Climbing Blog

Climbing related posts covering gear, technical, training and Q&A’s. Other posts covering creative writing can be found over at Dark Materials.

21 Jan 15 // Dark Materials popular

Dick in a Toaster

First off I have no idea what kind of projects you’re thinking off, or who you are.  If you’re talking about getting a kayak and paddling to Australia from Germany, or doing all the alpine peaks over 4000 metres in a year, well that sounds normal to me, while if you want to make a skin suit out of dead people…. well maybe you’ve come to the wrong man!Secondly it doesn’t sound like.....

Nav Paranoia
20 Jan 2015

Nav Paranoia

We are in the season of the lost, the season where all climbers dust of their compass’s, unfold mouldy maps, and try and remember how to get from A to B, secretly praying the weather stay clear, so.....

To be a pro
19 Jan 2015

To be a pro

I can remember once sitting in a pub in Hull with my old mate ‘Wayne the fireman’, talking about people I’d met recently, passing on stories they’d passed on to me, people who’s lives were.....

The Mountain
26 Dec 2014

The Mountain

Strange, but woke up this morning with this poem in my head, which although I have no doubt is crap (I know bugger all about poetry) I’ll share with you here (sure it’s total 6 form.....

MTN Book extract: Snow Walls
25 Dec 2014

MTN Book extract: Snow Walls

I’ve got eight days left on my Indiegogo Denali Winter solo project, and at 45% I need to give it a bit of a boost.  Although a few people think I’m looking for a handout, this project is.....

Solo Bungee cord question
25 Dec 2014

Solo Bungee cord question

HiBungee prusik loops are just the same as the ones you make from thin cord.  The difference is that in a fall they will stretch and maybe snap, were as a thin cord loop (say 2mm or 3mm).....

The Lighthouse
24 Dec 2014

The Lighthouse

The LighthouseThe lighthouse stood tall and proud, yet weary, and looked out across the ocean… never had he looked more beautiful than on this day of days.The sun was bright in the sky.....

Survivability
13 Dec 2014

Survivability

This year has been a cold year, starting with fifty days living at minus thirty in Queen Maud Land, and then slowly growing the dream of soloing Denali in Winter, perhaps the coldest climb there.....

The mountains are calling and I can’t go…
02 Dec 2014

The mountains are calling and I can’t go…

I had quite a response a while back to my blog The Extraodinary Nobody, and so I thought it only fair to give Menna Pritchard some space on my blog so you can see that really, she’s got a voice.....

Petzl Lim’Ice
29 Nov 2014

Petzl Lim’Ice

When it comes to ice climbing, hard alpine and even mixed climbing, staying sharp is crucial - both in the head, and your gear.  Sharp picks are of course the most obvious thing to keep sharp, as.....

On Being a Dad
26 Nov 2014

On Being a Dad

Hi JamesWell first off I really consider myself pretty much a failure as a traditional dad.  For some people at least we seem destined to visit the same mistakes as our parents did on us, which.....

Belay Jacket Question
15 Nov 2014

Belay Jacket Question

The relative importance of weight, bulk, robustness, warmth and cost of a belay jacket probably comes down to when these features seem the most important. In the shop or when buying online,.....

Risky Play
13 Nov 2014

Risky Play

Here’s a transcript of the speech I gave on Radio 4 Four Thought’ last night (you can listen to it here).  People are free to use it anyway they wish.In 2012 I hung from El.....

Deadline
08 Nov 2014

Deadline

I always loved that quote from Douglas Adams: “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”  It’s a feeling any writer worth his salt will understand, and perhaps.....

Speed, Quality, Price
04 Nov 2014

Speed, Quality, Price

I started working with Montane earlier this year, a company I’ve long respected for its willingness to push the boundaries of non commercial/niche kit, and who’d been giving me gear for quite.....

A Distant Shore
27 Oct 2014

A Distant Shore

I’m just on my way home (again), my arse numb from too many hours sat in my seat, the number of flights I’ve taken this year meaning I’ve seen almost every film I’d want to.....

Letter from a (non) Coffee Wanker
18 Oct 2014

Letter from a (non) Coffee Wanker

Hi andyInteresting posts as always - and as usual its you as the narrator thats interesting more so than the subject (be careful of that, maybe invent an alter ego to keep it fun).So, you seem.....

Gordon Stainforth
15 Oct 2014

Gordon Stainforth

The other day I saw a really generous comment to a blog I wrote from someone I’d always respected, but also someone I felt I’d wronged in the past - Gordon Stainforth.  I’ve.....

The Extraordinary Nobody
10 Oct 2014

The Extraordinary Nobody

I met Menna Pritchard in Cardigan, an unexpected tweet asking the question of whether she was brave enough to ask me out for a drink.  I’d always wanted a groupie, and often joked that the only.....

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