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.

12 Nov 16 10 Minute Read time // Writing

When I was Seventeen

To be brave on a mountain is most often seen as a noble thing, that person someone to look up too, to aspire to be like, bravery after all the key to life, fear the lock to almost everything of any value.  Yet on a mountain you risk very little, only your life, or a broken bone or ten, but what does it matter?  When you hang around such people, the great and fearless, look into their.....

White Space
11 Nov 2016

White Space

Someone asked me the other day what I meant by ‘white space’ in my story On Tunnel Mountain.  White space of course is a term used in book and magazine layout to describe areas of bare white.....

Cordelette Question
10 Nov 2016

Cordelette Question

HiI’m guessing you’re talking about dyneema cord and not 240cm slings? Well I think even if your dyneema cord gets worn, bent and tied a great many times, it’s still going to be strong enough.....

Long Runs The Fox
01 Nov 2016

Long Runs The Fox

I first met Ricky Bell in the dust of Camp 4.  I forget the year.  Ricky is one of those people you meet in life, one minute unknown, the next - never to be forgotten. I’ve met a lot of.....

Coming Home
30 Oct 2016

Coming Home

Hi WillSorry for the late reply (I think this is coming a year after I got your email, so if you’ve topped yourself with post climbing frustration - my apologies). I’m sat writing this on a.....

Fucking words
28 Oct 2016

Fucking words

Hi Andy. I’ve been reading your blog for years.  Big fan and supporter of your published work as well - just received your printed copy of 1001 climbing tips actually. But I gotta say today.....

From one writer to another
27 Oct 2016

From one writer to another

The problem is you think you have a voice, but you don’t. You think you have your own thoughts and ideas, but you don’t. You think you’re a radical, that the world is.....

Chongo by the power
26 Oct 2016

Chongo by the power

“I wake each morning filled with hate” said Chongo as I stood to leave the table, a wincing self indictment the punch line to the ‘stupidity’ and ‘obedience’ of his fellow Americans, sat.....

Difficult People
20 Sep 2016

Difficult People

Sitting on a plane, alone, heading for yet another solo trip to Yosemite, it’s funny to answer this question as one the main reasons for solo climbing is this very question!Stalin used to say,.....

First time in the Alps
08 Jul 2016

First time in the Alps

HiThanks for the questions.  I’ll try and answer each one in turn as best as I can.Should you hire a guide? Well I went to the alps twice and came back with almost nothing done on both.....

Andy Perkins responds
26 Jun 2016

Andy Perkins responds

I had a great response to my crevasse rescue blog (Doing a Bieber) today from IFMGA Chamonix guide Andy Perkins.  I guess re-reading what I wrote it may well look like an attack on traditional.....

Pot Advice
22 Jun 2016

Pot Advice

HiThe small pan I use these days (I think that article is about 16 years old!) is the Alpkit MytiMug 400, which makes a very good mug (at a good price) but can also be used as a pan (it has a.....

Upside Down Cock Suck
20 Jun 2016

Upside Down Cock Suck

On the analytics panel on this site I can see a lot of information, from the locations of visitors,  referrals from other sites, how long people stayed, and a whole load of stuff I don’t quite.....

Doing a Bieber
18 Jun 2016

Doing a Bieber

I saw a piece today on UKC about crevasse rescue, going through the basics, and only the night before someone emailed me a question of the topic (can you use a Petzl Microtraxion on a loaded.....

Race
14 Jun 2016

Race

Reading about the author Annie Proulx this morning has got me into a a good writing mood, but no blogs today I’m affraid, just more hard graft on the Bear Pit (I’m sat in Bray’s.....

Ken Wilson
13 Jun 2016

Ken Wilson

I seem to write quite a few obituaries on this site, or blogs spurred on by the death of people I once knew.  One thing I think important when writing such pieces is to respect the truth of a.....

Avoiding the Deck
09 Jun 2016

Avoiding the Deck

Taking a ground fall is perhaps one of the worst experiences a climber can have, worse also for the belayer and anyone unfortunate to be standing close by.  Most falls are short, and over before.....

Mera Peak Footwear Question
31 May 2016

Mera Peak Footwear Question

HiFirst off although some people may scoff at using very warm boots on Mera (the Spantik and G1 would be classed as high altitude boots, or for very cold climbing), pointing out the mountains been.....

What cams?
26 May 2016

What cams?

I probably take a slightly different approach to cams than most UK climbers, probably due to spending meany years climbing the the US, and also due to having done a lot of aid climbing. Someone once.....

Prusic Loop as pro?
25 May 2016

Prusic Loop as pro?

I was asked last night down at the wall about the strength of a prusik loops, a topic that seems to crop up from time to time.  The climber had used his prusik as an extender after running out of.....

Alpine Ultra
24 May 2016

Alpine Ultra

I must be a nightmare for kit designers, men and woman I’ve been bumping heads with for decades now.  Most often than not a designer wants to flex their muscles, add some new fangled idea, a.....

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