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According to his bio at The Guardian, 'Ed Douglas is a writer and journalist with a passion for the wilder corners of the natural world.' The climbing fraternity know him as a Himalayan climber, the editor of the Alpine Journal, a climbing writer (or a writing climber?), and former editor of On The Edge magazine.

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Ben Silvestre has written a deeply thoughtful and inspiring piece, describing his year of alpine and trad climbing, complemented with some classic bouldering. The momentum gained from climbing regularly, and slowly pushing yourself further, is a special feeling, and it's a treat Ben has shared his story with us. He also talks about his new route, The Dispossessed, which is quickly becoming a new and tricky classic in the Ogwen Valley. Enjoy Ben's discussion on why we climb, the risks we take, and our exploration of the mind.

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This guest article comes from Clipping Chains, a website predominately for US climbers. Chalkbloc were asked if we wanted to explore the topic of financial security in climbing, and we thought this perspective might be of interest to some. Read on to find out more.

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Tim Howell is a BASE jumper and climber. BASE stands for Building, Antenna, Span and Earth, and represents the different objects you can jump from. Tim left the Royal Marines and decided to continue his 'North BASE' project - an idea of climbing and jumping the six classic North faces of the Alps (Grandes Jorasses, Piz Badile, Matterhorn, Eiger, Cima Grande di Lavaredo and the Petit Dru). Tim's been part of a new wave of BASE jumpers in the UK, and has opened exits on Ben Nevis and in the Slate quarries of North Wales.

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Andy Kirkpatrick is one of the best known climbers in the UK with a long history of difficult alpine and big wall routes, often in remote and cold locations. Andy's books range from award winning classics such as Psychovertical and Cold Wars through to instruction manuals on big walling, all are recommended reading.
Here's the interview with Andy chatting to Tom Livingstone...

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Dave MacLeod is based in the highlands of Scotland and has developed his skills across a wide range of climbing disciplines to become one of the best all round climbers you'll meet... 8C boulders, 9a sport climbs, E11 trad, XII,12 mixed and 8b+ free solo with first ascents of routes such as Rhapsody, the world’s first E11 trad route, Anubis VII,12 one of the world’s hardest mixed climbs and Echo Wall on Ben Nevis alongside many FAs in Scotland. Dave also completed '24/8' in 2018, one of the hardest all-round climbing challenges around; an 8A boulder, 8a sport route, E8 trad route, VIII,8 winter route and 8 Munros, all in under 24 hours.
Dave's writing and recent Vlog series discuss training and improvement in climbing and his books '9 Out Of 10 Climbers Make The Same Mistakes' and 'Make Or Break' are among the best selling titles worldwide on training and injury prevention in climbing. 

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After our recent interview with Stefan Morris we thought it would make sense to chat to Edmund Morris too! Edmund is based in Pembroke and gives us an insight into climbing in Pembroke while working for YHA along with some local beta on routes.

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Ben Silvestre was raised in North Yorkshire and first discovered climbing when visiting friends who were studying at Sheffield University. He has applied his skills to winter climbing in Scotland, the Alps, completed a Patagonia season culminating in a three-day ascent of Cerro Fitzroy, made the first ascent of the east face of Jezebel in the Alaskan Revelation mountains, and was part of the first British ascent of the notorious Alaskan testpiece, the Infinite Spur on Mount Foraker along with multiple climbs in the UK. Read on for Ben's comments on demons, motivation, Patagonia and social media.

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Jim Pope is a young and strong climber specialising in sport and competitions - but also dabbling in hard headpoints. From 8c+ sport routes to E9 headpoints and high rankings in comps, Jim is a 20-year-old who shows great potential. He's also interested in the 2024 Olympic Games, and is currently studying Sports Science at university.

User Rating: 5 / 5

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Malcolm Bass has, for over two decades, been climbing in remote and adventurous places. From Scottish winter to Alaska and India, he seems motivated to explore and push what he knows. Working as a Clinical Psychologist, it's unsurprising that his motivations include both climbing and his mental fortitude. Notable routes include first ascents in the Himalayas: Vasuki Parbat with Paul Figg in 2010, and the first ascent of Janhukot (6805m), made into a film by Pertex. Read on to explore Malcolm's thoughts on high-altitude climbing, his attitude to bailing, and his involvement in the Alpine Club.

User Rating: 5 / 5

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Sponsored Content

Holdbreaker is a climbing company run by women, designing gender-specific products for all forms of ascent. In this article, they discuss the issue of climber's physique, how climbing shapes our bodies, and specifically, what that means when you're looking at the Holdbreaker X (their new climbing bra). Holdbreaker are also building a community, where beginners and experienced climbers can get together to teach and learn, to encourage one another and feel inspired. 

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Hazel Findlay is a professional climber based in North Wales. Amongst thousands of trad and sport routes, she's climbed El Cap four times, including the Pre-Muir Wall (5.13+). One of the pitches involves a technical open-book corner, high on the route. James McHaffie said Hazel's ascent was 'one of the best bits of climbing I've ever seen.' Hazel's also interested in the mental aspects of climbing, and openly talks about the mind, its powers and its limitations. You can find out more or learn from Hazel's coaching courses on her website.

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Ed Booth is one of the Shropshire-based climbers who'll turn up at a crag with a friendly 'hello,' climb your brilliant routes, and disappear off again with a cheery wave. He's climbed extensively throughout the UK, but started at his local crag (Nesscliffe) under the watchful eye of Nick Dixon. Understandably, Ed took the local ethics of headpointing and ticked many hard routes around the country, but he's also onsighted to a high level. Now working as a fireman and with a family, Ed's still psyched to drive to Wales or Yorkshire for the day. Ed's brother, Adam, is also a keen climber...

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Stefan Morris is a Pembroke-based climber with a passion for photography. He's climbed extensively, visiting Greenland, Yosemite and Norway in search of high-quality granite. Stefan consistently produces interesting and honest climbing photos. He'll often publish an edited, enhanced photo alongside the original, illustrating an open approach. Climbing photos are rarely perfect to compose (poor lighting conditions, for example), so it's great to see Stefan's psyche for both climbing and photography. 

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Alex Mason is a climber based in North Wales with a knack for finding quality new routes. Most recently, he forced a way through one of the steeper sections of Gogarth's Main Cliff to add Democide (E8/9). After being part of Bangor University's infamous climbing club (the 'BUMS') in 2010, he now works at the Beacon climbing wall, and splits his time between climbing and his family.

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Becky Coles is an expedition and adventure travel specialist who has led expeditions, travelled and climbed on all 7 continents and in over 70 countries, giving her a unique breadth of experience and knowledge.

Becky also has a Geography PhD from the University of Sheffield and is a qualified International Mountain Leader and Mountaineering Instructor (MIC) along with being a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. 

User Rating: 5 / 5

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Robbie Phillips applied years of training to climbing big walls in the United States, Chile and Madagascar. He's also climbed a number of multi-pitch routes in the Alps, including Paciencia (8a, Eiger), Project Fear (8c, Cima Grande) and End of Silence (8b+, Berchtesgaden). In between climbing trips, he works as a coach and gives presentations and is based in Scotland.

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Louise is only 15 years old, but she's already competing internationally with the GB Youth Climbing Team. A part of the generation of youngsters benefitting from training specific coaching and training, it'll be great to see what the future brings.

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Calum Muskett started climbing aged 13 in his local area of North Wales. He made quick work of many classic trad routes throughout the grades, and has since established a few new routes of his own. Calum famously onsighted The Cad (E6 6a) aged 14, which is good going! Ever energetic, he's training to become a British Mountain Guide, is finishing a Master's Degree at Bangor University, and takes an active role in issues close to home.

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Simon Verspeak is based in North Wales, and runs an outdoor instructing company called Oranje Bergsport (the name is homage to his Dutch ancestry and means Orange Mountaineering). Simon holds the Mountaineering Instructor Certificate (MIC), the highest level of climbing/mountaineering qualification in the UK. Find out what it's like to be an outdoor instructor both in the UK and abroad, and to work on the local Mountain Rescue Team.

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