Showing posts from September, 2014

Ireland Wicklow Mountains Cycle Tour

This weekend Amy and I thought we would do something different; we've always wanted to explore Ireland and recently I got inspired reading the book Raising the Bar by Gary Cliff the founder of Cliff energy bar company. In the book he likens his business ethos with his cycling tours of Europe, travelling light and always taking the smaller scenic roads that allow more adventurous exploration and allow you to experience more of the surrounding culture, people and local cuisine rather then taking the fast highway which may get you to your destination sooner, but at the price of increased danger from traffic and closes your eyes to the surrounding opportunities for discovery.

After a smooth early morning ferry from Holyhead and a breakfast mini Guinness we set off on our bikes from Dublin towards the Wicklow Mountains carrying only the bare minimum: small water bottle, puncture repair kit, flip-flops, light fleece and of course a few Cliff Bars!

On the first day we rode from Dublin t…

Petzl Roc Trip: Day 1 Travel

Back in June I entered a photo competition on Lyon Equipments website, I submitted a photo I took a couple of years ago of a climber on the classic roof of Bourinator at Ceuse. I could not believe my luck when I heard back that my photo had won!

Lyon Equiptement are the UK importer and distributor for Petzl. The prize was a place on the Petzl Roc Trip in Antalya Turkey. I was super excited as this was somewhere I head head of but never been before. I'm keen to avoid flying and opted to make my own way out to the event using overland transport (train + ferries).  Luckily I managed to convince my friend Jon Leighton that this epic journey would be a good adventure and he agreed to join me.

I'm writing this blog on day 1 of the trip, I'm currently sat on a Virgin train (with free fast wifi) from Bangor to London Euston, here's our travel itinerary for the next few days. Ravelling overland as opposed to flying gives us the opportunity to stop off on route, we plan to spen…

Lighthouse Crags, Diamond Lock'ins & Limestone Guidebook

With Indian Summer weather upon us in North Wales I've been trying to get out climbing as much as possible. Highlights have been:

Checking out Read Meat 7b and Three Day Event 7b+/c on the Great Orme Lighthouse crags which was super fun and rather adventurous sport climbing. With an adventurous approach and long pitches on 'interesting and varied' rock these routes although fully bolted actually feel a bit like a trad sea cliff adventure. If you're willing to handle a bit of bird poo and the odd loose hold these routes give some of the longest steep single pitches on the Orme. The top headwall of Three Day Event is particularly awesome and feels pretty wild. This pitch made it onto the front cover of the newly released North Wales Limestone Guidebook (see below). I accidentally did a new link up climbing Red Meat into Three Day Event after traversing too far left! I'm calling the link up Red Feat, it gives a nice 7b+. 

I've also had a few good days on The Diamo…

Little Orme: Shining on The Diamond and and Ocean of Emotion on Detritus Wall

August has been a busy month, lots of lovely people staying in my house meant lots of psyche for climbing!

 The Shining 8a - The Diamond A week or two ago I climbed The Shining 8a 35m on The Diamond, this was one of the best hard long single pitches of sport climbing I've done in the UK. By fortunate circumstances (mainly thanks to Tommy!) I was privileged to be the first to re-climb the route in about 30 years after it was re-bolted at the end of last year. The wall on the right hand side of The Diamond is a very different style to the middle and left of the crag, the wall is gently and unrelentingly overhanging with a bewildering number of blocky and sometimes sloping holds. Even though the route is now well equipped with about 12 or 13 resin bolts is still feels spicy and very exposed. With a bit of Ceuse fitnesses still hanging on in my arms I managed the route first red-point, having to dig-deep fighting the pump on the top section!

I was inspired getting a belay from Emma Tw…