- Climbing - Dan Varian
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- Climbing - Katy Whittaker
- Climbing - Mina Leslie-Wujastyk
- Climbing - Ned Feehally
- Climbing - Neil Mawson
- Climbing - Pete Whittaker
- Climbing - Ryan Pasquill
- Climbing - Steve McClure
- Climbing - Tom Randall
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Lisa, Myself and 4 other friends just spent a week paddling on the NW coast of Vancouver Island. It was an amazing trip! We saw all kinds of wildlife and even had a Minke Whale breach about 10 feet away from one of our boats. Here’s a few shots from the trip. Definitely worth a visit to this area if you like kayaking.
Hope you enjoy.
So the heat continues and fires blaze across the state of Colorado. We headed to Independance Pass for a couple of days away from Boulder. A new place is always exciting and it didn't disappoint. A beautiful valley with great quality, unique granite boulders nestled among the aspen trees. We managed to climb some and I am keen to go back in autumn for better conditions; rain and humidity aren't the best for sending.
The photography continues to inspire me and here are some shots from Leadville, an old mining town that you pass through. It was a funny little place; lots of abandoned pick-ups, wonky wooden houses and a general feeling of a place that time forgot.
A Leadville Abode
Last chance Saloon, Leadville.
Stormy skies, Leadville.
Much needed RAIN!!!
The highest incorporated city in the US of A.
Five Ten UK Athletes had a tough, but mostly rewarding trip out to Mt St Anne World Cup this year. The infamous, fast, loose and rocky trail has been on the schedule for 20 odd years now and is definetly a riders favourite, apart from the obvious bike smashing that goes on.
A few inches of dust kept everyone on their toes all week, whilst the photographers + videographers lapped it up. With such a brutal course, you needed to pace yourself, to ensure both you and bike made it through to Sunday, especially for our Privateer races, where spare parts are at a minimum.
Adam Brayton (pictured above), Cumbrias finest had a mixed weekend, having a solid quali inside the top 60 and ended up with a solid 43rd place. Even though he wasn't too pleased with a crash mid run.
Our youngest rider, junior Fraser Mcglone was looking pinned all weekend onboard his pink steed, but a flat in qualifying, which seemed to haunt tonnes of riders, held him back from what could of been another great result. Fraser is sitting 4th overall in the Junior World rankings currently. Yeh baey!
Jess Stone our female downhill athlete, was back on form with a top 15 quali, but slipped back to 18th in the finals. Still a solid finish and we're looking forward to seeing her crack the top 10 soon!
Sam Dale, coming off the back of his 8th place Fort William finish, was psyched for this round and after a steady quali back in 52nd, he was looking to turn it on for finals. A front flat took him out of the runnings, but look out for him this weekend at Windham.
Harry Heath had an epic quali run, somehow managing to come in 66th with a flat! No mechanicals in the final left him in a solid 33rd.
Close but no cigar for Wideopenmag rider Rich Thomas, snagging his shorts on his shifter within sight of the finish line... redemption on the cards for Windham this weekend.
Our Global/UK riders, Steve Peat and Danny Hart both loved the track, suiting their styles. Steve has been nursing a torn hamstring, which he suffered at Fort William only 2 weeks ago, so racing wasl always going to be tough. A mechanical and crash left him off the back in 71st... Danny, always a crowd favourite, had a solid run, keeping up his consistent pace with a 3rd place finish, two seconds back off winner Aaron Gwin.
Windham is more of the same this weekend, but alot shorter in length. So look for some fast tiimes from all our guys and keep it peeled on Sunday, to Red Bull, to catch all the action live.
All photos by: Duncan Philpott
Over the Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend I had a break from Sport climbing and went away with my Dad trad climbing to the Lakes. We got really lucky with the weather and had 4 daysin a row without any rain, amazing! We met up, just by coincidence, with my friends; Charlie Woodburn, Dave Pickford, Hazel Findlay and others who were all up for the weekend from Bristol. I had a great few days getting back into placing wires with my dad. It was just like when I was younger going out and ticking the routes out of extreme rock, only I was doing the leading this time. The last day we all went up to Pavey Ark and Charlie, Hazel and I tried Dave Birketts E8 called Impact Day. I had thought about trying to flash it (It’s the route Ben Bransby fell from the last move on trying to Onsight it with no chalk on it when it was still graded E9!) but just didn’t want the stress and fancied a more relaxed day out with mates so opted for a top rope. I didn’t find it too hard on top rope, about F8a, but didn’t flash it (such an impressive effort from Ben back in 1999) so I was glad I tried in on a rope. The start is bold but not too hard unless you’re short, then the top is hard, the crux being the last move, but safe. I had another go up it to sort out the gear then decided to have a go. I got way more pumped than I thought I would and almost dropped the last move….almost. So next up was Charlie who felt pretty tired after lots of climbing but went for it and fell on the last move…so close, it was a great effort! Next up was Hazel. Everyone’s probably read her account of her fall so I won’t say too much, but thankfully it was just a few bumps and bruises and she was ok. It was the first time I’ve ever had to hold a factor 2 fall when belaying!
Raining Bats and Dogs 1st ascent. Pic: Nick Brown
As the weather over the next few weeks was rubbish it was back to sport climbing and back to Malham sooner than I’d thought. Thankfully it was still cold and good conditions. I still wanted a break from Rainshadow though so got on the link up of Bat route into Rainshadow. Steve McClure did a longer link a few years ago that started up Bat route then traversed left into Rainshadow and then carried on traversing further left before finishing up Overshadow which he gave 8c+. But know one had done it finishing up Rainshadow. It took me 2 days trying it to get the link done but I’d had a day a while ago remembering the crux of Bat route anddone loads of links on the upper wall of Rainshadow while trying Rainshadow this spring so there was just a short new section to try. I gave the Link up 8c and a few people have since questioned it so here’s my thoughts on why I graded it 8c.
I view Raining Bats and Dogs (RBD) as doing 2 8b’s with a good but core intensive rest in between. So yes I think it’s harder than Bat route, as that’s 8b into 8a+, but don’t think it makes it 8c+. As Bat route is considered to be an easy-ish 8c then I think RBD is a hard 8c. If you compare RBD with Rainshadow (Rs) then Rs does an 8a+(no chain grab remember) and then a font 7c+ to get to the join with RBD and RBD does a 7b into a font 7b, a big rest then font 7a+. Even if you took the rest out the RBD is still easier! So my view is IF the rest wasn’t there on RBD then yes 8c+ for sure but it is so its hard 8c. Also RBD’s is easier than Steve’s Batshadow link which he gave 8c+.
It seems like the weather’s got even worse over the last week and now even Yorkshire’s seeping. Hopefully it’ll stop raining enough for things to dry out and I’d love to get some more trad climbing done.
Contributed by: Neil Mawson
Upper Chaos, RMNP.
Shauna climbing Skipper D, RMNP.
Mina climbing Skipper D, RMNP.
City Lights: Denver from Lincoln Lake.
I have done no climbing over the last month, I haven't been to work and I've missed a climbing trip to Farihead (somewhere where I desperately wanted to go). I've basically been ill, which has been an absolute bummer. About a week ago I was so tried from chopping vegetables I had to go and lie down. I went for a walk along Burbage South and was so stumbly I fell off a mini outcrop of rocks and slid down a grassy banking landing in a soggy heap at the bottom. A few days ago i fell asleep in the middle of the day......I've never done that before, I felt like an old man!!
Anyway I dread to think what i'll be like at climbing when I get back to it, we shall see. Although I'm generally feeling a lot better, I reckon it could be another 2 weeks until I'm able to do any form of training again. Anyhoo, we shall see, but its starting to feel like along time now.
before getting ill I did manage a quick flash of the underated arete 'Speak the Truth' at Hall Moor Quarry and as standard procedure I then made the First Ascent of the other side of the arete to give a much more smeary and technical experince. However anybody wishing to go there may want to take a good selection of brushes as I forgot mine when I went and had to spend an hour brushing the other side of the arete with a stick....... so as you can imagine its not the cleanest.
Below is a link to a short video of Ben Tetler making the 'First Treeless Ascent' of Speak the Truth E7 6b
Contributed by: Pete Whittaker
A little video of me doing Mind Matters...
I have just had a little holiday to Skye with my parents.
The Cuillin Mountains are one of my most favourite places in the world, every time I go I can’t believe how beautiful it is. We camped literally about 100 yards from the sea and looked out onto the Isle of Eigg and Rhum and beyond that, the Outer Hebrides. Then if you turned 90 degrees and the weather is on your side you could see The Black Cuillins. We had the weather on our side luckily and had three perfect days, full sun and 20+ degrees.
The thing I love most (except how pretty it is in the mountains) is that if you want to do anything it is going to be a mission and involve a lot of walking.
I have always wanted to do a route up the Cioch block so we set off up there via a nice VS. There is a really cool slightly overhanging E2 crack that goes up the left wall of the block.
Mum looking up at the mountains, the Cioch block is circled in red.
I am not so good at crack climbing but it was such a good line it would be rude not to climb it. I struggled my way up and arrived at the top totally covered in lichen with very cut hands and only some micro wires for a belay.
Fortunately there were some chaps eating malt loaf on the top and let me borrow a few cams (thaaanks). Mum seconded me up it in a flash – what a beast! Much to the surprise of myself and the malt loaf guys. We then finished up an aaaamazing E1 called Trophy Crack and finally topped out at 7pm.
Sat ontop of the Cioch
We did a scramble the next day called Pinnacle Ridge and then got psyched and took double rest days so we could try and do the whole Cuillin Ridge. The weather had turned a bit dodgy but it said 70% chance of cloud free munros, so we got up at 2.30 in the morning and set off up some very misty mountains. We walked for about 4 hours waiting for the mist to clear but instead it chucked it down so we sacked it, but on the plus side I did see 6 frogs that morning!
Tired, wet and fed up of midges we decided to go home…
Contributed by: Katy Whittaker
And my hardest boulder problem too. Ironically it still needed a rope. Worlds first 8c+, Font 8b, way ahead of its time. The strong boys reckon Font 8b+! Nice little vid here made by Ben Pritchard a while back. And yes, I missed a bit by mistake, thats what happens when you cut it yourself!
Contributed by: Steve McClure
I have been spending the last few months training for the comp season. Preparation hasn’t been ideal – I tweaked my knee in December and its been pretty lame ever since. Stupid really, but having a peg leg meant I actually had to pull hard and not rely on my feet all the time. Its not easy forcing yourself to climb stupidly, but it certainly gets you stronger!
Due to all the training I wasn’t getting out too much, but I did manage a few warm days on some trad, and a good (if a little odd) day out at “Barry the boulder” near Scarborough, where I managed Tom Newman's prow Requiem:
After this it was off to Innsbruck for the World Cup.
Isolation is usually very demoralising - watching some of the worlds strongest casually swinging about on tiny edges does little for your confidence, however comp problems tend to involve actual climbing and fortunately I wobbled up enough of them to get into the semis the next day.
I climbed pretty shakily in the semis (nervous!), falling off a lot of times when I really shouldn’t have, but still getting to the top of 3 of them. When the dust had settled it became apparent that 3 was enough to make it through to the final! Stew Watson flashed 3 and was also through, and (obviously) Shauna was in too. We have never had more than 1 Brit in the finals at one time so it was great to have 3 of us already in the top 6! C’mon yes.
The final was hard, really hard. I felt like I was getting totally shut down, only managing to get 2 bonuses. It turns out it was just a very hard final – only 2 people topped anything out – the no.1 and no.2 in the world no less! Pretty disappointing for a final, but the route setting up to that point had been brilliant, and the girls final ran perfectly. Shauna finished 2nd (amazing!), I finished 5th and Stew was 6th. A good result for the Brits.
Innsbruck was a great introduction to the comp season for me, hopefully I can keep some momentum going for Munich in August. Back to it...
Contributed by: Ned Feehally