).

The rain was coming you could see it just the other side of the suspension bridge. “Time for one more quick go?”

I this time I fired it with only a few screams. Happy days. We ran away just as the rain came in and spent the rest of the day training at UCR. Over all it was a good day and I was happy to climb Academic 2nd repoint after such a long break.

Crazy Kids Making Shapes

The day after returning from Nepal I was called in to run a short half day training walk for a trip I am doing later in the year with a school group. Suffering from chronic jet lag I pulled myself out of bed and wandered about in the hills with some soggy and miserable kids for a few hours and then returned to bed.

The next day was the final round of the BMC YCS  2012 regional rounds in which my youth team have been competing. 8am start for the mini bus ride to Undercover rock Bristol. In the bus there was much excited tension, these kids had been training hard for the final event.

During the day the team gave it there all. As with many competitions some came away happy others came away slightly less happy about their performance but they all had a good day. Funny thing about climbing competitions is that so much is won or lost on the slip of a foot or a slightly wrong sequence.

Below are some pics of the Kids making shapes:


One of our boys also qualified for the National final is second place so congratulations and good luck for the finals to him.

Hamzah with his coaches




I have Just arrived home after three weeks working out in Nepal on a school expedition.

We had a very exciting trip with many different elements. We did a fair amount of comunity project work whilst we were out there. This  meant we were welcomed into some very remote comunities, some of which had had little to know comunication with western culture. This was a real eye opener for many of our children on the trip as they were are all used to many western luxuries and lifestyles.

We spent a week trekking in the foothills of the Himalayas. Many of the girls in the group were doing their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s award and I was assessing them for this. We trekked between well know trekking destinations like Goropani and Gandruk. On one early morning we climbed Poon Hill to get amazing views of the 8000 m peaks.

On the trip we also visited the Chitwan national park for an elephant safari and spent sometime in chaotic Kathmandu.

The only down side to this amazing trip was the lack of rock climbing. I did not climb anything except a few trees for 22 days! Gulp ( that’s got to be some kind of record for me!)

Departing for Nepal

Today I am flying out to Nepal for 3 weeks of work. I am leading a trek for a school as well as assessing their gold Duke of Edinburgh expedition. I am really looking forward to spending some time away from western culture and resting the old finger joints. I hope to come back fit and light (hopefully not because of dysentery) ready for some hard climbing. I will take lots of photos whilst I am away so check back here for those in the not so distant future.

Yesterday we decided to spend my last day of freedom climbing in cheddar gorge. It was incredibly hot so we spent most of the day working the tan rather than the routes.

I did manage to do a route called Shangri-La which I thought was quite fitting considering todays destination.

So for now Goodbye or Namaste.