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Interviews

  • Maddy Cope has climbed extensively in the UK, in both sport and trad. She's now cranking out impressive grades (just climbing her second E9 (Prinzip Hoffnung) and her second 8c recently), but still enjoys the simplicity of movement, and the mental aspect of climbing. She was based in Bristol for a while, and has climbed many of the classics in Pembroke.
    Tom managed to catch up with her just before her ascent of Prinzip Hoffnung (F8b+/E9/10) 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • Steve McClure should need little introduction. A legend in British climbing, he's established cutting-edge sport routes in the UK, onsighted E8 trad routes, been part of the legendary Petzl Roc Trips, and been cranking since the 80's... all while being part of a family and supposedly 'not strong!' It's all in Steve's book, Beyond Limits.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Uisdean Hawthorn has an ever-expanding portfolio of photographs taken from wild alpine routes around the world. CHALKbloc sits down for an interview...

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