I am an active climber, runner, and mountaineer based in Devon. You might have heard of it? Kathmandu, Chamonix, Exeter…
In a previous life I refer to as the years BC (Before Climbing) I was sport boy and studied BSc (Hons) Exercise Science. I did a bit of globe trotting after graduating and a few silly jobs in the big smoke before having my epiphany.
Since then I have worked for a long time at Cotswold Outdoor and Snow+Rock as their company trainer, and then for the last few years have worked for myself in a variety of jobs. I work 4 part time roles: residential care for young people; freelance writing and photography; lecturing in Outdoor Ed at a local college; and leading groups in the outdoors as a Mountain Leader and Rock Climbing Instructor. I’ve also done MIA Training but am a way off doing the assessment.
I used to describe myself as a ‘moth to a flame’, inasmuch as that climbing frequently terrified me, but I couldn’t stop. These days I still get the fear, but am getting a bit better at getting on with it. I have never thought of myself as ‘a runner’. I only really run to stay fit for upcoming mountain adventures, and to be able to eat a lot. Similarly I suppose I don’t really identify myself as a climber either. I only got into local crag climbing as a surrogate for more sporadic trips to the big hills. My dream days are spent scurrying and scrambling in the mountains, faff free immersion in wild and exposed places.
I wanted to write a sort of Outdork CV here but that feels a bit wanky (is a bit wanky), and even calling it Experience makes me wince a bit, but until I think of a better word here is a list of some things that I have done that - if I’m not exactly proud of - do feel worth mentioning for a variety of reasons:
Climbing grade PB’s:
trad onsight E3 | solo/ground up highball E4 | bouldered V8/7B | sport redpoint 7b | headpoint E5
I’ve climbed all over the UK and abroad in Verdon, Riglos, Yosemite, and bouldered in Font. I am a timid climber, often wracked with doubt, but paradoxically my favourite way to move over rock is soloing. Easy soloing.
Memorable mountain days and notable ticks:
14 Alpine 4000ers including Mont Blanc (highest I’ve been), Breithorn Traverse and Cosmiques Arete; Half Dome (Yosemite, CA); Skye Black Cuillin Ridge (7 hours solo); Suilven (bivvy on Burns Night)
The Prow (Cummingston); Right Angle; Doorpost; Terriers Tooth; Bantham Hand; Snake Dike; Wreckers Slab; Sacre Coeur; Astral Stroll; Devils Slide; Moonraker; Main Wall
Empire of the Sun; Devonshire Cream
Crescent Arete; Not to be Taken Away; Cream Traverse; Aerobic Wall; Boysens Groove; King of Drunks; Hot Ice; Scorn; La Joker; Rippled Wall
Eiger Heckmair 1938 Route
Archangel, Cenotaph Corner & Dream of White Horses, Napes Needle, Old Man of Hoy
I’m gradually ticking through: Classic Rock, Hard Rock, and West Country Rockfax Top 50. 36/282 Munro’s, 104/214 Wainwrights.
In general I only run for myself, I don’t really like the feeling of racing and am a bit grinchy about running in big groups. That said, the Cuillin Ridge on Skye with Libby is probably my best ever day in the hills.
Race the Train (beat it by 5 seconds) | Yorkshire 3 Peaks | Tromso SkyRace | Welsh 3000ers (9 hours) | Skye Black Cuillin Ridge (7 hours) | I have nearly finished the South West Coast Path | Bob Graham Round (have done all individual stages, but only managed 3 in one push… remains on the to do list) | Strava KOM Crown on Slaetarratindur (highest mountain in the Faroe Islands) | Dartmoor ‘30 miler’ | Pamplona Bull Run
Amazingly to me, I am a Salomon Running Ambassador.
Writing & Photography:
I’ve mostly written magazine features for Trail Running Magazine, UKClimbing.com, Outdoor Fitness, Active Dartmoor, The Fell Runner and others. More recently I’ve had roles in Social Media working on outdoor brand campaigns, growing brand pages, and posting for large events.
My photo's have been used by several global outdoor brands on their social media platforms. They have appeared in Climbers Club and Rockfax Guidebooks, all of the above magazines and websites; plus double page frontispiece’s in The Adventurers Guide to Britain and Wild Running (2nd Edition), as well as throughout a yoga book called Slivers of Light, and I even had a prestigious front cover for The Fell Runner.
It amuses me greatly to call myself an ‘Award Winning Photographer’, when the reality is I’m a snap happy punter who’s been in the right place a few times.
Best Photo 2017 South West Coast Path Association
Marmot UKC Photography Awards 2017 Best Scrambling Photo