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18-year-old Hamish Mcarthur is part of the up-and-coming generation of strong British climbers. Mixing indoor competitions with bouldering and sport outside, Hamish has worked through classic blocs and routes in his trademark quick time. In 2019, Hamish placed 2nd in the Youth World Championships and in January 2020 climbed two 8c+/9a routes in Spain, illustrating his skills after putting so much effort into indoor training.

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Leo Skinner is a young gun emerging onto the British bouldering scene, with strong repeats of blocs up to Font 8B. Originally from South Wales, Leo often trains at the Llangorse climbing wall and competes for Team GB. With several hard problems and a few trips to Europe under his belt already, we'd say, 'watch this space...'

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Steve Long is a climber, IFMGA Mountain Guide and President of the UIAA's (International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation) Training Panel. Based in North Wales, he still climbs and puts up new routes. In this interview, we hear some of Steve's highlights in climbing, as well as a few entertaining adventures and mishaps.

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Alex Hallam enjoys climbing. For him, the emphasis is having fun with good friends and going to exciting places, where there's a chance for an unexpected adventure. Someone will probably fall in the sea, there will be discomfort, and off-widths may be sought out (and climbed in shorts). There's a tendency for the modern climber to believe it's all about grades, training and sponsorships, but Alex represents a great number of people who go outside and rock climb simply because it's fun. The performance and numbers don't really matter, and instead it's more entertaining to spend a week in Font doing some bouldering but also eating 'Rice and Chicken and Yam' every night, whilst occasionally burning off/being burnt off by your mates. Alex works long stints as an Engineer at sea. 

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At the core of Britain's trad climbing heart is adventure - particularly in the mountains or above the sea. Of the many people operating during the golden era of discovery and new routes in the 1970s and '80s, one name comes up time and again: Pat Littlejohn. He's climbed an incredible amount of these adventurous, wild, and impressive routes, picking off plums for all to enjoy. His routes ooze high quality and good style - or at least, the occasionally loose rock oozes between your fingertips! Despite new routes (onsight and up to E7) from around the world, this interview focuses on the UK (it's easier to recount just one aspect of Pat's climbing life!). Nowadays, Pat climbs closer to home and sits on the board of the British Mountaineering Council's International Committee.

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Lukasz Warzecha is one of the leading photographer and videographers in the UK, specialising in adventure and the outdoors. His company, LW Images, says, 'we believe in the power of non-fiction visual story telling.' His clients include National Geographic, WL Gore, The North Face, Petzl, Black Diamond, Mountain Equipment, John Muir Trust, Icelandic Mountain Guides, Ordnance Survey... and many others! Lukasz has also been Director of Photography for Epic Trails, a TV series focusing on wilderness adventure. From scuba to sailing, and from climbing to cycling, Lukasz has been busy...

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Charlie Woodburn is one of the coolest climbers we can think of. He onsights wild routes. His headpoints are impressive. He films - and has flown in helicopters - for a job. He seems content to quietly go to cool places, and do cool things. Charlie also has a severe form of chronic arthritis, which means he's had the extra perspective of just being psyched to walk around in good health. Read on...

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Rhoslyn Frugtniet is a strong climber based in Bristol, who's quietly been ticking her way through classic routes and competing to a high standard on the international circuit. She's part of the rise of young competition climbers who've taken their skills outside, and occasional (revealing) news reports will pop up: '8a+ flash at Ceuse.' Chalkbloc interviewed Rhoslyn during the COVID-19 lockdown, and it sounds like she's coping just fine...

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Dave Pickford climbs, writes, and documents his travels. In climbing, Dave has established trad and sport first ascents, often adventurous and above the sea, up to E8. He’s also climbed 8b+, V11, and many 6000 metre peaks in the Greater Ranges. To date he’s climbed in more than sixty countries worldwide. Dave is a writer and editor by profession, and likes to drive very, very fast cars.

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Greg Boswell has pushed standards in Scottish winter climbing for many years - from onsight first ascents of grade X, 10, to exploring lesser-known cliffs like An Teallach. Greg's famously dedicated to training, and for a while it appeared he only climbed in winter - a true enthusiast! In recent years, Greg's also visited more remote locations like Senja and Lofoten in Norway, and the Buckskin Glacier in Alaska.

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Anna Taylor is a 21-year-old climber based in the Lake District, who's been making waves with her repeats of high-end trad routes. She's also recently returned from South America, where, together with Leo Houlding and team, she established The Great Northern Prow (E6 6c, 500m).

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Franco Cookson is well-known for his bold, technical first ascents, predominately in the North York Moors. He's recently published a new guidebook to the area, and, whilst pushing standards, has been pushing the 'H' grading system, which gives specific grades for headpointed ascents (trad routes climbed after practice). Franco also had a bit of a reputation for his online comments, but that's all behind him now...

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Adam Lincoln is a climber and Rope Access technician, based near Preston, England. In his 30-year climbing career, he's travelled the world and ticked many classic UK sport routes. It's worth mentioning his job because it's allowed him to live this lifestyle. His stomping ground is the Yorkshire limestone, with Maham and Kilnsey relatively nearby. Chalkbloc caught up with Adam during his six-month climbing trip in Spain...

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Ramon Marin is originally from Catalonia, but now lives and works in London as a designer. He's climbed - and excelled - in many disciplines, from trad to sport to ice to mixed to dry tooling. His psyched attitude and genuine enthusiasm make him a real stand-out character of the UK climbing scene, and you'll consistently find him driving from London for a weekend's action, be it on the sport cliffs of Portland or trad sea-cliffs of Pembroke, for example. Read on to hear about Ramon's adventures.

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Tom Ripley is an all-round climber based in Sheffield. Over many years, Tom's climbed many classic routes around the world, and has an impressive encyclopaedic knowledge of climbing. He's established a new route in Patagonia, and is part of the British Mountain Guides trainee scheme.

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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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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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