17 Dec 2011

Britain's first Bouldering Bible

This week has seen the birth of Niall Grimes' bouncing baby 'Boulder Britain'. I got home on Thursday and there it was laid on the doormat; a quick browse and I was hooked. Great job Niall. It's so good to have all those areas to hand, flicking my way around a mass of bouldering trips, new areas, stunning shots and accurate maps. It's a great snap-shot of bouldering in Britain today, showcasing the varied and vast amount of quality rock that this green and pleasant land has to offer. Buy Here
Grab a copy and get exploring

9 Dec 2011

Consumed by Ivy

A wet friday! yet reliable Roache Abbey was in condition, took the GPS this time to plot the buttresses, but woods and valleys rarely have signal, so decided to get stuck into some undocumented walls to the left of Impossible roof, that turned out to have some short but entertaining problems on, some even tested Mike as he was suffering from 'man flu', Moans of "I'm weak' yeah right, no sympathy off me, he is unfeasibly strong.
Spooky Abbey
The Impossible Roof
Cracking move
Juggy Prow

3 Dec 2011

Staring at the Impossible

Life for me is all about staring at the almost impossible, yet the impossible can be useless, we can all look and visualise a line saying "just undercut that, then throw a heel, cut loose and throw for the top!" but the truth is if we don't push our limits harder and improve, get together, climb as a community, smash the grade barriers, share beta and refine our techniques. The impossible will just be something to stared at, so no matter what level we climb at, try harder to make the impossible lines possible.

I always remember looking at 'Monk Life' at Kyloe in the Woods thinking "someone has got up on a ladder and marked the holds?" Then Malc made the ascent. Years later on lesser problem, I looked back at the distance and size of the holds and had a similar feeling, it felt good, hard work and motivation pays off no matter what the grade is.

So get on it, jump for the top, cut loose, curve dyno, bury the nails into the crimp, power off the thumbs, one armer, gaston for your life, slap the sloper,  just get out on the rock, get inspired and enjoy the endless world of bouldering possibilities.

27 Nov 2011

Fallen Canopy

I have been looking forward to the red and golden leaves falling in a few wooded venues, The misty wet conditions in the Moors have been a bit frustrating at the moment! 
Also the Anston guide needed some pictures, with better light on some of the rock hidden deep in the canopy of the woods, thanks to the high winds, most of this has fallen and little did I know how amazing the conditions of the rock in Anston was at this time of year! 
James keeping his cool
Dan holding the swing on the second crux
Perfect Conditions at Anston

20 Nov 2011

Jurassic Coast

Finally got some problems done on the jurassic coast, the rocks have only been waiting 170 million years to be climbed on, but the wait was worth it, conditions were not perfect but we got plenty done, and the quality exceeded my expectations, with the usual "I'll piss that"! 20 minutes later walking away frustrated, I already have three quality projects started, never-mind the rest of the blocks. Looking forward to a night bivi and fishing in summer, watching the sun rise on the blocks while cooking last nights catch for breakfast, what more could you ask.
 James gets a full workout
 Powerful Project
 Short but very involving
Thin and delicate

11 Nov 2011


It's been a long day today, but quite productive, I have never in my life passed so many blocks without climbing on them, a first, no time? too much to take in on a first visit, tides were not a worry this time, but navigating the rocks was tricky and for some reason I had taken the pad just in case something took my fancy? Some of the lines were amazing and the I was surprised how good the condition of the rock felt considering the weather? the best laugh of the day was, I had not put the cars hand brake fully on and a woman came running out of a house shouting as my car rolled slowly down the hill! towards the cliff edge, funny, felt a lot more worried how I was going to get down the cliff to get to the boulders.
Blocks everywhere
Perfect Sandstone
Millions of boulders

Miles of rock!
Superb arete
Nice roof
The plateau high up looked good, access however would have to be roped

6 Nov 2011

Do boulders have feelings?

After another day of exploration on Friday, I was full of doubt about what I was doing. I had been chewing it over it since the last time we were there. The problem? Worrying about disturbing the micro-environment by cleaning long-forgotten rocks. The rock had a new purpose other than the home to moss, woodlice, beetles, and ferns. Selfishly evicting them all, for some personal enjoyment raised questions. Was it ethical? Will anyone else be as motivated to seek out these sandstone puzzles in the woods? Will the eviction be pointless? 
Driving home with photos of new blocks and pictures of species I did not recognise again filled me with doubt, still the motivation to climb them had not faded and the memory of the day exploring forgotten blocks seemed all the more worthwhile. I'm sure the blocks might be happy of the attention? or they might remember being blasted out of the rock face to be roasted for iron 200 years ago and not be happy to see vertebrates again!
carabus problematicus 
James in the new SLF tick protection suit
The direct went quickly, the arete drove me nuts!

31 Oct 2011

App Demo

I've had the urge to explore again, so sorry to anyone if you think I'm ignoring you, I just sometimes need to wrestle my way through a lot of Moorland and woods, it gets a bit dangerous sometimes, suprising what you will do for a glimpse of a boulder or two, never mind walking miles to a tiny piece of rock.
Some good news, Steve from 'The Send' sent me the updated working demo for the betaguides app, after a months testing, I can say It works like a dream feeding off the database and links with no crashes, well done Steve.

Don't think I would make a good TV presenter?

16 Oct 2011

The Spirit of the Moors draws everyone back

After an entertaining headlamp darkness walk in to Kay Nest ready for the Meet, the bright moon and clear starlit skies seemed well deserved. The night was cold but as soon the sun came over the moor we warmed up like lizards on some of the boulders, once fully charged, it was time to enjoy the most stunning dale in the Moors, by the time we were warm nearly everyone had turned up for the meet.
James on a new pinch problem
A brilliant low Arete 
Riverview pocket problem, soon after Sam got the right arete, quite impressive
Warming up on the mighty Ship Stone
Mike on the Canon
The ascent of the Canon, A value for money 8a involving clamping and wrestling
The Hull block, quite a slab
Ready to Rock-over deep into the wood
Forget going static
Lisa would not approve? needed to have a go, yeah scary!
Day two - back to The Duck boulders

Tony gets the arete
A hard variation on a block we missed last time?
Yet more Duck stuff
I'm Knackered! that's it - what a weekend
cheers everyone for coming

12 Oct 2011

The Meet Revealed

Think it's time to reveal the location for this weekends meet, It's in beautiful dale lost in time, the venue is Kay Nest one of the Moors most peaceful and scenic locations, with some fine sandstone for everyone to enjoy, a place you could easily fall in love with.
Access: Use the map shown below: two routes are possible the second is flatter but longer?
1. head Right at Hill End Farm farm and make your way round the hill, then the path slopes down and crosses the stream, plough your way back up the opposite hill and head north to the Crag
2.  Head Left at the base of the hill with small boulders on it, then follow the path to a track on the top of Nab Ridge, follow this for a long while until you can head right down into Tripsdale, the crag is back up the other side to the right

Saturday and Sunday the 15th - 16th of October

Hope to see you there, I will be revealing a couple of other venues on the day?
Overview Map of the Boulders and Crag
Print this for the routes in

9 Oct 2011

Even More Ducks

A second weekend at the Duck boulders, this time digging even deeper going underground to further develop the ever growing number of varied lines the cluster holds, Friday saw the best of it as the rock was dry. Sunday looked bleak! yet something still drew me back?  so I sort of dragged everyone back to check the unfinished business. Sorry
It's not over yet Tom
Tricky without the flake
Nigel on a top quality sloping traverse
Pumpy sustained underground, what more could you ask for
What a sunset, scary top-out!
Sunday visit, Mike and Nigel got the left arete, after it dried
eventually retreating to the usually dry Ravenswick, some lines were still dry

2 Oct 2011

Good Day for Ducks

A big change in the weather, from sweltering heat to showers, at least the ducks were happy.
got back to a venue that will hold a stacks of problems when it is full developed. Tonnes of rock, a bit of a bouldering jackpot, after digging deeper good problems were coming thick and fast, only to be stopped by the showers ruining the top-outs, looking forward to a return visit with all the bracken gone
A Canopy Shelter
Underground Bouldering
Lisa got caught out by the rain!
Sam on a great find - good work Sam