Oct 25, 2014

Temps dropping psyche rising

September was  rematch time for Sam Williams and I on our multipitch project "Icarus", we headed out with 2 weeks to try and finish off what we had previuosly started.

We had a fortnight and we thought we would have loads of time to get the route done. At the start we had everything going our way, on picking up the hire car Sam got a free upgrade to a beastly estate car that we could fit a massive Edelrid bouldering pad in and so there was our accomodation sorted!! We stormed off to the uber crag  psyched to see what the upper reaches of Icarus had to offer.

Day 1: we got back on the first pitch thinking we would romp through it and get on with working the second pitch, however I pulled on squirmed my way upto the crux into the mega run out and then  greased off in the out of season hot temps and basically circumcised my thumb and took a massive whipper only to land on a bolt head with my heel :( My nerves shaken, my thumb pissing blood this was not the positive start I had been hoping for!!! The day sadly to say went miserably with us only managing to make it to the base of the second pitch.

Thankfully things picked up after a slow start, my bruised heel and the hot temps meant we left working the second pitch for a few days and headed off to develop the higher pitches.

At this point we had the first 3 pitches equipped at estimate grades of 7b+, 8b, 6c+, 

Pitch 4: The first of the upper pitches will weigh in around 7b and has some great climbing with a real mix of holds from monos to water runnel side pulls, it leads about 25m up the wall to an obvious belay ledge.
Pitch 5: This pitch will prob be about 7b+ and features the same great and varied climbing of the previos pitch and is slightly longer at 30m to another obvious belay ledge.
Pitch 6: 4+ here you have to traverse round to the base of the "V wall" pitch, a stunningly immaculate vertical wall of blue water worn limestone.

Storm rolling in while we were at the base of "V wall" pitch.

Pitch 7: The "V wall" pitch, this is the pitch which took us longest to equip and the pitch that we had the most time playing on. The friction climbing on this wall is of superb quality an inspiring wall with just enough holds to make it possible and "the cherry on top" of our very own multipitch route.  I estimate the grade to be around 8b, we tried it in pretty hot conditions so it will be good to try it in the cold and see how it feels.

En fin: We were incredibly naive in thinking that we would smash out a brand new multipitch ground up in 5 days!!! In total we have spent nearly 3 weeks and it's still not finished. But in no way do I regret it, undoubtedly it has been the biggest and best climbing adventure I have had. I cant wait to get back up there!

Tired me at the top of the route!! Psyched to get back and send all the pitches in a oner!!!

October! Time to increase the day fitness get on some hard projects (9a+s) and get out climbing loads!!!!

Jun 4, 2014

Seleccio Natural 9a and Migranya 8b flash

pic Sam Williams

Wow so psyched to have done this route !! One of the coolest climbs out there, explosive climbing with two dynamic lurch cruxes:) Great fun! In Siurana I made the most of a dip in temperatures and managed to flash the classic 8b Migranya, cheers mac for the beta ;)

pic Sam Williams

Right , the weather is heating up and I'm looking for other projects, one thing in particular has captured my attention and is a super exciting adventure. Sam Williams and I have set about ground up freeing a new multipitch route!! Pics and info to come soon!! Psyched about this one!

May 25, 2014

Era Vella 9a

Era vella 9a, pic Said Belhaj
 Era Vella 9a, well psyched!

This route has been in the back of my mind for a long while, it is a mega route, truly world class.
Getting back to this level really feels like a big milestone and has made me more psyched than ever to try hard and keep pushing myself to try and achieve my climbing goals. Injuries can really mess with your head, but you can also learn so much from them and hurting my back made me realise that I wasn't indestructible that you have to take care of yourself and respect your limitations.

A few days before doing Era vella,I also redpointed  Victimas del passat r1 a mega route on one of the finest looking walls in Margalef, bouldery and explosive power endurance climbing, one of the best 8c's ive done and probably the hardest!

Victimas del Passat r1 8c ,pic Lynne Malcolm

Jul 19, 2013


Back to the UK and Back training !!!!
Training at the mega wall- The Depot Leeds

So after a long lay off healing my back in the spanish sun I'm back to theUk ( which is suprisingly sunny at the mo) and back training. I know its sick to say but i'm loving training, climbing is great fun whether its on rock or plastic and I have missed it deeply!!!

I'm based in Edinburgh at the mo and am mega psyched to explore more of Scotland and check out Reiff and Torridon in the next week or so..

Mr Beastmaker on Malc's arete Torridon

Last week I was at the Outdoor Show in Friedrichschafen, Germany checking out all the new amazing kit on offer,  I was there with Edelrid and have to admit I'm really impressed with the innovative new kit they have released, can't wait to get my hands on it.

Prize winning "Product of the year" Snipe rope

 Dual thickness the first 7m are 10mm and the rest are 9.8 which is amazing for sport climbers as the ends of the rope ie the bit we trash first is more hard wearing. This is a must for any sport climber.
Prize winning harness Orion

The comfiest climbing harness in the world and still super light. Psyched on this especially to take care of my back.


Feb 19, 2013

Rest time

So unfortunately I have been dosed another rest period away from climbing:( this time it is a back injury.
 I'd had the occasional sore lower back from time to time but always put it down to swinging around in huge steep caves and having sore, tired muscles. That was until when working on our house I lifted up a rather large boulder and felt something pull in my lower back, thinking it was just a tweaked muscle I went back to climbing a few days later trying seleccio natural 9a I could still climb but falling off and the pressure of my harness on my lower back was horrible! This continued for two months until I thought I need to go and see someone about this. I thought maybe I just needed a massage to work out the knot in my back. I saw a physio and then an osteopath and with no resolve, I went to the osteopath for 2 weeks until she said I better get an MRI done to see what exactly was wrong. So went for the MRI and it turns out I have a herniated disc or disc bulge. SO basically need to take it very steady and no climbing at the mo...going to get started with some physio and work towards getting fit and healthy again. It has really brought home that you have to look after yourself well and also has really made me look to and appreciate that I want to climb for a LONG time and that to be able to do that I need to respect stretching and general care and not just about trying as hard as I can every time I go to the crag.
A positive in all this rest time is that I'm working on my general flexibility and especially upperbody  working to see if I can straighten out my right arm fully for the first time in the last four years!!!!! Reading Jerry's book is definitely keeping the psyche up...

On a positive note our house is coming along and am very psyched about getting climbers to come and stay..... I also went out with a friend who lives near by to check out new walls 20 mins from the house that are pretty awesome, long, good rock and north facing which is perfect for when the weather heats up!!!

Jan 15, 2013

New year in the sunshine!

To bring in the  new year we headed down to Oliva near Gandia, with Gaz and Kate to check out the local crags there and get a bit of warm, sunny weather! Had a great week checking out Bovedon and climbing and bolting at Gaz's own super crag, en La Vall de la gallinera.
The view from below the mega steep prow project.

The view from Gaz's crag! Here I bolted a roof project, which I tried and will prob be 8b or maybe a bit harder called "Do the Andrada". Really cool spot perched up above a beautiful valley am definately psyched to go back and play on some of the projcets there!
Since then I've been climbing in margalef, trying some easier stuff because I've got a bad back:( and am currently seeing an osteopath about it, didn't really realise how frustrating and difficult back pain could be, i'ts also definately brought home that I need to get more flexible and that flexibility and posture play a huge part in both performance and preventing injuries.


Happy after doing Rocaina dura 8b+ on the new part of Espadelles Margalef

Los reyes de Margalef!!! haha
Sunny Catalan Weather ;) Harry snow wrapped

Now back in Catalunya I'm so psyched to explore and climb at my new locals, Margalef and Siurana, also been out and found a load of sandstone boulders (roofs and everything) walking distance from my house!!! Just need a new back!

Dec 15, 2012

Catalunya Days

So those crisp winter days are upon us, fresh cold air and mint conditions on the rock. The last couple of weeks have been awesome, I have spent some really great days at Santa Linya cave sessioning Seleccio Natural with good friend Joe Kinder.
The route itself is majestic one of the best, untravelled to say the least,  Joe and I have had some frustrating hold snapping incidences, and have definately left the route harder than before.
Lowering off Seleccio Natural

 Trying a hard route with Joe is great fun, he brings so much energy to the crag it's crazy, when he's not trying to send the route he's investigating and bolting a new extension. It's been really cool to compare and learn from different climbing styles and approaches, enjoying the same route is something new to me and is something I've been missing out on. Don't get me wrong trying projects on your own and working out your own ways feels so wholesome but having a laugh, belaying each other on the same project is really cool, I feel the most relaxed I have ever felt whilst projecting a route. Psyched to get out there tomorrow and give it a go!
Joe chatting beta

Chris and Primo



Primo on fabela 8c+

Another perfect Catalunya winter, wouldn't want to be anywhere else!!

The other current project Lynne and I have is a house!!! We have got a place 30 min from Margalef and 30 min from Siurana!!! Basically more climbing than you can shake a stick at so really psyched to put some work in and get it the way that we want it...