I have been hillwalking, scrambling, climbing and mountaineering since before I can remember. Family holidays were generally in Scotland, the Lake District or Snowdonia, and later on throughout the French Alps. I have been skiing since I was 7, and continue to do so now.
In the last 15 years, I have climbed all over the place, from America to China, and Big Walls to Alpine North Faces. I am still generally most motivated by UK Trad rock climbing.
Central Gully, Beinn Lui, Grade I, Southern Highlands, with Parents c.1982 This was where it all started for me…
Mont Pelvoux traverse, AD, Les Ecrins, France with parents, 1995
Comici Route, VII/E3 6a, 500 metres, Cima Grande North Face, Dolomites, Italy, 2003
Cassin Route, TD, 800 metres, Piz Badile, Bregaglia Alps, Switzerland, 2003
Tour des Ecrins, 4-day ski tour through one of the most remote parts of the French Alps, March 2004. Particularly memorable for having to sleep in an Alpine Hut that was totally buried under avalanche debris! Some of the wildest ski terrain in Europe.
China Mountaineering Expedition to the Siguniang Range in the Sichuan Province. While unsuccessful on our main target, we climbed peaks in a little-known region of China up to just under 6000 metres and had an incredible adventure.
Aiguille Verte, “Late to say I’m Sorry”, ED2, Chamonix. 1st complete British ascent. Made particularly memorable by the descent from the summit, soloing back down the Couturier Couloir, which is itself a 1000 metre D+ Alpine North Face route, and the subsequent ski back to Chamonix in failing light, taking numerous hilarious falls in easy terrain as we were so tired! We still made it back for beers and burgers though! One of the best climbing days of my life!
Eiger North Face 1938 Route. ED2, Grindelwald, Switzerland. An awesome experience with 2 great friends, which with good weather and conditions, was actually a great pleasure to climb!
Strawberries, E7 6b, Vector Buttress, Tremadog. After a few days of failed attempts to get up this one, my successful ascent came a day after my teammate and good friend Emma Twyford. Emma came back up there with me even though she wasn’t climbing, to hold my ropes! I had to try really hard on this one too so it will always remain a fond memory.
Un Poco Loco, VII,7, Church Door Buttress, Glencoe. Still one of the best winter days I have ever had, with perfect conditions, perfect weather, and a mindblowing route in totally wild place.
Darth Vadar, VII,7, Ben Nevis. This is a great route with loads of character in a deep chimney feature. I will never forget how quickly myself and Dave Rudkin climbed this one, we were back in Fort William, eating Panini’s and drinking coffee by 1.30pm.