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.

05 Nov 15 // 900 second blog

Boarding Card

I travel to tell my story and to make honest money doing what I love - fuel for stories to come, that search for new stories yet to unfold. I drove most of the night not for money but just so later today - and not tomorrow, or next week - when it would be so more convenient - I can wrap my arms around the woman I love, a woman who loves what I love, a woman makes me think I must be a good man to.....

Random Notes for the Antarctic traveler
12 Oct 2015

Random Notes for the Antarctic traveler

I joked the other day, on seeing a tweet from an all-woman team planning on crossing Antarctica (1700km, 75 days, 6 British Army girls @exicemaiden), that they’d need to make some changes in order.....

Game Changer - Offset Superlight Rocks
08 Oct 2015

Game Changer - Offset Superlight Rocks

A nut is a nut is a nut, be it Wild Country Rock, DMM Wallnut or BD Stopper - just a block of alloy threaded onto a wire, sized from A to B.  Of course there are variations on the theme, more.....

Ben Winston
02 Oct 2015

Ben Winston

I saw the picture of Ben on Facebook, bent down with two little kids (talking at their height, not his), face a little older than I remembered – but still open, warm –  framed by brown curly.....

Tip of the Spear - Sportiva TC Pro
01 Oct 2015

Tip of the Spear - Sportiva TC Pro

I tend to stay away from doing reviews these days, the reason being when you get free kit or work with manufactures I aways feel people will think I’m biased. But then you use gear that really.....

” stay alive when it all goes to shit”
29 Sep 2015

” stay alive when it all goes to shit”

I think what you describe is the classic dilemma for anyone who goes into the mountains for a ‘day trip’ - be they alpinists, skiers or crystal hunters - the mountains being a place that can.....

Point of Understanding.
03 Sep 2015

Point of Understanding.

Been a while since I wrote a blogpost on here, mainly due to working on a piece of writing about recent US trip on off for about a month, only things keep getting in the way of finishing it,  and.....

Words Find Their Own Way
20 Jul 2015

Words Find Their Own Way

Slept on the living room floor of my ex wife Mandy’s last night, laid out on settee cushions, smelly big wall sleeping bag as a duvet - getting down with the cats.  The last time I slept on.....

“But I tried goddammit”
16 Jul 2015

“But I tried goddammit”

I’m sitting on the balcony of the hotel Fungo Reale in Valloriate,  a tiny village set within the lush wooded foothills of the Italian alps, sun shining on the vegetable patch below - beyond.....

The Edge of Myself
01 Jul 2015

The Edge of Myself

My last day, my first ‘easy day’, ended long and hard and painful as I scraped and scrambled, tired and tangled, Silent Partner locking and rope running out, onto the rim of El Cap.  I had.....

Running with it
12 May 2015

Running with it

This week I finally sent off the PDF files to the printers for Me, Myself & I, having faffed around for six months with them (my deadline was September 2014!), in no small part to the help of my.....

Exped Asshole
07 May 2015

Exped Asshole

When I do business talks, the one line that always gets people nodding in the room is when I say “If you like the people you work with it’s fun, when there’s an asshole it’s work”. .....

it’ll be good for you!
15 Apr 2015

it’ll be good for you!

HiI guess I feel that I have to give my kids the basic tools they need to survive in what ever life they choose to live (both psychical skills, as well as emotional ones), and then let them live.....

Strange eventful history
14 Apr 2015

Strange eventful history

HiI get quite a lot of emails from people about talking, and have coached a lot of people over the years, so here’s a ten pieces of advice on speaking that might be worth thinking about.1.Never.....

Close to the Bone
27 Mar 2015

Close to the Bone

Hi PeterI think for summer alpine climbing, where you’re dealing both with heat and cold, where staying cool is crucial to staying comfortable, a layering system works best.  The Montane.....

Phantoms versus Spantiks
23 Mar 2015

Phantoms versus Spantiks

Hi GuyI know that people can get away with single layer boots in very cold temperatures when moving quickly (I’ve used single leather boots in Antartica and Greenland down to -25c when using.....

The Boat
20 Mar 2015

The Boat

I’m haunted by the memory of a boat - half built and begun long ago, timbers now rotting; hidden behind a ruin, beside a rain soaked and faraway shore.  This thing, a skeleton of wood growing.....

D.F.Y.U
11 Mar 2015

D.F.Y.U

Thanks for the question (I have had quite a few like this recently).  I’m sat in a cafe with two Christians arguing about the bible, so my answer may get a bit garbled!I must say first that I.....

Steps
27 Feb 2015

Steps

You know that feeling were you’re kind of half asleep because you need a piss - well more half awake, as being half asleep would be OK, so no - lets say half awake.  You lay there in the dark.....

Shia LaBeouf’s Butt
28 Jan 2015

Shia LaBeouf’s Butt

I’ve never liked Transformers, always finding it way to bombastic, too loud, to many cuts - in fact there are only cuts - it’s sort of dumb, but not in a clever way like Pacific Rim… no it’s.....

The Weight of a Soul
22 Jan 2015

The Weight of a Soul

I got an email last night which I want to share.  It made me almost cry, both for what it said, and because it meant more to me than the writer could ever have known.If you’ve ever spent.....

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