How many of us have heard tales of perfect rock in a beautiful surrounding. How many of us have promised we’d go? It must have been 10 years since Sweden appeared on my ‘must visit’ list, but somehow I never made it, or never tried...

The UK’s three best sport routes, on the UK’s three best sport cliffs. All 8a+. Quite a challenge. I guess I earned my crown a while back, but when I heard Andy Mitchel had climbed all three in a day, moving between them under his own steam (he ran!), I began to think this was the ‘real’ triple crown.

My ultimate route. Not sure it gets any better, or any harder! The very first time I visited Malham Cove I stood at the base of the cliff and stared up into the future. An unclimbed line of immeasurable difficulty, right in the centre of the Cove, soared directly towards the finishing ledge 40 meters above. It crossed the most difficult terrain and the blankest of rock; impossible for me to comprehend.

GRIGRI+ review

When the wheel was invented, it changed everything. When the GRIGRI came along climbing completely changed. A revelation. Safety increased, belayer comfort massively increased, even standards increased as the climber/belayer teamwork was enhanced. For the sport climber, a GRIGRI was simply an essential and expected part of the kit along with the rope and the harness.

Its been a few years since I climbed this route, but it still stands out as a highlight in my entire climbing life.
This route has to be top of the list for anyone capable, a contender for one of the best routes in the world!

Its been a while since I came back from Croatia,that was back in 2015, but I wanted to put down a tad more info than a few lines on a place that felt pretty special and worth a visit.

Reading my old blog it suddenly struck me that I’ve spent a lot of time on one route, like really a lot!

Seven years. Is that crazy? Or is it just what it takes?

South Africa. A country I always wanted to visit, but ending up on the “Love to but probably won’t” list, alongside the likes of Antarctica, Everest, The North Pole and many more. It seemed too far, too expensive and too difficult to travel around. But then I heard there was to be an exchange meet between the BMC and the Mountaineering Club of South Africa. I’d remembered the stories from the exchange back in the 90’s, and how it was a trip of a lifetime. Maybe this was the chance.
In fact if ever, this was the chance! A 10 day trip with hands held to the most amazing traditional climbing in the country. I applied and hoped!

Maybe I’m old now. No, I’m definitely old. But it’s been a very long time since I was happy to sleep on a 6mm thick bit of foam. Thinking back to numerous camping trips laid out on stony floors I don’t know how I managed. Now a crap night’s sleep spells the end of a fun day and totally rules out any kind of performance climbing.

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