Two things I should have done since I brought my first Five Tennies at the age of 17. Collecting dirt in jars from the bottom of each remote crags I have been to in the world. To have set up a blog from the very start since the internet exists. I am 24 now and sadly missed 7 years of blogging some of the best climbing ever. Big Wall on Fatima's Hand, Mali, deep in the Saharan desert. Risking my life on knots in Adrspach in the Czech Republic, DWS in Mallorca, Multi Pitch in Verdon Gorge, Ceuse, Rodellar, Siurana, El Chorro, Frankenjura and many more. From now on the blog starts and I will treat it like my new best friend.
At the end of the summer, it was my last climbing day in Ceuse after 3 weeks on the rock. I wasn't ready to come home, not even close. I was having a great time out there with a big group of strong Brit's. Hamer brothers, Robbie, Nat, Ethan, Luke, Ted, Ramon, Jerome and Kitty. Why was i to go home? I had already pushed my girlfriend Lisanne for more climbing time in Ceuse. I couldn't push the girlfriend anymore as I was inches away from being dumped. 'it's always about climbing, your selfish' she said. It's true, climbing is a selfish sport simply because it requires time away traveling to new crags which is part of the climbing culture. My head was screwing me up as i was near the top on Sueurs froides (8a+), it wasn't hard but the pressure of my last day made it almost impossible. I had finally climbed properly and made it past the crux till I was near the top. I completely forgot the sequence. What the hell is wrong with me? it's only like 7b now and i am struggling to find the holds until i found myself in the air. My skin was ruined and I hadn't got a single bit of energy left for another go. Sometimes the rock wins i suppose. It's not fair I thought as I had a mini tantrum down the long walk I had trekked countless times. Ethan Walker filled me with ideas about changing my flight so the route would guarantee be ticked among more climbing. I looked at my trashed fingers and a picture of Lisanne on my iphone feeling the luckiest man in the universe. I made the right decision to come home after an epic trip till the next day I had to make my way through the ugly London filled with regret.
Ceuse was awesome, quality world class climbing. I managed to redpoint up to 8a+ (Dolce vita), 3 8a's, and on sighted up to 7c+ (makach walou) It won't be long till I return......
For the rest of the summer I mainly worked and trained ready for the next big trip which was only two months away, Kalymnos, one of the greek islands for another month of climbing. Since Lisanne has started her MA I told her it was a good option to give her time to study without me being in the way. The trip will benefit both of us, but she disagreed and from that day on the word 'climbing' was forbidden at home as she claimed I was getting ridiculously obsessed.
A few weeks before I jetted off the the island, an old friend of my father's had no one to climb with for a day trip to the gritstone on Bank Holiday Monday. He texted me hoping a was available but I had already kind of made plans with Lisanne. I don't know how but I found myself driving up the M1 the next day at 5am to the Gritstone. The man's name was Duncan Simpson. My father and I call him either Dangerous Duncan or Homer Simpson. He has survived a million times from all sorts near death situations. He even once on a family skiing holiday to the alps sneaked off one morning to check out the North Face of the Eiger following a postcard of the mountain using it as a map. He decided to solo the first few pitches in timberlands till he realized how dangerous it was. I met him just off Luton and left my precious 6 year old Nessan Micra in a car park that has survived several crashes. As we arrived at Curbar Duncan climbed like an elephant as he was hungover from the night before. I could even smell the alcohol as he tied on at the bottom of L'Horla (E1). At first he couldn't get off the ground, perhaps he was still drunk? after struggling a few meters off the ground he threw a nut in and I took in. He was pumped already from a few 5b moves. He can climb E4 easily, but defiantly not today. We had a great day and I managed to tick Profit of Doom (E4/E5) 2nd go ground up. Duncan belaying isn't the best, in fact looking down from struggling through the crux spotting that he was on his iphone whilst belaying. My dad always says that climbing with Homer make you climb harder as you wouldn't dare fall off. But i did during my on sight attempt of the Doom i closed my eyes and took the fall finding myself still alive.
the ticks were..
Green Crack (HVS)
Elder Crack (E2)
Profit of Doom (E4) second go ground up