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Way back in time before the onset of adulthood I enjoyed countless days heading into the hills of Yorkshire with nothing more than a squashed sandwich & youthful sense for adventure! Despite long past youthful and work commitments keeping me in the city, the sense of adventure and love for the outdoors never left me. After digging my boots out and returning to the hills I attended a number of courses to improve my hill knowledge and skill base, during one of these courses it was suggested I join the Mountain Leader Training scheme and was delighted go on to gain the MOUNTAIN LEADER Award in April 2012. As well as spending time on the hills and mountains of the UK I have also enjoyed trips to the Nepalese Himalaya, Swiss & French Alps, Mallorca’s Tramuntana, Andorran & French Pyrenees, Morocco’s High Atlas, Tanzania’s Mt Meru & Kilimanjaro, Argentinian & Chilean Patagonia and winter expeditions to Norway’s Hardangervidda. Since gaining the ML I have also gained the SINGLE PITCH AWARD, INTERNATIONAL MOUNTAIN LEADER AWARD and the WINTER MOUNTAIN LEADER AWARD. I am now enjoying working in a freelance role whilst trying to get out climbing as much as possible.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Reach For The Stars!

Saturday & Sunday 25th & 26th June.

Last weekend I returned to the Lake District to climb with Gavin Kellett and tick a couple of classic Lakeland routes off.
Saturday - there was a time when the first thing I would do after an evening working on the doors of Leeds would be to go annoy door staff at another venue with my drunken behaviour, so to head straight up to Langdale to catch a few hours sleeping in the car before climbing marks a bit of a change of lifestyle!
After a few hours shut eye in the car park at Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel I woke in time to meet Gavin as he arrived from Scotland. I had met Gavin a couple of years ago on International Mountain Leader training so was looking forward to a catch up as well as a climb or two.

 I have probably been bit guilty of overlooking a lot of quality climbing as I have looked to push my grade up this year and whilst it has been good to improve my climbing grade it's not always the best time to improve the core skills when concentrating on just stating on the rock! We would spend the day at Raven Crag in Langdale as it offered us a number of routes and has a short walk in as rain was forecast.
 As the day panned out their were many climbers at the crag so route choice was a matter of getting on what was free at the time.
We climbed 'Centipede' (S 4a**), 'The Origional Route' (S 4a***) and 'Evening Wall' (S 4a*). Good climbing on good routes and gave me a chance to concentrate on making good gear placements, building solid belays and slick(ish) rope work!

Sunday - We had driven around to Borrowdale Saturday evening and after a 'couple' of social drinks catching up and generally putting the world to rights spent the night sleeping in our respective vehicles. Rising at an unheard of 7:30am for myself we made our way to 'Shepherds Crag' and were the first ones on the crag.
 Gavin has a lot of previous climbing experience in the Lakes and recommended 'Little Chamonix' for our first route. What a great route! Graded at VD*** the route offers great climbing and exposure whilst offering good protection, this will be a definite route I will take people up in the future.

With the crag getting busier we opted to do 'Ardus', with the option of a direct VS 4C finish it would be a little more challenging. A 'thrutchy' corner is how I would describe it and though it meant topping out into undergrowth and scrambling around to find a suitable, solid belay I was happy to get another Lakeland VS4C multi pitch route under my belt.
Summary - another quality couple of days in the magnificent Lake District. Good climbing, good routes and a chance to catch up with Gavin too. Only 2 routes on the Sunday due to the rain moving in but a great weekend!

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